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If a 40-percent off fabric sale gets your heart pumping, then quilting might be your game. Quilting is a textile art that dates back thousands of years. Born out of practicality, today’s modern quilts are true works of art. They will still keep you cozy during a cold winter’s night, however. If you’re enamored of all the glorious patterns, colors, and prints of those handmade quilts you spy at county fairs and craft festivals, maybe it’s time you tried making one yourself. Learning the basics of quilting is easy at Cathey’s in Tucson.

Choosing Your Fabric

As a beginner, quilter’s weight cotton might be your best bet. Easy to work with and less prone to shrinking, this cotton is the premiere quilter’s fabric. However, don’t let anyone convince you that this is the only option for creating fabulous quilts. After all, the art of quilting is just that — art. It came about out of necessity, and many a pioneer mom used it to piece her children’s worn out clothes together to keep them warm at night. Once you’ve mastered the basics of quilting, don’t be afraid to expand your repertoire of favorite fabrics.

Tip: Always wash and completely dry new fabric before piecing it into a quilt. 

Piecing Your Quilt Top

Piecing is the process of sewing your cut pieces of fabric together into fun, quirky or beautiful blocks. Patterns and templates for piecing are too numerous to mention. But they range from easy to elaborate. As a beginner, patterns such as the nine-patch or log cabin are great options. You can even buy quilt kits containing pre-cut fabric pieces.

Tip: Invest in a rotary cutter, cutting mat, and an acrylic ruler to make cutting a speedier process. 

Quilting Your New Project

Once your quilt has been pieced, it’s time to quilt it. You’ll need to stretch your quilt top on a quilting frame with batting and backing, before you can quilt it. Batting comes in various lofts and is the element that provides warmth. It also determines the puffiness of your quilt when it’s finished. Backing is usually a pretty sheet or several large pieces of fabric that have been sewn together to be the same size as your quilt top.

Tip: Decide whether you’ll quilt your project block-by-block in a lap frame or as one large piece in a full-sized quilting frame before you begin. 

There are many other points to consider when taking on your first quilting project:

  • Type of quilting thread used
  • Binding your finished quilt
  • Complexity of your quilting pattern.

Quilting Lessons at Cathey’s

Cathey’s Sewing and Vacuum offers quilting classes and supplies for every level of crafter, from beginner through pro. Learn to use all the functions and features of your new sewing machine, master pre-sewing basics, or complete an entire quilted project from scratch alongside other seamstresses who share your passion for creating textile art. Lessons at Cathey’s are always informative, but most importantly — they’re fun, too. Learn everything you ever wanted to know about quilting when you sign up for a class at Cathey’s Sewing and Vacuum in Tucson.

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