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Topic: Question for quilters

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Subject: Question for quilters
Date Posted: 8/3/2008 2:48 PM ET
Member Since: 2/7/2008
Posts: 309
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I went to the county fair and saw the most amazing quilt pattern called Blackford's Beauty. I really struck me and I just want to make one! I don't know why, as we don't use quilts in this house - we're a duvet house - but I just want to make a quilt. I don't even know what I'll do with it when it's done.

I've got some experience, not much, but I know I can sew enough to have a good go at it. But I just have a sewing machine and that's all. What do I need as a minimum? Do you need all those rotary cutters and stuff or will good old scissors do?

My questions are : what do I need? and what's your best piece of advice for a beginner?

Thanks!

 

Date Posted: 8/11/2008 4:16 PM ET
Member Since: 2/17/2006
Posts: 2,077
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Hi Alex, I just started quilting last year and loved it. I've never been an arts/crafts type, so who knew?

Anyway, I'd have to see the pattern to give you some guidance. Of course, women have been quilting without rotary cutters and mats for generations, but for some patterns, it will really make a difference and would be worth the small investment. I'll try to google the pattern, but if you have a link, I'd love to see it!

Lisa

 

OK...just looked at some. Wow! You don't start small, do you?? You can do this quilt as a beginner, but I wouldn't recommend it without some guidance. I would definitely recommend the rotary cutter & mat as well as a quilter's ruler. If I had to have just one, it would probably be the 6X24 inch, as it's a good all-purpose one. You are going to be cutting strips for this quilt, sewing them together in pairs, then sewing some triangles on the diagonal to create some of the star points. Stars can be tricky, but that's not to say you can't do it if you follow instructions exactly. Your measurements must be precise.

Here's a link to a great site where a lady shows how she did this quilt. It gives you an idea of what's involved. Please don't take this as discouragement, just a word of caution about how you approach it. Good luck!

Blackford's Beauty quilt

 



Last Edited on: 8/11/08 4:28 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 8/20/2008 9:15 AM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2008
Posts: 347
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That looks cool. I'm going to give this one a try!

Subject: probably start with something simpler than this
Date Posted: 8/26/2008 12:09 PM ET
Member Since: 6/24/2008
Posts: 18
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borrow tools from friends, check for local quilt guilds that might have classes or 'in-guild' flea markets (selling old supplies and fabric at guild meetings), classes at craft/sewing stores  (sometimes you make your project and use their  tools).  You only need a needle, thread, scissors and fabric and alot of time to make a quilt - i've made a few this way myself and seen some like the one that inspired you made the traditional way completely by hand.  However, the many pricey tools and sewing machines for quilting that make life easier are great if you decide you enjoy quilting.   there are lots of how-to books in libraries and on line.  i understand your feeling  about the quilt you saw - i had a similar experience when i started.  but someone wiser than i with more experience pointed out my enthusiasm would not make up for my inexperience.

i think the best thing to do with a quilt when it's finished is plan to use it and love it to death.  i'm sure your fair had some fabulous art type quilts (check for local quilt shows in your area).  they are wonderful and i love to go and see and admire them but i really prefer to make quilts i can use.  i stopped being a duvet house before i had my kids and they don't sleep under anything but quilts now.

quilting is a great pasttime but not for everyone so give yourself a break and start out easy.  if you find it is something you really like, then go for the challenge! and good luck.

Date Posted: 9/9/2008 10:11 AM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2008
Posts: 347
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If anyone wants to do this quilt.... Its a pain in the rear and very time consuming. I'm about two rows in on putting the center together. I'll happily post a picture when its done but its not an easy quilt.

Date Posted: 9/28/2008 4:36 PM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2008
Posts: 347
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Even though this thread seems dead... here's the quilt.

www.geocities.com/falcon_within/DSC00067.JPG

Subject: Blackford's beauty quilt
Date Posted: 10/18/2008 6:23 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 1
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For someone who is new to quilting, you did a fine job on this.  Its beautiful - and how proud you must be!  Way to go to stick to it even though it wasn't easy for you.  are you planning to make another?

Date Posted: 10/20/2008 10:32 PM ET
Member Since: 2/7/2008
Posts: 309
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Amanda, I can't believe you went and did it! I'm so impressed! I'm still vaguely thinking about colours.... and haven't even started! But I am really impressed... you did a great job!

Date Posted: 10/20/2008 11:25 PM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2008
Posts: 347
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Thanks Alex. You can do it! Just make sure you have lots of patience and stop when you start getting annoyed.

Date Posted: 12/1/2008 10:05 AM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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I haven't looked that one up but from what I can recall it's not an 'easy' pattern! I do a lot of quilting and I tend to stick with simple stuff but that is a pretty pattern.

by the way, you can use a quilt top in a duvet. there was a show about it once  think an episoe of Simply Quilts-an the woman loved to make quilts but her college-bound daughter liked comfy and puffy comforters so she did the top and made it into a duvet cover.

