View Full Version : Quilting
08-22-2008, 05:04 PM
I wasn't sure where to post this, but I'd like to hear from anyone who has done quilting. There is a quilting shop in my area and they offer classes. I'm thinking about taking the beginner class that starts in two weeks. I don't know anything about quilting, other than I think it looks lovely!
So, what am I getting myself into if I start this? The classes are very expensive, and I'm only talking about the tuition since I haven't even begun to check into all the supplies (and there are a lot of supplies on the list for the class). I can't help it - I keep thinking about how much yarn I could buy for that amount of money.
So, I'm concerned about the cost and I'd also like to know how time consuming this will be. I love knitting and it will always be #1, so I don't want to get involved in something that will completely consume all my free time and leave me with no time for knitting.
BTW - I usually work 50+ hrs. per week, so I don't have a lot of free time anyway. Another reason I like knitting is because you can take it almost anywhere and knit whenever a free moment comes along. I don't think quilting looks to be very flexible.
08-22-2008, 06:34 PM
I learned to quilt using eleanor burn's "quilt in a day" series ... I've yet to make one in a day, haha, I think the first one took like a week.
I think a quilting class would be good, but a PIECING class is unnecessary... you don't need a class for cutting fabric, just read a book. A class dedicated ONLY ot quilting (i.e. sewing layers of fabric together) would be a good investment IMHO, but paying money for someone who show you how to cut fabric in a straight line isn't (imho).
Stuff you should get:
a self-healing mat
ruler for aforementioned mat (with a lip)
(if you don't have any of this stuff, expect to spend about 80 bucks... maybe sign up for coupons from joanns, those 40% off ones can come in handy!)
I assume you have a sweing machine...
In summary, if you're worried about the expense, skip the class and get a book from the library. In fact, get a *lot* of books from the library, maybe you'll decide you're not as into it as you thought you might be (that happened to me with stained glass).
08-22-2008, 07:38 PM
I would also check your programming for your local PBS station. They often run craft programming such as quilting during the day or on weekends.
08-22-2008, 08:39 PM
I am a quilter as well. I do both knitting and quilting. The bad thing is having two stashes to spend money on. I would be really too embarassed to tell you the amount of fabric I have, it is just as lovely as buying skeins of yarn.
The most important thing I learned was to take classes. I can always get by on my own and from trying things from magazines and books but the skills to make your work exceptional and a well made lasting quality pieces is passed on from the teachers who learned through hard knocks. Depends on how seriously you take your work and how you percieve your items finished. We all know people who will say in knitting " oh no one will notice the holes" " I like it I dont care how many mistakes I made", These statements are fine, it is how they work, finishing is different to many people. Those who can steek a fair isle and those whose work is near perfection are people who go the extra step and do care if there is a hole or mistakes. Quilting is exactly the same way. You can put together scraps, or spend hundreds on designer fabrics and use every technique and step along the way. You can sew and make each piece touch the next and work it out somehow or you can have crisp smooth perfected points. You can crazy quilt, paper piece, applique, fuse, free motion, hand stitch, and so on.
I do have to say for the beginner piecing classes are a good start, it prevents learning the hard way why something had to be recut or fudged to make points or get blocks to fit up together. Many people dont learn the "rules" of cutting and pressing and end up thinking 1/8 isnt that far off from a 1/4 inch. There are ways to learn to press fabric that involves steam to stretch it, or why the actually iron movement isnt how you press due to distortion. My first class was a pieceing and thank god, cause i was ironing and not pressing and I ended up with bias cut squares and points not matching. When all the steps were pointed out along the way I was awakened not knowing there were correct techniques. I saved myself money from ruined pieces cut wrong and knowing how to cut correctly. I learned how to calculate what is needed and plan out my quilts. Breaking habits already developed isnt always easy but learning the basics correctly makes a quilt you can be proud of or one you can say well no one will notice that. You can tell a newbie in any class with quilters, they sew over pins, a quilter cringes and cant believe someone would risk their machine doing that. Quilters have quirks believe me.
I have a my sewing room with all my tools, (so many rulers and cutters and mats and so on) and my knitting is my carry project or in front of the television during movie night. My quilting is all machine stitched as I am not a hand stitcher so it is stationery, many quilters do hand work with appilique or quilting, I dont.
