12 Days of Learning to Quilt
Learning anything new always takes time and patience just as learning to quilt. Here are the 12 days of learning to quilt as I have helped a friend make her first baby quilt.
Day 1 – Think back to the days of learning to drive. You just don’t jump into the driver’s seat and take off. Learning to drive is more than putting a car in gear and heading off down the road. There are rules of the road, parts of the car, and much more to learn as you practice one step at a time. Learning to be a good quilter is much the same, especially for anyone, like my friend, who never used a sewing machine before. Her first lesson involved a tour of the sewing machine. Parts of the machine, learning how to thread and fill bobbins, plus a small list “quilting must dos.” were on the initial day’s learn and practice list.
Day 2 – Using a bridge when chaining pieces or sewing quarter inch seams are so basic to many of us who sew, but to the beginner these must be taught. Included in this beginning lesson was how to be sure to knot the beginning and end of the seam so it does not unravel. This lesson on how to quilt was basic skills of sewing.
Day 3 – Once we decided to use the basic quilt pattern of a 6 inch block and figured out the yardage, we went shopping for fabric. After choosing multiple cottons that blended from one side of the color wheel and one color that crossed the wheel, plus backing material and the batting, our next lesson involved how to cut the yardage into the squares.
Day 4 – Mastering the cutting wheel and rulers are important skills of learning to quilt so that all pieces are cut perfectly square. Each yardage of material slowly became a pile of 6 ½ x 6 ½ inch squares for the baby quilt.
Day 5 – This step led to positioning those 6 inch pieces on the design board to determine the pattern of the baby quilt. Though there were 6 different colors and patterns, a decision as to the placement of the blocks can be a challenge. Once the blocks are positioned, stand back and squint to view the handmade baby quilt design. Check for duplicate blocks in the same row or column.
Day 6 – The following lesson was to begin sewing the squares together into rows. Each pieces needed to be pinned starting from one end, then the other, and finally securing the center. As a beginner to this process, learning to place the pins so that the machine did not roll over the pin, yet it secured the material in place was important. Taking time to pin and sew slowly helps to keep that ¼ inch seam allowance. Once each row is sewn, the rows are then sewn together to finish the baby quilt top.