Types of Quilting and the equipment used

Quilting is art, different pieces of fabrics are put together and a masterpiece is created. Even though there are specially created quilt arts, I feel that every quilt made is art. It takes time, effort and craftsmanship to make a quilt. And each one is different. Their difference comes in the forming fabric, type, usage and so on.

There are a lot of different types of quilting are used to make quilts and few of them are discussed here.

Types of quilting

A lot of types of quilting exist in the world today. Only the most prominent ones are discussed here.

1. Hand quilting

This is one of the basic types of quilting. As the name suggests this process happens with a hand using needle and thread. A frame or hoop is used by the quilter to keep the quilted area steady. There are 3 major stitches used in hand quilting. they are called a stab stitch, rocking stitch and rocking the needle respectively. This process is still used Amish people all around the world. More and more people are starting to practice this method due to nostalgia.

2. Machine Quilting

Using any best sewing machine for quilting comes under this type. The major machines used are the home sewing machine and longarm sewing machine. In a home sewing machine, all the layers are tacked together before sewing. They are kept that way mostly using large safety pins. Longarm quilting involves special frames where all the layers are kept together. There is no need for pinning this way. Longarm machine moves through the fabric for sewing whereas the fabric moves through the home sewing machine. Check out TeachYouToSew.com to learn more.

3. Tying

All the layers are tied together in this method. This method is used when the quilts need to be prepared fast. Square knots are used to finish off the quilts. This method is also known as tacking.

Equipment Used

A lot of different equipment is used for quilting and each of them serves a different purpose.

1. Sewing machine

A good machine can be helpful in sewing a quilt top or sewing the layers together. This machine is used at home and is small in size.

2. Longarm machines

These can be used to sew large easier and faster. The extended arm this machines allows it to sew the anywhere in the cloth without moving it. This machine is also manually controlled.

3. Quilting Needles

Whatever method you are using needles are important. Each fabric requires a different needle. If the wrong needle is used it can your whole quilt. So learning about needles will be a good idea.

4. Rotary cutters

Rotary cutters provide freedom and accuracy than anything else cannot provide. Using a rotary cutter provides more accurate results and done much faster.

5. Quilting templates

Each quilt can have different patterns and different templates can be used on the same quilt. This can help your quilt get a distinctive look. Templates are often seen as the blueprint of a quilt. Patterns are made on a quilt according to these templates.

How to get started in Quilting

Quilting is hard, say it outright feels right. But anyone can get into and master quilting if they have enough passion. Quilting can be therapy, a hobby or maybe a career.

Have ever you ever seen a quilt and wondered how someone did this? If yes, Quilting could be for you. An amazing quilt doesn’t need a fancy machine, but it needs a passionate mind.

So What do you need to get started with quilting

For your journey, you need a few specific tools first. If you are someone who sews, you may already have a few of these. These are investments you won’t regret.

A sewing machine: This is kind of obvious having a machine is important for quilting

Rotary cutter: If you can learn to use a rotary that can be of your advantage. These are used to cut your shapes quickly and accurately.

Acrylic ruler: A ruler is obviously necessary. And it can come in handy at any stage of quilting.

These are the special tools you need for quilting. Other items used in quilting are either common or inexpensive.

Steps of Quilting

1. Choosing the fabric

This is the first step in quilting. Selecting a fabric can be a daunting task. If you don’t believe me just go to a quilt shop. There is so much to select from. Just believe in yourself and have a basic understanding of what colours will work together. You may be wrong the first few times, but it doesn’t matter nobody is perfect the first time around.

2. Cutting the fabric

If selecting fabric seemed to be a hard task, this is even harder. This is one of the first skills you will have to learn for quilting. Cutting fabric using rotary cutter and mats is Quilting 101. The more you do this the better you become.

