Picture of how to sew a quilt! (quilting 101)
Quilting is my biggest passion. I think it's probably hereditary. :D

I also think it's a skill that is useful beyond words... quilts are beautiful and functional and I consider them to be the greatest gift in the world. (Really, who wouldn't want a quilt?) They're family heirlooms, passed down through the generations until they fall apart. They're an amazing way to use up scrap fabric, and a cheap first sewing project.

Not to mention I find sewing/cutting them very therapeutic... lots of straight lines with no pressure. :)

In this instructable I'm going to take you through creating a basic queen size 9-patch patchwork quilt. These are my favorites because they are not complicated and can be completed in far less time than other quilt types.

I'll teach you about the tools needed for quilting, how to cut squares, choosing fabrics, batting, making a quilt sandwich, how to choose and attach backing, and assembling the quilt top among other things. It's also important to note that you can easily complete one of these in a couple weeks - I started this one on March 7th, and finished it on April 3rd - but that included lots of documentation and only working in good sunlight. ;)

I do hope this instructable is helpful for you and inspires you to quilt. We need more quilts in the world! :D

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tsarangova made it!1 year ago

this is my First Quilt ever!!! It took one week :). I did it!)))


This quilt is absolutely beautiful. I hope someday to do something almost as nice

Thank you! I'm sure you will!

AWESOME! What a recommendation for this instructable :-) Pretty blue theme!

thanks alot!

jessyratfink (author)  tsarangova10 months ago

Absolutely beautiful!! :D

Thank you!

That nice is it hard to do


Schlep made it!1 year ago

Made this for my wife, as a late xmas gift... (she thought it was worth the wait). Has picture from all the major events of out life together. Thanks for posting this tutorial. Between this tutorial, and one other site, i was able to put this together. Thanks!

ElaineP1 Schlep5 months ago

Incredible - was this your first effort? Amazing!

shimrit.or.7 made it!11 months ago

My first quilt ever :)

Took everything but the pattern, used the squares a bit different to form the frames. Got a machines with embroidery functions so wanted to try it out on some project and this was it. The fabric is all reclaimed items from the house (cloths no one likes anymore, old pillowcases... ). Guide is absolutely fantastic. So clear and pictures are just what you need up close. Thank you so much!

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Awesome!! Beautiful work.

jessyratfink (author)  shimrit.or.710 months ago

You're welcome! Your quilt looks amazing!! :D

So awesome that you were able to make it from items around the house!

rachel.dewar.14 made it!10 months ago

excellent instructions. Recommended to mainly use 100% cotton for backing so bought some great material from textile traders. Made a small playmat for my 3month old. Thanks.

jessyratfink (author)  rachel.dewar.1410 months ago

That's so cute! Great job. :D

I love the borders and the print!

wizgirl made it!1 year ago
Thank you!
ashleyhairston9 made it!1 year ago
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CementTruck2 years ago
I wear Hawaiian print shirts as a general rule and I have closets full of old shirts that frayed around the collars and are unusable as office shirts. My daughter just got married and bought a new house and I wanted to make her a housewarming present out of my old shirts. I thought either a few throw pillows or a quilt. Quilts look daunting, and although your ible is very easy to read I'm not sure I would have the patience to do the bias. The 9 squares seem easy enough though.

On a related note I had a grandmother who made quilts and used old army wool blankets that she picked up at surplus stores for the inserts instead of the batting. Those were the warmest and coziest blankets I ever owned.
jessyratfink (author)  CementTruck1 year ago
What an amazing idea using wool blankets!! Stealing it, haha! There are lots of surplus stores in the bay area so I'll have to go look around. :D
I left the Bay Area right around the time the "Internet" was making it on the scene. How I wished I had that resource to find all these surplus stores you speak of. I only knew of a couple of them.
I LOVE the wool blanket insert idea! Thank you : )
nekokristiaan made it!2 years ago
Here is my version! Thank you for your wonderful instructions.
jessyratfink (author)  nekokristiaan2 years ago
Yaaaay! It looks great, I love the colors :D
ToniRose made it!2 years ago
It's been a while since I first saw this instructable, but I wanted to show you the quilt I just finished last month. Your instructions were so clear and easy to follow, I was inspired. Thanks!
jessyratfink (author)  ToniRose2 years ago
Ahhhhhhhhh! So awesome. :D I love the colors!

