Teaching a Friend to Quilt with Jemima Flendt - The Jolly Jabber Quilting Blog

Teaching a Friend to Quilt with Jemima Flendt

Welcome back to the Quilt Goals 2023 challenge! As a quilter, one of the most exciting things you can hear from a friend is, “Can you show me how to make a quilt?” All the emotions start running as you know that the adventure ahead for your friend will be amazing and, hopefully, the start of their own loved and long quilting journey.

Hello, I am Jemima Flendt, and today I’ll be sharing the project I chose for my 2023 Quilt Goal Challenge by Fat Quarter Shop! I design and create quilt and sewing patterns for my label Tied with a Ribbon, which specialises in modern, fun designs that pack a punch and deliver helpful tips so that even beginner quilters and sewists can feel confident.

I want to share with you my top 5 tips for teaching a friend to quilt.

5 Tips for Teaching a Friend to Quilt

1. Keep it Simple

For someone starting out in quilting, choose a pattern that is simple in design but big on impact. Repeated blocks work well, as you can focus on teaching them the importance of a 1/4″ seam allowance and how to sew one block. The new quilter can then gain confidence in sewing by repeating and seeing their skills grow as they make the blocks. They will love seeing their stack of blocks grow, and it spurs their enjoyment of quilting.

This design is my Liberty Belle Quilt, and it uses a repeated block pattern to achieve this stunning quilt. How amazing are the colours from Melody Miller’s Curio Collection for Ruby Star Society?!

2. Colour Confidence

This takes time for quilters to develop and will grow and change over time. Start out using a collection. These already have colour combos worked out and go really well together. This means at this early stage for a new quilter they can work on their sewing skills rather than being worried about what colours work well together or if it will turn out ok. Fabric collections take out the guesswork.

3. Get the Right Equipment

Setting up the sewing machine with a 1/4″ foot will be such a game changer. Often when people are new to quilting, they take the machine straight out of the box or dust it off (a gift from a great Aunt), start quilting and soon run into trouble when all the points and blocks don’t line up. While this isn’t about perfection, the machine should be “Quilt ready” with the correct foot for quilting.

4. Borders – make or break!

Not all quilts have borders, but when they do, this can be the make-or-break moment of how the quilt looks. Make sure you teach your friend to correctly measure and then cut the border strips to fit the quilt top measurements. Just sewing border strips to the quilt top, then cutting off the excess can result in flared or buckled quilts once quilted. By doing it this way, you can be adding length to the quilt top, and this is why the borders flair out. It is important to measure and cut each border strip to size. You can watch my How to get Perfect Borders video to see how to do this.

5. Binding is fun!

I know it can often be that part that many quilters aren’t that over the moon about but I wanted to share a couple of my favourite ways to add binging so that you can easily love binding, too, and show your friend how it can be a relaxing and satisfying final touch to a quilt.

Learn more with the Sew Continuous Corner Binding Tutorial and my How to invisibly sew down your Binding video.

With these tips, you and your friend will absolutely love quilting up a storm together. If you loved it too, make sure you keep up to date with all the Tied with a Ribbon updates on Instagram (@TiedWithARibbon), and Facebook.

A little more about me: My professional background as a High School Home Economics Teacher has driven my passion for teaching and sharing all things Quilts and sewing. I have written three books – Weekend Quilting, Quilt Big and Quilt It, Crochet it! I have also designed fabric collections for Robert Kaufman/Two Green Zebras. I thoroughly love teaching Quilting and Sewing classes, Retreats and Workshops here in Australia and abroad, teaching quilters of all levels in person and online.

Save 15% OFF Tied with a Ribbon Patterns

Use the discount code Ribbon15 at checkout to save 15% OFF Tied With A Ribbon Patterns. Limit one coupon use per customer, not valid with other offers. Some exclusions may apply. Offer expires Tuesday, June 6th 2023 at 11:59PM CST.

quilt goals banner

Each month on the blog a different quilter is sharing part of their journey with us to achieve their quilt goal. Be sure to follow them for inspiration and check back on the blog the 4th Thursday of each month to see their projects and keep up with the fun with #QuiltGoals2023 on Instagram.

February 23: Pat Sloan (@QuilterPatSloan) is sewing Tula Pink’s Butterfly Quilt.
March 23: Melissa Corry (@HappyQuiltingMC) will sew a duffle bag.
April 27: Sherri McConnell (@aQuiltingLife) will make an orange peel project.
May 25: Jemima Flendt (@TiedWithARibbon) plans to teach a friend to quilt.
June 22: Robin Pickens (@RobinPickens) will try her hand at cross stitching.
July 27: Wendy Chow (@the.WeekendQuilter) will make a quilt-as-you-go project.
August 24: Christopher Thompson (@the_tattooed_quilter) will make a bed-sized quilt.
September 28: Shereece Nicole (@SewHookedOnTreasures) has set her sights on a t-shirt quilt.
October 26: I’m going to sew a clamshell quilt!

Are you working on your Quilt Goals this year? How is your progress so far? Leave a comment below and let us know how it’s going. You can also share your updates with #QuiltGoals2023 on Instagram.