PoW wOw! {and} Would You Like to Learn to Quilt?






I've loved this quilt pattern by Alison of Cluck Cluck Sew since it first came out.  I ordered the pattern and added it to the queue of future projects.

Then I saw Nettie's scrappy version and I knew that's how I wanted to make mine.

I used a Nani Iro double gauze for the back, purchased here.  This is not a bargain basement fabric, but the cuddle factor is SO worth it.  If you're making a baby quilt, I definitely recommend double gauze as an option.

I would rate this pattern as great for beginners.  Not your first ever quilt, but possibly your second and for sure your third.

It's well written and straightforward and delivers a fun modern look.
























Speaking of beginners, here's an idea I've been percolating:

Nothing is so dear to my heart as when people express an interest in learning to quilt!  I know I'm biased, but I think it's got to be one of the best hobbies around!  The reason it's so awesome is that you can invest endless creativity and beauty, and when it's completed it's one the most comforting and useful items around.  I mean, how many pieces of art can you cuddle up with?!

That being said, it can be a little intimidating to jump right in when you've never made one before.  I think a lot of people find the though of actually quilting and finishing (e.g. binding) to be quite overwhelming.

It's impossible to enjoy something when you're feeling overwhelmed and frustrated and most likely you'll end up stuffing the whole thing in a back closet.

To avoid this, I consider it VERY important to start small!  and simple!  Your first quilt should be the simplest quilt pattern known to man, it should not be a large quilt, (a small lap quilt like 50"x60" is the absolute biggest you should go) and preferably you should learn in a physical class with a nurturing positive teacher.

So I've been thinking of doing a little tutorial/quiltalong here over the next month or so.  I will do picture by picture tutorials of the simplest quilt known to man (no, it's not patchwork squares!).  We could all sew together.  I'd start a Flickr group that you could add your photos if you liked, or you could email them to me and I'd share them here.

I'd also like it to be helpful with all kinds of tips, so I'd invite anyone to add their insight or ask questions in the comments.  I'd also link to other tutorials that show similiar techniques, since I find that we all think and learn differently and seeing processes from different people's perspectives is so helpful.

So what do you think?  Is there any beginning or not-yet quilters out there who are interested?  I don't know who's reading here, so maybe it's not something that would be applicable.

80 comments:

  1. Count me in! I just completed my first ever yesterday and I know I have a lot to learn. I'd love to learn from you!

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    1. Yay! That wasn't the Hope Valley quilt by chance?

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    2. Nope. The Granny Square! Still working on the Hope Valley...

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  2. sounds lovely! And love the pow wow quilt you made. I've had that one on my to-make list for so long! I'm helping my 12 year old neighbor make her first quilt. It's been fun! We have the quilt top all together and now for the fun parts!

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    1. That's so kind of you! Start 'em young:)

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  3. Slightly off topic...I was staring at the quilt above at the binding. Do you sew from the back to the front? I like the way it looks. Do you always bind that way? I've always sewn in the ditch on the front, hoping to catch the back. Ugh! When I miss its so annoying to correct. Please do include the binding a quilt in your tutorial. I'm not new at quilting, but I love getting trips and tricks from other techniques.

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    1. I think that the binding is sewn on to the back, then wrapped around to the front and sewn down. At least that's what the pictures look like.

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    2. Yes, that's the way I've always done my machine bindings. It's the way I was taught originally and I'm kinda partial to it! I wrote a blog post a while back about different ways of attaching bindings and my thoughts on them.

      http://blueelephantstitches.blogspot.ca/2013/03/smallish-triangles-and-bit-about.html

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    3. i guess i have been doing it wrong. i stitch the binding to the front and bring it around back to hand stitch it on, i guess so that i can incorporate the tag onto the back of the quilt. :)

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  4. I am a totally self taught quilter. I would love to do a beginner quiltalong. I have gotten a couple simple tops done, but am a little overwhelmed with the actual quilting part. I don't want to send them to someone else. It seems a little like cheating or something. I have read a million and one tutorials, but then I become confused over the choices. Oy! See, I need your help. :)

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    1. The actual quilting always is more of a hurdle, even for me:) I don't think it's cheating to send your quilts away, but I DO think it's still great to learn how to do it yourself!

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  5. I just finished my first quilt last week and I would definitely be interested! It was of the patchwork squares variety, hand-quilted because machine quilting intimidates me, and was probably too big for a first - it ended up something like 60" x 72". I'd love more pointers as I know there's so much to learn.

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    1. If you made it through, and still want to make another one, then it wasn't too big:) Some of you folks are just naturals at it, but I know that I made many wallhanging panels and baby quilts before I ventured into something larger!

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  6. I think it is a lovely idea and I would probably sew along even though I've been making quilts for years. It's always good to learn from others and pick up hints and tips that work for them. I love how generous quilters are and how willing they are to share. This is a great idea!

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    1. That's great! And I'm sure you have great advice too.