Thanks for the detailed steps! I'm enjoying following your instructions!

I have been having trouble getting the seams for some of my rows, and for the blocks, to line up exactly perfect when sewing rows/blocks together. This is likely because I didn't cut my blocks perfectly straight. I was wondering how this will effect the 'stitching the ditch' step? I want to make sure I have one long continuous stitch when I am stitching in the ditch so that the stitching looks continuous, but I was wondering if you had any suggestions on how to adjust for the stitching when there is a small 'gap' in the seams lining up? I noticed in a few of your pictures that you may have had a similar situation with the seams lining up perfectly with different blocks (Main photo in step 24 - and in my opinion if the seams are not all perfectly lined up it just adds to the character of the quilt!)

I like your work!!

kategooding1 month ago

Thank you so much!! You have no idea how brilliantly helpful this tuition was. It all made sense - and I now believe I can have a redhot go at making my first quilt. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

mattve1 month ago

Can you explain your preference for the 5x18 ruler? These are not redily available at my local craft store.

jessyratfink (author)  mattve1 month ago

Honestly it's just personal preference! I like that it's five inches wide so I have more room to work with. I use it for my embroideries because many of them are 5x7 inches so it makes cutting them out easy.

Anything 4 or 5 inches wide is perfect for most sewing - the length is not as important. :)

Yasmiene2 months ago

Thank you so much for these instructions!! I just finished my first quilt following this how-to. It's lovely and I really appreciate the detailed information in this guide.

THANKS! Yasmiene

bhawklover193 months ago

If the quilt I want to make isn't a queen size-- (it'll be 9x10 blocks) would that impact anything negatively? like will I still be able to get enough batting and so on?

bethdub4 months ago

I really like this tutorial, but it got a little confusing when you started talking about bias tape. What is that? Also, when sewing long strips of fabric or sewing the length of the quilt, how do you prevent bunching? Pins haven't been enough in the past for me.

jessyratfink (author)  bethdub4 months ago

Bias tape is what makes the border of the quilt! It is basically a strip of fabric that is folded and sewn around the edge. Most bias tape is cut on a 45 degree angle so it conforms well to corners, but I've simply cut strips since this quilt is all straight edges. :)

As far as the bunching, diligent pinning and using a walking foot will help! You can also look into spray basting as a temporary solution to keep quilts layers nice and flat.

Also be wary of the weight of the fabric - letting it hang off the table or your lap at all will add pressure around the foot and causing sewing issues, too!

Thank you! These tips will really help. Another question: I made a quilt awhile ago and prewashed the fabric, but it's still really stiff. Any ideas on a different type of material I should buy? (I really don't remember what type of fabrics I bought either )

jessyratfink (author)  bethdub4 months ago

You're welcome! :)

It sounds like you might have a home decor weight or canvas fabric if it's stiff - a bit too heavy for quilting!

You'll want to stick to muslin or 100% cotton. Most fabric stores will just have a section of fabric labeled "quilting cotton" and that's your best bet! The fabric you want will be tightly woven, very thin and smooth and slightly sheer!

Great tips! Thank you again, this tutorial will definitely help!

I am using T shirts from my daughter's years of dancing. Is it possible to use squares for the front and back of the quilt without making a rag quilt? That is what I would like to do. I can make a rag quilt if I have to.

jessyratfink (author)  billie.s.fuller4 months ago

Absolutely! Just make both sides the same size and you should have no issues. You can add batting as normal, or just sew the two layers together. I would suggest using a stabilizer of some sort of you don't end up putting the batting in, though - otherwise the jersey might try to run all over. :)

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