Blog Tour – The Practical Guide to Patchwork

I really like this book.  In some ways this is not surprising, I’ve been a long time admirer of Elizabeth Hartman’s work and when we’ve had the chance to swap emails–usually because i wanted a pattern or two for a giveaway in the Fresh Modern Quilts flickr group–she’s always been prompt and kind and sincere, a voice that comes through clearly in this book.

But in some ways it is surprising that i enjoyed reading this book as much as i did: on the grand spectrum of quilting, the quilts in this book seem to mix the brighter fabrics available today with blocks that are fairly traditional (equal sizes, usually gridded and surrounded by sashing) without pulling much more in.  While i have a deep love for some of Elizabeth’s quilts (this and this and this), the patterns in this book didn’t shake me up me the way that those one’s did.  I think the reason for this lies in something Elizabeth spoke of earlier on the blog tour, “I started planning the quilts for the book with a checklist of design elements, both conventional and modern, that I wanted to include.  Writing the patterns for the book was, to a certain extent, designing patterns around the items on that checklist.”

If I think of these quilts as teaching exercises, the fact that none of the individual quilts takes my breath away makes sense.  I’ve been looking at Elizabeth’s quilts for years now and can usually spot one of hers the second it shows up on flickr…if she wrote the book to communicate each of the skills and aesthetics she finds fundamental, then of course they look quintessentially and unsurprisingly like her work.  Duh, me, duh!

At any rate, I highly recommend this book.  Pages 25-44, Step-by-Step Quilt Construction, are worth the purchase price of this book alone.  I have a copy of one of Elizabeth’s first patterns, which I keep in my sewing desk because it has become my go to reference for quilt construction (I regularly forget how to sew on binding).   Now, I’ll keep this book in my desk, too.

Typically, i wish quilting books and magazines would LEAVE OUT the construction section…I think should be their own “101” books and not included in every gosh darn quilting book (often in tiny font, with few pictures, taking up space where another quilt could be shown!)  But  step-by-step construction is what Elizabeth does best, so i am glad she allotted many pages to this! 

With holiday season coming I think this book would make a great present for oneself or any quilter or would-be quilter on your gift list.  It doesn’t cover all of what I would consider modern basics–Elizabeth doesn’t do improv piecing, and there isn’t much play with negative space–but it does cover a lot and it covers it well. It’s a heckuva lot better that the introductory quilting books I consulted when I began quilting!

In point of fact, if I were giving a gift to a new quilter,  The Practical Guide to Patchwork would go in the gift box with a sample of some fabulous fabrics.

Today, one lucky winner–new to quilting or not–has the chance to win those gifts, provided by the lovely Elizabeth Hartman herself!  To enter, comment on this post with an answer to the following question: what is one thing every new quilter needs to know?

I will pick a winner on the 7th. 

For more chances to win, check out the rest of the blog tour:

October 27th – Sew, Mama, Sew!
October 28th – Film in the Fridge
October 29th – I Heart Linen
October 30th – Tallgrass Prairie Studio
October 31st – Handmade by Alissa
November 1st – Connecting Threads 
November 3rd – One Shabby Chick
November 4th – True Up
November 5th – Pink Chalk Studio 
November 6th – Whip Up

And of course, you can follow Elizabeth on her blog, Oh, Fransson!

This Post Has 665 Comments

  1. Hmm – interesting question – I will have to come back tonight to see what everyone else wrote.
    My answer – 1/4" – a quilter needs to know that measurement, how to get it on a machine, oh and what it means by SLIM 1/4 inch!

  2. Actually I am changing my mind – a quilter better be able to recognize a natural fiber versus a synthetic…because a synthetic will shred in nothing flat at 1/4 an inch (or less for appliquers)/.

  3. "Just breathe" quilting is supposed to be fun and I think a lot of times new quilters in particular can get frustrated trying to do everything just right and that ruins the joy of the process.

  4. Every quilter should know that it's okay to think outside the box. I learned how to quilt from an old-fashioned store. And we were taught that "this was the way" to do it. It's taken me almost a year to realize I can sew without pinning, use solid fabric and so many other fun things being done on blogland. Definitely feel free to re-think the box!

  5. I realized recently that there's probably a better way to sew on binding than how I've been doing it. Which would be a really great thing to learn how do to do consistently.

  6. Mistakes are a part of the learning process. No quilter starts off perfect, we all make mistakes and learn from them and try harder next time. But you have to dig in and just go for it, otherwise you'll spend your whole time too scared to make a mistake. Some of my favorite quilts have mistakes in them, I think that's what makes them so special!

  7. There are no quilt police. You can sew with a skimpy or generous 1/4" as long as you're consistent for that quilt. And most important to me, all seams do not have to be pressed to one side.

  8. I am new to quilting, so new that I have yet to make one thing. I have the fabric and the pattern, but I haven't been brave enough to start. I love reading quilting blogs and love all the inspiration out there! Thanks for yours 🙂

  9. What a new quilter needs to know – don't get stuck trying to be perfect. The first time I tried to quilt (1983) I thought that I had to hand sew and hand quilt . . . and no rotary cutter. I made ONE log cabin block and didn't try again until this summer.

  10. As a fairly new quilter, I wish someone would have shaken me by the shoulders and told me to relax! The world will not end if a quilt is not by-the-book, traditionally perfect. It just has to make you happy. 🙂

    Thank you for the awesome giveaway!

  11. No matter how long it takes you to complete your quilt or what it looks like, just finish it. The satisfaction of finishing it-you will be jumping up and down as if you ran a marathon! Have fun with it. And then you will want to do it again. And again.

  12. CONFIDENCE. Quilting isn't about weather or not everything is perfect. Seams, fabric, pattern, and design do NOT need to be perfect, nor the latest and greatest. New quilters should know that the craft should be what they want it to be and trial and error are ok. Great review Rossie. Completely honest!

  13. Creativity and originality are more important than perfection. Leave perfection to machines and put your heart into your quilts. I'm not saying you should not strive for neatness and quality in your work but do leave room for serendipity and experimentation. Have fun!

  14. I'm a new quilter and one of the first things I found I need to know … is how to square up the fabric because it certainly isn't straight coming off the bolt from the store! I had to google a few tutorials to figure out how to do it.
    clark6703 at earthlink dot net

  15. I'm a new quilter. The women that help me keep reminding me, "It's just fabric" because for some odd reason, I don't have the confidence to cut the fabric. So that's my tip: It's just fabric.

  16. Step back from your work -if you don't have room, take a picture with your digital camera and see what it really looks like as a complete piece before you sew it all together. You'll be surprised at what you see!

  17. I'm new to quilting, but I think you need to remember to just go for it and not be afraid to take some chances! And not to fear cutting into your fabric!

  18. I think that purchasing the best quality of materials…fabric, needles, thread…is crucial to having a sturdy, well constructed end product. That might mean saving a bit to afford those items, but well worth it in the long run!

  19. my advice: just do it! and keep your rotary cutter sharp, and cover it when you're not using it, and use up your scraps and don't save your fabric for a special quilt but use it now and most importantly, find a permanent place for your sewing machine so you can sit down at it whenever you have a spare minute. thanks for chance at your giveaway!

  20. I think a new quilter should know that he/she doesn't have to follow a pattern. Just sew pieces together. If it ends up to big, cut it off. If it is not big enough, add more. He/She will end up with a beautiful and unique quilt.

  21. My tip is take your time and BREATHE! If something isn't working the best way to fix it is to walk away, take a break and inevitably you come back with a new perspective. Can you tell I get frustrated really easily? Thanks for the chance to win!

  22. I think every new quilter needs to know that mistakes will happen and about half the time they're wonderful! Some of my favorite quilts are the ones where I messed up and turned a block the wrong way or got a little off with my cutting. Those quilts might not win any prizes but they are a treasure to me because they define me as a quilter.

  23. New quilters: You are going to make "mistakes." All quilters do, whether they have been quilting for 40 seconds or 40 years. Your next decision is whether the "mistake" needs to be fixed or whether you can work with it. Always remember – it is your quilt.

  24. I think a new quilter (me!) needs to know that you just need to try it, the quilt probably won't come out perfect and your mistakes make it your own and you shouldn't be intimated because it won't be perfect.

  25. First, thanks for joining the blog tour, I'm so glad I found this blog! So… what every new quilter should know… its SUPPOSED to take a long time! You're not supposed to be able to finish one in a couple of hours unless you're superhuman! Also, use a walking foot!

  26. This probably seems obvious, but I think new quilters need to be introduced to rotary cutters! I've met so many people who, like me, made their first (or second, or third…) quilt by tracing a cardboard template and then cutting out the squares with scissors. These people need to know that there's a better way!

  27. I have found that quilts are forgiving. Almost every quilt I've done (less than 10) I get worried during the process and question my color choice or placement, but in the end I am happy with the results.

  28. Making lots and lots of quilts helps you be more carefree about choosing fabrics and designs because it's not the decision of the decade. You can save the other ideas for your next quilt.
    Take chances. Do something bold.
    And pressing is worth the trouble!

  29. On top of everything else that has been said, my tidbit is a little unconventional.
    Make sure you are comfortable…that means, if you have a bra strap that keeps slipping, your sock is bunched in your shoe, your hair keeps falling in your face, etc., take care of it. Because as soon as you sit down to start piecing or quilting, your focus will shift to that one annoying tic and it will be all you can think about! Happens to me everytime!

