Gransnet forums

Arts & crafts


(37 Posts)
Mishap Fri 27-Sep-13 17:27:57

I am about to venture into this territory and wondered whether any other people do this and whether they have any links, suppliers, advice etc. Lots of thanks.

MrsSB Fri 27-Sep-13 17:36:41

I'd love to have a go at quilting too, but don't know where to start. I'll be really interested in any replies you get.

thatbags Fri 27-Sep-13 17:40:48

I use these sites quite a lot:

J52 Fri 27-Sep-13 18:20:21

I joined a quilting group. It is amazing what some people make. I had only done simple things before, but the hands on advice was really helpful. Also the advice on equipment. Still very much a novice! X

tiggypiro Fri 27-Sep-13 20:40:34

To find a quilting group in your area contact the Quilters Guild who should have lists of the groups. Joining a group will both inspire and help you and quilters are a very friendly lot.
The best bit of equipment you can invest in is a large cutting board, rotary cutter and ruler. Expensive but worth their weight in gold but please be shown how to use the cutter safely.
Don't get hung up on doing things 'correctly' - if it works it's right ! And if your quilting stitches are not as neat and even as some people can produce don't worry, just hang the quilt over a chair, stand back a few feet and it will look fine !
Enjoy !

Stansgran Sat 28-Sep-13 15:44:47

Creative Grids have good offers for beginners with sets of rulers ,cutters and mats. don't know if I can do the link but they've just sent an online catalogue. Quilting keeps me calm and happy.

Mishap Sat 28-Sep-13 20:53:58

Thanks so much for all your ideas and links. I am going to go to a quilting show in Malvern with my neighbour soon and can't wait!

Rosiebee Sat 28-Sep-13 21:56:38

I've used 'pininterest website to start me off. Just finished some quilted table mats. Ambition is to make a quilted bedspread. Will get there bit by bit. Website has been really helpful with how to do bind edges. Lots of lovely ideas. Also borrowed lots of books from library - free! Plus try youtube/thecraftchannel for lots of professional videos into all different techniques. Happy quilting! smile

squaredog Tue 01-Oct-13 09:53:09

I hope you know, it's addictive!

(Try and get to one of the 'Shows'........try Twisted Thread to start with but the National is in the Summer at the NEC)

You don't know what you've let yourself in for.....

Mishap Tue 01-Oct-13 10:38:18

I think I do!! - my neighbour is hooked and I am going to a show with her soon. Her OH rather ruefully said that I should make sure to take my credit card!

Maniac Tue 01-Oct-13 11:11:04

Nothing like a hands-on workshop for learning patchwork techniques.If there is no gp near you suggest buying 'Patchwork & Quilting magazine for info on courses and suppliers as well as fascinating articles.
Over the years I've made two large quits and several small ones as well as bags,mats etc.I now only do small items
Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace London Oct 10-13th and in Harrogate 21-24 Nov.
BEWARE you will become a dreadful hoarder of scrap materials!!

Stansgran Tue 01-Oct-13 14:52:15

Pinterest is great for ideas and for pointing you in the direction of online tutorials. I've followed a medallion quilt month by month and I'm doing a pinwheel quilt which was a monthly blog about a year ago. The first rule of quilting is always start a new quilt before you've finished the last one.

FlicketyB Tue 01-Oct-13 17:47:07

Do not confuse patchwork and quilting.

I did a very pleasant day course making a patchwork cushion cover which we then used quilting techniques on to make a quilted cushion cover.

I then decided to turn a long piece of vintage quilted fabric into a bedspread and as I wanted to applique a central motif on it and wasn't sure how to do it. I signed up for a weekend course on 'whole cloth' quilting, thinking this would show me how to make large quilts using different techniques.

I couldn't have been more wrong. As soon as I walked into the workroom and saw the top of the range sewing machines and attachments all the others on the course had, my heart sank. It sank even further when I realised that 'whole cloth' quilting had nothing to do with making large quilts but was all about making artistic quilting patterns on large pieces of fabric. There was me with my ready quilted fabric, run of the mill sewing machine and very mediocre sewing skills - plus a tutor who soon realised my error so ignored me for the whole weekend.

So if you sign up for a quilting course make very sure what is involved before you pay your money over.

Stansgran Wed 02-Oct-13 14:58:19

That is so sad and says an awful lot about the tutor . It's worth remembering FB that some fantastic things were made on very basic machines. I used my mothers for years and John Lewis has a nifty little machine for under £50.

FlicketyB Wed 02-Oct-13 20:46:22

Well, after the course I complained to the college organising the course pointing out that the language used to describe the course may have been instantly understandable to the cognoscenti but to those who were not familiar with the craft it was grossly misleading. I am getting money off my next course and a room upgrade.

To be fair my course colleagues were very pleasant and companionable, it was just the tutor.