3. Selecting a quilt batting

Batting is the sandwiched thing between the fabric. It is also known as wadding and is used as a layer of insulation between fabrics. Selecting the right batting can be a really confusing task for a beginner. Batting is what makes a quilt warm and heavy, so selecting the right one is important.

The selection the perfect batting will depend upon the use of the quilt. Batting is different for a quilt made for hanging on the wall and a quilt made for a baby. The difference can be hard to understand but research will clear all of your doubts.

4. Start making your quilt

Once you have done all the above steps it is time to start making your quilt. For beginners, it is always good, to begin with, basic blocks. The nine patch and four patch quilt blocks are perfect for beginners. There is nothing right or wrong about a quilt, everything is your choice. As you continue to make quilts it will get better.

5. Finishing your Quilt

This is really hard. Quilting takes time. It may take a lot of time to finish your first quilt. But you shouldn’t be worried about this. Great things always take time.

Finish your first quilt and jump right into the next one.

Everything you need to know about selecting a quilt batting

Selecting a batting can be the most confusing thing you can come across in quilting. Especially as a beginner. If you go online or to store to find a batting for your quilt top, you will be flooded with an unbelievable amount of options.

Choosing the wrong batting can necessarily ruin your quilt. So what should you select? There are too many options, even exotic blends like cotton, bamboo and silk. This post will tell you what exactly you need to consider before selecting a batting.

I will list out a few quilt battings and their characteristics, so you can make an informed decision before you start quilting.

  • low loft cotton batting

A loft is the thickness of the batting. There are 2 kinds of loft batting, one is low and another one is high. Since its cotton, it is 100% natural. Cotton shrinks more than other battings. This batting is best for loft and pucker. The cotton batting is not at all dense or rigid.

  • high loft cotton battling

This is much denser than low loft cotton. It is also heavier. Since it is heavier it can provide you with more heat. This battling can be used in quilts made for utilitarian purposes.

  • Bamboo, silk, cotton blend

This is a pretty wild blend. The bamboo makes this battling a bit soft, cotton makes it shrink more and polyester makes it denser. This battling is at its best when washed.

  • Cotton – Polyester blend (80-20)

This is the first blend of natural and artificial fibres. The polyester gives it more loft and a more pillowy feel. Polyester increases the longevity of the batting.

  • Cotton – Polyester blend (70-30)

This batting has an increased amount of polyester. This means it is denser and it has more loft. The increased polyester also means more longevity.

  • Mid-loft Polyester

This batting has all the qualities of the polyester. It is really dense and it has more loft than other battings. It also has a rigid feel to it.

  • high loft Polyester

Increased loft, higher density and more rigidness are qualities of this batting. Since it is much denser, it is harder to use in a quilt. If you don’t start from the centre it can easily be messed up.

  • Wool batting

It is the perfect batting in my option. This stuff is warm. dense and has a high longevity. The best batting to be used if you are making something for a mountain climate. All these benefits come with small difficulty, weight. This batting is extremely heavy compared to the other ones.

Each and every batting is different and each serves a purpose. I hope the above list will help you decide which one to use for your quilt. I hope you have made some obvious assumptions like to use wool batting if you are making something for cold climate and to use cotton batting if you are making something smooth and fluffy.

I know this list won’t erase all of your doubts about batting. But this can give you a basic understanding about battings, everything else is learned through experience.

7 Tips for beginner quilters

Quilting can be hard to master hobby. It takes time and effort to become good at quilting. A lot of people gives up on quilting in beginning stages. Everybody thinks there is some secret to mastering quilting, but unfortunately, there is not. But these tips can help you along the way.

So here are 7 tips for beginner quilters

1. Learn the terminology

You are excited to get into this new hobby, bought some to learn. But when you finally start reading the book, you don’t understand anything. Why is that? That is because you don’t understand the terminology of quilting. learning the terminology is essential for learning actual quilting. Books, articles and everything else is using common terms and abbreviations so it is important that you learn them.

