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Thread: New Quilter

  1. #1
    Block Queen

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    Default New Quilter

    I am a new quilter and I get over whelmed by all the different products to buy. Can someone give me the basic on what I really need as far as rulers, mats, what packs make how big of a quilt, how to determine how much yardage I need for borders and backing, etc. In other words, I need to know it all!!!

  2. #2
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: New Quilter

    I just posted a thread about those blasted Omnigrid rulers with the yellow highlights; DON'T get them!
    Any "clear" ruler should be perfect.
    Of course, if you want to get one of the best, go for the Creative Grid rulers!

    A good self-healing mat from any fabric store should be fine (I use the green Olfa mats).
    Get the largest mat you can afford and also get a smaller 17" square mat.

    There are LOTS of info on precut quilts... you can do a search on the specific precut to see what sizes quilts they make.
    For a "general" idea THIS LINK will help.

    Borders and backing are determined after you're done with the piecing/sewing to that size.
    There are also calculators online that help with sizing as well.
    Like these:
    MyWebQuilter.com: Calculate Quilt Backing and Binding Fabric Requirements
    Quilter's Paradise - The Leader in Laser-Cut and Pre-Cut Kits and Services for the Quilting Market

    WELCOME to the Forum and enjoy your quilting!!!

    Sheep Farmer by day........Quilter-in-Training by night
    The Farmmyfarm

  3. #3
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: New Quilter

    That about covers it! A good mat, a sharp rotary cutter, and a reliable ruler. I missed Sheep Farmer's post about Omnigrid. I'll have to go find it because I just bought a 4-ruler pack of various square sizes!

    Welcome to the forum. As you can see, if you ask you will get a good answer quickly. Glad to have you!
    ~Louise

    What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?
    George Eliot

  4. #4
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: New Quilter

    Welcome to the Forum.
    Sheep Farmer covered just about everything you need to know to get started. The only thing I would add is that the rulers I find the most useful to start with are the 8x24 & 12 x 12. Rulers are expensive so if you can't afford them all, these are a good starter ones.
    On another note, Congratulations to you Sheep Farmer, you have learned amazing fast. . You aren't a newbie anymore.
    May the road rise up to meet you...
    May the wind be always at your back...
    May you be in Heaven a half hour before the Devil knows you're dead...
    Patt

  5. #5
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: New Quilter

    Hi Pam, welcome to the forum and to such a wonderful group of people to share your thought with.

    What I appreciated the most when I first started was my mat and rotary cutter when I first started (I chose Martelli). I also purchased a 13" ruler and a 6" square. After watching a few of Jenny's tutorials I did purchase a few templetes. I got a magnetic little bowl to put my pins in which has come in very handy since I tend to drop things. I think they were the very basics that I just couldn't do without and really helped accuracy and speed. I've picked up other stuff along the way as I actually needed them. I had been using a very old rickety sewing machine to do piecing which finally pretty much gave out after 6 months of starting this endeavor and getting a new regular sewing machine was a godsend, I had no idea how that would speed things up and also improve accuracy.

    There are several sites that do have charts which list approximately how many packs of precuts are required for various size quilts. I have one I downloaded that I use for precuts however I do believe the number you would use also depends on what style blocks you decide to do. So I would not say the numbers are set in stone. I'll try to download the charm pack one I have on my computer.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I think I would start by looking at Jenny's tutorials, she makes everything so easy to follow. I don't think I'd have even attempted quilting had I not found Jenny. At the beginning of her tutorials she mentions what type of precut she is using and what you need to complete the project. Most of the projects use jelly rolls, layer cakes or charm packs but you can also cut your own fabric if you want. Anyway, I think that is a good way to get you started and she sure keeps you enthusiastic!

    Welcome to the group.

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  7. #6
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: New Quilter

    Hi Pam, and welcome to the forum from Ohio. You have come to the right place to learn about your new craft. Use the search box to find older threads on any topic. But many quilting books (library is a great resource without an investment) and many blogs have good articles on how to get started as well. I did both because I quickly realized I could spend a gazillion dollars on quilting stuff if I let myself. As to calculation, I suggest as a newbie you follow a pattern. The pattern will specify the yardage. Have you watched Jenny's tutorials? She gives estimates for what you need to buy and people here will help too. Many of Jenny's patterns on tutorials have been printed in Block Magazine. You might want to buy a copy - for less than the price of many patterns you get an entire issue of patterns with no adverts. Some folks here can tell you if a pattern was printed in Block if you find one you like. My unsolicited advice is to start with a smaller, simple project and go from there. Here's the link to a series of blog posts you might find helpful.

    Best Tools for Beginning Quilters

    Happy quilting!

  8. #7
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: New Quilter

    Hey Pam, and Welcome to the Forum from Texas! Great advice thus far! From the basic tools, you'll quickly decide which additional tools you want, and prior to purchasing, a quick question here may allay any misgivings you might have. This Forum is another useful tool in your arsenal. . Glad you joined us, post often so we can get to know you, Enjoy!
    What do you mean I'm easily distracted..........HEY LOOK......FABRIC!!!!

  9. #8
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: New Quilter

    Quote Originally Posted by Carlie Wolf View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Welcome to the forum and to quilting!

    Now, to everyone, please do not rely on this chart too much as it is wrong. It states these are finished measurements and they are not. I'll explain with the first one ...

    This is for charm packs, which are 5 by 5" squares. A layout of 6 by 7 measures 30" by 35" as stated in the chart. A layout of 5" squares in a 6 by 7 grid does measure 30" by 35" but a finished top does not.
    As quilters we all know that a finished top is sewn together and you lose size because of seam allowance. A finished top in a 6 by 7 layout would measure 27"(with 1/2 seam allowance for border addition or binding) by 31"(with the 1/2" allowance.)

    Quite a bit smaller than what is stated in the chart. With the larger sizes the discrepancy would increase. As new quilters it can be very frustrating trying to figure out what went wrong, why you didn't have enough fabric or why your quilt top is so much smaller than what your chart said it would be. I know to buy at least 8 charm packs for a queen size quilt and 10 for a king. One rule to remember "Just because it's on the internet doesn't mean it's true." No matter what the commercials tell you.

    As much as I hate to admit it, math is a part of quilting and has saved me on many occasions. I remember asking "why do I need to know this?" many times in class. Now I have my answer.

    This forum is a wonderful resource, as stated by Carrie, feel free to ask if you need help along the way or even if you are second guessing yourself. You might know the answer but many times the reassurance gives us the strength to move ahead.
    K is for Karen .....................Cremation - My last hope for a smokin' hot body.

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  11. #9
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: New Quilter

    Hi Pam.......welcome to the forum! Creative Grid rulers are wonderful!
    "I'm putting together a list of 100 reasons why I am NOT relentless!" - Sue Heck, The Middle

    Leonard: For God's sake, Sheldon, do I have to hold up a sarcasm sign every time I open my mouth?
    Sheldon (intrigued): You have a sarcasm sign?

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  13. #10
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: New Quilter

    Welcome, Pam!

    1) As for the staples (rulers, cutters, etc.) -- one option is to use 40% or 50% weekly coupons at JoAnn's Fabric if you have one close to where you live; or you can shop online.

    2) Going to all the online stores in the FabShopHop was a nice way for me to get exposed to different stores and choose some of my favorite places to shop, in addition to picking up LOTS of online resource recommendations from this MO Star forum! Go to: Fabric - Quilt Fabric - Sewing Fabric - Quilt Shop - Craft Fabric - Fab Shop Hop - Shop | fabshophop.com

    3) I do not yet have one, but plan to purchase a Martelli cutter as recommended from a post here several weeks ago: Products | Martelli Enterprises. Currently just using an Olfa cutter, but after working on 3 lap quilts in one month over Christmas, my hands were sore and swollen from all the cutting!

    4) Some of the online shops I check out every day: Missouri Star Quilt Company, Shabby Fabrics, Fabric.com, Fat Quarter Shop, and Keepsake Quilting.

    5) Be cautious about purchasing pre-cut fabric from Ebay (like Charm Packs, Layer Cakes, etc.) -- when I first started quilting last year I kept an eye on the bidding of several items and they sold FAR MORE than what the person could have purchased them for at any of the online stores I visited! Better to put yourself on the email list of your favorite online stores to be notified of specials -- and sometimes be given a discounts just for signing up with them!

    6) Definitely watch ALL of Jenny's videos on this website (or Youtube)! I also watch The Gourmet Quilter on Youtube and Suzann McNeill's 10 Minute Blocks and 5 Minute Blocks. Each of them alone will give you Quilting Fever ... together they are euphoric!

    7) One final piece of wisdom I learned from Jinny Beyer to prevent purchases that you really don't need: "We have to stop buying fabric because it's pretty, and start buying fabric because it's useful." I don't have much of a stash yet, but I do have a few yards of fabrics I've purchased because I just LOVED THEM and wanted a future quilt with them, thinking if I just find this color and that color to go with it (the color combos I see in my head), then I will have enough for a quilt. In the meantime, I have 3 such projects started with some fabric for each and not enough to complete ANY one of them!
    Blessings, DramaMama


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