What is a Good Project for a Beginning Quilter?

One of the questions I get asked most often from beginning quilters is “What is the best pattern for me to start with?”

There are two patterns I usually recommend if you are selecting your first project.

  1. fourpatchquiltA basic four patch quilt. This is made up of squares which are then sewn together either with four pieces per block or nine pieces per block.  This adorable baby quilt was found at http://www.womenfolk.com/about/poohquilt.jpg and would make a great gift for a newborn baby!

2. A basic nine patch quilt.  

5.25.2015   9Patch 7.21.2015

You can see that on both the four patch and the nine patch quilt, the entire quilt is made from small squares stitched together.  These units are then alternated with a block of the same size in a coordinating color or pattern.

Bias_(textile)Why are these two quilts great for beginners?  That’s easy: you are only working with straight lines using fabric that is cut on the straight of grain.  Fabric has three grains:  straight grain, crossgrain, and the bias grain. In sewing, a shape cut from fabric cut on the bias grain will cause the fabric to stretch.  There are many cases when you WANT your fabric to stretch, however when sewing a four or nine patch block, it is best to cut on the straight and cross grain of the fabric.  Once you have mastered that (it’s easy, don’t worry!), you will be ready to tackle a bias grain.


3. Another good pattern for beginning quilters is called a Tumbler Block.  This cute quilt was made by Carly Westberg, and there are good directions on Craftsy if you would like to make this. There are several other cute examples on my Pinterest page to look at.  Each quilt can have a totally different look depending on the fabrics you have chosen.

As with the four patch and nine patch quilts, the tumbler pattern requires just one shape, which makes it very easy to cut. However, with the tumbler shape, can you see that you will be using fabric which is cut on the bias grain?  You can do this!  It just takes a few pins placed along the bias grain to pin the fabrics in place while you sew.

If you are looking for quilt patterns for your future projects, I suggest you visit Marcia Hohn’s website at http://www.quilterscache.com/ .  Spend some time looking around, and by all means, bookmark her site for future use.  You’ll be happy you did!

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