Quilt With Us

I'm starting a group through my church. I offered to teach some basic quilting techniques and sewing for projects for practical gift ideas - totes, casserole carriers (we are big on pot lucks!), wall hangings, and other... the notice will be in this Sunday's bulletin at church. It is a very small church so we may not have many, but it is a beginning.

I am still pondering how to start... I think I'll need to do a 30 minute basic use of tools (rotary cutting at its safest), then start on a project that can be completed quickly... instant success was so encouraging for me.

My first class was Underground Railroad by Eleanor Burns and while the blocks were fun and very educational - I learned a lot!!!!, it took an awful long time to get it together. However now I see it on the back of my couch and am so proud and remember those years ago when I got started with this passion.

Any ideas about beginning projects? What was your first project and was that a good idea to begin with or ???

All ideas are appreciated...

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Sheesh....I can't decide between having no ideas and having too many to know where to begin! LOL

My first project was probably curtains...simple valance type thing. Or placemats. I'd send a sign up sheet around with some ideas on it and have them check the ones they are interested in, or ask them to write down what they want to learn to sew and then go with the one that was picked most.

Something simple and gift oriented might be hot pads or place mats. Or perhaps a Christmas themed candle mat or centerpiece mat for their holiday tables. You might want to start a "Block of the Month" with them and produce a quilt for your pastor, or teach them how to make a simple lap quilt and donate them to the shut-ins in your congregation. Simple baby quilts could be donated to a local hospital or woman's shelter and of course they'd be learning the techniques to make them for gifts or themselves too.

There are cute patterns for slippers, corn/rice pads (the kind you can warm in the microwave or cool in the freezer to apply to achy shoulders or joints) and I saw the cutest idea the other day for making "pillowcases" for pets! You make them to fit a standard human pillow that you'd let a dog or cat sleep on. They suggested making "two" so that they have one to put on the pillow and one in the wash. I believe they just used velcro or a simple button to close them once the pillow was inside.

Hope this helped!
Thank you so much! Very useful ideas.. I'll get on it! I especially like the holiday themed suggestions and the quilt for the pastor - he'd love that!

Thanks again,
I first learned to piece and quilt by hand. This taught me the importance of cutting and piecing exactly. It started with making the templates, using the sandpaper board for tracing templates, cutting precisely, and sewing and then making the quilt sandwich and quilting the project. Not that it was something great, it was a block. But I learned the importance of accuracy in the process. To this day, I still love hand piecing, but the machine is a lot faster. Unless your students are careful, I've seen some really bad cuts with the rotary cutter. I think the understanding of the whole process is important. Once you understand the 1/4" and how important it is to the quilt, all else falls into place. All the new tools are great and make quilting so much easier, but unless you understand how they all work together, it's just cutting and sewing fabric back together. Good luck with your class.
A simple pattern would be turning twenty. The basic one. Or a rag quilt. This would be lots of practise with rotatry cutting and would go together really quickly.
Don't forget that if you use patterns, you have copyright to consider.
Yellow Brick Road by Attkensen Design is another good one.
As a 'newbie' myself (to quilting, not sewing in general), I'm intrigued by the Chinese Coins design. Now that fabric comes in precut strips, it appears that sewing strips together, cutting to width and adding separators & borders would be a great beginning project. This lends itself to wall hangings, placemats, table runners -- any rectangular item for which strips can be cut to width. I'm thinking 'stitch-in-the-ditch' quilting would make it pretty simple to finish. Of course, there could be nuances to this pattern/technique that I'm missing -- observations are always welcome!
You might try "Quilt in a day" "Railfence" book and dvd. I think it is just $15.00 and has several ideas in it also. It is just cutting 2 1/2 inch strip, then sewing them into sets. They can make placemats, tablerunners, pillow panels or little square coasters with smaller strips cut. Gives practice in cutting and sewing straight without points and a lot of matching.
I also teach quilting at our church. A friend and I started back in 2001 and now we are seeing the people we taught, teaching others. How joyous is that. Anyways, to get instant gratification....... how about a hot mat? A completed 9" one out of a nine patch pattern. Each square is 3.5'. Or do it the Eleanor Burns way. Or take any block pattern that you like and make into a hot mat. Along with this idea you could also do matching mug mats and candle mats. They work up quick and a person can learn all the techniques for quilting through this activity.
Hope this helps....... judy from upstate NY
9 patch!
Its all straight lines, an opportunity to learn about working with lights and darks, and it's easy!
Do NOT start with something like an 8 pointed star like I did - It didn't go very well.
Hi Kathy,
I am fairly new to quilting and i stumbled accross this great e-book with fantastic patterns and helpful information for a beginner like me. If there are ladies in your church group who are just starting out, this might be the answer. It is very cheap, and full of invaluable informtaion.
Hope it helps. Good luck. The link is below.
Click Here!


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