Quilting is something that came naturally to me. Probably because my mom taught me how to sew at a rather young age, and instructed me on the basics of quilting. I've never had to go to a quilting class, I've never had to look up how to troubleshoot certain problems online, and for a long time, I didn't even need to buy my own quilting supplies! I really have her to thank for a lot of what I know and many of the techniques or tricks I use while quilting.
Because I'd had this instruction, I'd never bothered with any books that teach the basics of quilting. To me those books are boring because I pretty much know and have perfected what they're talking about and are trying to teach. I prefer books that teach new techniques or show me different styles of quilting because these are the books that inspire me to become a better quilter. So when a friend of mine asked me if I'd teach her how to quilt, I didn't think I'd need anything but my own know how.
During our very first session, I realized that I was wrong. Since I'd been quilting for so long, I actually didn't know where to start when it came to teaching someone who was totally new to the craft. I'd find myself “skipping ahead,” so to speak and explaining something that someone will only understand if they'd learned some other techniques first! I was proving to be a really terrible teacher!
So after that first "class" I finally set out to look for some quilting books that teach beginners. I really tried to give the books a chance, but I found something wrong with most of the books I saw. None of them appealed to me! In the end it was my friend who found Quilting 101: A Beginner's Guide to Quilting. She said it looked like it had everything we needed to get started, and the next time we met up, she showed me the book.
She was right. This was exactly the book we needed! Quilting 101 was like a quilting class in a book. It is written simply but clearly, and it's obviously geared towards those who don't know anything about sewing and quilting. I say this because it teaches you how to thread a sewing machine, basic stitches, and how to sew straight! All of these were things I realized I should have taught my friend during our first session, but of course took for granted.
What I really like about this quilting book is that it's basically divided into twenty quilting projects. The book teaches a basic technique and then gives the "student" a project that will help them practice the technique. I thought this was really nice because it gives people something concrete to start with. Like many skills quilting is all about practice, and this book understands that.
The pages that teach both techniques and projects included step-by-step photos, diagrams, and sidebars filled with tips on what to do. Sometimes it felt like we had my mom sitting next to us in the form of this book, instructing, teaching, correcting, and foreseeing problems. It was great! I also appreciated that the book had spiral binding. This made it really easy to lie it flat while we were working or make it smaller when needed.
Perhaps the only thing I would correct or ask for in future editions is that they make some of the photos bigger. Since I knew exactly what they were teaching, I was able to demonstrate it for my friend, but she admits that had she been doing this alone, she might not have been able to do as well.
By the time we finished the book, my friend had finished all twenty projects. She created pillowcases, a table runner, a lap quilt, and a wall hanging! My friend has a really nice sense of style too, so these projects came out really well, and now, I'm sure she can quilt just about anything! If you are just getting starting quilting yourself, consider discount fabricas a launching pad for your new hobby.
Though I probably won't be teaching anyone to quilt anytime soon, I bought myself my own copy of Quilting 101. I'm saving it for when my daughter grows up and the time comes that I teach her how to quilt. I think I'll need it then. Like I said, I'm a bad teacher, but this book is a really good one!
Click here to get a sneak peek of this book!