Hi, there! I’m Katie and I am a brand-new quilter learning all the basics here at Fat Quarter Shop. I’m sewing my first quilt with the help of my fellow Fat Quarter Shop staffers and I’d like to share my journey with you.
If you are new to quilting too, I hope we can share our struggles and triumphs together while you get through your first quilt. If you’re a more seasoned quilter, please feel free to share advice in the comments.
I’ve never sewn or quilted a day in my life before now! When I arrived at Fat Quarter Shop and joined the team I came open-minded to quilting! We have a lot of tutorials on our YouTube channel so I began by watching a few of those. I first needed to learn all about quilting and sewing tools, then I learned about piecing. I gave it a shot with some scraps and ended up making Block 3 of The Ultimate Beginner Series. I ran into so many errors! I miscut some of my strips, I sewed the wrong strips first and I ironed in duck pleats.
Needless to say, I had a rough first go but it was still inspiring! Once my block was complete I felt accomplished. I had learned to read a pattern, ask for help and how to press my seams.
Choosing my first pattern
To get started, I chose a pattern! As a beginner, I decided it was best to choose a pattern I could feel confident trying. I searched the digital shelves of Fat Quarter Shop and decided I would start with a pattern from Melissa Corry’s new book, Charming Baby Quilts.
I tried three patterns in this book before deciding. I tested them out by making one block from each. The first two proved to be more challenging than I had hoped, so I went with the last one I tried. It uses straight seams (no triangles) and doesn’t have anything complex about it. It’s the Color in The Lines Quilt.
Tip: When choosing a beginner pattern, look for pre-cut friendly patterns. My quilt used one charm pack which made cutting quick and easy.
Choosing my fabrics and precut
Choosing fabric is the fun part! I shopped at Fat Quarter Shop for a collection that would work well for my baby quilt and the size of my cuts. Since I’m using charm packs, my fabrics will be no larger than 5″ x 5″ so I picked a collection with small-scale prints that will show nicely. Fat Quarter Shop has an excellent Pre-Cut Fabric Guide that explains how each type of precut is sized and what projects coordinate well with them.
Tip: Always choose a fabric that will show up will in a pattern. If your pattern uses large pieces, then it is safe to get a large-scale print collection so none of its beauty is lost.
Finding my quilting supplies
I needed a rotary cutter, cutting mat, a ruler and some Alphabitties. I chose the Creative Grids Perfect 5 Ruler for the charm pack squares, and I borrowed a larger Creative Grids 6.5″ X 24.5″ Ruler from our sewing space at the office to cut my sashing and borders.
Tip: Buy one large and versatile ruler when getting started. As you make more quilts, you’ll acquire more rulers (or so I’ve been told!)
My Alphabitties made organizing my fabric cuts easy. I was excited so I have already started my cuts and I have them organized as the pattern states.
I’ve got my first steps down! I’m sew excited to report back in part two with how piecing and sewing is going for me! I’ve never sewn before, by hand or machine, so I have plenty to learn.
If you are also a beginner quilter and are wondering where to get started, follow along with me here as I document my first quilt step-by-step.