The Ultimate Beginner Quilt - Block 1 - The Jolly Jabber Quilting Blog

The Ultimate Beginner Quilt – Block 1

Today we’re jumping in with the very first block of The Ultimate Beginner Quilt. It’s called Stripes, and we think it’s the perfect place to start.

The Ultimate Beginner Quilt is a free quilt pattern series with video tutorials designed just for beginners. Even if you have zero sewing experience, this is the free quilt class for you! If you’re ready to get sewing, gather your fabrics and sewing tools and watch the video below!


In the Block 1 tutorial, Kimberly covers the basics of how to prepare your fabric, whether starching, prewashing, or using it as-is. She will show you how to safely cut fabric with a rotary cutter, how to change your rotary cutter blades, and finally how to sew your first quilt block. Learn best practices for ironing and pressing your quilt, and get some tips and tricks that will make sewing fun. Download your FREE pattern for Block 1. For the full video and pattern release schedule, please visit the introduction post.

If reading this in email, click this link to watch the video.



Kimberly made her version with Bella Solids by Moda Fabrics, and we even have The Ultimate Beginner Quilt Kit with all the fabrics and backing included to make it easy for you. The quilt can be made in other colors and fabrics. You can refer to this downloadable PDF for Fabric Requirements & Coloring Sheets to plan yours.

For those just starting out, we’ve collected some of our favorite top-quality notions in The Ultimate Sewing Notions Kit to give you a good start on your quilting journey. The kit contains some must-haves that are always at our sewing table.

A Note on Preparing Fabrics

The truth is, when it comes to preparing your fabrics for quilting, it’s a matter of personal choice. Some people use the fabrics straight off the bolt, no washing or starching at all. Some quilters prefer to wash and pre-shrink the cottons before working with them. Others enjoy the stiffness that starch gives to fabric because it reduces fabric stretch and makes seams crisper. If you’re a beginner, feel free to use the fabrics just as they are. With quilt-shop quality quilting cottons, there’s a minimal amount of shrinkage. Plus, any shrinkage after washing gives quilts a lovely, crinkly texture that many of us appreciate.

Use this handy Cutting Guide to plan the layout of your cuts for each fat quarter.

Here are the Stripes blocks made in different colorways by our wonderful FQS staffers.
Click on the photos below to enlarge the image:


We have some awesome quilty friends quilting with us!
Check out their blogs and follow them on social media for inspiration and tips.

Pat Sloan Mister Domestic Carrie Nelson
Gina of Thread Graffiti Tracie of Riceford Streams The Real Housewives of Cross Stitch
Priscilla & Chelsea
Karin of Blue Pip Designs Linden of vinelines Rebecca of OneWeeBird
Ange of A Little Patchwork




Keep up with The Ultimate Beginner Quilt Sew Along!

If this is your first time participating in a sew along, it’s easy. You can follow along at home with us as we sew the quilt. With each new video and pattern release you can sew those elements, too. Be sure to follow along with The Ultimate Beginner Quilt Sew Along on Facebook, and Instagram, and share your progress on Instagram or Facebook with #ultimatebeginnerquilt and #myfirstquilt, or comment on our blog or video with your quilting questions.

Subscribe to our Beginner Quilt Newsletter for occasional updates and special offers created for the beginner quilter, and subscribe to our YouTube channel so you don’t miss a video.


Take the Challenge!

We’re offering a special prize ($50 gift certificate to Fat Quarter Shop) to one person who posts the graphic below to their social media account (either Instagram or Facebook).

Right-click to download challenge graphic.

Prize entries and details:

  • Share it to Facebook or Instagram (Sorry, but sharing within a Facebook group does not count!)
  • Your account(s) need to be public so I can see it
  • Use the #ultimatebeginnerquilt hashtag with it
  • Tag @fatquartershop so we can easily find it
  • Prize entries open between August 1 and August 25, 2019 at 11:59 PM CST.
  • Winner announced September 5, 2019.
  • Prize open internationally


Stay tuned for next week’s blog and video! On Thursday, August 15, we’ll cover Block 2, a simple Nine Patch.

Happy Quilting!

Stay connected to FQS!

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  1. What a great idea , if only I had this info when I started quilting , thank you 🙏🏻

    1. Kimberly prefers a 1.8 – 2.0 stitch length. Any smaller than 1.8 and it gets really hard to seam rip mistakes. If it’s bigger than 2.5, the stitches are too loose and don’t hold up to use over time.

  2. I noticed that she used steam to set the seam. Did she continue to use steam throughout the pressing? Sorry I am new and unsure.

    1. She generally sets the seam with steam. Using steam on the rest of the block depends on the number of seams and how flat it is. It’s not so important to steam the rest of the block as it is to press straight down on it and not iron/smoosh it out of shape.

    1. Hi Katherine,

      With these high quality cottons by Moda, I would not be concerned too much about colors bleeding. Some people throw a color catcher sheet in the washing machine on the first wash just in case.

  3. Hello!. It is possible to work accurately in cm instead of in???
    I tell this because the conversion is not exact….

    Thanks for the response.

    1. I’m not sure about converting from inches to centimeters. Are your rulers and cutting mat in centimeters? If you have a ruler and cutting mat in inches then you won’t have to do any conversion.

  4. Hello, I have tried to download the blocks but only can download blocks 7 and 9. Could you help with loading the rest as I only get a white screen when I try.
    Thank you Margaret

      1. Katie thanks for getting back to me. I really want to do these blocks. I am not very smart with the computer but all I get is a white screen. I have tried to sent you an email but I do not know if you got it.
        Thanks you