2. Learn about fabrics

Fabrics are the most important element in quilting. So knowing more about them is an essential skill. Learn more about the quality, colour and feel of fabrics. Understanding more about all of these elements will come in handy while selecting a fabric for your quilt. Selecting fabric can be a really hard task if you don’t know what you are doing. To learn more about the fabrics.

3. Learn to use to the rotary cutter

A rotary cutter is an essential tool in a quilters arsenal. It allows you to reduce the time of cutting using templates. Marking and cutting will be much faster using the rotary tools. Also, the speed and freedom of movement provided by the rotary cutter are unparalleled.

4. Choose quilt patterns with large pieces

As a beginner trying out patterns with small pieces can be really hard. Small piece patterns require more seams and work and also they tend to have more mistakes in them. So when you are starting out using large piece patterns can be helpful. They need a lot less work and the possibility of errors is also less.

5. learn to measure

This is an obvious skill needed for anything related to cloths. But it also the most basic one. So if you can’t measure cloths, you won’t be able to quilt or sew. Measuring cloths can be tricky since they tend to be skewed. Only practice can develop this skill. Also asking experienced people for help is a good idea.

6. Don’t look for perfection

Errors are a part of learning. You are bound to make a lot of errors while learning. So perfection is not at all a possibility in the beginning. So if you are chasing perfection from the beginning, it could be your biggest hurdle. Understand that errors are a possibility and learn not to obsess over them.

7. Take a beginners class

A beginners class can be a lot more helpful than you expect. Having an opportunity to ask your doubts and interact with people with the same level of knowledge can be a real eye. They can help you not to obsess over the perfect quilt you saw online.

Every one of these tips can help you get better at quilting. These may not bring any magic but will surely be helpful along the way.

6 things to know before you start quilting

Every new hobby is exciting and only once you are knee deep in the new hobby you will learn a thing or two. Quilting is exciting and intimidating for beginners at the same time. There are so much to learn and so many choices to makes. Nothing is easy here. Every choice you make will have a role in the future. So learning to make the right choices are important.

So here are a few things you should know before getting into quilting.

1. Selecting good fabric is a basic skill

Most of the people don’t see selecting fabric as a skill. But it is a skill necessary for quilting. Looking for colours and patterns can be a daunting task. But like any other skill, it takes time to get polished. The more you quilt, the more fabric you buy and the more you buy the better you get at selecting fabric.

Also, remember selecting good fabric is important too because if you select cheap fabric your quilts can literally fall off.

2. Start simple

People are often inspired to start quilting by some complex works. And often they want to tackle these complex quilts right after they start. Of course, it results in failure and results in them quitting quilting. Like any other skill, quilting takes time, practice and patience. Start simple so that you can tackle complex ones along the way.

3. Take care of your tools

This is important. You should learn to take care of your tools. All tools must always be well oiled. Not taking care of your tools is a mistake that a lot of beginners make. Frequent services of your sewing machine is also a must. Also, try to talk to an expert about taking care of your machine.

4. Join a group

Quilting groups provide a lot of amazing opportunities to learn. You can also meet a lot of like-minded people and this can lead to a lot of new friendships. Advice and demonstrations from experienced quilters are always a bonus. These groups can also keep you from not quitting quilting.

5. Don’t be afraid to ask questions

I think this is true while learning any new skill. As a beginner you may have a lot of doubts and most of them may be stupid. But clearing your doubts is important. People who are afraid to ask questions often assume and these assumption turns out to be wrong in most of the cases. So don’t be afraid to ask for questions. Even if they are stupid.

6. Don’t follow trends

This too applies in case of learning a new skill. There will always be new trends. So if try to follow a new trend as soon as it comes out, you may never learn a single thing. Don’t do things because someone else likes it. Do things that you like. Don’t consider this as a job. This is your passion, your hobby. Do what you love.

All of the above tips can be of great help to a beginner. There are a lot more tips to add here but these are the ones I felt was important enough.