I see some awesomely beautiful handiwork here on this forum. I am such a novice, all I have ever done is just simple squares but would like to find some free easy easy patterns for quilts. Are there any websites you could recommend or patterns? Any help for this beginner would be greatly appreciated. I would love to spend our long wet winters/springs doing something like this? TIA
there are some sites with quilt patterns, but I would suggest that you find a quilt shop and look at the books they have, especially books with individual block patterns. even if you don't want to take classes, a quilt shop is a good place to go because they can help you out with pattern sources and are always very willing to answer questions.
Thanks, Kathleen, I guess I am just impatient because going to a shop is a trip into Salem which is not a hop , skip, and a jump for me. So I do know the perfect place to go though, so thanks for the advice.
What do you think of all the fat quarters? I would imagine yardage fabric is much more economical but I love looking at all the coordinated colors and patterns.
I buy both - I have a pretty good stash of fat quarters and larger pieces. If it's a fabric that I just want for a small project, I get a fat quarter - you can actually get quite a lot of pieces out of a fat quarter. If the fabric is something that I know I'll use again, I get a least a yard, sometimes two.
As far as patterns, I use half square triangles a lot - you can make a lot of different patterns with them and they are easy to do. This is for a 3 inch square: Using two different fabrics, cut a 3 7/8ths inch square out of each. place them right sides together and draw a line down the diagonal. Stitch 1/4 seams on either side of your line and cut down the line and iron open. You'll have two half square triangles. Cut some 3 1/2 inch solid squares to go with your half square triangle pieces and move them around. There are loads of patterns that use those two pieces.
As for books-a really good place to get them is on Amazon.com. That's where I get all of my quilting books. They're almost always discounted-usually 30-40% off, and if you buy over $25 worth, you get free shipping. No way I could have afforded the books I own without the discount. There's some I refer to again and again. Especially since I used to be plagued by a terminal fear of going 'beyond the square'. I can definitely recommend some books if you're ever interested.
Quarters...for years I used to buy only quarters, fat and otherwise. A couple of years ago I sat down, looked at my stash and found that I had a lot of fabric that I wasn't all that crazy about. And the fabricI had that I liked, I had so little of that I was always afraid to cut it. So my new philosophy is: if it's worth buying, it's worth buying a half yard of. Since I started this, I've had a lot less buyer's remorse since I come home with much fewer tiny pieces I only sort of like, and may look at six months or a year down the road and say, "What was I thinking?". It's also helped me quilt more, since I'm not scared to cut into a piece of fabric I love, thinking I only have precious little bit left. I do buy fat quarters, sometimes, but mostly to plug holes in specific projects.
I admit I'm not really big on coordinates-if I fall in love with a particular fabric or color scheme, I'll pick a fabric from the collection and then match the other colors with fabrics I pick out myself. Maybe I'm a control freak. I just like experimenting with things and picking out every bit of fabric in what I'm sewing. If I'm going to put in all the time and effort quilting takes, I want to have chosen evry bit of it, rather than having it chosen for me by some company someplace. Oops, I started rambling!
Hi Hannelore, Long time no hear from you. I had heard you moved back east; I guess by your address that you are still there in No.Cal. I was just thinking about you as Leonard and I went over to the Iris Gardens in Silverton and one evening we will run to Schreiner's. They are all in their glory here now.
No I haven't started any kind of quilt yet; at least not this time of year; that is more a winter project.
Yes, it has been a long time, Joann. We will be moving in just over a week, or at least we'll be making the first of several trips east to get our household moved. We're buying some land in upstate New York, where we'll be closer to family. I'm sorry I never made it to Schreiner's, but at least I saw the Swan Island fields! That was a fun roundup.
Yes -- much as it pains us to do it, we will sell our beautiful country retreat. I've never lived in a place that had so much peace, solitude, and beauty. It will be very tough to leave here. At the same time, it will be an adventure to get to know our new area. We're looking forward to it -- we just have to steel ourselves to giving up our own private nature preserve!
I prefer to use the acryllic templates and a rotary cutter. When I first started, I tried using paper/cardboard cutouts of templates and ended up with too much variation in sizes of my pieces. Using the acrylic templates and rotary cutter helps me to get pieces that are exactly the right size and shape. I also found a great book at JoAnne's Fabrics that shows a variety of quilts using the templates that you can buy in a multi pack. Of course, I prefer hand pieced quilts and make my quilts completely by hand. I quilt to keep busy while spending time with my family, so a sewing machine would actually be counter productive for my reasons for quilting...plus I have rheuamtoid arthritis in my hands and quilting helps to keep my fingers and hands limber so they don't freeze up.