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  7. I love the colors you chose for your quilt. There is something about the way that you choose fabrics/colors that make your quilts look esp. soft and cuddly. Keep up the great work so we can all keep being inspired.:)

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    1. Thanks Audrey! So sweet of you:)

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  8. YES!!! And I've been wanting to make the Pow Wow quilt for a long while now. Love how yours turned out!

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    1. You should make it! It's a great pattern.

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  9. I always love your quilts. I've been reading for a long time and you inspire me lots! Love the tips. I agree, start small. It can get pretty overwhelming otherwise...

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  10. Count me in. Working on my first quilt in a LONG TIME. Would love to quilt with you. Love your quilts.

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    1. I'm so pleased you're making a quilt!

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  11. yes, please. i've made a few quilts, but i still am so much a beginner. i love your style and your blog and would be thrilled to learn from you.

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    1. Thanks Michelle! I'm glad you're enthused.

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  12. I would love to be involved. I am not a beginner but terrified of angles...

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    1. hmmm... this pattern won't involve angles, but maybe we can touch on that one some time.

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  13. I'm not a beginner (I've done a few quilts), but I find a lot of quilt alongs intimidating, too big, and too long, so i be interested.

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    1. well, i doubt this one will be big or long, so that's good then!:)

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  14. Love your color choices in this super sweet Pow Wow quilt!! I think your teaching idea online is a great one, you'd be a great teacher and for many people finding the time to get to an actual physical class can be tricky. I think it would be nice to learn in the comfort of your own home from someone as talented and knowledgable as yourself.

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    1. Thanks Karen! I honestly don't feel qualified at all. But I think by doing it in an open ended sharing type of way, the rest of you can contribute as well and make it a rounded out learning experience!

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  15. I just love that quilt!! Ever since I received one of your quilt I've been secretly wishing I could do such wonderful work! I would love to learn, I look forward to your tutorial!

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    1. You totally CAN learn! It's mostly just practice and sticking your neck out and trying it!

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  16. I used your blog a lot to see pictures of quilts as a beginner. It helps to see the textures and just how a quilt looks when completed. Now that I am past that stage I would love it if you did a post on how you pick fabric for a project. I love the way you put colors together and would like some insight into the process.

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    1. oh, that's my favorite part! but kind of hard to explain. I'll try though!

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  17. I'm an intermediate quilter and yet I would love a class like this. I don't have time for really hard quilts and am always looking for simple patterns. And, it's always great to learn a new tip or two. So yes - please - and count me in!

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  18. Oh - if you do have the quilt-along - could you include some ideas/tips/etc on putting fabrics together? That's always my biggest struggle . . . even for scrap quilts! (yes, very challenged here)

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    1. I will try:) it's really about believing in yourself, though. Having confidence that your color choices are awesome, no matter what's trendy at the moment.

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  19. Love the pow wow! I am not a beginner but I can always learn something from you:-) what a great idea.

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    1. or maybe we can learn something from you!

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  20. Love the pow wow! Love cluck cluck sew and LOVE your blog! You are one of the few blogs that make me want to actually quilt! I've made 2 quilts (baby size) but would love to actually "learn". There's been lots of trial and error in those 2 little quilts!!!!

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    1. Yay! Trial and error is the only way to learn!

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  21. I learnt everything on sewing by myself and you good people on the internet. I've made 5 quilts so far, but I think i'll always consider myself a beginner, so your idea seems phantastic.Don't have many time actually, but I'll be here anyway :)
    But I'm glad I've learnt this way, a patchwork shop has been open in my small city lately, they give classes too, and I enter the other day and heard the teacher asking about undoing because the hand quilting was not 9 to 12 st per inch. I think if I had taken those classes I would have giving up the second day.

    I like it "my" way :)

    By the way, Love your quilt, as always. I wish you could tell us the secrets of color, I am always in love with your selections

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    1. Ouch! You can be sure that I'm not a perfectionist so you won't be hearing anything like that from me! I sooner get beginners looking at me in horror when I say, "it's fine! unless it really bother you, then fix it!"

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  22. Yes yes yes please. A while back I asked you what book to buy to set me on the road to quilting, but I know your blog is busy so that's fine. I'm still nowhere closer, wells maybe a little, but I would love your help. I was doing to start with a quilt for my daughter and then one for us but maybe I will start small so count me in!!! I have one small dilemma in that I have already cut some of this fabric into 10" squares (oops!). Maybe you have a suggestion here xo

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    1. So sorry, Hanna! I do remember your question, but was unable to reply to you. (maybe your blog is set to 'no-reply'). For the book suggestion, I'd have to think a bit. I recommend Liberated Quiltmaking II by Gwen Marston to every quilter. But that's more of an overall concept of quilting, rather than the actual practical knowledge of how to sew a quilt. I have heard good things about Oh Fransson's Practical Guide to Patchwork, but have never seen the book myself.

      I'm happy to hear you'll be joining us!

