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

Step 1: Basic Quilting Definitions

Like most skills, quilting comes with its own lingo. I thought I'd add this here and give my own definitions of many of the words I'll be using in the instructable.

Backing: the bottom part of the quilt, typically made of one solid piece of fabric. Most times this fabric is white - I like to use sheets for this!

Batting: the cushy middle of a quilt - can be made from cotton, polyester or wool. Typically bought according to the size of the quilt you're making - found in rolls.

Bias-tape: strips of fabric used to bind the edges of a quilt.

Binding: the edging of a quilt - it encases the raw edges.

Blocks: a piece of fabric made from sewing 9 squares together.

Piecing: sewing together pieces of fabric to form the top layer of the quilt, typically done in blocks.

Quilt sandwich: what I call the three layers - top, batting, backing.

Quilt top: pieced fabric, typically put together in blocks. 

Quilting: sewing through multiple layers of fabric to create one thick layer - typically involves three parts: cloth top, batting middle, cloth bottom.

Seam allowance: the standard seam allowance for quilting is 1/4 inch.

Square: smaller pieces of fabric that are sewn together to make a larger, square piece of fabric. In this case, we will be sewing together 9 small blocks to make one large square. A quilt top is made up of these blocks sewn together.
<p>this is my First Quilt ever!!! It took one week :). I did it!)))</p>
<p>This quilt is absolutely beautiful. I hope someday to do something almost as nice</p>
Thank you! I'm sure you will!
<p>AWESOME! What a recommendation for this instructable :-) Pretty blue theme!</p>
<p>thanks alot!</p>
<p>Absolutely beautiful!! :D</p>
<p>Thank you!</p>
That nice is it hard to do
<p>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!</p>
<p>Incredible - was this your first effort? Amazing!</p>
<p>My first quilt ever :)</p><p>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! </p>
<p>Awesome!! Beautiful work.</p>
<p>You're welcome! Your quilt looks amazing!! :D</p><p>So awesome that you were able to make it from items around the house!</p>
<p>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.</p>
<p>That's so cute! Great job. :D </p><p>I love the borders and the print!</p>
Thank you!
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. <br> <br>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.
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 &quot;Internet&quot; 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 : )
Here is my version! Thank you for your wonderful instructions.
Yaaaay! It looks great, I love the colors :D
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!
Ahhhhhhhhh! So awesome. :D I love the colors!
Lovely! Thank you .... I am going to make one.
Wow! Using your tutorial, i will start my first quilting projects! Thank you for all the details!
<p>Thanks for the detailed steps! I'm enjoying following your instructions!</p><p>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!) </p>
<p>I like your work!!</p>
<p>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.</p>
<p>Can you explain your preference for the 5x18 ruler? These are not redily available at my local craft store.</p>
<p>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. </p><p>Anything 4 or 5 inches wide is perfect for most sewing - the length is not as important. :)</p>
<p>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.</p><p>THANKS! Yasmiene</p>
<p>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?</p>
<p>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.</p>
<p>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. :)</p><p>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. </p><p>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!</p>
<p>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 )</p>
<p>You're welcome! :)</p><p>It sounds like you might have a home decor weight or canvas fabric if it's stiff - a bit too heavy for quilting! </p><p>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!</p>
<p>Great tips! Thank you again, this tutorial will definitely help!</p>
<p>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.</p>
<p>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. :)</p>
<p>This is GREAT!! Thank you for this wonderful tutorial!! I have always wanted to do a quilt. I am making my first one now, it is a rag top quilt. Will have to try this next!!</p>
It's funny, I can make stuffed animals, but I have trouble with quilts. They require too much precision or something I guess. Just started a jelly roll quilt and am stuck on the back. I'm curious if I'd get less puckering on the backing by starting in the middle and working out instead of edge to edge? I've got 3 family members having children in the next 5 months and was planning quilts for each child. Please advise. Also, the walking foot was by far the best $14 I ever spent. I use it for almost all my sewing. It makes almost all sewing easier!
<p>Working from the middle out might be tricky, honestly! Sometimes you get things aligned a little off doing it that way. </p><p>But what you can do is try spray basting! Here's a good tutorial: </p><p>http://www.craftsy.com/blog/2013/03/spray-basting-your-quilts/</p>
Very helpful tutorial, I have looked at loads of sites and this is by far the best! Thank you so much, I can see where I went wrong with my first trial very easily - I am now going to use what I've learnt from here and start with mini quilts as pet quilts before moving onto a big one as a form of test :) this has helped so much :) thank you thank you thank you!
Ive actually made a couple of quilts but tacked them w/ yarn as i didnt have a quilting rack but would LOVE to learn how to really do it right
Thank you so much for your tutorial. I have learned more from you in simple language and steps easy to understand than I have learned from the several &quot;beginner&quot; books from my library!
<p>You've done a excellent work</p>
I have 1 more question...<br>I'm wanting to put a border around each 9 block, but don't know how. Please please tell me you do!! ?