  30. If you must save a "perfect piece" cut a swatch. USE what you love, even if it's the first time trying a new method. Just another way of "enjoying" the process and not taking it too seriously.

  31. If you will be machine quilting, invest in a walking foot. Quilting was much more enjoyable after I purchased a walking foot (and learned how to use it correctly).

  32. I would say how to attach binding. You can fudge and experiment with most other techniques, but you really need to know how to apply a secure and nice looking binding. It's the only thing I really needed a tutorial for.

  33. I second the fresh rotary blade comment! I can't believe how I let myself get stressed trying to cut with a dull blade that bunches up the fabric. Now I replace my blade at the beginning of each new quilt and it's soooo much more enjoyable to cut the fabric.

  34. As a new quilter, the best advice I have heard so far is to keep your nose out of your quilt – view it from a distance and have fun learning.

  35. Sometimes it's fun to think outside the box and experiment. My favorite quilt was way outside and so much fun not to be so accurate in cutting!

  36. As much as I love all the handy things like knowing how to make a perfect 1/4" or how much ironing helps, I would say the one thing quilters need to know is that it's an art, not a science. And like all other art forms, it's personal, so there is no one way or no wrong way to do it.

  37. Don't get overwhelmed. When I was starting I had in my mind I wanted to make quilts for everyone in my family (which is huge). Just enjoy yourself and enjoy the creative process of quilting.

  38. I am relatively new to quilting and I would say that a new quilter really needs to know how to sew 1/4" on your machine. I love Elizabeth's work! Thanks for the giveaway!!

  39. every new quilter needs to know that whatever tweeks the quilting jollies of him/her is A-OK and to run with it – and not to be intimidated by the Quilt Police !

  40. I took my second quilt to my aunt for her to quilt on her long arm machine. She took one look at it and said "did you square your blocks?". I said "umm. . . what?" It was a pinwheel quilt and wow would it ever have been easier to match the points had I squared my blocks!!

  41. There is not, necessarily a right or wrong way to do something but there usually is an easier way so if something is difficult look around you may be doing it the hard way!

  42. thank you for your thoughts on the books ~ it basically sums up what i thought when i looked at the preview pages provided on the publisher's site. anyway, i think it will be a FABULOUS addition to my quilting book library!

    phew, there are many more than 1 thing to know as a new quilter…but to PRACTISE is the key…with every quilt you make you'll learn much more 😉

  43. How to make that 1/4" seam. Whether you want to make traditional blocks or totally free – that 1/4" seam will help you translate what's in your mind to the fabric without the frustration of 'something being wrong'.

  44. I'm new to quilting and what makes me love it is the attitude that perfection is over-rated, that it's absolutely FINE if my points don't match up perfectly. Having FUN while creating, exploring my creative side and making my creative messes are therapeutic and good.

  45. I think every new quilter should know that mistakes are what give your quilts character, and not to stress too much. Just enjoy the process and have fun!

  46. prewash fabrics (esp red) It's heart wrenching to finish a quilt and find one piece of fabric that has bled all over everything!!!

    thanks for the chance to win.


  47. there are so many things that a beginner should know but just one. uuummm it will have to be cutting – be accurate because if it is, everything goes smoothly. a friend learned it the hard way

  48. Without reading anyone elses comments, I think the one thing a new quilter should know is…how to sew accurate seams. The most frustrating thing for me when I first started was not having pieces line up correctly.

  49. I couldn't agree with you more with your 101 sections. But the problem is that the book generally needs to stand on its own. That is, could a beginning quilter pick it up and make a quilt from it? Not a lot of quilt books are written for the experienced quilter.

    One thing every quilter needs to know? How to relax. it won't be perfect, nor does it have to be. But if you relax and enjoy the process then you, the quilt, and the potential recipient all get something out of it.

  50. This was a great review! And I have read a lot of them now… wink wink.

    I'm totally new to quilting. I'm working on my first one now, so my advice for a new quilter is to have SOMEWHAT of a plan. I like being spontaneous and impromptu – not knowing exactly how the end will end up, but now I realise it's a good idea to at least have some idea of how to get to the finished product.

    I fell in love with hexagons and started making flower blocks. I have 20 made so far. I know I want a queen sized quilt! This is going to take a ton more blocks! And how do I plan on quilting it when I'm finally finished?! And I can't decide how to construct this quilt in my brain. Sorry for the ramble! Thanks for the give away!

  51. 1/4inch is a good start however enjoy what you do and don't feel guilty for starting another quilt without finishing your current work in progress!!!! UFO's are everywhere!!!!!!!!


  52. Having only made one quilt, my advice is limited, but I guess I'd say that quilting isn't as hard as it looks from afar. It's worth a try and easy to get hooked.

  53. Every new quilter needs to know that it's the tedious stuff (ironing, pinning, basting, cutting) that makes a big difference. It may feel like it takes forever and it is brain numbing, but you won't be disappointed in the final result.

  54. I think every new quilter should know about accuracy and patience. My first quilt is terribly made but having done it without any instruction at all, I'm still proud of it.

    I also wish I'd known a bit more about batting. In the beginning I was always trying to get the thickest stuff I could but that led to a lot of problems.

    Thanks for your honest opinion about the book! I'm really enjoying the tour.

  55. "Be open to outcome, but not attached to outcome." This is a maxim I try to apply to everything, but it really helps in quilting. i.e. it's good to be careful and precise, but not so helpful to anguish over every stitch.
    Also, know your machine.
    Thanks for the blog stop. I've been enjoying your (and Elizabeth's) work for a long while. Best!

  56. I try to remember what the quilt is for – snuggling babies, keeping feet warm, getting comfy on the couch with a book, or like I'm doing now, surfing the net and entering contests! A wobbly seam or "misplaced" piece of patchwork will not change the warmth it creates, literally or figuratively!

  57. The design isn't done until the quilter says so. Quilts are often started with a pattern, or idea and evolve as they are pieced. Don't be afraid to allow the quilt to evolve as it is being constructed! The end result will be more original and their own.

  58. Learn how to get an accurate 1/4 inch on your machine and relax, dive in and remember that there are no quilt police looking over your shoulder. Don't sweat the small stuff! Thanks for the chance to win.

  59. Well I just started quilting so I'm just trying to soak up everyone else's tips! Thanks for the chance to win. Love the fabric she picked out!

  60. Every new quilter should know not to panic when she/he reads the directions with the pattern/tutorial the first time. Don't read ahead; take it one step at a time. And, if it gets frustrating, put it down and walk away for awhile. My mother told me this when I was a teenager, and, of course, I didn't believe her; but, now that I'm older, and I hope, wiser, I know it's true! 8-] Thanks for the chance to win.

  61. Be patient with yourself as you learn something new.
    Be accurate with your cutting and your 1/4" seams. Be kind to yourself when you make a mistake.
    A world of endless creativity awaits you….

  62. If you really want something to look good, don't settle for the bodge, unpick it and keep going till you learn how to do it right

    – my own advice that I curse myself for every day, but follow religiously now because I HAVE learned a lot from this!

  63. I am a new quilter and I have even cut my first squares with scissors. They were not squares as you can imagine. So I think it's very important that you know taht cutting your fabric with scissors is wrong!!!!!

  64. as elizabeth said in an earlier comment, making a quilt takes a long time, dont give up on yourself or your quilting project! thanks for a chance, would love this book.

  65. I couldn't believe how precise all of my measurements needed to be! A rotary cutter and mat are essential for me to maget the precision I need–it took me a lot of difficulty with my first quilting project to learn that they really are worth the cost!

  66. i am a new quilter so i need to know everything! after taking my first beginning quilting class, i think learning how to iron seems flat and tricks to cutting more efficiently were most helpful.

  67. Every new quilter needs to know that imperfections are ok and expected. Enjoy what you learned and learn to live with the wrinkles and folds and seams that don't quite match, even as you learn better crafting skills.

  68. Pictures? I like pictures. 🙂 Usually I can figure things out with just words, but pictures make it SO much easier. I love all of Elizabeth's quilts, too.

  69. I'm new to quilting, and one thing I've had to learn, (which I think is essential to every quilter), is that in quilting there are no mistakes that you can't incorporate somewhere, so you should not be afraid to try something new because you are afraid of messing it up. If you mess it up, save it for another project! You should see my quilt that I'm making for thanksgiving for myself, it's quite the mess of sloppy blocks and whatnots. I used the same fabrics while learning to make all sorts of blocks for the first time. Those blocks aren't perfect, they are rather a mess, but thrown all together they are quite cute in the end! So, yeah, what I'm saying is that there are no mistakes in quilting, you can use it somewhere and you'll love it! 🙂 jody.edwards@yahoo.com

  70. Um – that's a hard question because I'm so new at it myself. I would have to say "be gentle with yourself and don't expect perfection". I guess that's what I'll be telling myself. ha.

  71. I'm pretty new, and I think "Be Patient" is what I have to remember. Quilting takes time, and if you want it to line up right, sometimes you might have to rip out some seams!

  72. Don't be afraid of color. It is your friend. And sometimes rearranging a block or two here or there can make all the difference in the world!

  73. Don't be afraid and don't expect perfection. More than likely you'll be the only one to spot the trouble spots (they're smaller than you think!) and those things add character to the quilt and make it uniquely yours.

    I also agree with @debbie – when basting a quilt if you think you have enough pins, add a few more.

  74. I'm a new quilter too so the only advice I can offer is what I've learned from my own mistakes:

    1. Ask questions, often. Everyone I have asked for help has been incredibly nice. I even emailed Elizabeth once!
    2. Slow down. My first quilt, I was so excited to finish it and be able to say I made it that I rushed through it. My boyfriend loves it but all I can see are the mistakes!

