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.


Great tutorial!! I am wondering what type of machine you use. I'm wanting to start some basic quilting but am not sure how large/powerful a machine is necessary. There are plenty of affordable smaller ones that look similar to the one pictured in this instructable but I'd hate to buy one and have it not work for what I want it for.
<p>The one I was using for this quilt is a Brother XL-2610. About $100 bucks and a pretty good machine, but I think I may have killed it after three quilts. Also not very powerful, so it sews slow with the weight of the quilt on it. </p><p>The Brother CS6000i is $150 and much nicer, but still low power! The major issue with these two machines are that they are about 90% plastic and not as durable, so if you plan to sew a lot, they may not be a good investment!<br><br>I'm currently using the Janome HD1000 - it's about $300 and absolutely wonderful. You can sew demin and leather on it, which is awesome. And it's a total workhorse, sews fast and neat all the time. I highly recommend it! Also easier for a beginner because it's not computerized. :) </p>
<p>this is my First Quilt ever!!! It took one week :). I did it!)))</p>
<p>Looks amazing!</p>
<p>One week for your first quilt. Your amazing :-). What a testimonial for this instructable. </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!
<p>This is a great tutorial! I'm making my first quilt for a new grand-baby. I'm at the quilting stage and I'm using Coats Transparent polyester thread for the top stitching. It's giving me a run for my money! It behaves like an unruly fishing line and won't stay in the tracks at the top of the machine, often winding its way around the metal guide and snapping mid-column. Is anyone else having this problem? Am I using the wrong thread? I'd be grateful for any advice...... thanks!</p>
<p>I am planning to make this quilt but I have charm packs of 5&quot; squares. I don't want to cut them all down to 4&quot; squares. Can you advise how many 5&quot; sqaures/how many 9 patch blocks to use for a queen size quilt using 5&quot; squares?</p>
<p>Honestly, I'd keep it the same layout - just sew everything together as described! The extra few inches you'll get will be a happy bonus. :)</p>
Is this possible to do all by hand i really want to make one for my mom maybe a slightly smaller size but i do not own a sewing machine?
<p>It is! Maybe try making a lap quilt? You could do 4x6 blocks and it would be enough blanket for one person. :)</p><p>Binding a quilt by hand is the only tricky part, really! <a href="http://www.connectingthreads.com/tutorials/Binding_Basics-Part_5_Hand-Stitching_the_Binding_to_the_Back__D102.html" target="_blank">Here's a tutorial</a> that shows a couple different ways.</p>
<p>hi</p><p>do you have instructions for hand piecing? my daughter wants to sew a quilt for her bed, we're very excited to embark on this project with your very simple and straightforward instructions. she would like to hand sew though, so I'm not sure how to cut out the squares - would I mark the stitching lines on every square? </p><p>thanks</p>
<p>Sadly, I don't, but it's fairly easy to do by hand! I actually have a <a href="http://www.instructables.com/class/Hand-Sewing-Class/" target="_blank">Hand Sewing Class</a> up that covers some of the techniques she'll need to use. </p><p>Using a pen or pencil and marking a 1/4 seam allowance on the sides of the squares at first will definitely help sew a straight line. She'll probably be able to eyeball the 1/4 inch seam allowance after a few rounds of sewing on the marked squarres, too :)</p>
I love sewing , it is such a creative endeaver, beautiful quit on here.. I use to make quilts , got alot of squares from a friend of my mom who work at European ider- down quilt shop.. Made alot of patch-work quilts.. Thanks
great tutorial, as this was my first attempt at using a sewing machine it was really easy to follow, although mine didn't turn out anywhere near as nice but it looks funky and does the job.<br>just one question though is there a way of adding to a completed quilt to make it larger?
<p>Thanks! Happy you were able to complete one. :D</p><p>As far as increasing the size of the quilt top, you can sew large strips of fabric to the sides of it! Here's a tutorial that explains it: </p><p>http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/framing-your-quilt-with-a-beautiful-border.html</p>
My 1st quilt- I love it . <br>Followed these instructions to the letter , pictures were so helpful.
<p>That is beautiful! Love the colors and patterns you chose. :D</p>
These wete the best instructions ever!! Thank you so much! This is my first quilt! I made it for my husband and he loves it!!!
<p>Yay!! You're welcome. You did a great job :D </p>
So I really want to make a thin, warm but breathable quilt, but it needs to be durable. I also really wanted for different colors to be on both sides, I mean like the patterned squares on both sides. Would I still need a backing to make sure it stayed together for a long while, or do you think I could get away with out?
<p>I think you could get away without a backing, for sure! You may want to quilt diagonally across the squares to add strength to it if it will be used all the time, though. :)</p>
I made this as a memory quilt for my mom using my Nana's old clothing. This was a great tutorial that was easy to follow. I had some sewing experience but had never done a quilt before. Thank you!

About This Instructable




Bio: part of the Instructables Design Studio by day, stitch witch by night. follow me on instagram @makingjiggy to see what i'm working on! ^_^
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