Stitching your own quilt

Creating your own quilt can be an easy and rewarding pastime. Blocking, quilting, and binding can all be done with basic sewing knowledge and little specialized equipment, making quilting an easy beginner hobby. Anyone can see a quilt from start to finish.

The most visually striking aspect of a quilt is the pattern, made by blocks of fabric sewn together. Patterns can be as simple as strips of fabric across the front, or as complex as interlocking wedding rings. There is a quilt pattern for every skill level. The more seams and angles in a pattern, the more difficult the assembly will be. Every pattern starts with fabric. The traditional choices for a quilt are calicos, fabrics with small prints. The size of the quilt block should be considered when choosing a fabric pattern. Once selected, the fabrics are cut into shapes and assembled into blocks. Those blocks are combined to complete the entire front of the quilt.

Once the front has been completed, the quilt needs to be assembled. Batting is sandwiched between the completed front and a single backing piece of fabric. The quintessential aspect of any quilt is the quilting that holds the piece together. The quilting is nothing more than stitching between all three layers, which can be done by hand or by machine. Machine quilting can be done on a traditional sewing machine or a larger specialized machine. Generally, a quilting foot is used to allow for freer movement. The quilting in a piece can be patterned, such as straight lines, circles, or shapes, or the quilting can be a freeform. The only necessary aspect of the quilting is that it cover the entire quilt.

Once the entire piece has been quilted, it is squared up and bound with strips of fabric around the outside edge. The binding gives the quilt its finished look. Strips are sewn around the edge either by hand or by machine. With the binding, a quilt is complete and ready to be enjoyed for years to come.