November 14, 2010

Advice For New Quilters

Have you read the advice on Rossie's blog post for Newbie quilters? Looove it! I spent some time peeking through it. I think everyone, 665 of you,  entered her giveaway for Elizabeth's book tour except for me.  :(  It's been a busy three weeks...

Rossie's question was the following: what is one thing every new quilter needs to know?

My advice? Breathe. They will love it anyway. Perfectionism is highly overrated. Trust me. I tell myself this a lot.

This line of thinking brought me to my question: What is the worst mistake or mishap you have made while making a quilt?

Mine? Well shucks... I don't make any! I make lots of them. All the time. Err. I think you all remember the coffee incident? Coffee all over scraps, my Bernina and the fabric cushions. I hope the tech didn't find any when they cleaned it last week!

Or... Recently I been finding holes in my casual knit shirts and have been wondering why. I kept blaming inferior knit from Target, but realized I have been using some super sharp Gingher scissors that literally slice everything they touch!! Look what happened when they fell from the kitchen table. Lovely evil handles of slicing power. Poor poor linoleum... It was only on shirt number five I realized this fact. Please forgive me Target for blaming you!

Or... How about running out of binding so you have to search online for that beloved fabric only to find out it is OOP. A couple inches of Kona will do fine. It looks modern.

Or...  How about sewing, for who knows how long, with ratty tension on the bottom.

Or... My favorite story, not mine, has been a basting pin left inside a completely quilted, bound and washed quilt!

So... Inquiring minds want to know. Got any good ones!? Ones you do all the time and don't care if the quilt police will come after you. Any evil cover ups? The juicier the better! You can leave anonymous comments, but that won't be any fun! Or leave comments about your friends... You have the right to remain silent, but I'd love a laugh. I also have an idea- I'll explain later... Help me out.


  1. thanks for asking ;-))) my fav mistakes? Best of all - sewing two pieces together in a way that leaves me with a right side on top and a left side on top ... and guess what, if it's not too bad, I'll just leave it that way ;-)) In a finished top, who will see that? probably only me. So - what the heck! I'm not a beginner anymore, and I STILL do this once in a while. Another "big moment" would be: start quilting, wonder why thinks look not-so-good (when everything was just fine before!) and only after a while will I realize that I forgot to engage the foot! So it still was "up in the air" - and of course, that means lousy quilting! And ripping ...

  2. OH! I have done the tension one. What a let down when you realize what happened.... Ummmm, I gave my mom a table runnner i had made, and it had holes in it. Since I am new to all of this, my pieces were not cut perfect and my sewing was not perfect... and somehow the resulted in seams that did not close the pieces. I wish I would have seen that BEFORE I gave it to her!

  3. Great question! Let's see...running out of fabric, ratty tension, slicing the backing (i.e., creating a "design opportunity"), using sub-par fabric/thread/batting. But I think the absolutely worst mistake I made with a quilt was sending my first sampler quilt out to a machine quilter I found on eBay (of all places...I know, right?). BIG mistake. In fact, I still think about unpicking all the quilting and doing it over--by myself this time.

  4. I've made all the above mistakes (except sending my quilt out to a sub-standard longarmer - I quilt my own quilts) so I'll just say that mistakes are the perfect opportunity to be creative! I'm quilting a memory top for a lady right now, and I found a place where one of her blocks was cut at the seam (unfortunately too far in the quilting to fix it for her). I'm going to suggest to her that she make a cute heart shaped label for the quilt and applique it over the small cut. Cute, modern, and creative!

  5. Wow, check out those scissors.
    Great advice.


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