A quilt requires tools, patterns or some starting point, magazines and library will do, space to work, sewing machine, batting, backing, threads and well you get the picture. If you can join a group some people may take you on under their wing and let you use their tools to see if you like it before investing. I worked with my neice and we did a quilt for her together, she had the attention span of a gnat and couldnt even pay attention enough to iron or pin things, my sister said glad I didnt invest the money. I also did the same thing with my mother. She ended up raiding my fabric and supplies and swore she was going to get into it, that was 3 years ago and I really want my fabric back dammit. There are people who would sew with you if you asked I am sure. If you were in florida you could come over and sew with me. If I could figure how to post pics I would show you my quilt works. I think some are under Luncheonette blog thread. Good luck.
08-23-2008, 12:16 AM
O.k...here I go.First of all, keep in mind you WILL NOT DO any "keepsake" quilt the first time around..yes, you definetly need tools, work area, proper batting/fabric etc. also, the very best learning tool is a very experienced, helpful, patient, kind person to get you thru the "quilting" process..Quilting takes precision in measuring, cutting and sewing in order to have a "presentable" finished product. Don't expect to "whip" out any "Nine Patch" or any other beautiful work without blood, sweat and tears...I learned (or had the experience) to start my "crafting mode" by "quilting" I never had sewn anything in my life. ( handstitch or otherwise),but I was fortunate to have a most lovely mentor (90 years old) who taught me everything..(knitting and crochet too) I feel "quilting" is one of the most difficult crafts to learn...just because "precision" is everything....but, the end results are awesome:hug:
08-25-2008, 04:43 PM
I also quilt and love it -- although it's taken me years to even start to get good at it -- and yup it can get addicting too -- more fabric, better quality fabric, yearning for a fancy sewing machine or (gulp) a long arm to quilt with....but I love it and figure, just like knitting I have years to hone my skills and upgrade my stuff.
I never took a class to start with but taught myself from a book with some help from my mom too. While I don't think the class is necessary, you might find yourself ahead of the game by learning everything the right way the first time. I'm to the point now where I need a good quilting (sew the layers together) class and imo it will be worth the money.
I would call your quilting store and see if maybe they have supplies you could borrow use for the class. They might. Or borrow some from a friend if you know anyone that quilts. Assuming you have a sewing machine, then I think the minimum you need is a self healing mat and ruler to start -- I'd recommend a big mat to start and a at least a 12 1/2" square ruler to start. Joann coupons are great and my local Joann's even accepts competitor coupons (Michaels, Hobby Lobby). I would also recommend a 1/4" foot for your sewing machine -- I love mine and the 1/4 seam is a big thing for accuracy with quilting.
You might also look at joining your local quilt guild chapter -- look online or call the quilt shop -- it's a great way to learn, be exposed to lots of quilts, methods and opinions and maybe even classes -- my chapter has a class every month for $5, $10 max if it is special teacher. I've learned SO much form these classes. Be warned tho -- alot of quilter don't actually quilt their own quilts, but actually send them out to be professionally quilted. Also many quilt classes are really just for making the pretty quilt top -- not necessarily quilting it all together and binding it.
08-27-2008, 09:41 AM
Thanks everyone! Since I know almost nothing about quilting, most of what you said was way over my head (ha!). This is something I want to do eventually, but I don't think I'm going to take this particular course. After checking my schedule I would have to miss two classes (it is a set of 5 classes for the course). They will offer the beginner course again in a few months, so I may wait until the spring.
Also, I found out that you have to take your sewing machine to every class except the very first class. I have lower back problems, so this would be difficult for me. I don't think I could do it unless my husband was around to help me.
Someone suggested that I take a hand-quilting course first, since it would be a more portable project, but I can't begin to tell you how much I dislike hand-sewing! I knit in the round as much as possible to avoid sewing seams.
Once i've learned to crochet propperly etc its on my 'to do list'.
i have the goall to make a throw blanket that will cover a kingsize bed. then go on to do 1 for ds's single bed.
i am tempted to do it by hand as my machiene isnt that great tbh. and if i do it by hand i can buy a bit when i can afford it.
you have me inspired to have ago sooner rather than later now :teehee: