Quilting for beginners: introduction to the technique

In the modern needlework space now appeared quite a lot of foreign terms, sometimes quite unfounded. For example, needlework itself is now called handmade, embroidery-mesh – hardanger, and the pattern with “cucumbers” – paisley. Sometimes, however, such names are quite reasonable. For example, as in the case of quilting.

What is quilting?

Quilting is an American patchwork technique. And if patchwork and patchwork are basically the same thing, the quilting technique is different. How is it different? Patchwork quilting is simultaneously sewing from scraps, applique, embroidery and quilting. It’s that kind of complex needlework.

Again, as with other types of needlework, there is plenty of controversy. The name was invented by the Americans, they say it is their national treasure. The English, Japanese and Chinese, on the other hand, kindly smile and show their patterns – of a more advanced age.

How is quilting done?

But still, it is worth taking a closer look at what quilting is all about.

So, a quilt is a multi-layered fabric. In the center there is a lining of insulation, and the lining is framed with cloth cloths from the front and back. Most often the back cloth is made of monochrome fabric, while the front side can be monochrome, patterned or even patchwork. On the right side and is the main work. With the help of quilting and embroidery fabric-quilt is decorated with a convex pattern – geometric or free.

Feel the difference? Conventional patchwork is when we simply sew colored scraps of fabric together. Quilting also involves quilting a pattern to create volume.

Again, not only fabrics are used for quilting. For example, needlewomen can find excellent examples of quilting made of leather – lovely handbags, handbags, even jackets.

Where to begin?

So, we have considered what is quilting and how it differs from the usual patchwork. Traditionally, we’d like to try it now. But where to begin? With the basics, of course. And the basics of quilting is the usual patchwork. Without learning this art, quilting for beginners is impossible.

What do we know about patchwork? What we need are these tools and materials:

  • a sewing machine or hand needles;
  • scraps of fabric;
  • cardboard templates;
  • scissors;
  • pins to connect some scraps of complex shape.

Here so far everything is clear: from the ornate scraps cut in the form of geometric shapes and stripes, we sew a kind of “picture”.

For patchwork sewing to become quilting, you need only one addition, and that only for those who sew with a machine – a foot for quilting.

By the way, if you are not yet a master of patchwork, try these classic patterns:

  • colored squares;
  • log cabin; 
  • crazy sewing;
  • grandma’s garden;
  • christmas star.

Perhaps that’s enough to get you started. The patterns consist of simple blocks and are easy to master. You can sew one small square at a time to learn quilting on later. You may get a nice set of tack, for example, as a result of learning.

Putting the new knowledge into practice

So, the colored squares are ready. Now you will need spacers (e.g. sintepon ) and backing fabric. Stack the back over each other (wrong side up), the padding on top of it, and finally one of your colored squares. The top square should be slightly smaller than the wrong side and the grommet – this is important. Pin the layers together at a distance of 10-15 cm.

Now prepare the machine for quilting – lower the slats, increase the tension of the upper thread, replace the normal foot with a foot for quilting (check the instructions for your machine, as it looks – they are all a little different).

You can start quilting. For regular ornaments, it’s best to use outline quilting – just stitch your sewn ornament along the seams of the stitching or along the borders of the color.

In general, quilting can be different. If you are quilting a monochromatic fabric (well, you didn’t happen to have any beautiful colored scraps!), you can use free or shaped quilting – with or without a pattern. 

For those who love applique, the ideal stitch is along the contours of the picture – perhaps even with elements of embroidery.

And when you get the hang of it, you can create real masterpieces of needlework.