Five Mistakes Beginning Quilters Make
By Maybelle Maddison


Anyone who has seen a quilt must at some moment have wondered about beginning the craft themselves. It is no wonder that in their excitement, beginners can make mistakes that may cause them to quit quilting. This article will detail the top five mistakes new quilters make and how to avoid them.

1. Choosing Difficult Patterns
The most common mistake of new quilters is strangely the reason that attracted them to the art - the pattern. While visiting a museum or flipping through a book, they see a quilt that astounds them. They want to make that quilt and they want to make it now.

Unfortunately, the quilts that inspire such emotion are also the quilts that require the most skill. Choosing a hard pattern such as Wedding Ring will only lead to frustration.

Solution: Choose something easy in the beginning. A good bet is to choose patterns with squares that can be strip-pieced like a Log Cabin.

2. Deciding to Give Beginner Projects as Gifts
Nothing can discourage a new quilter more than planning their first few projects as gifts. Instead of concentrating on the excitement of learning a new skill, the quilter is concerned about matching points. Instead of visualizing the finished quilt, they instead picture of the face of the recipient.

Solution: Let your first few quilts be gifts to yourself. You will appreciate the effort you put into the project like no one else can.

3. Imposing Time Limits
Time limits go hand in hand with gifts. They both put unnecessary pressure on beginners for no good reason. The truth is that novice quilters do not know how long it will take to complete a project. For example, you can estimate that you can put the binding on in a day. Once you get started, however, that last bit of work could stretch out to a week.

Solution: Until you become familiar with your own particular quilting rhythms, give yourself plenty of time.

4. Buying Beautiful Fabric
Another mistake is buying fabric so expensive you will not cut into it. Perhaps you have read you should buy high quality fabric. So you buy your pattern and order your fabric. You may even have washed and pressed your fabric. The problem is that it just looks too pretty to cut into it. You do not have the confidence to cut something and you are concerned it may not turn out like you'd want it.

Solution: In the beginning, go cheap and ugly.

5. Being a Perfectionist
As we get older, we forget what it is like to try something new. Being a beginner means making mistakes. Your first quilt is not going to be perfect. It's going to demonstrate exactly your skill level. More than that, it is a reflection of who you are at this moment in time. The pattern, the fabric the quilting design all reflect who you are right now. Included with that are your mistakes. Love them. Appreciate them. Without them, you will not be able to see your growth.

Solution: Allow yourself to be bad at first.

In conclusion, beginning quilters can make mistakes that will turn them off from the hobby before they even begin. Learn to enjoy the process of learning to quilt and you will have a hobby you can enjoy for years.

Maybelle Maddison is a true Southern Belle and dedicated quilter. She has made it her mission in life to spread the joy of quilting! Visit her site at http://www.joannfabrics.org for quilting information, pattern reviews and suggestions on how to start and keep quilting!

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