  75. I think that if you're a visual learning, taking a class (whether it be formal, or just getting together with a knowledgeable friend) will help tremendously… but if you can figure things out from online tutorials, skip the class and spend your pennies on fabric instead!

  76. I think every new quilter should know quilts are very personal – no right or wrong, no perfect way to do any of it, just have fun with it and enjoy the process as much as you enjoy the quilt!

  77. One thing every quilter needs to know:
    Even the beautiful quilts in Amish quilt museums do not line up 100% perfectly on every block and its OK! Practice practice practice and love each item you make 🙂

  78. Every quilter should remember that it's a creative outlet for a reason – it's ok to mess up, try something truly wonky or get crazy with color! That and the 1/4" seam foot is your friend!!!

  79. I'm a new quilter, but I guess I would tell a friend not to be intimidated, just jump in and go! Pick beautiful fabrics and it will be lovely.

  80. Do what you love, not what other people think or say you should do. If it's not fun, it's not worth it.
    steeplechaser29 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  81. As a new quilter, I learned the hard way how important it is to press seams properly. It makes a huge difference in the overall look and size of each block – and the quilt in general!

  82. I think every new quilter should know that there is no one right way to piece, quilt or bind. find what works for you. Try different techniques until you find what works best for you.


  83. That no quilt is EVER perfect. When I finished my first quilt I initially could only see the mistakes. Now I can enjoy the colors & patterns – and rarely notice the imperfectsion.

  84. New quilters need to remember to keep their fingers out of the way of the rotary cutter blade! (Actually, all quilters need to remember to do that!) Ouch.

  85. I'm not reading any other comments so I at least have something to say here. *S*
    My one big advice to a new quilter would be to RELAX and have FUN. That's it.

    Thx for the chance to win these great prizes.

  86. Every new quilter needs to know that there is not just ONE way of doing things. Make it your own, don't let the RULE MAKERS discourage you!

  87. I haven't finished my first quilt yet, but I have learned the necessity of consistent seam allowances. Several of my nine-patch squares were smaller than the majority, but I've decided to go with my mistakes and use them for part of the quilt back! So, advice: roll with the punches. Just because you didn't do it perfectly doesn't mean it's wrong.

  88. I have no clue what every quilter should know because I am a brand new quilter. I think I'll read through the comments and see what everyone else says! 🙂

  89. Every beginning quilter needs to know how to properly thread and CLEAN their sewing machine, as well as change the needle. This is so essential it seems hardly worth mentioning but I can't tell you how many people I know get frustrated with their machine and don't realize that with a little TLC it will be good to them!

  90. One of Elizabth's suggestions that I really appreciate is pressing seams open. I never liked the seams pressed to one side and my machine quilter has told me that my quilts are easy for her because the tops are so flat. I also think new quilters should just dive in and take a chance! Thanks for the giveaway–I would love to own Elizabeth's book. More fabric is always nice to have!

  91. My tip would be to just have fun with quilting and make up the "rules" as you go along. Do what works for you and develop your own style!

  92. I'm very new to quilting — 1.5 quilts so far — and I would guess the 1/4" seam is the most important thing. But I love all the advice to relax! That is a little hard for a beginner. I really would love this book. It looks overflowing with great ideas and instruction.

  93. I am a new quilter and I feel like there is so much to know! But I would say the 1/4" seam is very important. Also (this may sound dumb) but right sides together is very essential too. Before I started, I didn't even picture that I would be sewing right sides together.

  94. As an intermediate quilter, I think that the most valuable thing my beginner self learnt was that it's worth ripping out the occasional goofy seam to get it just right. You can totally see when points don't match up, it's worth the extra time and effort to at least try and get it right! But then not to beat yourself up too much if even after ripping and trying your best it's still not perfect!

  95. I think it's important to recognize that you'll make some mistakes, and what matters is how you feel about them. Do you need to rip something out and do it over again so it's perfect? Only if YOU care about it! I came to love some of the small mistakes in my quilts (and ripped out and re-did some that bothered me), and mistakes remind me to appreciate that these are handmade, one of a kind items.

  96. Choose colors you love for your first quilt because you'll enjoy working with those fabrics through the various steps in making a quilt. Wash all the fabric before it's cut or sewn.

  97. Freezer paper is an amazing tool! Also, spend the bucks to get a big cutting mat. It will make cutting fabrics so much more pleasant!-Andrea

  98. Every new quilter should know that it doesn't have to be perfect! It's the thought and feeling that went it to making it that is so much more important.

  99. Being a new quilter myself–I'm currently piecing my first)–I can't say I have much of an answer. Step-by-step instructions that don't assume you know certain things already have really helped me though, so I'm looking forward to getting a copy of this book (it's already on my Amazon wishlist.)

  100. The old adage of measure twice, cut once.
    Accuracy, not speed, is the goal. Careful, accurate cutting will make the over-all process a much "happier" experience.

  101. I think the fewer rules given to a person the better so they can create without feeling restricted. I agree though that knowing fabric makeups and quality is important so that you get the results you expect.

  102. My advice would be to just dive in and have fun, don't be constantly afraid to make a mistake or frustrated when trying something new. You will learn as you go along what techniques suit you best.

  103. I just started using a new seam ripper and what a difference! I didn't think about a seam ripper getting dull. So it's still a pain to rip seams apart, but it doesn't have to be that bad.

  104. I am a new quilter too, so here is my advice:
    1. As my grandmother used to say, no one will notice it on a galloping horse

    2. Don't freak out when you go to quilting class and everyone else is sewing on a Bernina- the Kenmore that you bought at Sears with Christmas money will work just fine too!

    Also wanted to say that I love the book!

  105. Thanks for your honest assessment of the book. Two things for new quilters is rules were made to be broken and it's worth it to purchase high quality fabric . . . you're spending a lot of time to make a quilt, make sure the materials are worth that time.
    Thanks for the chance to win!

  106. I think every beginning quilter should know that there are no rules set in stone – as to what fabric to use, what colors, what design (am I not getting into technical issues here). Just go with what appeals to you, and use what you have. It is only important that you like it!

  107. I think the thing that holds a lot of people back is the fear that they will mess up. So my advice is to embrace the mistakes and get to sewing!

    Thanks for the chance to win!


  108. Every new quilter needs to know that it is oh, so true that you need to "measure twice, cut once." That little piece of knowledge saves lots of headaches.

  109. I think a new quilter needs to know that they should just jump on in and get started! I wanted to quilt for so long but was really intimidated. Then, I saw Elizabeth's charm squares pattern on Sew Mama Sew and made two of them. They are not perfect, but they look great and I love them! So – just go for it is my advice.

  110. I know the answer! I am a very new quilter!The one thing every new quilter needs to know in how not to riddle his finger with needle!

  111. I'm a new quilter, and I wish someone had told me that it's not rocket science – that if I read the directions SLOWLY and THOROUGHLY I would be fine!

    michaelamc (at) gmail (dot) com

  112. The one thing that every new quilter needs to know is to sew with a consistent seam width so invest in a quarter inch presser foot and guide up front. Please enter me into this drawing. I would like to learn more about how Elizabeth chooses colors and fabrics. She is so adept at this. Thanks! alternate email mlwright29 (at) hotmail (dot) com

  113. It's not about knowing the rules, it's about knowing what you're working with. If a new quilter learns the basics of fabric and of their machine, they'll be able to create whatever they can dream up.

  114. Like any new skill, quilting gets easier (and better) with practice. So relax, quilt a lot, ask questions, and learn the basics (accurate cutting, consistent 1/4" seam allowances and gentle pressing) sooner rather than later.


  115. Your quilts don't have to look like your grandma's. I love the flexibility in quilting now. There are so many great options.

  116. How to accurate cut and sew the fabric. It's all skewumpus nearly instantly if your cuts aren't the same throughout–and a disasater if sometimes your 1/4 inc seam is scant and sometimes generous.

  117. Thanks for the chance to win!

    Well, because I certainly made this mistake, I think the one thing a new quilter should know is that everybody uses cotton batting to get that crinkly effect. It's often just referred to as "batting", so when I was teaching myself, I had opted for the price-conscious polyester batting and didn't get my desired results:( But now I know!

  118. words of advice for new quilters: better start planning the add-on now. you'll need a whole new wing of your house for the upcoming fabric you'll stash 🙂

  119. I would say that every quilter needs to know about getting a 1/4" foot for their sewing machine – other than that…just have a good time and make what is fun for you.

  120. Every new quilter needs to know that she will become addicted quickly, so she/he better be prepared! ha ha. Seriously, every new quilter should know what joy quilting brings into your life. Joy of creating, joy of meeting new friends, joy of giving to others… It has brought such happiness to my life, being a quilter… Sounds sappy, but I realize it's very true.

  121. Because I am a beginning quilter very much hoping to win this book or lay out some VERY strong hints for Christmas or my bday which is in Jan this is a question I can answer. In my opinion, the one thing every new quilter needs to know and would befit from is how to put fabrics together and that it is ok to cut those pretty fabrics, lol Those are my 2 biggest downfalls in getting started.

    vburr at charter dot net

  122. As a brand new quilter myself, I would say how to pick out a rotary cutter. I had no idea when you quilt that you use a rotary cutter instead of a scissors ( : silly me! Also since your first quilt will be where you acquire most of your tools you want to get as much "bang for your buck" as possible. That's why I looked at through reviews and quilt blogs when I chose my cutter.

