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How to Make Easy Quilts
What Kind of Quilt?
When you first start thinking about making a quilt, consider what kind you want to make.
Something small and easy like a soft baby quilt? One you can spread on your queen size bed? A cozy throw to bring out while watching movies? One made from colors and patterns you love or even your childhood clothing?
The tools I've found most useful in quilting are a rotary cutter, a self healing mat to cut on, and a large, clear ruler. You can cut several layer of fabric at once, and the ruler helps ensure they're all the right size.
Other than that you'll need your basics like a sewing maching (or you can do it by hand, but a machine is much faster), thread to match or contrast your quilt, pins, and a water soluble pencil helps too.
For your actual quilt you'll need fabric for the front--this can be from your fabric store, old clothes you have, or even odds and ends like old pillow cases and tablecloths. You'll also need batting to give it a bit of fill in the middle--I'd suggest a low loft for your first quilt since they're easier to sew through. Then you'll need fabric for the back of the quilt. This can be plain ole' muslin, or a fabric to match the front.
A Simple Quilt
One of the most basic quilts you can make is cutting out squares of the same size, sewing them all together (make rows, then sew the rows together), and if your sewing and cutting isn't perfect use the rotary cutter to make the edges even. After you sew each square together, iron the seams to lie flat. Layer this on top of batting, and on top of the backside of your quilt (iron all fabric), and either baste (big, loose stitches) or use a sticky spray basting to stick them all together. Then you do your actual "quilting," which is sewing all three layers together. You can "stitch in the ditch" and dew just a quarter of an inch to either side of seams, or make up your own pattern, I prefer freestyling it with swirls and squiggles!
Adding the binding may be a bit more tricky, and I suggest you do a bit more reading on that, or maybe I'll write a more in-depth hub later.
You can add borders to your squares, or just sew them together.
You don't have to stick with squares--there are tons of free quilt block patterns on the web at places like Quilt in a Day or Free Quilt Patterns. Or you can applique designs onto a larger piece of fabric to make more of a picture.
An idea that could work for Mother's Day or any special occation is making the squares a light color, and having family members sign or draw in each of them. I did this in lieu of a guestbook for my wedding and love reading what everyone wrote! Hand prints from grandkids can make a great gift for grandparents, and it's a little more practical than a million concrete plates.
Quilts can be anything you like
They don't have to look like they belong on the bed at your grandma's house. They can be modern, funky, edgy, artistic or whatever you want them to be. You can stick with a pattern the first time if you feel comfortable, but don't be afraid to branch out and try your own style!