7 Tips Every Beginner Quilter Needs to Know

Hi everybody! It’s Justin and Diane Keaton from Keaton Quilts back again to share 7 of our favorite quilting tips every beginner needs to know!

Tip #1: Cleaning

Before starting a new quilting project, make sure to give your machine a good cleaning. Remove your sole plate and gently vacuum or dust out all of the lint that may have built up during your previous projects. Never blow on the lint or use an air duster as this will push the debris deeper into the machine. This sprucing up will make sure all your stitches will be perfect and skip-free.

Tip #2: Bobbins

Pre-wind several neutral bobbins before you start piecing. (Once I’m on a roll, nothing kills the momentum like having to stop what you're doing. This way, when a bobbin runs out, you can just pop another one in and keep on going.)

Tip #3: Chain Piecing

Use chain piecing! It will not only save you time, but also thread. Chain piecing is when you sew a pair of fabric pieces together and without removing the pieces or trimming the thread, continuing to sew the next set of fabric pieces together, so when you’re finished you end up with your joined pieces all attached and a small bit of thread between them. Just snip them apart when you finish. This will save the thread that would normally be wasted at the start and end of each seam.

Tip #4: 1/4" Foot

Use a 1/4" foot for piecing. Seam allowance accuracy in quilting is key to achieving a nice finished project. If you use a 1/4" foot as a guide while you sew, you’ll save the time of marking where to sew your seams. I find it’s also easier to remember to keep the fabric aligned with the side of the foot than using one of the markers on my machine plate. Most machines come with a 1/4" quilting foot, but if they don’t, you can usually purchase one as an accessory.

Tip #5: Sewing Clips

If you’re not a fan of pins, try sewing clips. (Whenever pins enter the equation, there's a good chance that I’ll end up poking myself and dropping them onto the floor and have to crawl around trying to find them.) The clips are brightly colored and so easy to spot and I find they come on and off much quicker than pinning and unpinning.

Tip #6: Needles

When hand sewing the back of your binding down, pre-thread a few needles so you're able to keep up the momentum each time you run out.

Tip #7: Seam Roller

Instead of getting up to iron after each seam you sew in a block, use a seam roller to press that seam flat! It will not only save you energy, it’ll also help save on your electric bill.

I hope you’ll continue to join me for more quilting tutorials and tips here on the Sizzix blog, and if you’d like even more fun, visit me at KeatonQuilts.com or follow along with us on Instagram or Facebook for even more quilty adventures.

xoxo - Justin & Diane

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