J52 Thu 03-Oct-13 08:21:01

A warning on buying a sewing machine. Taken with the patchwork/ quilting idea, I decided to buy a new machine, that was portable. My old machine was 30 + years old and heavy.
I went down the small light machine route and found them not very reliable. They worked, but frequent thread breaks, miss sewing. Mostly due to inaccurate, cheap manufacture. I got what I paid for! Took 2 back and decided to pay a bit more and bought a more expensive JLs own brand. It is great, but not as good as the old one. This motivated me to get the old one serviced. It now stays in situ and the new one goes to the classes.x

Sandy217 Wed 09-Oct-13 11:29:13

Seems to me a fine line between quilting and patchwork. Patchwork is heaps of fun (as is quilting) but I had to buy a new machine to quilt and even now I struggle with it puckering. Hand quilting is fun, if you have all the time (and patience) in the world. There is a weekly group meeting in a village near me and I intend to go one of these days to get some practical advice. It's certainly a lovely hobby and I've made two cot quilts and a kingsize quilt for my daughter so far. Definitely addictive smile. Enjoy

tiggypiro Wed 09-Oct-13 12:56:04

Sandy217 ................ Have you got a 'walking foot' for your machine ? These do avoid the puckering somewhat but also try increasing the stitch length and decreasing the top tension. I have also found that tacking the layers together very well in rows 3-4" apart is necessary and always start any tacking or machining in the centre of the quilt and work your way to the edges. Hope that helps and apologies if I am teaching you to suck eggs !

FlicketyB Wed 09-Oct-13 19:40:52

Sandy217 That is the problem. There is a very serious quilting world out there and innocents step in to it at their peril.

I am working on the basis that I learn from my mistakes and I am just to sign up for a course at the same centre which mentions quilting, but makes it clear that it is also about patchwork and applique.

However I have noticed that their quilting/patchwork classes have much more explicit descriptions this year and the tutor who was so offhand with me is not running any courses there this year.

FlicketyB Wed 09-Oct-13 19:41:44

One thing I did learn on this course is the need for a walking foot when quilting.

Stansgran Thu 10-Oct-13 11:02:36

FlickB phone the tutor and tell her what you expect from the course. There must be nothing more demoralising for a tutor to see numbers fall away because needs are not being met. Also see if you can find a self help sewing group where you live because then you may be able t make progress between classes. Quilters are usually lovely calm people .

FlicketyB Thu 10-Oct-13 17:59:11

Stansgran It was a weekend course and I just see myself as unlucky as I have done other craft courses at this college without trouble. I think the problem was an arrogant tutor who saw no need to speak the language of ordinary people.

Two other people on my course, were nowhere near as out of their depth as I was, but were not purist quilters, got more attention than me but not much. Most of the quilters were known to the tutor. The course participants were all of them lovely, it was the tutor.

I complained about the course to the college and they were very good and I am getting a discount on my next course and a room upgrade and this year the course descriptions in the brochure are much more explicit. It is good to know they respond when a course member is dissatisfied.

Mishap Sun 01-Dec-13 12:22:25

Hello there - I have got to the stage where I have made the top section and pinned all the layers together and stitched by machine in the ditch along the central sashing to secure the middle.

I am now ready to start the hand quilting bit! you always use a hoop? Do I need special quilting thread? Do I need a special quilting needle?

And any other advice that you think I might need to hear would be gratefully received!

tiggypiro Sun 01-Dec-13 18:18:23

I am quite an experienced quilter but NOT a purist so some quilters may disagree with me !. As I have said before - if it works it is right !

I don't use a hoop as I find they get in the way and as they need to be attached firmly and can distort the fabrics. I like to quilt in the winter as I can then almost wrap myself in the quilt and keep warm as I sew it on my lap.

I do use special quilting thread as it does not shed fibres quickly and so therefore does not break as easily.

You can get special markers for drawing the design on the quilt but I tend to use a Lakeland crayon which seems to disappear easily. The special ones sold are either removed by a splash of water which work quite well unless your hands get a bit sweaty,and the ones which disappear eventually on contact with air - these sometimes disappear too fast !
Pencil marks are difficult to remove except by washing and sometimes not even then!

Purists will always use a short 'betweens' needle but I find them too short to hold easily. I usually use a small 'sharps'.as the eye is easier to thread ( ! ) and do a running stitch rather than a stabbing quilting stitch. I find I get a much neater straighter line that way. I do try to get my stitches the same on the back and front of the fabric but if it doesn't then I am not too bothered. I am not entering competitions as I make quilts for friends and family and every stitch is done with love so who cares if they are not quite perfect.

Like any hobby / skill it really depends what you are doing it for but ENJOYMENT should be top of the list and however bad you may think your work is (because you are very critical) others will think it is wonderful !

Have a lovely time and don't forget to put a photo up !

Stansgran Sun 01-Dec-13 18:33:29

I agree ith everything you say Tiggy except I use betweens and thread all of them at the start so as not to interrupt the flow. I've bought and given away a hoop.