Confident Quilting, Part 1: Design & Piece a Mini Quilt Top | Joellen Kemper | Skillshare

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Confident Quilting, Part 1: Design & Piece a Mini Quilt Top

teacher avatar Joellen Kemper

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Confident Quilting Intro


    • 2.

      Supplies Needed


    • 3.

      Planning Your Design


    • 4.

      Cutting Out Your Pieces


    • 5.

      The Sewing Machine


    • 6.

      Piecing, Part 1


    • 7.

      Piecing, Part 2


    • 8.

      Final Words


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About This Class

This class is the first of a two part series that equips students with all of the basic skills needed for quilting. By the end of this class, students will have a completed quilt top for a mini quilt. Mini quilts are a great way to learn all of the skills, without being overwhelmed by a larger quilt. It is also a popular size in the modern quilting community, in which finished projects can be hung up for decoration or even used as a centerpiece for any table or other surface.

My hope for this class is to teach students that quilting is a relaxing way to stretch their creative muscles.

Quilting is not just for grandmas, anymore!

Meet Your Teacher

Hello, friend! :) 


I'm a Christian homemaker and storyteller. I long to incorporate love, hope, and beauty into all that I do.

I believe we are all born creative which is why I like teaching (and learning!) on Skillshare See full profile

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1. Confident Quilting Intro: I started selling 17 years ago, and it was mainly garment sewing. Um, about three years ago, my mom asked me to go to a colt in class with her. I was really hesitant at first in the back of my mines, faulting with something that, you know your grandma did, and it just didn't really appeal to me at the time. Well, I went to the class and I fell completely in love with it. And I would just love to share that with you and to show you that anyone can clothes and you don't have to be intimidated by it. So I just hope you have fun with us in this class, you'll be designing and piecing your own mini Colton. This class is part one of a two part series in which I will be covering all of the basic skills needed for holding in this class. I will show you what materials you'll be needing. I will be running you through the design process and how to cut out all of your pieces and then sew them together into a top 2. Supplies Needed: The first thing that will be covering in this class is the list of supplies that you'll be needing to complete your many quotes up. I've also created a document for you that you can print off of skill share and take to the store. Let's get started. You will need a cutting mat, a rotary cutter, which I love. This rotary cutter. It has a nice safety feature. You just squeeze it to expose the blade, and then once you lay it down, the blade gets covered back up, and then you also need some rulers. I just have this 18 inch. I like the clear rulers, so it's easy to see so an 18 inch ruler and then also a ruler that you can use to square. Um, like you're squares with which I will explain in a different lesson. You will also need pins to hold your fabric together, cotton thread and just make sure there's a bunch of different threads at the like a Joan's . This one is for quoting and piecing. Just don't pick up the hand quilting thread because that would be really bad for your machine. If you were to feed that for your machine. Also, any sort of like little scissors that you can trim Fred's with and as faras ironing, you'll need an ironing board with an iron. I have a ra uinta iron. I love it. So if you ever get seriously involved in quoting, it's my favorite iron that I've ever had, then I also have. This is optional, but it is a seam roller, and it's really cool because you can press your seems as you go while you. So that way you don't have to keep going over to the ironing board. You can just kind of save your actual ironing for last, and then to complete the supplies that you need. You will, of course, need a sewing machine, which I will have a separate lesson just going over the song machine and your fabric. So for this mini quilt, I have six different fabrics picked out because I love like that scrappy sort of look. But I would suggest at least four different fabrics. All you're going to need is 24 inch squares total. So if even if you just bought like a fat quarter of each one, that should be plenty for what you're going to dio. And that's everything that you will need 3. Planning Your Design: next. I just want to go over preparing your fabric and picking out a design for your money. Quote top. So as faras buying fabric when you go into a fabric store, sometimes the choices can be really overwhelming, especially if it's like your first time. One of one of the things that I have done kind of over the past couple of years is I have a Pinterest sport of, like all my favorite quilts and just different sort of like design inspirations and even a board for color themes. And maybe, just like before you go shopping for fabric kind of do