Starting to quilt from a zero experience can be an exciting decision for some. It’s just like casting an important milestone into one’s quilting journey. However, the process can be quite overwhelming for beginners. Many quilting newbies lose their enthusiasm and interest, once they first experienced the intricacies and difficulties that come along with the measuring and cutting of fabrics. Overwhelmed by the apparent immensity of the tasks, many readily give up, abandoning their initial interest to learn quilting, though knowing that, the only way to learn quilting techniques and mastering quilting skills is by doing.
However, beginners should worry no more, as there are many types of quilt kits readily available in the market to help newbies getting over the initial humps in the quilting journey. It would be better and more comfortable for beginners to start working on the pre-cut quilt kits, or pre-cut fabrics.
Pre-cut fabrics usually come in convenient packs of 5″ squares called Charm Packs, 10″ squares called Layer Cakes, and 2.5″ strips called Jelly Rolls. The use of pre-cut fabrics ensures not only that newbies could forgo the nitty-gritty of having to cut and measure at the start, but it also ensures that the colors that they are going to use match well, and that they got correctly measured fabric sizes.
Reason for Using Precut Quilt Kits
There are advantages as to why you should use pre-cut quilt kits as a beginner. As mentioned earlier, it is a great way to quickly get over the initial difficulties of cutting and measuring fabrics. With these kits, you will immediately have pre-cut pieces for ready sewing together. With the elimination of spending much time on measuring and cutting, you quickly get the hang of quilting without sweating yourself out in measuring and cutting fabrics. Once you get the hang of quilting, you can then slowly immerse yourself in the more monotonous and arduous processes of measuring and cutting process.
Different Types of Pre-cut Quilt Kits
Pre-cut quilt kits come in various types and variety. It will be useful to know about these different types before getting started. Here are the four primary types of pre-cut quilt kits:
- Square Patchwork Quilt Kit
The original quilt is called the patchwork quilt. If you want to learn quilting, you should first start with the pre-cut patchwork quilt kit. It is the original classic, composed of same-sized squares. You can easily quilt together these same-sized squares. And using this quilt kit is a perfect way to gain mastery of the basic piecing and quilting skill through the process. With this kit at hand, you will be quick to learn how to accurately sew the straight 1/4″ seams, which is the most basic type of quilting. You can also use charm packs or layer cake squares to speed up the process.
2. Brick Quilt Kit
The brick quilt is different from the patchwork quilt because they come in rectangle forms. You can do patchwork quilt using these rectangles. Moreover, you can create something like subway tiles by simply offsetting the rows creating a contemporary design that is good to look at. You can also combine squares and rectangles for more significant effects and varieties.
3. Rail Fence Quilt
The rail fence quilt consists of skinny rectangles that appear like strips. They are like jelly roll pre-cuts. You can line them up in three or four rows to create a block. Then, you can sew them together to get a straight-set. You can also set them at certain angles to produce a different effect.
4. Flying Geese Quilt
Once you have mastered or gotten the hang of quilting rectangles and squares, you can immediately level up to doing triangles. I suggest you should try your hand on the flying geese quilt. The flying geese quilt consists of a rectangle along with two squares to make the triangles. Creating this flying geese pattern necessitates a higher quilting skill. Moreover, you can make your flying geese blocks using 1/2 square triangles blocks.
Other Important Tips on Using Pre-cut Quilt Kit
Aside from the abovementioned tips on using the pre-cut quilt kits, you can also benefit from these additional tips on making your quilt using pre-cut quilt kits:
- First, you should utilize the same fabric type
It is advisable not to mix up fabric types in your first quilting project. Using different types of fabrics to create a quilt requires a certain level of quilting experience and skill. Thus, it is advisable not to mix up fabric types while you are just started off to learn quilting, or it might upset you when the result of your first quilting project is undesirable. So, it is advisable to use the same fabric types, preferably the 100% cotton fabric in your first project. They have a similar texture and more comfortable to work on, it will be easier for you to control the stitching, and master the quilting techniques along the way.
Once you become skillful working on cotton fabric, you can level up to other types of fabric. It is better to stick to a single type of material for your first project to avoid being entangled with difficulties and complications. Moreover, you should avoid slippery materials. They could be very frustrating for beginners, and make backstitching difficult. Working on cotton fabric, on the other hand, can help you build your confidence and can ready you for a more complicated type of quilting.
2. Purchase more fabric!
As a beginner, you tend to consume more amount of fabric. Why? Because you tend to commit mistakes in measurement and may either cut too small or too large. You should have plenty of fabric stock at hand so that you will have enough to finish a particular quilting job. We would surely advise you to buy a yard more than what you’ve calculated.
It is indeed really frustrating to be in the middle of an intense quilting session only to find that you have already run out of fabric. So as not to disrupt your quilting momentum, it is better to have more than the exact amount of fabric.
3. Make sure that you pre-wash all pieces of fabric!
Fabric sometimes shrinks and sheds color when washed. Thus, you should wash all your fabric before cutting and piecing them together. You should do this to avoid getting frustrated by seeing your squares and rectangles bleed. It will be too late to discover that the fabric you are using is shedding color.
It is always a typical beginner’s mistake. So, you should never commit the same mistake that other beginners like me had made before. It was quite a frustration!
Make sure that you wash all your fabric before stitching to minimize the risk of color smudging. You should also ensure that you follow washing instructions for specific materials that you would be using.
4. Follow the norm: “simplicity is a beauty!”
There is undoubtedly beauty in simplicity, and we all know that. The more straightforward and concise your design is, the more impactful it is. So, as a beginner, you should follow this tenet as much as possible. Lastly, you should also utilize easy patterns and be minimalistic.