Starting out in my new quilting hobby

Well, as usual, once I decide I want to do something, I want to do it NOW!!

I spent hours surfing the internet for information about patchwork and quilting, and found some wonderful fabrics, but somehow I felt I needed to actually TALK to someone before getting some basic supplies in (other than my recent impulse purchases of some fat quarter packs from the USA). But I don’t know anybody who does patchwork. In the USA, patchwork and quilting is a huge hobby, with fabric shops just for patchwork fabric in every town, it seems. Not so in the UK.

However, I struck lucky. Each month, I go from Staffordshire, where I live, to Birmingham (about 50 miles), in order to do Dances of Universal Peace with a lovely group of people. I’ve been going for nearly four years, now. As I was surfing for patchwork fabric shops, I came across a really good one called The Cotton Patch, which also has a ‘bricks and mortar’ shop in Birmingham. Just out of interest, I checked on Google Maps to see if it would be possible to make a detour on the day I was in Birmingham for the dancing, to visit the shop. You could have knocked me down with a feather when I realised that the Cotton Patch shop is literally a hundred yards from the hall where I go for the dancing. I actually go past the door every month, but I’ve never noticed it before. Doh!!

So, last ‘dancing day’, I went armed with a list (I always have a list). In the lunch break, I sneaked off and had a wonderful 45 minutes in the shop, doing the equivalent of a trolley dash (except I had to pay for what I chose!). The woman on the till in the shop was really helpful, and advised me which books to get to start me off, which rulers would be good, which thread and wadding, etc. I had a great time.

This is the book she recommended:

Starting 1

It’s called Start Quilting with Alex Anderson, and it’s got all the information I need to get started, and eight beginners’ projects. They’re not really my style (especially the bright colourways), but I can see that they carefully teach the basics in a planned way. Rotary cutting is dealt with, and how to piece the quilt so that it lays flat. Both hand and machine quilting are covered (I want to do hand quilting). Each project builds on the skills from the one before. The final project in the book is a sampler quilt, using blocks from all of the previous seven projects. It’s a great book to start out with – 48 pages for £10.95.

There's lots of info on rotary cutting the fabric for your quilt
There’s lots of info on rotary cutting the fabric for your quilt
All the projects are suitable for beginners
All the projects are suitable for beginners
The final project is for a quilt which contains all the blocks taught earlier in the book
The final project is for a quilt which contains all the blocks taught earlier in the book

Now I’m back to surfing the internet for the perfect fabric…..


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4 thoughts on “Starting out in my new quilting hobby”

  1. Janet, welcome to the world of quilting! But it needs to come with a warning: like needlework, quilting is totally addictive. Making a sampler quilt is a great way to begin and I’m sure it will be just the first of many. With your wonderful eye for colour I’m looking forward to seeing which fabrics you choose. There’s nothing like going into a B&M patchwork shop and seeing the rainbow arrangement of fabrics – I could just stand and drink it in! It’s like seeing a whole range of threads for petitpoint – they look gorgeous and I want them all.

    1. Yep, I can already see the similarities – especially the ‘I want them all’. It’s like when I go to buy threads. Having the whole range just seems so, well….*sensible*. Just in case I need another skein later 🙂 My dressmaking fabric stash is already absolutely huge. But quilting fabric is different, right? Yeah!!

  2. Welcome to quilting!! Sandie is right – it is ADDICTIVE!!! 😀 You totally nailed it… don’t pass up a great book, site, or pattern because the colorways don’t appeal to you. I have learned so much from quilters whose taste and style is completely different from mine. Good luck and I can’t wait to see your work! -Jamie, New Hampshire, USA

  3. Hi, I am new to this world of fabric fun also. I spent a small fortune on fabric for my first quilt and purchased some unnecessary items before I got everything I needed. I also would see tutorials on how to do something and then would forget where I saw it so I started a blog to organize my information and meet people who were also quilting. Blogging is almost as much fun as working on my projects. Who knew? I hope you post your progress and let us know how you are doing.

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