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shapes and sizes
color choices
quilt blocks
baby blanket
sewing machine
right choice
Quilt Patterns For Beginners
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It can be overwhelming when you are beginning to learn how to make a quilt.  Not only are you overwhelmed with advice on supplies, equipment and technique, you have to figure out what patterns you should start out with.  This can be no small feat.  There are hundreds of websites out there with “free” quilting patterns in all shapes and sizes.  There are so many to choose from.  How do you make the right choice? 

First, cover the basics.  You will need to practice cutting your fabrics, measuring and sewing an appropriate seam.  Therefore, you will need to start out with a pattern that has no curves, geometric shapes (triangles, circles, etc.) other than squares and rectangles or applique.  To begin with, you will want to start off with designs that require what is called strip piecing.  This includes patterns such as a Fence Rail, Nine-Patch or Roman Square.  These patterns will allow you get a lot of practice in cutting fabric correctly and accurately. 

Second, practice makes perfect.  Strip quilting is great for beginners because all of the practice components are in place.  Once you have practiced cutting the fabric into the strips called for in the patterns, you will have to plan your quilt blocks by laying the fabric out and arranging your color choices.  Then, you will sew each block, trying to accurately sew 1/4” allowances and making sure that your blocks are all uniform in size.    You may have to take some blocks apart in the beginning but that is normal - and you will have to do so less and less with more practice.

Third, when selecting a beginner pattern, try to start off with a small quilt.  This means choosing a wall hanging, a crib quilt, baby blanket or afghan.  Machine quilting larger products require experience in managing your fabric.  It can be difficult to run a Queen size quilt through a sewing machine on your first try.  Practice small first so that you can get the experience of machine quilting without wresting with a huge blanket first.  Then, you can graduate to larger projects when you have the confidence to concentrate on juggling each task. 

Your first quilt can be a challenge but it is so rewarding when finished.  You will not regret the effort.  Don’t be daunted by your first experience in actually quilting your project.  There are books and patterns for beginners who are learning machine quilting, called primers.  They are usually available at your local quilt shop and they are great to practice machine quilting on, especially if you will be free motion quilting.  Happy quilting! 


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