some research online of what sort of quotes that you like and really think about. Why you like them or like a color palette. Just find color palettes that you really like You're going to see here my Pinterest board. It has over 400 pens of different quilting related things. There's so much to get into. So once you've chosen your fabric, there is always a big debate among among quilters. Do I pre wash it or not pre wash it? Well, honestly, that's just your personal opinion. I don't think it shouldn't really matter too much. Either way, I normally pre wash my fabric just because there could be a chance of your fabric shrinking . Do you want to kind of pre shrink your fabric? And there's always that slight chance that there's extra die left on the fabric. So if you get that out the first time, then that dies. Not gonna bleed out on your quilt, but really what the general consensus is like all the fabrics that go into a quilt. They all either need to be prewashed or they all either need to not be prewashed. Some people like skipping the pre wash it pre washing just because then once they've washed their quote, they're finished quote for the first time. It gives it even more of like a wrinkly textures that some people really like that, and we'll choose toe Skip that For that option, I'd also like to encourage you to really get into the design process of your many clothes. Designing is probably my favorite part of the whole process, because I love just like working with multiple pieces of fabric and laying out their colors in a certain way. That makes a really cool design. One of the things that I came up with when I was sort of like practicing for this class was I made this mini quote top. So really, one eye. When I talk about design in this class, we're going to be making 20 pieces that looked like this. They're called half square triangles, so you make a square out of two triangles. But you can make numerous designs out of just these 20 blocks, just depending on how you lay it out and the placement of your different colored and patterned fabric. So this is just one example that I came up with. You can plan this out by, you know, you can get a piece of paper and a pen and mark out 20 blocks, you know, five by four, which is the way I am so in line and just kind of come up with a design that way. One really cool app that I have for my iPad is called cryptography, and I came up with this design for the fabrics that I'm gonna be using in this class. So just it's really fun to just play around the colors and the patterns of the fabric and come up with a design. If you don't feel comfortable in that process yet you can follow along with my design. Or I also plan on posting a handout in skill share of some design options that you can choose from. So after you prewashed or not, pre washed her fabric, it's up to you. You are going to want Teoh iron out any wrinkles in your fabric, try to get as much as you can out. It's 100% cotton fabric, so you know it's not gonna be. It's not gonna iron out perfectly. So after you ironed it and everything's prepped, you are ready to cut your pieces. 4. Cutting Out Your Pieces: so you're gonna take your first piece of fabric in in order to lay it out properly. Most patterns will tell you to cut along the width of fabric, which is from salvage edge to salvage edge you can. The salvage edges are like the finished edges from the manufacturer all the times you can tell, like on this side it's white, and it says the name of the fabric with the designer in the the fabric company. And then sometimes you can tell there's like little tiny dots on the other side. So those are the Salva judges, and you're going to match those up. It's best as you can. So So, here's your layout. You'll have your to salvage judges, and then you're too cut edges these air just where they cut off the board of the fabric, and then you also have a fold. Now, this is too long for my ruler, so I'm going to go ahead and fold it one more time and then just make sure you smooth out any wrinkles because if you have any wrinkles in there when you goto, cut your strips, your strips gonna end up wonky. So so now that you haven't folded properly. You're going to lay your fabric out on one of the line. Just pick a line on your mat and then light up the fold against that line and you're going to pick a a different line going perpendicular to that line to put the cut edge of your fabric over. Because what we're going to do first is we're going to square up this piece of fabric so the fold line is already squared. But this edge, this cutting edge there's like it's in multiple different lengths, so we want to get that all going the same way in the same length. So once we have this against the fold and the cut edge past whatever cutting line that you choose on your mat, you're insecure ruler, and you're just going to line it up against that line that you chose. And then you're going to take your rotary cutter and you're just going to trim the edge off that way That gives you so where all parts of your fabric, or even and this is your fabric squared off. Now for this pattern, we're going to need foreign squares, so I'm going to cut a foreign strip, but first. So