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!7 months ago

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

jessyratfink (author)  tsarangova1 month ago

Absolutely beautiful!! :D

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

shimrit.or.7 made it!2 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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jessyratfink (author)  shimrit.or.71 month 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!1 month 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.141 month ago

That's so cute! Great job. :D

I love the borders and the print!

Schlep made it!9 months 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!

wizgirl made it!12 months ago
Thank you!
ashleyhairston9 made it!1 year ago
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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!1 year ago
Here is my version! Thank you for your wonderful instructions.
jessyratfink (author)  nekokristiaan1 year ago
Yaaaay! It looks great, I love the colors :D
ToniRose made it!1 year 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)  ToniRose1 year ago
Ahhhhhhhhh! So awesome. :D I love the colors!

I have question. I used to help my grandma make quilts when I was very young, she would have me sit under the quilting loom and pass her up the needle with yarn attached to it then she would tie it together (in a lot of places) I guess to hold the sandwich together ? I haven't done this for 50 years. My grandma just passed last month at the age of 99 (12 days shory of 100). It got me thinking about making quilts again, this time for my family. I have never used a sewing machine in my life, am I too old to learn or as they say "Can we teach this old dog a new trick" ? I really would like to make some quilts but the only ones I've ever done is where its just a top layer, middle layer and backing, but never little square sewn together. Am I nuts or do you think this is doable? Your instructions seem pretty clear and I'm fairly knowledgable, I am a guy, but I really would like to do this for my daughter who is getting married in June. Any advise on sewing machines? Sorry for going on and on. Any help would be appreciated.


So sorry to hear about your grandmother! But happy to hear she lived such a long life - that's amazing!

The type of quilt ya'll made is called a tie quilt - it's a basic quilt body, but instead of sewing to quilt it, you just tie some yarn or pearl cotton to keep the layers in place like you described. :)

This is a good description of it! For a quilt like that, you can absolutely keep it to three layers - top, batting, backing. The only thing you'll really need to worry about is binding the edges.

As far as sewing machines, I really recommend the Brother CS6000i (around $150 on Amazon) or the Janome HD1000 (around $270 on Amazon). I've owned and loved both - I'm using the Janome now, actually. The Brother is great for everyday repairs and basic sewing - it can handle quilting for sure! If you wanted to be able to do much more with the machine you get, and sew through heavier materials I'd say to get the Brother.

Is it hard to learn how to use a sewing machine ? Like I said, I've never used one, don't even know how to load the threa :(

Nope! It's really not hard. All sewing machines come with awesome instruction manuals and there are loads of great youtube videos, too.

The most important thing is to just do lots of practice runs - just sew some scraps together in different ways to get used to how fast the machine goes, how it pulls the fabric though, etc. Once you can sew a nice straight line you can sew almost anything!

What kind of needle did you use in your sewing machine?

You can either use quilting needles or general purpose ones - both of them work pretty well.

Here are some quilting ones, if you'd like to see:

Thank you!!

This is an amazing tutorial! Thank you! I want to make a memory quilt out of my mom's old clothes and items, but not all the material is cotton. Do you please have any suggestions on what to do with the materials that aren't cotton, but that we might want to use in the quilt?

You can buy water soluble stabilizers and tear away stabilizers - you can apply them to the back of the fabric to help with sewing! :)

They work pretty well with stretchy fabrics!

Thank you, thank you thank you jessyratfink! This is so helpful. I will definitely have more questions as I go along.

Im a total newbie..I have searched everywhere for a tutorial thats easy to understand..I have bought books..Looked at youtube videos.(not much help i dont think I started a quilt (first one ever)about 6 months ago.Did I mention that im a total newbie and am teaching myself to quilt...I cut the squares etc out no worries..However I havent been able to find easy assembling instructions until now..I came upon pinterest today(never heard of it until today) and typed in quilting..well..I spent about 4 hours in there looking around..I came across this one of yours and its brilliant!! thankyou so much for the easy to understand instructions and the pics as well...Totally awesome...Thankyou...thankyou

RN0075 months ago

Thank you so very much! I've been wanting to make a quilt for my Mom as she turns 90 years old this yr. Your instructions are great and the pictures are fantastic, as I am a visual person. I am so happy to have come across your instructional! God Bless you!

awatson299 months ago
I can't thank you enough for posting your amazing guide. As a total newby to the world of quilting, I have just worked through it from beginning to end to complete my very first project - a denim quilt (a great first project for lack of colour matching required but denim is definitely a tough fabric for a beginners machine). Thanks for taking the time and effort to explain everything in such detail - your passion is definitely infectious and I've caught the bug!
tmitchell1910 months ago
Wonderful tutorial. Will definitely be using your help to make my quilt. Not planning all the small squares. Will be buying bias maker. THANK YOU for you expertise !!!
sasmira11 months ago
Tout simplement Wow!
Amd92851612 months ago
So i know this is an older instructable, but I just found it and love it It is very simple to understand i have a basic sewing machine and there is no walking foot available for it, do you have any suggestions to make this any easier?
GScience1 year ago
the stitching of the squares together is kinda awry. last step first pic. But who am I to judge? Anyway great!
I'm making a denim quilt from old jeans and to make the most of my material I have a lot of different shapes ranging from 11", 8", 7" squares and even some rectangle ones. My question is if I "sew in the ditch" and follow the pattern will it be as durable as your 9" square pattern? I worry about the batting shifting easily in the 11" squares. Your advice is welcomed. BTW...I marveled at 'the awesomeness' of your quilt too.
jessyratfink (author)  Snap Dragon1 year ago
Ooooh, yay! I've been wanting to make a denim quilt to use as an outside blanket for a looooong time. :D

The batting will most likely shift a bit in those big squares - I'd recommend quilting diagonally or straight across through the larger squares a couple times. It'll look nice and help keep things in place!

You can use a ruler and a water or air soluble pen to mark the lines before sewing to make sure it all stays nice and pretty. :D
Also, I can't find anything but a 1" bias tape maker. Will that be wide enough?
jessyratfink (author)  ashleyhairston91 year ago
It will give you pretty skinny binding, but it's definitely doable. :D

I have a question about the bias tape. If you use the leftover backing, and see strips together, do the strips need to be the same length? Or does it matter?
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