A beginner's guide to simple quilting

Warming quilted covers can easily be created using plain or patterned fabrics or sheets of patchwork. Here's what you need to know to get started.

A beginner's guide to simple quilting

What you need to make a quilt

Before you begin sewing your quilt, here's what you need:

  • Smooth light or medium-weight fabric
  • Tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Polyester fibre wadding
  • Dressmaker's pencil
  • Ruler
  • Masking tape
  • Pins
  • Ordinary sharp and quilting needles
  • Quilting thread

Beginner's instructions

  1. Cut out fabric for the quilt top and backing, adding at least 10 centimetres (four inches) to the desired width and depth to allow for the "shrinkage" the quilting will cause. Make the backing five centimetres (two inches) larger all round than the front.
  2. Cut the wadding to the same size as the quilt top. Use a dressmaker's pencil and a ruler to mark a geometric pattern on the top fabric. Lay the backing fabric, wrong side up, on a hard, flat surface. Pull it taut and attach with masking tape. Spread the wadding on top. Put on the top fabric, right side up.
  3. Pin through all three layers, starting at the centre of the quilt and working outwards to make a sunburst effect.
  4. Once all the pins are in place, remove the masking tape from the backing fabric.
  5. Then apply tacking stitches along the pin lines to hold the layers together more firmly. Remove the pins as you go.
  6. Thread the quilting needle and make a small knot at the thread end. Starting at the centre, insert the needle through the top layer only, bring it back up on a quilting line and pull hard so that the knot lodges in the wadding.
  7. Sew through all three layers along your pre-marked pencil lines a stitch at a time, using running stitch. Secure the thread end with a few backstitches on the underside. Remove tacking as you go.
  8. Fold the excess backing over the top layer, turning the raw edge under by one centimetre (1/2 inch), then pin and tack into place through all three layers. With the sharp needle, use slipstitch to attach the backing to the front of the finished quilt.
  9. Turn corners in on the diagonal before folding in backing edges to finish with neat mitred corners.

Keep these instructions in mind and start making your quilt today!

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