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How to Make Easy Quilts

Updated on September 29, 2010

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?

you can often buy a rotary cutter, ruler and mat in a set
you can often buy a rotary cutter, ruler and mat in a set

Basic Tools

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.

Different Quilts

a quilt from t-shirts
a quilt from t-shirts
you don't have to stick with squares
you don't have to stick with squares

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.  

I love this look
I love this look

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!

Some Easy Quilts

Some advanced quilts

an example of an applique quilt
an example of an applique quilt
amazing, isn't it?
amazing, isn't it?


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    • Becky Puetz profile image

      Becky 6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Excellent tips and advice. Beautiful quilts pictured too. Thanks for the information and great ideas.

    • ludlowquiltandsew profile image

      ludlowquiltandsew 8 years ago

      Lovely quilts. The sunset quilt is stunning.

    • profile image

      jenny 8 years ago

      i have a quilt that some one made for me but sense then she past on ansd it is getting beat up and torn and it is thin i wantto make my own but dnt knw where to get the quilting squares that i need i got the batting it be for a queen size bed

    • Solorya profile image

      Solorya 8 years ago from Oklahoma

      That's true it can get expensive--especially when you start up. But once you have all the tools you need, you can often find cheap fabric at outlets, thrift stores, or garage sales. It doesn't necessarily have to be a yard of cloth, either. Old sheets, old clothes, old pillow covers...quilting originated from making use of things that were otherwise worn out!

    • profile image

      livehisluv 8 years ago

      What updated looks for quilts - LOVE IT - thanks for the inspiration!

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Great advice and beautiful quilts.