this is kind of like your zero point right here, where the edge of your fabric lines up. Someone account over four, These air one inch squares. The 1234 I want to take my ruler and line up against that line. I always counted a second time. Um, it says, you know, the saying is, measure twice, cut once. So once you have it lined up, then you can go ahead and cut along your ruler, and this will give you a strip like that. So for the many quote you should unless you have one fabric that you want to use mainly in your quote as long as you have one strip cut out for each for each piece, that should be fine. So go ahead and cut the rest of your strips out from each piece of fabric the same way. - Okay , now that I have cut all of my strips out my four inch strips, I'm going to sub cut these into four inch squares, so you kind of have to think about your design is you cut this out. So the design that I had laid out is I want this pink fabric and this really bright floral fabric to be the main part of my design. And then I just wanted to use kind of like these white fabrics more like interspersed in the background. So each square is going to represent two triangles in your design, so I can't. There's 10 of these pink triangles, which means I'm gonna need 54 inch square from the Strip. And it's also the same for this floral fabric. There's 10 triangles, so I need five squares cut up because one square equals two triangles. And then as far as this, I'm just gonna kind of randomly interspersed this in the background. So and there's four of those, so I'm just gonna cut out, like three of each of those. Really. The only thing you need Teoh focus on is you need 20 total squares that are four inches. So if you have this design for many, quote that you really like, but you're not quite sure how many squares to cut out of each fabric? Please feel free to contact me here on skill. Sure, I would love to help you with that. And also, if you're still not, like, comfortable with the whole process. Like I said earlier, I have a handout of different design options, and I will list under each design how many pieces of each fabric to cut out. So I just really want to encourage you. Teoh, get in contact with me. And don't get overwhelmed by this. So to sub cut your strips into four inch squares, there's going toe lay open, and then you're going Teoh. Want to cut off the salvage here? So line up the bottom of your fabric against one of these lines, and then I will just choose this this line right here. And I'm going to cut off this selvage edge with my ruler and rotary cutter. Have that off, and then I'm going do measure over four inches 1234 and then appoints you. Cut that and then even just keep cutting along this strip here, and you're going to keep cutting these strips until you have 20 squares 5. The Sewing Machine: before diving into the actual piecing process. I'd like to go over a few of thesaurus machine parts. You know, not every song machine is the same, so I'd really recommend referring to your selling machine manual. If you've lost your manual a lot of times, you can find a copy of them online and just download the PdF version. Also, I know a lot of local quilting shops air really good about. If you take you're sewing machine in there, they'll sit down with you like one on one and really help you through the whole process. So a few of the things that you'll need to know about your sewing machine for piecing in this class Number one. I told you guys already that you should buy 100% cotton thread. Make sure that when you pick it up that you don't get hand quoting thread because that has a special coating around the outside of it that could ruin your machine if you were to use it. I also would like to buy White Fred whenever I do the piecing portion, just because if you, by color, thread is easier for to show up to your fabric, which you don't want to be able to see your stitches through your fabric as far as your stitch. Lee, I set minus 2.5 whenever I'm PC. One thing that you don't have to have but is really handy whenever I do piece work is 1/4 inch presser foot, and all it is is you follow the edge of the pressure foot, and that will give you your core and sane, which is what you use every time that you go to do any sort of piece work. 6. Piecing, Part 1: So we finally arrived at the piecing portion of this class And let me just say this is gonna be really exciting for you because this is where you'll start to see all of your design come together. So right now, you're probably wondering why we're working with squares and not triangles. Just trust me and follow along as I go through each of the steps and you will see how this turns into your many clubs. So what you're going to do first is you're going to start matching fabrics together. So, like on my design, I have the pink fabric in this floral fabric in which I matched to all of these. So that's what I'm going to start doing. And when you so these you're going to sew them right sides together. So you just find the right side of the fabric. You line up the squares. Okay, so right now, all you can see your the wrong sides of the fabric cause the right sides air facing each other and then on