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  24. the first quilt i ever made 18 months ago was a quilt-as-you-go strip quilt. i made about 4 or 5 for family members and about 15 for our local chemotherapy center (chemo makes you cold) before i was brave enough to try an actual pattern. since then, i've made about 40 quilts, most from tutorials from bloggers like you that were awesome enough to help out us newbies!!! :)

    my tip for new quilters would be to use vintage sheets as your fabric when you start out. i have a huge stash of them now that i have gotten from the local goodwill and salvation army stores. most are in great condition (be picky) and after a good wash (with bleach, yes even the patterned ones), they lose their skeevy factor. it is a great amount of fabric for $2-3 each. they are easy to cut into strips or squares and they are usually soft from age. the colors are very compatible with other fabrics you might want to add in like these.. http://camerasandchaos.blogspot.com/2012/04/getting-more-sewing-done.html

    since i had to learn quilting on my own, with help from quilting bloggers like yourself, i love the idea of you doing a tutorial series. i will be following along for sure.

    p.s. i love your fabric combinations, and your quilts are stunning!!

    cindy

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    1. That is so generous of you, Cindy! And what a great way to learn quilting!

      Thanks for the tips:) I love vintage sheets too.

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  25. I would LOVE to learn how to quilt. I recently bought a sewing machine so I could learn to sew so I can eventually make a quilt. A tutorial would be great.

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    1. That's great Robin! You'll do great!

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  26. Umm, let me think...YES! I would love it. I have a few quilts and quilted projects under my belt but it would be great to learn from someone who's work I truly admire. Your Fall Circle quilt is my favorite quilt ever and is what brought me to your website.

    Thank you!

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  27. Yes, please! I've done a table runner and am about to try making my first quilt, so I would LOVE a beginning QAL/tutorials!!

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    1. A table runner is a great place to start!

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  28. I have been quilting since 1999 and I am self-taught. I have never attended a class except for one class on Craftsy that was a refresher on how to maintain a sewing machine. I always like to check out tutorials even if it is intended for beginners because I might pick up a tip or two to improve my quilting skills. I will be following your tutorial.

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    1. Congrats on teaching yourself to quilt! And maybe you'll have some tips for the rest of us.

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  29. Yes please!! I'm always in for picking up tips & advice!

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  30. Oh I told your dear mum how I SO wished I could make quilts... My biggest problem is I'm impatient . Lol. If it doesn't turn out I'll be DONE. :-/ so maybe this is just what I need to inspire and teach me :-)

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    1. First of all, I know you'd make the funnest quilts! I'm impatient too, that's why I always have a few projects on the go. When I can't stand one an minute longer, I'll put it aside and work on something else.

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  31. I've done patchwork for some time but still have yet to machine quilt...maybe you could cover that too?!

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    1. Absolutely I will talk about that! It's kind of a big deal when you're beginning...

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  32. I love this idea. I consider myself to be a beginner/moderate quilter who's still trying to learn techniques that will improve and simplify my quilting experience. I've really enjoyed your blog for the past year of so that I've gotten back into quilting and have used some of your simpler pattern ideas for some small quilts. Sign me up!

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  33. I've got a question... I'm about to start a new quilt for my daugther and have a pair of fabrics a could use as backing, but they are viscose... would you use it? Will it be resistent?

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    1. I don't have any experience using viscose (is it similiar to rayon?) My advice would be, if you like the feel and the print, and it's not too stretchy and slippery, then use it!

      If you're at all concerned about the quality, then choose something else. Sorry I can't be of more help. But to me it really depends on how important it is to me to use that particular piece.

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    2. Thank you Jolene, I'll see what can I do... I like the softness it's something between cotton and silk, slightly slippery, but soft, I don't know how to describe. They are a pais of pareos I bought in oportunities at Ikea, and my girl loves them, so I tought I could use it as backing, but I want the quilt to be longlasting so... let's see. I'll tell you when decide. :)

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  34. Yes please! I've only just started following your blog with the intention of building up the courage to try quilting for myself so this would be a huge help!

    Much love from the UK xx

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  35. I would love to participate in something like this, and learn the basics "with friends"!!

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  36. I would totally do this with you even though I'm not a beginner. It's fun to see the process of others and learn something new along the way.

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  37. This sounds great, I am just starting to think about taking up quilting and have no classes near bye. I would love this.

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  38. This sounds great, I am just starting to think about taking up quilting and have no classes near bye. I would love this.

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  39. Yes, Yes!! Count me in! I am so excited at the mere idea of it!!

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  40. I'll play! I followed Bee In My Bonnet's row along last year for my first ever quilt. That was NOT starting small. I'd like to try a smaller project now, and I have loads to learn!

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  41. I'm not exactly a beginner but I'm close so I would welcome a beginner type quilt-a-long. I appreciate all the tips and techniques and you'll probably present some I'm unfamiliar with. I also know a few people at work who keeps saying they'd like to learn how to make quilts. If you do a quilt-a-long, I'll certainly tell those people about it.

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  42. Definitely count me in, if its not too late

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