  123. Besides all of the technical stuff (measuring, using a machine, cutting) I feel that every quilter (new or old) should have an understanding of color and composition.

  124. How to sew a decent 1/4 inch seam! I'm new to quilting and I'm still learning how to be consistent… But my first two quilt tops turned out okay and I haven't started the third yet!

  125. There is the most amazing amount of inspiration and tutorials available on the internet, you can learn so much from websites and blogs and the online quilting community is so friendly and helpful. As a new quilter I think the internet is one of the most amazing resources for quilting.

  126. One thing I think a new quilter should know is to only buy fabric you love (and that is 100% cotton). I think it is more inspiring and enjoyable to be able to start a new project when all the fabric you have make you happy!
    Thanks for the giveaway, I love Elizabeth's blog and I look forward to reading her book.

  127. Pick fabrics you love the colour of and really really like…..it will make you want to finish the quilt…..most of all enjoy the process.

  128. Oh man, I AM a new quilter. So I don't have advice for what every new quilter needs to know, but I'm excited to read all the other comments 🙂

  129. how to sew in a straight line/sewing an accurate 1/4" seam. It's basic but lots of quilters don't stick to it. Their blocks/quilts would be so much nicer if they could master this one little thing!

  130. I think new quilters need to know that chasing perfection will drive them crazy. A quilt doesn't have to be perfect for it to be functional as a blanket.

  131. Every new quilter needs to know that they should be having fun! There are so many styles and fabrics – follow your own inetrests and tastes!

  132. I would say that learning a consistent 1/4" seam is the most important thing for a beginner to know!
    This book looks awesome! Thanks!

  133. I have only completed one quilt so I think every quilter should know where to turn to to get answers when they reach the next step in the process. That's what it is really is, right? a process.

  134. I am a very new quilter – only part way through my first quilt – so I don't have too much experience to draw from. But, I have learned to keep my iron close, that a rotary cutter makes things easier, and to enjoy the process.

    thanks for sharing

  135. I think every quilter needs to remember to have fun with each quilt. And on those days when nothing's going right STOP! Tomorrow things will work out better!

  136. The standard foot on your Bernina is 3/8, not the 1/4 that you assume. There is a huge difference and you'll wish you knew this when you can't figure out where those missing 6" went…I sure wondered.

  137. I wish I had known the value of a rotary cutter, mat, and rulers when I was a new quiter. I would like to pass that on along the fact that precise cutting (and trimming!) is key to having square, evenly sized blocks. It's worth the extra time!

  138. Every new quilter should know that imperfections in a quilt only show that is was hand-made, and that it will become a cherished item by the owner, no matter.

  139. Everyone should know that you don't need to know everything about quilting, JUST DO IT. I kept reading books and waiting so long that 2 years went by before I actually made a quilt. Just breath deep and go for it!

  140. I'd tell a newbie things I wish someone had told me!
    1) Pre-wash. Everything.
    2) Press. Everything.
    3) It's basically a blanket. There's nothing you can possibly do to screw it up beyond the point where it will function as such. 🙂
    4) HAVE FUN. If it stresses you out, put it away for a while and come back to it.

  141. I think that every new quilt needs to learn (and not worry) that it does not have to be perfect! I think once a quilter embraces this philosophy & does not worry about imperfections they will enjoy the whole process a lot more for it! I would love a chance to win your giveaway – thank you for the opportunity.


    Amanda x

  142. A beginning quilter should know that even ugly quilts are still warm–don't get too overwhelmed about having everything perfect.

  143. I'm a new quilter and I think that the one thing I've discovered is that an accurate seam is essential. I'm an experienced sewer and I thought that I sewed straight seams but I've had a nasty dose of reality on that front when I examine my quilt seams! And accurate cutting too. I figure the rest comes with experimentation. Seams and cutting comes with attention to detail and practice. I hope!

  144. Be yourself!! There are a lot of cool quilters out there in blogland that make some amazing quilts. But if you're not careful, you'll start getting down on yourself for not living up to some "standard". Stick to your own style and enjoy the process. Every quilt should tell a story about the person who made it. And we don't all have to be the same!


  145. Thankyou for the review and the giveaway! As a beginner quilter myself, I feel it's really important to learn how to cut and sew with precision and consistency, but more than anyhting else, that you're not going to go very far if you don't just take a deep breath and dive in!

  146. The advise is that you will make mistakes. Just keep trying and practicing, you will get it. I posted a blog about a quilt that I made that was horrible. But I keep practicing and the quilts are looking better.

  147. New quilters need to know that it's not that hard … that mistakes are OK … charming even … and that there are tricks to be learned to help you along. Just get in there and give it a go!!

  148. That everyone (even experienced quilters) make mistakes, so just have fun and learn from your mistakes, and realize that a seam ripper may just be your best friend some days!!

  149. I love this advice from everyone! I also want that book– I am such a n00b, I've only made one quilt and a wall hanging.
    My advice, however, is: If it's making you angry, step away. Put down the scissors and the seam ripper and step away. That quilt isn't going anywhere.

  150. Every quilter needs to know another quilter. Quilting is better when you can share frustrations and successes, ask questions of one another, and have sewing parties!

  151. I would tell a new quilter, that no quilt is ever perfect so don't stress over perfection, and in fact the Amish actually leave a little mistake in their quilt to remind them that no one is perfect but the Lord.

  152. I think I'd tell a new quilter to just relax and have fun–it's a quilt, not brain surgery! Mistakes are okay. All the rest of the stuff comes with learning and practice.

  153. Every quilter needs to know how to listen to their gut. We all have our own sense of style. What works for one person may not work for another. Quilting is about playing with color and pattern in ways that excite your soul. The technical stuff is important, but unless your are having fun…what's the point?

  154. As a new quilter, I'm still trying to figure out how to consistently sew with a 1/4" seam!! Makes a huge difference for patchwork projects! Thanks for the giveaway.

  155. Quilting is FUN! There are very few things you really NEED to know when you start out, especially if you aren't necessarily following a pattern. My first quilts were made cutting fabric with scissors, sewing with a 1/2" seam and doing a lot more ironing than pressing. But you know what? They turned out fine and have been very well loved for many many years now. I think if you get too bogged down in rules and trying to get everything "perfect" when you're starting out, it will be more frustrating than fun.

  156. For me I think to enjoy the process and the importance of accuracy in cutting right along with pressing. Just have fun and enjoy what you are making.

  157. As a fairly new quilter I am still focused on consistant cutting and piecing. Learning just how "scant" that 1/4 inch should be and always using the same lines on the ruler for cutting, not switching from mat grid to ruler grid for measuring.

  158. I think that one thing a new quilter needs to know is that anyone can learn to quilt! You just need to start with beautiful fabric that you love and read like crazy or take a class. It is so rewarding!

  159. I'm a new quilter and I have to say learning to sew an accurate or consistent 1/4" seam is a life saver. The second would be take your time and enjoy the creative process. It may not look like the ones in the books or magazines but it is uniquely yours.

  160. I think the first thing every quilter should know is that it doesn't have to be perfect!! It doesn't need to look like everyone elses either!

  161. What a great question. I think every new quilter needs to know that when they get frustrated with the project they are working on don't try to fix whatever "mistakes" you see right then. Take a break, and come back when you are feeling fresh, because chances are it's not as bad as you think.

  162. I also say measure twice, cut once. My Dad the carpenter taught me this years ago when we we would build things together and it has stuck with me now that I'm trying my hand at quilting!

  163. The biggest tip I can give (and take myself) is just to relax and enjoy the process..mistakes, imperfections and all. That is what makes each quilt unique and special!

  164. Slow down a little. I would hurry my cutting and sewing and wonder why my blocks didn't line up properly. Take a little more time: use pins and cut as accurately as possible and you'll be so much happier with your work. It'll take longer, but the end result will be worth it.

  165. Every new quilter should know that there are no quilt police! That said, I feel that construction is important. I was taught to quilt with templates, scissors, drafting. I'm glad that I learned the basics but fully embrace rotary cutters, etc. now.

  166. Fake it til you make it! You seams might not be exactly 1/4" but you can always square things up later, and no one will notice once it's been quilted and is snuggly!

  167. Change your needle often and clean your machine. Piecing can be wonky, quilting can be wonky, but threads tangled somewhere in the machine just suck all the fun out of it 🙂

  168. New quilters need to know this: every step is wonderful. I think that at first it's easy to get caught up in fabric choice or in piecing, and forget that the final quilt is en ensemble of so many different elements.

  169. New quilters should get themselves a good quality seamripper. Even the most experienced quilters make mistakes, and while the little oopsies add charm to a quilt, sometimes you're gonna have to have a do-over.

  170. I think that every quilter needs to know that the worst that can go wrong is that you waste some fabric or have to rip out a seam. Breathe deeply and carry on – it is so worth it in the end!

  171. Only one thing? See beauty in the little "mistakes". Quickly followed by: have fun! Don't agonize so much.

    Thanks for the chance to win! (And for creating the inspiring Fresh Modern Quilts group!)

    ambernoel226 at gmail dot com

  172. It's ok to make mistakes. I think that's a big one – just get in and try something out and if the first few attempts aren't the greatest art you ever produced, it's OK! And a second one: use good quality fabric. It's so easy for a newbie to not want to buy expensive fabric without knowing whether or not this is the craft for them, but lousy fabric will not really let you enjoy the process and product.

