I’m a big fan of the book ‘Threads to Quilt with’ by Cheryl Bork, but her book is aimed at beginners. She has many helpful suggestions on how to get your first project started, how to use your machine etc.
I thought it would be useful to post a few hints on things that you might not know about.
Do not be in a hurry to finish your quilt. If it is your first attempt, take your time to enjoy the journey and the process. Learn to do things right. Learn to enjoy making things.
Take a bit of time to do your calculations when you are working out the quilting, etc. Use the ruler, you can measure for a line, measure for an angle, etc. But do not just blindly cut everything up, it is not going to work. You will not know how wide your fabrics will be and you will waste a lot of time.
Read your pattern and think about how you are going to sew. Do you understand how to join the edges together and how the seams will look? Can you match the sewing lines on the sewing machine with the sewing lines on your design? Do not just blindly sew. You need to know how to get it right, or at least get it as right as possible.
Do not over stitch. I often find myself with little tiny pieces of thread and some of them end up on the back. It is easy to put a tiny piece of thread through the sewing lines and end up with an extra line. This may be good for making a very tight, small quilt, but for a bigger quilt it is just going to look messy.
I used to over stitch on my machine (it has a button to turn off the needle thread) and now I turn it off and it is a lot more accurate.
Have a try at different ways of quilting. I find it easy to quilt too tightly (I would not want that on my own quilt) but a bit of slack is good as well. It is good to have a little practice with different quilting styles as it can be a bit of a shock when you first start to use your machine.
Try not to be too fussy when you do a first quilt. I tend to over-think a lot before starting, but sometimes a simple little quilt is more relaxing and a lot more fun.
Try to get everything ready before you start sewing – this means cutting, pressing, ironing and making sure everything is straight.
Try not to think about how the quilt will look once it is finished. I find it much easier if I just think about the quilt top and concentrate on that for now. The rest will come, and it will look better after the fact.
This sounds like a list I could do without, but what do you think, do you agree or disagree? I think I will make a list of what not to do!