Top Tips for Quilting with White Gecko
About White Gecko
The White Gecko Craft Lounge opened in 2015 as a general craft shop and over time we have brought the focus to quilting, yarn, patterns, haberdashery and notions. The Craft Lounge also offers a long arm quilter service, classes and a small coffee shop to complete a range of offers that appeal to our fabulous customers. Stocking a range of fabrics from Moda, Lewis & Irene, Liberty, Benartex, Makower, EQS and more White Gecko yarn is supplied from Stylecraft, Sirdar, King Cole and James C Brett Their range of haberdashery and notions includes Moon Threads, Metler and the ever popular June Tailor Inc Quilt As You Go range of products plus much, much more.
At White Gecko we believe anyone can learn to quilt, if you can stitch a straight line, you can create something useful and beautiful! Here’s our top tips for getting started, perfect points and loving the process of patchwork & quilting.
Starch & Press your fabric. Ironing your fabric with the additional of a good spritz of starch before you start cutting the pieces needed for your pattern really does help with accuracy. A fat quarter that’s all folded up needs a little press to remove any crumples or fold marks and the starch will help fix the fibres in place, so you get accurate lines and pieces. Also take note of which way a pattern says to press the seams once you start sewing, there is almost always a reason the designer has asked you to do it that way. So, make friends with your iron and board, it’s not just for shirts and trousers!
Don’t be scared of a pattern! Many quilt patterns look complicated (and some are!) but many blocks and designs are actually made up of simple elements sewn together. Read through a pattern thoroughly before starting and you might find that, even as a beginner, the little units that the block is made up of is more than achievable.
Squaring up – we know it’s tedious, it’s a job most quilters avoid where possible but take the time to do this step. it really does make sewing a block together easier and you’ll get a much better finish to your design. Learn the angles on your rulers and find the best way to square up for you!
Fabric choice can be important. Whilst traditional quilts utilised any scraps of fabric that were available, incorporating velvets and poplins, linens and cottons into stunning designs, if you’re new to the art of patchwork try using a good quality quilting weight cotton to get you started. A pre-cut, such as a charm pack, is designed to go together colour & design wise and will help you achieve a pleasing finished result. Once you’ve got a few projects under your belt then start experimenting with textures and fabrics, recycling old clothes and see what happens!
There is no such thing as the Quilt Police! Quilters like to give advice, like these tips, and experienced quilt makers will have lots of helpful ideas and ways to do things that you may not have thought of. However, it’s your quilt, it’s your work, don’t let anyone tell you you’ve done that wrong or those points aren’t great, enjoy the process of creating something and be kind to yourself! Embrace the 3ft rule, if you can’t see a ‘mistake’ (also known as a design choice!) from 3ft away it doesn’t matter. Everyone was a beginner once and sometimes those ‘mistakes’ can make for unique and beautiful quilts.