Instructables
This instructable details various quilting techniques. In order to cover different construction methods, I used photos from a couple of projects of varied styles. There are lots of ways to go about piecing together any concept and all techniques come in handy at one time or another.

The creation of any quilt has 5 phases:

  • Concept : picking a design, colors, and size
  • Piecing : sewing together fabric shapes to make the quilt top design
  • Construction : attachment of backing and batting to make a stuffed fabric sandwich
  • Quilt stitching : decorative sewing to hold the layers together and form a design
  • Binding : the fabric strip that holds the three layers together at the edge

The most important overall advice I could possibly give is Be Patient! Make a clear plan before you start, don't rush, never skip steps, and always take time to measure, pin, and iron. Take your time, relax, and with some love your project will come together.
 
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Step 1: Concept art

I love quilting, but I've never really been able to appreciate traditional patterns. Designs from quilt pattern books always seem to come off as boring and grandmotherly to me--they just aren't enough to inspire me to the weeks or months of effort that a serious project requires. To muster the patience and enthusiasm that will get you through the project you need a subject that really captures your interest.

Think hard, look at design books, scour the web for inspiration, and come up with an idea that speaks to you. Don't limit yourself to reading and thinking about quilts, look at artworks of all kinds; most pleasing images can be adapted to a quilt concept. Once you've got an idea, sketch out a line drawing about the resolution of something you'd see in a coloring book. You can think of a quilt as a picture colored with fabrics, so broad swatches of cell-shading-style solid color will work a lot better than shadow gradients.

Keep the complexity relatively low and remember that things with lots of curves will be harder to construct than those made of straight angular lines. If you're a beginner, start with something small and simple--this may seem like obvious advice but I know I always stress myself out by letting my ambitious get ahead of my skills. An awesome idea can still be simple to construct, so lean heavily on the concept and pick something clever but structurally simple (I know, easier said than done).
sstulga3 years ago
Wow - I am so impressed by your techniques!!! I wanted to try making a quilt that looks like mountain peaks, but my mum said it couldn't be done easily. She's a traditionalist. Now I have the confidence to give it a whirl!
mmcgartland3 years ago
dragons? and then celtic knot dragons-thanks for the inspiration\

 I'm about to start my first quilt ever! Your work is amazing and I found it really inspiring. A lot of useful information so...   wish me luck!
SoapyHollow5 years ago
Wow. Just...wow!
ditto!!!
sbfigel5 years ago
I'm in the process of doing my first quilt now and am stressing about the binding. I have just reviewed your process of binding on the placemat which looks distinctly different from what I see in your photo of the abstract wall hanging where the stitches seem invisible. Have you posted somewhere else, or someone else who has, instructions for the "invisible stitch binding? Thanks! I've just pinned my layers together and am hesitant to start quilting until I know exactly how I will get the binding on.
b1ack05 years ago
you should try iron on pellon, you would be surprised how easy it is and how much you can do with it . no pinning!!!! it will also stabilize it and you wont have the puckers. then you can machine stitch ( the blanket stitch) it on . ask someone at a quilt shop about it. your making it way to hard and scaring off any potential appliquers .
seedgal6085 years ago
Looks awesome! Would like to download the pdf but every time I try there is an error with the file. Do you know who to contact on here about this problem?
maicoh (author)  seedgal6085 years ago
Thanks for the kind words!

I don't know what the deal with the pdf error is (can you download other instructables as pdfs?) but I'd try getting help on the help forum here http://www.instructables.com/community?categoryGroup=Help
goosezilla5 years ago
Thank you for posting this! Very helpful. I've been too scared to try quilting, but this makes it seem like a manageable project to try. :)
finnifog5 years ago
What a star! Thanks for sharing this - really inspiring :)
chinchymork5 years ago
great work! These are helpfull tips. I am a sewer too thanks again!!
cm1265 years ago
One of the best quilting tutes Ive ever seen!!! and your work is totally inspiring, Awesome.
canida5 years ago
Wow, this is incredible! I'm inspired.
Do I have to finish my non-tentacled quilts before jumping into something this awesome? And why don't they tell you to start with tentacles and monsters and bright jagged geometrics?
mikeasaurus5 years ago
omg!! The quilt with the tentacle and the ship is probably the most awesome thing I have seen ever!.

Why doesn't the rating system on this site go higher than 5 stars?