Making Your Own
Depending on the fabrics and colors, there are endless possibilities for the creative quilter. I have written many quilting posts and designed many quilts. One thing is obvious: If you can sew a straight line on a sewing machine you can make a quilt. So the technical part is easy. You just follow a pattern and simple directions. But choosing a pattern and the fabric prints and colors is what determines the look of it. For example, a combination of colorful calicos and gingham or homespun will surely result in a country quilt no matter what the design. But the same pattern can look quite different if rendered in two solid, contrasting colors like blue and white.
Start with a Wall Hanging
How do you start? I’d suggest a forty-two-inch-square wall hanging. Most traditional quilt patterns will work within the forty-two-inch square and it’s practical because fabric comes forty-five inches wide so you won’t have to piece the backing. It’s manageable because it’s small enough to fit on your lap for quilting, and because of its size, there’s a good chance you’ll finish it. (Many overly ambitious craft projects lie abandoned in scrap baskets.) Furthermore, it’s a size that can fit on most wall spaces.
Next, you’ll want to find a pattern that appeals to you. Keep in mind that designs made from squares and triangles are the easiest to piece. I especially like to design projects with colors and prints, finding different ways to put them together so they look fresh. I also like hand-quilting better than piecing so I design projects that look best when hand-quilted. Many quilt makers like the machine work best, and so choose projects where hand-quilting isn’t essential.