  173. A new quilter must know that everything doesn't have to be perfect, and, in the end, you will be the only one who notices the imperfections, everyone else will simply admire your beautiful work.

  174. Figure out your machine's 1/4 inch and then just do it! Its ok if it isn't perfect. I was intimidated by the idea of quilting for so long, I wish I had just jumped in there and tried it.

  175. Every quilter, new or experienced, needs to know that enjoying the beauty of your creation and the process of making it is THE most important part of quilting. If stressing about perfect points and getting a quilt done fast fast fast were truly important the craft would have died out long ago. Relax, have fun and make wonderful friends along the way.

  176. Every new quilter needs to know this, first and foremost – before anything, quilting is supposed to be fun! Don't get discouraged, just keep trying and enjoy yourself! And don't let anyone talk you out of doing what you like just because it doesn't fit in with their "rules" for quilting! You'll get better the more quilts you make, so early-on mistakes are just part of the learning process…..

  177. I think that you need to know that the quilt police don't make regular rounds. They come to visit folks that invite them…those that want perfect seams and technique and to win ribbons in shows. Don't be afraid to try something your way or try something new or out of the box. It is your quilt, and if you are happy with it, that is what matters most.

  178. 1/4 " seams are important but most of all quilting should be a joy not a chore, mistakes happen but your(others) eye does not always travel to them as critically as you do.

  179. Thanks for the chance to win this awesome book! I hope I am the lucky one! One thing I would say about quilting is just go for it and have fun, what is the worst thing that can happen?

  180. sometimes during the piecing you get discouraged because you don't think your quilt will turn out as beautiful as the ones you see on line or in magazines but persevere! Once it has been sandwiched, quilted and washed and dried and you or your loved on is snuggled under it, it will look beautiful!

  181. Very early in my (still young) sewing career, I read on someone's blog that "90% of sewing is pressing". Totally changed my perspective, and helped me to remember not to rush through this important step. And double starch rocks!

  182. Hmmm, most quilters probably know a lot more than me . . . maybe that would be what I think everyone should know: you don't have to know everything to make a quilt. Learn from books, learn from others, learn as you go. It's all good!

  183. The best thing to me is that you can always rip it out and redo it. It applies to piecing and quilting. This way I'm not afraid to try new techniques.

  184. As a new quilter, I was surprised to find that attaching sashing between rows without ripples in the fabric was not as easy as I thought!

  185. I think every quilter should know that there are a lot of great tools out there that can make quilting easier and more fun – don't be afraid of the tools! But don't be afraid to work without them either…you don't need a lot of fancy stuff to make a quilt, don't get caught up in the "but I need to have…" just get out there and do it!

  186. Hmmmm… one thing that every quilter needs to know is that fabric is only one of the things that quilts can be made of:) Paper, ribbon, screening, metal, rope, feathers, etc… can also be incorporated… use your imagination!

  187. buying fabric will likely turn into an addiciton. that and use a 1/4 inch foot! thanks for the giveaway, very excited for elizabeth's new book!

  188. It's not as hard as you think. Each step is completely doable, put them all together, and lo-and-behold you have a finished amazing quilt

  189. When I teach a new quilter I always emphasize 3 things….accurate cutting, seam allowance and pressing. If I had to pick one….I guess cutting accurately. I usually have beginners working on something that doesn't require a perfect 1/4" as long as they sew a consistent seam allowance. I hope that makes sense 🙂

  190. Every quilter should know that they can do it. And they should "just do it." I wasted so many years being intimidated by quilts because the only ones I was seeing were in museums (this was back in 2001 so I hadn't discovered the online world of quilting yet). Then I finally took a class and figured out I could start simple. It changed my life.

  191. I am getting ready to start my first quilt, so I don't really have advice. However, I think I need to pay attention to my 1/4" seams and square my blocks based on these tips. This is the most helpful comment section I have ever read. Thanks Everyone!

  192. Not to skimp on the quality of supplies to try to save money! I made that mistake when I was new to quilting but have since learned that it's so important to work with good quality fabrics, notions, and of course a great machine.

  193. My thought on the subject is …

    There is no wrong way and there are or shouldn't be any "Quilt Police." If you think you made a mistake, keep going and make lemonaide from it. It's your own creation and the uniqueness just makes it all the more special!

  194. I agree that the fewer rules you try to follow at first, the better. Just keep to the same fabric family, be patient, have fun and don't be disheartened if you have to use a seam ripper a couple of times.

  195. I think every quilter should know that unless you point it out to them, no one is going to see the things that you feel are not perfect! Don't stress!!

  196. There are so many good tips here!

    However, I think that the most important lesson I have learned is to consider planning part of the "quilting" process. And when I say planning, I don't mean some super-strict, precise steps, must be in outline form, each stitch established before beginning (unless that is your style, in which case, go for it!). But I mean taking time to think through the entire process, read the whole pattern, draw out the finished product, whatever it is that is useful for you. But making certain to allot time for working through the process before you start.

    For me, I felt like I was not being productive enough, and not "getting started" quickly enough, when I would spend a whole day with a sketch-pad staring into space. But what I have learned is that I am planning, and the amount of time that I save throughout the process by spending a day thinking it all through first, is amazing. And totally worth it.

    Often my quilts are nothing like what I envisioned in the beginning, but I still feel like the time I spend thinking it through first helps me to know what I can and can't change, and what to expect when I make on-the-fly alterations.

    So I say: It is important to remember that planning is part of quilting.

  197. Hmmm, the one thing a new quilter needs to know? Obviously, the right tools and good technique are important. However, buying fabric that makes you happy and makes you want to do something fun with it is a MUST in my book. Fabric that I love usually translates into a quilt I love (or love to give). Plus, I can usually get some great scraps from every project and then I can use the fabric twice!

  198. Things will not turn out perfectly the first time–and it's okay! You will learn lots with each quilt you construct–the more you sew the more you'll learn. Don't compare your work with others–everyone is different/has different tastes. Do what you love.

  199. Every quilter should know how to get an accurate 1/4" seam on their sewing machine. That has helped my quilting tremendously. 🙂

  200. Every quilter needs to know that a quilt doesn't have to be made 'perfectly', because when it's made with thought and care a quilt will be perfectly lovely.

  201. Quilting is to enjoyed, there are some rules like quarter inch and getting it right BUT it is your quilt and if you like what you are doing then break all the rules no one will know

  202. Only use pins that respond to magnets!

    Then go to Lowes and get a retractable magnet about the size of a ball point pen but stretches to 24 inches. No more bending over for those pesky dropped pins, needles etc.

  203. every new quilter needs to know where their true 1/4 inch is to make perfect seams, also how to press…not just iron, but press

  204. I think the one thing every new quilter needs to know is what stores have deals when! Because dang this hobby can get expensive really fast. But if you're smart with your shopping, you can get great deals online and fabulous coupons at local stores (and Joann's) for batting and basic supplies. The more money I save, the more quilts I can afford to make!

  205. Am very new and so far enjoying it, but have noticed that ironing and seams seem very important. "I'm not doing brain surgery" is one of my mantras that I tell myself frequently to relax and not stress.

  206. I wish I'd known about the importance of careful measuring, careful cutting, and an accurate scant 1/4" seam! I made a lot of quilt blocks with great enthusiasm only to end up with blocks that wouldn't go together nicely into a quilt top.

  207. I think new quilters need to know its okay to have a fear of cutting into fabric for the first time and even more important to know if you mess it up, that mess could be even better than your original plan.

  208. I think my advice would be just keep at it. Everything gets better with practice and those early efforts are always much loved.

  209. Every quilter needs to know that quilting skills progress with time. The more quilts I make, the better they get because I learn something each time I make another one.

  210. Would love to add this book to my collection, on my wish list, because I am brand new to quilting. So as far as the questions go I guess I'll just have to read through the comments and get some advice! 🙂 Thanks for the giveaway. The books looks great!

  211. I have only been a "quilter" for about 6 weeks now and let me tell you… learning to thread the stinkin' sewing machine correctly just about put me off quilting more than a few times!!!

    Thanks for the chance to win, I would LOVE a copy of this highly-talked-about book and those lovely fabrics!

  212. The one thing every new quilter should know is that this ART takes practice! Don't expect to be perfect. Be perfectly imperfect or won't be art at all 🙂

  213. Every new quilter needs to know that your skills will improve with every project so don't get discouraged. The more you quilt the better you'll get.

  214. I think all newbies should know that it's ok if the quilt isn't perfect – it takes practice to get a good 1/4 seam going! They should know that it's ok to choose whatever fabric speaks to you too – b/c if you're going to make something, you should like it!

  215. I'd have to say the one thing I need to know (to learn) is how to hold my fabric as I'm sewing, so that I get even seams, and so all my blocks line up.

    I'm terrible with that, and end up with blocks shift – it's an even shift though, so by the time I have done a 3×3 grid, the seams will have moved sometimes as much as a 1/4 inch to the right. But it's consistent, so it's now part of the design 🙂

  216. I would say that learning to sew starts with bravery. It takes bravery to purchase fabric and then CUT IT UP so that it hopefully can be put back together in a pleasing way. That first step is a lu-lu, especially for perfectionists.

    Be Brave!

  217. My best advice for a new quilter is that making things with love is WAY more important than making them perfect.

    And to buy a 1/4" presser foot!

  218. I'm not a new quilter, but I'm learning that scrappy quilts are just as fun, if not more so, than matchy matchy ones. It's been difficult breaking out of the 3-4 fabric limit for a quilt. I look at my first three quilts and that's all they had was 3-4 different fabrics. Now they have dozens and I love them!
    So, build a stash, that's my advice. And play!

