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It sounds like most (or all) of you have already quilted something, whereas I'm such a beginner, I don't even know where to start! I love looking at fabrics, but haven't bought any of my favorites yet, because I don't know what to make. So...I was wondering if you could give me suggestions on a great "easy" beginning project! Table topper, lap quilt, whatever! And what kinds of simple patterns to piece?

Thanks for all the suggestions and have a WONDERFUL day!

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Hi Kate, I found an easy pattern was the Irish Chain block and you can adjust it to whatever size you want by adding more blocks. It is a good pattern for practice on cutting squares, sewing straight seams and putting an easy pattern together and then quilting in the ditch or free motion. I have a photo of the pattern on my page and it is an easy pattern to find online...just a suggestion for you to get started. Nice to meet you!
Hi Kate and welcome. My very first quilt was a Trip Around the World that I made for my new granddaughter 3 1/2 years ago. I did it in a class but looking back now, it really was an easy one to do. Gives you great practice on piecing also and getting those points to match up. A good book to start with is Your First Quilt Book (or it should be!) by Carol Doak. There are also a gazillion web sites that have free instructions and patterns. Good Luck!
I too am very new to quilting and have so much to learn. I've only been at it for about 6 months and I'm addicted. I always loved quilts but was always too intimidated to attempt one. I suggest you go to quilterscache.com. They have hundreds of free block patterns! Start with an easy nine patch and go from there. It's really not as hard as it seems. As far as the fabric, buy what you love! You may not use it right away, but if you wait to buy, it may be gone. This web site has beautiful fabrics at a good price and the collections blend together, so it takes a lot of the guess work out. Good luck on your first project!
Hi again. I had forgotten about that web site sandy. They also have a pattern on there for a Rail Fence which is very simple to make. Good luck!
Hi Kate, welcome. If you really want a simple quilt to make first then I would do a strip quilt, and make it lap size or crib size. You can make the strips of varying widths and then straight stitch them together. I did one like that for a friends baby and it went together real quick and I only stitched in the ditch since the strips were different widths. The baby is now 3 years old and still totes that quilt around and it has held together real well. And like Sandy says, buy the material when you see it as it might not be there when you go back. I already have 3 small dressers full of material to use which are now coming in handy since there isn't a material store close by. Good luck on your first one and don't forget to take pictures of it if you are giving it away as a gift. I take a picture and keep all the info in a 3 ring binder of what I used and how much and how long or easy it was to do...then I have it for future reference.
Kate - I definitely recommend going to www.quilterscache.com for some nice, free block patterns. You can also do a general search on the internet for beginner quilt patterns and find some free ones that are easy. A few easy ones you could try are the Split Rail Fence, Four Patch, Nine Patch, and Around the World. So far I've found the Split Rail Fence to be the easiest and fastest to put together... it also has the fewest seams to match when piecing the blocks together.

I would also recommend sticking with a crib sized or lap sized quilt. If you look at standard batting sizes, the crib is 45 x 60, which is really good for beginning quilts. I've made about 10 crib sized quilts and they go together pretty quickly and they're easy to manipulate on the machine since they're smaller. Good luck and if you want some ideas for patterns or colors, feel free to visit my blog (http://pianowoman-craftycorner.blogspot.com/). I have a bunch of pictures on there of the various quilts I've made.
Kate, I recently finished a quilt top and quilted it myself! It was called "strip searched". It was made completely out of 2-1/2 in strips, there is a pattern to follow but it's all random which means I couldn't screw it up! I ended up calling it Christmas morning, because I used Christmas fabric and it look exactly like my house after all of my kids opened up their gifts when they were little! You could purchase a jelly roll with 40 strips (the pattern calls for 39), no cutting involved, how cool is that? It's fun easy and quick. I quilted it in the ditch using "a fancy stitch" that's already programmed into my machine. I'll post a picture of it on my page so you can see it. I liked it so much, i purchased another jelly roll from the LQS and am doing a "cream colored one".
Hello, where did you find your pattern? This is one I want to do but cant find it,thanks.Jenny
Hello Kate
I am also new to quilting--as to this site
found a website--she has all kinds of patterns as well as the instructions for them
look at it
Cindy
Sampler Quilt - About.com Quilting's Anniversary Sampler Quilt - Qu...Hello Kate
here is a good website to check out---she has alot of patterns and all come with full insrtuctions---on cutting and putting together even colors to use---About.com ---this is just one of her samples
Hi Kate,

Although I consider myself a NEWBIE (and probably always will); I've spent hours on-line looking at quilting websites, and watching instructional video / CD's: and all the replies you've received here sound like wonderful ideas. As a matter of fact, I might try a few of them. Mariellen suggested a book by Carol Doak "Your First Quilt Book" (which I own), and Sarah mention a web site: www.quilterscache.com - these are both great references.

Good luck Kate ... more importantly - have fun

Donna
Oh Kate, let us lead you down the path of no return....you don't have to know what you want to make to buy fabric. You just have to love it. Once you start buying a little of this and a little of that it becomes easier. Before long you can't pass a quilt shop without going in and after that you won't be able to go into a shop without buying SOMETHING even if it's just a fat quarter or two or three. A friend of mine told me her rule of thumb was if you didn't know how much you'd need for a project you're usually safe buying 3 yards. I was never brave enough to do that (except for creams and white on white and ok maybe border prints) The projects start coming like magic. Especially if you subscribe to the quilting magazines. There's nothing like going to the mailbox and finding a new quiltmagazine. The world stops until I flip through to see the new patterns then later read the whole thing cover to cover. Then of course there are all the free patterns you can get online. Before long you're trying to figure out the best filing system for all the patterns you've accumulated.
My first quilt was a 9 patch, a 4 patch is easy too. My mother made her first quilt in 1965 and she was completely self taught. She didn't know any better so she started a Grandma's flower garden. I don't recommend that! Hers of course was perfection; her 2nd project was a double wedding ring. It won a blue ribbon. I sewed my skirt to the couch with my first attempt if that tells you how little like my mother I am!
Just find something that turns you on.You may be somebody who can tackle a king size quilt on your first try. Maybe a candle mat would be something that would give you a sense of accomplishment right out of the gate. My Mom churned out a half dozen or so picket fence quilts in full size and lap size. With careful color placement you can design a star design inside the picket fence design but it's still a very easy pattern to rotary cut and machine sew or do all by hand. The picket fence is a wonderful way to use up fabric for a scrappy quilt; for all those shopping trips when you found all those pretty fabrics you loved but didn't know what to do with!
Happy sewing!
Renee

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