the back of one of the squares, I'm gonna take a ruler, and I'm going to draw a line from one corner to the other. I'm risk using regular pin. And then I would put Holly. If you're first starting out and you're not really used to selling, I'd probably put two pins in each square. So going through one more time, I'm picking up two of my squares and placing one over top of the other, matching their right sides together. So once you've done that, you look at this. You only see the back side of the fabric and then take my ruler and make a line with a pen from one corners of the other. It's going right down the middle pennant together. You're going to do this until you have 10 sets of two squares. Let's get so now that you're done marking impending your pieces together, you can go ahead and so them at 1/4 inch seam allowance, you're going to take your first piece, and you're going to so 1/4 inch to the left of this line that you marked on your fabric. So what I'm going to Dio is I'm going to place the fabric below, and I know that the edge of this presser foot is 1/4 of an inch away from the needle. So I'm going toe line the edge of the presser foot against that line that I marked on my fabric. So to start out, I'm going to take I'm going Teoh, insert the needle into the fabric. I'm going to take, like, two stitches. Okay, so a lot of Poulter's when they do piece work, they do not back stitch, which is fine. But there have been a couple of different instances where I didn't back stitch and the piecing started to unravel, especially if I just, like piece that one day and then didn't pick it up for a while again. So I just always just do one vax itch, just a kind of lock my stitches in place and keep it from unraveling. But whenever you do back stitch, don't go over the edge of the fabric back over the edge of the fabric because you can make your fabric bunch up. So I just always take like, two stitches forward and then one such back, and I'll do that at the beginning in the end. So once I've taken that back, sich I'm just going to go ahead and go forward, making sure that I keep that line that we marked on her fabric up against the edge of my presser foot at the end Here. Gonna back stitch once. Okay, so that's my first piece. We're going to do what's called Chained Facing. So once I finished my first piece, I could just go ahead and take my second piece and I can keep stitching. This won't hurt your machine or anything, but go ahead and keep stitching until the next piece of fabric comes up underneath your needle. Just take it slow. You don't have toe race along. Just make sure that you keep that line matched up with your quarter inch mark. So I just finished piecing the last one I back stitched at the end, just like I did at the beginning. And as you can see, it makes this long chain. Someone's gonna take it out of my machine, and then I'm just going to take that piece around and I'm going to go down the other side. I'm just going to do the same thing again. My presser foot down, matching up the edge with line that we created on the fabric, and you're just gonna go down the other side. - So now that you've sewn down both sides of your marks line, you can go ahead and separate your pieces. So this trend, the threads and then what you will do is take a ruler in your rotary cutter and you're going toe line the edge of your ruler up against the line that you mark on your fabric and you're going to cut down that line and Tuttle. Now you can finally see why we have been piecing it the way we have. So you're going to do that on eight piece. Now that you've finished coming apart, all of your pieces, you are going Teoh press your seems. Now There's two different schools of thought, and the 1st 1 is to press your seem over to one side of the fabric, which, in that instance, you're going to press the seam over to the darker side of the fabric. So this is the darker, um, a piece of the square, and that's just so it can conceal your seen a little bit better. And then the second school of thought is you're going to pressure seem open now. This is what I like to dio. I just feel like it. The seam just lays flatter, and it just looked crisper and nicer from the top of the quote. So to do that whenever I have a bunch of little pieces like this, I like to use this hand ruler that I talked about in the materials. You don't have to use that. You can use your iron. I just think this is really handy. So you just kind of take your fingers and open up the scene. If you're, um, gonna pressures open like mine and just roll the wheel over the scene and then it just gives it a really nice crisp look. And so you're just going to press all of your seems until eight piece has been pressed. Now that you've pressed open all of your scenes, you're going to square up each piece, so just take my This is an easy square ruler, and I want each of these squares to be 3.5 by 3.5, so I'm gonna find those marks on my ruler. So this would be 3.5 across the top and then 3.5 down the side. Also, I really like to use. There's this 45 degree angle line on. I like to line up that line against where these two triangles meet. Once you have everything kind of lined up, they just trim off the excess. That spirit up show you again. So I'm putting this 45 degree angle line down the middle and then matching up the sides. Be 3.5 inches on the other side and then trimming off the excess. 