  219. i'm a new quilter, so i don't have a lot to share. but i would LOVE this book so that i can learn a lot about quilting! and i love, love, love the fabrics…

  220. Ignore the "Quilt-Police" – there are so many different ways of doing things, so find what works for you and enjoy it. Oh – and ignore those loved ones who insist on asking why you are cutting up perfectly good fabric into small pieces, only to sew them back together again!!

  221. In my opinion every quilter needs to know its okay to start off small, with simple quilts, and build your way up to the more complicated quilts. Quilting takes practice and patience; the more you sew the better you get.

  222. Don't be so hard on yourself & just start sewing versus doing too much research. Also know your machine & how it works.
    mistyfuji (at) yahoo (dot) com

  223. Every new quilter needs to know the correct way to cut material. Specifically how to 'square up' their material so that they can then cut it. It was priceless information once somebody taught me the correct way to do it!

    I LOVE Elizabeth and have learned SO much from her blog. In fact, the last two quilts I have sewn have been from her blog!

  224. Every new quilter ought to be told that quilting is addictive!! All that beautiful fabric, all the possibilities – it takes over you thoughts and you time (all in a good way of course)!

  225. I think a new quilter should not be afraid to try new ways of doing things. As long as love the fabrics and you can cover up with it when you're done, it's a success!

  226. New quilter needs to know that quilt is like a story. Get into the story and create it.
    Thanks for the giveaway! Lucie (LAupperlee@sheppardpratt.org)

  227. Read quilting blogs, google for answers to any questions you might need to know the answer to. Read your sewing machine manual. Each quilt will get better, you will become more creative. Have fun.

  228. Thanks for your honest review! I think every beginning quilter should know how to square up a piece of fabric even before they learn how to rotary cut….saves a lot of wonky strips.

  229. Every new quilter needs to know that she (or he) can do it! My mom is really nervous about starting because she's afraid that she'll mess up. I tell her that you really can't because no one will probably notice. I have basically taught myself to do an entire quilt–quilt top, binding, basting, quilting, everything. I love it!! So, newbies, don't be nervous. You can do it!! (We all start not knowing…)

  230. Get ready to laugh at me…. I taught myself to quilt without actually reading any of those quilting 101 sections of a book…. just by looking at a few pictures….. So, my first several baby quilts were not basted before I quilted them. I just couldn't figure out why the back was all puckery and messy?!? So, every new quilter needs to know the necessity for basting & the miracle of spray basting! 🙂

    Thanks for the chance to enter. 🙂

  231. My answer certainly has to be this:

    Every new quilter needs to know how to throw something away that they continue to rip apart, even if you have spent hours on it.

    Sometimes you'll never be able to get it right, and that's okay…because we all learn by trial and error. You just have to learn when to let things go. You'll get it right one day.

  232. Have FUN when you decide to quilt! RELAX and enjoy the process – the selection of a pattern, the joy of touching and looking at all the gorgeous fabrics out there while you make your choices, the cutting of the fabrics with your best rotary cutter, finding the just right threads to use . . . and THEN the beginning of the sewing . . . that beautiful coming together of your personal choices and the blossoming of a beautiful new work all your own! It's bliss!

  233. what great comments! my vote? be friends with your seam ripper! Don't be afraid to take it out if you don't like it the first time…or the flip side of that – leave the problem in and you may fall in love with it later!

  234. New quilters should know that quilting is addictive! From all the new patterns, techniques and tools that you just have to try. Not to mention the choices in fabrics! There is sew much to do!

  235. One thing a new quilter needs to know is to drop your feed dogs when using a free motion foot. I didn't know this when I started and quilted a whole small quilt (somehow) with the feed dogs up.

  236. Every quilter should get a finish under their belts every so often. If a big project is weighing you down, quilt or sew something small and easy and marvel at your finished work. Then, take a deep breath and dive back into your queen-size beauty. 🙂

  237. I think a new quilter should always start by making a small project – wall hanging or baby quilt size at the most. This was what my friend who started me quilting taught me – when/if it doesn't turn out fabulously, you haven't wasted a lot of time or money. The first project is a learning project, in short.

  238. never, ever, ever (unless you are REALLY broke) buy less than a 1/2 yard of a fabric. you will want to use it again. you will. like you will buy a fat eighths bundle of FLEA MARKET FANCY fabric, use it all in one extremely cute quilt and then a few years later realize, YOU CAN'T GET FLEA MARKET FANCY ANYMORE!

    seriously the best advice i was given. oh that, and love your seam ripper.

  239. Well I am brand new to quilting (as in bought my machine a few weeks ago) and so far the best thing I have read on a helpful blog was that it is very hard to make a quilt nonfunctional.

  240. I think that every quilter, new or experienced, should know that perfection is overrated. Every project is a growing and learning experience–don't be so hard on yourself. Everyone loses points in a seam, or mismatches pieces. Laugh, learn, move on!

  241. I am a beginning quilter, or at least I will be once I make a quilt. I've stashed fabric, bookmarked tutorials and even drawn up some designs of my own. However, I'm never going to be a beginning quilter unless I actually bite the bullet and quilt. So I'm going to have to agree with Heather (of a few comments ago) who said that it doesn't have to be perfect. I hope that makes sense.

  242. I took a beginning quilting class this summer (loved it!) and our wonderful teacher agreed with some of the above comments that there isn't one way to do things. BUT, there are reasons for doing things differently and I think having a really experienced mentor who is a teacher, and not just a quilter, is what every beginner needs in their back pocket. Usually this person is behind the desk at your local independent fabric store, FYI! 🙂

  243. I agree! I dont think the first half of a book should be dedicated to the same old stuff again. People should buy the starter books if they need help. So many more projects could fit in that way.

  244. Stick with it and don't be afraid to ask for help. It can be hard to see the light when you're ripping out your millionth seem, but it's all worth it when you or someone you love is snuggled up in your handy work!

  245. I would have to say (as a self-taught quilter), that the easiest way to learn to quilt is in a class. It's also helpful to spend time with other quilters who are more advanced than you are, but can explain all the pitfalls to you.

  246. One thing a new quilter needs to know is that: they can do it! For me, that was so important since the whole process seemed so daunting! But I had such a sense of accomplishment after I finished my first quilt! 🙂

  247. If you don't know something, check the internet and blog tutorials for all the how to's. I used to think I didn't know how to do something, but I've learned all sorts of tricks and tips from all the talented blogs around.

  248. Every new quilter needs to know that "it's just fabric". You don't need to stress, get frustrated, or ever reach the point of wanting to pull your hair out. Just relax. You are not performing a life and death operation. "it's just fabric". If you don't like it, cut it up and use it again. Or throw it away and go to your closet and cut up one or yours or your husbands shirts!

  249. Every new quilter needs to know that once one enters into the world of fabric it is an addiction that CANNOT be cured! Don't fight it! Enjoy yourself! Thanks for the give-away!

  250. Wash and press your fabric before cutting. It can really make a difference in the end.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    lindseyjunk (at) sbcglobal (dot) net

  251. Every quilter should know that they need to invest in good quality supplies – fabric, batting, and thread. Don't skimp – it really makes a difference. Thanks for the opportunity to win! The book looks great.

  252. Its not about perfection but process! Enjoy choosing fabrics, cutting, piecing, ironing, finishing and most importantly enjoy the final product! I'm still pretty new to quilting and find it hard sometimes to not become obsessed with things that only I will notice after the quilt is done.

  253. Thanks for the opportunity to win!

    I think something important to know about is needle size. I see different ones mentioned in books, but don't really know why one size vs. another is better, i.e. 70/10, 80/12, etc. Also, investing in good tools to make life more simple!

  254. Every quilt will have its own "mistake" and it is just part of the process. Sometimes you may choose to fix it…or to leave it and let it add character!

  255. Like so many other things, becoming a proficient quilter takes practice. Be sure you enjoy the process and look on each project as an opportunity to improve your skill in some aspect of quilting.

  256. Don't leave your cutting mat in your car in the summer time unless it's lying flat! It warps and won't come out unless you can fit it in your oven on a low, low heat for a very, very short time. Don't ask how I know…

  257. What scared me off quilting initially was fabric- how do you pick so many coordinating ones? What hooked me on quilting in the end was….well, fabric. I learned that there really are no rules, and sometimes red looks aweome with pink, and that an ugle fabric can shine mixed in with others. My advice…just jump in!

  258. I'm new to quilting, so new that I haven't started anything yet 🙂 So I think my advice for myself would be that there's no time like the present to start!

  259. Good question, I was just thinking about this the other day, as I am still a new quilter. I did a block a month club and did not know about sizing each strip that joined together to make the completed block. So some stars came out wonky. :/

  260. I'm a new quilter and I keep telling myself, "you're just making a blanket", to keep from getting frustrated or psyched out. I think that's important to remember.

  261. I think I would tell a new quilter to buy the best quality fabric you can afford. You'll be so much happier with the final result, especially after spending so much of your time, heart, and soul on it.

    Leslie S. in MN
    esclante at comcast dot net

  262. I am a new quilter, so I think knowing the basics would give the confidence needed to start a project.
    All the basics from selecting the fabrics & color co-ordination to cutting & piecing to the final quilting.

  263. Every new quilter should know how to test their sewing machine for an accurate 1/4 inch seam and how to move their needle for a scant quarter inch seam. Thanks for the giveaway.

