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Welcome to my little blog! Here I am in my sewing room, I hope you'll stay a while and see what there is to see.

Quilting Tutorial Pt. 1

Hello everyone the first part of my quilting tutorial today! Lots of people ask me where I learned how to quilt and how I got started with it all. I must say it was quite a process. I never just set out to become a quilter, it kind of happened when I least expected it. My mother always made our dresses and Halloween costumes while we were growing up. I remember the first store-bought dress I had, I wore it to the 5th-6th grade dance. Wow! I still remember how I made her do my hair, sad day ;) Anyway, she taught me the basics of how to use a sewing machine, which I will not go into detail about here. My "Granny," Aleta, is the one who taught me about how to quilt. She can no longer do it because of vision loss, but while she was still doing it, I went a few times and watched her quilt in her basement, using a frame that hung from the ceiling! I wonder how many hours she sat down there with not enough light to make quilts for her children and grandchildren. She eventually let me do a row of hand stitches on a quilt she was making for my sister, and that's all the quilting that I did before. There are lots of posts online about how to use sewing machines and things, but people always want to know what they need to have to quilt. If I can teach myself, so can you!
This post deals with the materials that are needed before you begin, there is a bit of money invested, but if you go to JoAnn or somewhere like that on a Black Friday or a good sale day, you should be fine.
First you will need threads! I like Coats & Clark threads, you can even buy these at WalMart!
 I may have more thread than I need, but it's nice to know that whatever project I'm working on, I will have some colors that match it!
You will also need some scissors! I love thread snippers to keep in front of my sewing machine, and bigger ones that I keep by my ironing board.
Thread Snips
Do yourself a favor and get GOOD SCISSORS!

You will need to mark on your fabric for some things, so these pens are the bomb! They show up really well, and when you iron them, the ink disappears because it is heat-sensitive.

Pilot FriXion Pens

A rotary mat has totally changed my life. The first quilt I made, I used a yardstick and scissors. Oh.My.Gosh. Need I say more? Buy a good rotary mat! I have an Olfa and I must say that I'm in love with it. Great Black Friday purchase! You fold your fabric and lay it on this mat to cut it!
Olfa Mat
In order to use a cutting mat properly, you must have a rotary cutter. I have three of them actually and just use whichever is the sharpest at the moment!
I want to buy this one next! I use the 45mm always because they are the standard.
Next you will need a ruler to use so that you cut straight lines with your rotary cutter. I love this one, and it is the first on that I ever bought.
Here is a helpful YouTube video that shows how to use a mat, rotary cutter, and ruler if you just can't visualize it from seeing these objects.
You will definitely need an iron and an ironing board. I'm on my third iron, but third time's a charm, right?! I love this one so far. Good steam and gets really hot!

You will of course need a sewing machine, any kind will do, as long as it has a good straight stitch! This is the first sewing machine I bought (on my honeymoon!). It is a Bernette by Bernina 82e. It is a good starter machine and it has sewn most of the things I've done so far! This year I got a Janome Quilters Edition and I LOVE it! It is a higher grade machine and has lots of stitches, and I'm loving it at the moment too! You will also need basic sewing machine things like bobbins and tools to clean it. I recommend getting your machine professionally serviced once a year!

Bernette 82e
Patterns are important for learning, there are good tips in them for starting out, and eventually you can design your own! Spoiler Alert: I'm doing that now, and hope to eventually show you all what I've created! Just need some graph paper for that. That is getting ahead of myself though, here is my pattern board at the moment. This can also be an idea board (and for thank you notes :) There are also tons of free patterns online.
Of course, in order to sew, one must have fabric! Lots and LOTS of fabric. I'm getting pretty bad about stashing loads of fabric.. My husband is lovely and patient with my addiction though, so it's a win-win! There will be a quilting tutorial part two soon!
I'll give some links to places I like to buy fabric too!
Those are just a few! Next time maybe I'll share some of my most favorite quilty blogs with you all! Hope this helps anyone, let me know if you have any questions or would like to see a little bit different post about quilting.
~Rachel

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