7. Piecing, Part 2: Now that you've squared up all of your pieces, you can start laying out into your design. So I just have my, um my picture up here so I can kind of refer to that as I laid out. It was kind of play around with things, um, for instance, thes three fabric for the same and I kind of want keep things based out. So just do your best. Have to be perfectly spaced out. Okay, so I'm good with that and I'm going to go ahead. One thing I like to dio, once I have the layout the way I would like it, I go ahead and take a picture of it on my iPad or my phone. And that way I can refer back to that as I'm piecing because sometimes when you're piecing , it's really easy to get confused. So it's always good to have a picture to look back at. So now you're gonna so all of these together and you're going to start by sewing each piece together to make each row. So this would be a good point to make sure that you have taken a picture of your layout because we want to kind of do chain piecing to make this a little bit more of a faster process. But you have Teoh, it's really easy to get confused and make sure you take that picture of your layout beforehand. So I want to start from the right side and was gonna flip this over match right sides together. So you do the right sides, the seams air on your wrong side. So we're to match these together and go ahead and just I would put two pens and hold it together so I will just do this all the way down. So I just stack them in the order that I pinned them and I'm gonna so it in that same order . So just start from the top and work your way down to the bottom. And it's going to be Ah, 1/4 inch seen just like last time. So I was gonna line the edge of my fabric up against that quarter inch mark and go ahead and certainly needle into the fabric, take like two stitches and then, like one or two back stitches just so taking your pens out as you go back sitting at the end And then you can just chain piece this like you did the the last piecing that you did. So now that I've PC together, I can go ahead and separate my chain stitching. Now, here's where it's useful. Teoh have the picture that you took a real layout, so you can just kind of refer to it In case you accidentally got things mixed up. I was gonna refer to my picture. Ladies, all out. It's that one. The 2nd 1 So I'm just gonna be the same thing again. Take this piece. I'm gonna flip it over, and I'm going toe. So this block right here gets attached to this block. So once I flip it over, I'm gonna match up right sides together. Just a minute together. Stock up beside my machine, slip much right sides together. So it was going Teoh chain peace. All of these again. And then I'm gonna keep doing that until I've formed four rows of pieces and then we'll come back. And so the rows together. So once you've gotten each row piece, then so ones or not new road based don't need. Then what are going to you is just fine open. Need Tosto seen. Press mine open and just trim all of your threads. No, that's finished. You're on your last leg of piecing together your quilt top. So you're going, Teoh, start sowing your rose together. So I'm just going to lay the top row over the second row. I'm gonna start penning those. So as you're putting this together, you want to be careful. Teoh, match up your seems so you see, it's same in between each square. You want to match those up? I just do that by kind of pulling it apart and lining up the same lines. And then I'll just stick a pin in there to make sure holds you just He will do that down across the roads and just try to be conscious of your seems air pressed open. So I just try toe, stick my pen in there in a way that leaves those seems flat. Don't get upset if you know it is your first time sewing and the seams don't perfectly lineup or, um, like, somehow why you're sewing the scene lays down on the side rather than flat. Um, it's not that big of a deal. I've been quilting for over three years. Now that still happens to me, and it doesn't have to be perfect. So I'll just dio rose one and two together and then also Penrose three and four together, just like always, matching right sides together. So the seams should be facing you. So now you have a completely pieced quilt top. And for our last portion, we're just going Teoh, press these open. Okay, flat that lace. And to finish it off, you're just going Teoh trim any extra threats? And if you want to, you can use your iron to just kind of press down on top of the quote top just to kind of really set those scenes in place. I'd probably start from the back and press it down and then press it on the front and you have a completed quotes up 8. Final Words: so I really hope that you enjoy them. Had fun with this class. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me here on skill share. I really hope that you join me for Part two of this series, which I'll tell you how to quilt textures into your many quote and then finishing off with finding Thanks for taking no.