  264. I wish someone had told me to relax. There are few mistakes in quilting that are not fixable. In fact, many of them aren't even noticeable if you're not looking for them.

  265. Buy only fabric that you *love*. You'll be staring at it for a long time! And play. It's a game. You'll grow through mistakes and hopefully have a laugh too!

  266. So many good tips! I need to take an afternoon just to pore through them all!

    My tip would be to just jump in and see where it leads you!

  267. My gentle suggestion would be to choose fabric of the best quality you can afford. Poor quality fabric doesn't feel as nice and fades quickly. You don't have to splurge to buy fine fabric–watch for sales. Just don't think you're getting a deal if you buy poor quality fabric at a "good" price. You'll have your quilt for a very long time; it's worth it to begin with good fabric.

  268. I still feel like a new quilter, but one thing that surprises me now is how reluctant I was to build a stash. I would only buy fabric for a specific project, one at a time, and not let myself have several going at once. wow… Now I troll the sale bins and collect new fabrics I just love for no specific purpose. And that (ever growing) stash provides creative inspiration just going through it and trying color combinations, etc.

  269. It's not just about the destination – take time to enjoy the journey! And sometimes we might take an alternate route, or encounter speed bumps along the way, but keep plugging along till you get there.

  270. New quilters need to know that ironing is key: always iron your seams! And, it's helpful to iron the seam allowances opposite ways so you can "butt" up the seams for sewing. Lovely book!

  271. as a fairly new quilter myself- and i have learnt the hard way. Take your time with each step, and accept your sewing imperfections. Use fabric that you love.

  272. I think one important thing a beginning quilter should know is that you are allowed to make mistakes and nothing has to be perfect!That always helped me and the people I recommend to start but are afraid to.

  273. I'm a very new quilter! I didn't understand the need for a square to 'square off' fabric before cutting strips or squares with a rotary cutter; but now that I have one, I can REALLY see the difference – it results in much more accurate cuts!

  274. I am quite new to quilting and I always try to do the cutting as accurate as possible! I would also recommend to enjoy the process, use patterns as inspirataion but never stop trying new possibilities… impossible is nothing! 🙂
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  275. Don't force the issue if something isn't working for you….sometimes it's best to let things sit until you figure out what 'feels' right…gee, sounds like advice for more than just quilting!

  276. Okay, this may be way too obvious, but when quilting quilt layers together, use a walking foot on your sewing machine! I quilted my first few (small) projects without one (I love them despite the puckers), but the projects after I finally decided to figure out what a walking foot is were much easier to quilt and look smoother.

  277. I've been dying to get this book!

    TWO things new quilters need to know are how to make accurate cuts and then how to make accurate 1/4" seams. My 2 handicaps when I was getting started. I'm a bit better now, so I suppose practice makes closer to perfect!

  278. What does every new quilter need to know..? Hmm… Invest in some good basic equipment – mat, ruler and rotary cutter, so that you can cut accurately. A 1/4" foot for your machine is also a Godsend.
    As would be a copy of Elizabeth's book and a bundle of new fabric :o)

  279. I try to make each quilt a challenge to myself in some way–a new technique, a new colour combination, designing my own quilt pattern, using selvages, etc. When I look back at all the quilts I have made, I can see how my quilting skills have evolved and grown.

  280. Don't get hooked up with the idea that your first/second/third/umpteenth quilt has to be perfect. Learn the craft first, play, experiment, learn how to sew a consistent seam, how to press the seams, trim blocks to size, etc. Have fun working out what works for you! And remember wonky blocks are a beginner's friends 🙂

  281. Learn how to sew a 1/4 " seam, after that, just have fun. Don't be afraid to stop working on something, even if you have already invested a million hours in it, if you find that you don't like it. Learn from it and move on.

  282. I am new to quilting, but have done quite a bit of sewing; I think a new quilter or sewer should know how important it is to press as you sew!

  283. Be as accurate as possible with every step. No matter how accurately you sew 1/4", it will never fit if you haven't cut your pieces accurately. One step builds on the last one. Practice!

  284. I think every new quilter should know that its okay to start out with a big project! Because it provides lots of opportunity to learn. As long as you are going to be tolerant of the learning process, bigger is better, especially when everyone around you is telling you to find a small project!

  285. Measure twice, cut once! I have made this mistake so many times!!! I measure only once and it will be just a tad off and then I cut it and have to redo it becuase I cut it just too much off to fix! Accuracy is important!! Thanks for the great giveaway, I would love a copyof Elizabeths book and the fabric is gorgeous!
    Tracy Dawson

  286. I am a new quilter, and the best thing Ive heard was to just jump in and have fun with it- thats the way you learn best. So I dont let my inexperience or fears of "ruining" fabric get in the way. I do double triple check my measurements before cutting though 😉 I think thats ok lol

  287. Other commenters have probably said this, but I think accuracy in cutting and sewing 1/4" would be key things for quilters to know. I'd love to be included to win!

  288. I think every new quilter should know how to sew! hehehe. Now, seriously, the most important thing is to know why your doing it, and make the most of it 🙂

  289. As a new quilter myself, I don't have any good tips, but I am definitely learning a TON by reading these comments! Thanks for the chance to win and opportunity to learn.

  290. The best way to learn is just to dig (or actually, cut) right in. The more quilts you make the easier the actual construction of the quilt will be.

  291. For me it was critical to cut the fabric shapes as perfectly and accurately as possible. The 1/4" seam allowance is important but if the pieces aren't cut right it won't matter 🙂 I always make pattern from cardboard for every shape.

  292. A new quilter needs to know patience…intimately! And that even if you can see imperfection, others will only see a beautiful finished product. Sometimes we are just too hard on ourselves.

  293. Blocks MUST be the same size! haha I forgot that bit of advice on my first LARGE (queen sized) quilt, thinking I could "fix" it after I had put the rows together. Umm…..DUH. Several of the rows were a full 3" shorter than their neighbors, and it took me two hours to plug up all the gaps with extra sashing. DUR.

  294. I'm brand new to quilting (in fact I'm still working on the quilt top for my very first quilt!), and I'd say the best advice I can give is to take the time to learn the proper techniques the first time around… it will save so much time down the road!

  295. I'm a new quilter and these comments have been helpful. What got me started is that the fabric looked beautiful and that a rotary cutter makes cutting so easy.

  296. I'm a new quilter but from what I've seen I'd say to remember that there is a world of helpful friends in blogland if you get stuck, have a question or want to share your creations!

  297. That your first quilt is not going to look as good as the ones made by those who have been quilting a long time. I was very disappointed with my first quilt until I realized that all of the mistakes in it simply represent lessons I learned that will make my next quilt better.

  298. I would recommend a good seam ripper or small pair of scissors. I know that I spent a lot of time taking out seams when I was first starting to quilt a year ago.

  299. How about wisdom for potential quilters who are intimidated?

    I love this hobby because you learn as you go, and you have something to show for it at the end. Plus you see your improvement so quickly! It's very satisfying.

  300. Not sure i've got any advise since just starting my first one. I'm just trying to be precise at cutting and with my seam allowances. But i think the most important thing for me is enjoying the process and cherish the final result.

  301. I think every new quilter (of which I'm one!) needs to know how to use a seam ripper. Knowing that nothing is irreversible emboldens me to try things that may seem scary or risky.

  302. Hmmm, maybe take your time, be accurate, learn to do it the traditional way, then you can break the rules! I am often so glad that I learned the "long way" way back when. Elizabeth's book looks like a winner!

  303. There are so many things! But I guess one thing I have had to come to accept is that ironing a ton may be annoying but it is important and makes your project look so much better!

  304. Wow, there's so much that I've learned in the 10-ish months I've been quilting…but I'd say that I've learned to accept imperfections as part of the learning process. Nobody is going to notice them except you – they'll just be impressed that you made a quilt!

  305. Quilting takes time and patience. Time to plan the top, the backing, sandwiching your quilt, learning about binding, and then quilting the whole thing! Patience to know you WILL have to get our your seam ripper. Or re-cut fabric. 🙂

  306. If you're not happy with a block, don't be afraid to take it apart and try again. Take the time to make things look good (in your eyes).

  307. "Typically, i wish quilting books and magazines would LEAVE OUT the construction section"…it's funny you said this, because I was just complaining to a fellow quilter about this VERY THING a few days ago! Don't get me wrong, I love Elizabeth's book and I'm SOOO glad I bought it. But it's gotten to the point where I'd rather buy patterns a la carte from bloggers rather than spend $25 on a book I'll only use half of, because I feel it's wasteful. I wish someone would come out with a modern quilting book geared toward intermediate and advanced sewers!

  308. Every quilter needs to know that quilting is an art form. Nothing is ever exactly the same. There needs to freedom to choose patterns, fabrics, and design elements that appeal to you.

  309. Check out the many cool tools and techniques for quilting…there are soooooooooo many ways to make accurate pieces. Also, join a quilting guild–you don't have to be a traditional quilter to be in a guild. We love non-traditional quilts and that's how we learn more!

  310. The best way to learn it to join a group that quilts for charity (especially if you're a hands on type learner). You might end up being the only one under 40 in the group and your fabric choices might make them cringe… but you'll learn techniques from ladies who are eager to teach 🙂

  311. I haven't started quilting yet! it's my next thing to learn how to do. but it is OH SO inspiring! the best advice about learning thus far is "don't forget this is supposed to be relaxing"!!!!

  312. I'm a newbie but I've found that colour is very important. Pick colours that you wouldn't normally choose to go together – the results are amazing.