Date Posted: 2/7/2009 5:48 AM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2009
Posts: 13
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I agree this pattern would be really tough for a beginner. Do you have a local quilt shop that you can visit? Don't go to Joann or Walmart--you need to buy good fabric and get good advice. Take a picture of the quilt with you and ask if there is any pattern similar to this that would give you somewhat the same effect. Ask if there is an Eleanor Burns Quilt in a Day pattern book for it. Burns is great for beginners because her books have every step you need to do with illustrations.

I just did a search for Burns at PBS and nothing is posted at present. But change your search to all books and you'll find some nice ones. Check out

Morning Star Quilt (Quilt in a Day)

as it's similar to the one you want, but much easier.

Wherever you buy your fabrics may have a classroom and/or a drop in day where you could go and use their cutters and rulers to cut out all the pieces at one time and they will help you out. Then you go home and stitch. You will either LOVE it and become a quilter and buy all the stuff you need for future quilts, or you'll finish this one and say "Been there, done that!"

Good luck!

Subject: Question for quilters
Date Posted: 2/11/2009 4:13 PM ET
Member Since: 2/4/2009
Posts: 7
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I have some quilting books on my website that might help.  Take a look.  Shell Bees Treasures

Date Posted: 3/25/2009 7:24 PM ET
Member Since: 2/7/2008
Posts: 309
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Well, I gave up on the Blackford's Beauty idea (for now)... instead I pulled out an old Tumbling Blocks pattern that I had started and given up on ten years ago! That's how long I've been wanting to make a quilt! It was a disaster as it was, so I completely reworked the pattern and here is my quilt (top):

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v167/alexvb/IMG_4102.jpg

I haven't even ironed or backed it yet, but I am pretty pleased with myself. It's only taken my ten years! This is my first proper patchwork quilt... I think there will be more. This is destined for my daughter's bed, and now my son wants one. But I think there'll be no diamonds in his!! I am sick of little diamonds!!

Thanks for the book suggestions, I will check them out. I want a good pattern for my son's quilt now...

 

 



Last Edited on: 3/25/09 7:25 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: Wow! Your quilt looks super!
Date Posted: 3/26/2009 2:10 AM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2009
Posts: 13
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Congratulations, Alex! You don't look like a beginner quilter to me. That's a setting for tumbling blocks I've never seen before and it's going to be a lovely quilt. Yes, stick with something a little easier for your son's quilt and you should have it finished in well under 10 more years. Good luck chosing a pattern.

Date Posted: 3/26/2009 11:28 AM ET
Member Since: 8/29/2007
Posts: 80
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Amanda and Alex -- way to go!  Both quilts are gorgeous!  I've never tried anything that complicated.  You both should be mighty proud!

Date Posted: 4/12/2009 7:56 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 2,462
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Congratulations....Very nice quilts!. Even though the original question is a bit old...I would go with the rotary cutters and those types of supplies. They will certainly make things go more quickly. I love traditional quilts, but only use today's quick methods to make them.

There's a picture on my blog of a quilt top I made using blocks my grandmother hand embroidered and appliqued.
http://prairiepieces.blogspot.com/

Date Posted: 8/18/2009 11:53 AM ET
Member Since: 5/22/2009
Posts: 71
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nice quilt. I perfer to have my husband help me design and make our own together.

Date Posted: 10/8/2009 7:54 AM ET
Member Since: 7/5/2007
Posts: 1,157
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Hi Alex,

You bring up two points: tools and patterns. I'll deal with tools first.

You don't need anything special to quilt, and you CAN do your cutting with scissors, but rotary cutters are more precise, and more importantly, will reduce your cutting time by at least 80%. Believe me, once my friend Paulo got me to try using his rotary cutters and mat, I never ever cut a single piece of fabric with scissors again. I'm serious, I gave my good sewing scissors away. I cut all my fabric for garments with rotary cutters too. It is so much easier, I'd be out of my mind to ever want to do it with scissors again.

Now, to patterns. Look, I checked that pattern you like, and it's not an easy quilt for a beginner. I know, I know, you really want it. But I've met lots of people who fell in love with a quilt design like that, got started, got frustrated, gave up, and never finished a quilt. Do yourself a favor: start with squares. All squares. It doesn't have to be big, make a baby quilt or maybe a lap quilt to keep your legs warm while you watch TV in the winter, or a little wall hanging even. Just make a quilt with all squares so you can accomplish two things: 1) You learn all the steps, and 2) You finish a quilt so you can look at it and say "Hey, I made that!" and feel good about it and give you enthusiasm for the next step.

Then learn about triangles. Just cut some triangles and sew them together and practice that, because until you can cut triangles properly and sew them together to your satisfaction to make a square of the size you planned it to be, you're never going to be able to make blocks for that pattern you like anyway. I know triangles seems easy and I sound like I'm nuts for saying you should practice it, but I know experienced quilters who have real problems cutting triangles and sewing them into squares of predictable sizes.

Once you can make and sew triangles reliably, buy a book called "The Yes You Can Sit On My Quilt Book". It's about how to assemble more complex designs, like the one you like, from smaller shapes like triangles and squares. It'll help you build that quilt you really want to make more easily. :-)