  313. I reckon that every new quilter needs to know that THEY MUST HAVE FUN!!! Quilting is a great experience but takes time and mistakes but these are good. If it's not fun, it just becomes a chore, so stay cool, don't fret the small mistakes and enjoy!

  314. New quilters should know where to get help if they need it. The internet, especially bloggers, are a good source for answers and how-to's. I also depend on a few good books that seem to be my tried and true reference books.

  315. I think that every quilter should remember that unless you are entering a competition, perfection shouldn't be the ultimate goal. Enjoy yourself and your project. No one else will even notice the little imperfections and will just be impressed with your finished project.

  316. Never be afraid, it's just fabric.
    Celebrate every mistake; you just learned something new.
    Measure, measure again, breath, cut. (and for heavens sake cover that blade as soon as you are finished cutting.)

  317. What a great topic for a giveaway! I'm one of those too scared to start (and ruin my fabric), so reading through other's comments is really helping me get off my rear end and START! I guess imperfection is the perfect learning experience! So, as a beginner my advice to other beginners is just stop the thinking and start DOING!

  318. Well, I think that every piece of advice I could think of has already been covered! I guess the most important thing is to enjoy yourself. Hobbies are supposed to be fun! But my new advice would be to come and read all these comments because they're great!

  319. I think I tried to comment before without following all the rules (whoopsie!). In that vein, there are no set rules of design and if you like your quilt or the person you're making the quilt for likes the quilt, then it's perfect. 🙂

  320. I would say – watch your fingers with that rotary cutter!

    less practical advice: play around before you get obsessed, and start SMALL. my first quilt was a queen and took me 8 years to finish.

  321. use the very best materials that you possibly can – good quality fabric, nice sharp scissors, GOOD THREAD ( not the cheap junk), and always try a new needle in your machine and re-thread it when it won't work properly. well that's more than one, but you get the drift! oh yes, and HAVE FUN – you will meet the most wonderful people in the world when you start quilting.

  322. To prewash fabric. And that there are lots of approaches to quilting, from slaving over a handpieced heirloom with perfectly aligned corners to quickly machine sewing an improvisational quilt… It's ok to take different approaches and use whichever suits you for that particular project.

  323. Relax. Enjoy the process. relax. Ask questions. relax. If it doesn't line up remember the recipient will love it regardless. relax. Enjoy. nanasew at gmail dot com

  324. I would suggest a new quilter take an instructional class on the fundamentals……then develope her own style & way of quilting. There is no wrong or right way.

    Beth in AL

  325. I am so excited about this book. I have learned that I need to not point out my mistakes, they are my little secrets and no one else can see them…unless I point them out.

  326. Every quilter needs to know that 1/4" seams are critical! :o) The seams won't match, or the blocks won't be the same size, or the quilt top will be wavy. I'm all about wonky, and improvisational piecing, and GRACE in quilting, (amen!), but I do believe that 1/4" seams make the quilt come together.
    (Extra-especially if you're doing bee-blocks!)

  327. Use starch so the fabric doesn't stretch and pucker. (I also find that it makes me much faster.)

    I also thought chain-piecing was an amazing time saver once I learned about it.

  328. great question – I should read all the comments to get some tips!

    the most important thing for me to learn was how to bind my first quilt because, as the finishing touch it was important that it looked good (and hopefully hid the imperfections of the rest of the quilt).

    secondly a friend recently told me that the Amish always have a mistake in their quilts to remind them that nothing in life is perfect – a tradition I am happy to liberally embrace in my quilting!

    thanks for the opportunity to win!

  329. What an awesome giveaway!
    I have to quote one of the ladies in my quilt group when I was pointing out a mistake on a quilt she said " only god creates perfection" that's kind of been my motto since 😀

  330. I believe that a new quilter needs to absolutely know how to sew a 1/4" seam on their machine. Thanks for the opportunity to win!=)

  331. Every new quilter needs to know she or he already has what they need to begin- a love of fabric, some ideas, and time. You don't need tons of gadgets or miles of fabric and you don't need to learn the secret handshake of the local quilt guild. Just get started- making a quilt is easy, exploring quilting takes a lifetime.

  332. It's important to know that there's not just one way of doing things. If you have difficulty with one technique, look for a new one or invent one yourself!

  333. I think the best tip would be: as long as you are not doing a improvisational/wonky design, take the time to cut accurately and sew with an accurate 1/4" seam, and everything after that will fall into place!

  334. Well considering I am a new quilter, something important for me to learn was that no quilt is really ugly. Of course the colors don't always look as great as I imagined, but the good news is if it's crooked just call it "wonky"!

  335. That no matter how hard the next step is [it is so difficult for me to decide on block layout] there is a feeling of supreme awesomeness when it is finished!

  336. I think every new quilter should have a good teacher or a good book to explain the basics, especially how to use a rotary cutter the right way.

  337. I wish I had some advice, but I've made only two quilts. I guess just take your time with the cutting and there will be less desire to curse later. I think I've finally figured this out with my third quilt.

  338. Every quilter needs… imagination! And also patience, I'm sure. But creativity is very important for every project, with choosing similar colors and the placement of them all. And to have fun with it all, even when things get frustrating!

  339. Probably the most important thing a new quilter should know is how to achieve an accurate 1/4" seam allowance when piecing. Equally important is knowing how to determine the fabric grain.

  340. There are many tips to learn on how to quilt, but it's important to remember to enjoy the process. The end result won't be perfect but each quilt will be better than the last one.

  341. Chime! As a beginner, one of the st00pid mistakes I keep making is sewing the wrong sides together, like front to back. Whoops. At least I'm well acquainted with my seamripper now.

    Thanks for the chance at a lovely book!

  342. Get a good seam ripper. You will make mistakes and you will want a seam ripper that is comfortable to hold. There isn't such thing as a perfect quilt, someone can scrutinize something, but there is always a perfect enough quilt, meaning that your best at the time you made that quilt is perfect enough.

  343. 'Mistakes' make a great addition to any quilt or project. Some of my fav quilts are based on an early on 'mistake'.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  344. I think one of the first things is to get a quarter inch foot! It's such an easy thing, such a small little foot, but it really does make a world of difference!!

  345. Enjoy the process. Early on in my quilting experience, I heard that the Amish allowed at least one mistake in their quilts since only God is perfect. This gave me the freedom to experiment and not take it so seriously that I stifled my creativity.

  346. As a new quilter, I wish I knew how to control my quilting foot better during free motion quilting. It just feels like an ugly mess every time I try!

  347. I love it that so many folks have said that a new quilter needs to relax and enjoy the process. I totally agree and have enjoyed sewing much more since letting go of my "perfection" goal. I've enjoyed reading the answers to your question – thanks for asking it!

  348. I'm a new quilter, so there is definitely a lot that I need to know. But most of all, quilting seems very intimidating (to me) and it's such a big scale project that I guess I'd really just like to know how to make it doable, to fit it into a busy schedule, that it is possible, and if I make a mistake, it's fixable (hopefully). All these things would give me more confidence to just jump right in and go for it!

  349. I think every quilter should know that there is no need to achieve perfection. Your best is good enough.

    Thank you for offering this giveaway and congratulations on being chosen as a stop on the tour!

  350. I think my top tip would be to remember to use a new needle in your machine for each project as a minimum – I'm terrible for forgetting myself and then being amazed at the difference it makes. That and the fact that no one will ever look as closely at the quilt as you do, so if the lines don't quite match up don't sweat it!

  351. Every new quilter should know that "Patience will come!"

    At least for me, I was so excited and wanted to get my first quilt done as fast as possible. I made mistakes, of course — but as I've progressed, patience and taking my time have really sunk in.

  352. I always tell people that ask me about quilting that the supplies are SO important. I used to be the type that would try to make do with what I had and cut corners to be cheap (sometimes that's a good idea of course), but I knew that if I really wanted to enjoy quilting, I would need to invest in good supplies.

  353. Every quilter needs to know that (1) perfect is in the eye of the beholder and recipients usually see your work much less critically than you do, and (2) there is no shame in the use of a seam ripper!

  354. I guess that the one thing I would tell a new quilter is that a seam ripper can be your best friend. Oh and not to get upset when something doesn't turn out right the first time.
    spackattak7 at hotmail do com

  355. Start small, with a baby quilt, table runner, or even a potholder. This will give you the essentials without overwhelming you. Oh, and get a rotary blade/mat/ruler first and foremost! Thanks for the giveaway!

  356. I was totally paralyzed with the exactness and rules of the "traditional" quilters. It wasn't until I discovered modern quilting that I was able to produce a quilt. So…I think first time quilters need to know that it's okay to make mistakes – and, unless you're entering your quilt in shows, they don't have to be exact.

  357. i think the first thing a new quilter needs to know is much like what new parents need to know – there will always be lots of people who are just full of "suggestions", whether you want them or not, but as long as you go with your gut, you're gonna be fine!

  358. Every new quilter should make mastering the 1/4 inseam their prority before anything else! The last 2 1/2 years would have gone a lot smoother LOL!

  359. Accurate 1/4 inch seams are a must if you are following a pattern. Too discouraging for beginners when things don't fit or match up. Later they can learn a freer style if they want.

  360. cut away from yourself, not towards. Once you've got the habit wrong, it's really hard to break (ahem … speaking from experience)

  361. I think new quilters need to know that they don't have to match colors in prints exactly. I have some perfectionist friends with this view and I just tell them to relax about it!

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