Thursday, October 21, 2010

Quilting Article

This article was used by permission from the author in April 2009. I am reprinting it as it is good reference information.

Resources for Learning to Quilt

By Becky Wolsk

The best way to learn to quilt is to learn from another quilter, in person. Look for classes held at quilt shops, where the instructor and staff members can help you pick out fabric (100% cotton is best), and tools, AKA “notions.”

Book List:

Your First Quilt Book by Carol Doak

The Quilter's Ultimate Visual Guide, Ellen Pahl, ed.

Quilter's Complete Guide by Marianne Fons and Liz Porter

If you’re making a quilt with children:

Handprint Quilts: Creating Children's Keepsakes with Paint and Fabric

and Calendar Kids: Handprint Quilts Through the Year by Marcia L. Layton

If you’re teaching children to sew or quilt:

Sewing Fun for Kids: Patchwork, Gifts & More and The Best of Sewing Machine Fun for Kids by Lynda S. Milligan and Nancy J. Smith

Website List: Skillfully coordinated by Janet Wickell Marcia Hohn generously provides free quilt patterns and lots of clear how-tos for beginning quilters.

Quiltcetera’s Basic Quilting Techniques Course, by another community-minded, generous quilter, Bradie Sparrow.

Quilt University at Diverse array of reasonably priced classes by master quilters, a free sample class, and an excellent links page. Bonnie Hunter makes gorgeous scrap quilts, and makes many free patterns available at this site. She’s a great blogger as well.

Here is a link to a free, full-size quilt pattern that is simple and elegant:

Quilting Bloggers: This blog is excellent in its own right, and also a gateway to the quilting blogosphere. Jude Hill’s online journal is exquisite, subtle, cerebral. She describes it as “a personal journey into gift giving and story cloth.” Great list of links, too.

Charity quilting is a great route for beginning quilters to take (hint, hint).

Project Linus distributes handmade blankets, including quilted, knitted, and crocheted blankets, to children nationwide via many state chapters.

You can also peruse Bonnie Hunter’s charity quilting page at for other worthwhile ways to spread warmth through quilting.

DC/MD/VA-based Resources:

Since I am from Washington, DC, I can’t resist sharing same of my favorite local links:

“Service Projects” page for Needlechasers (the guild I belong to)

Other DC-area guilds can be found here:

This guild list includes a link to Northern Virginia’s Quilters Unlimited, with its 12 chapters.

DC Threads, at, was founded by Laura Lee and Allison Lince-Bentley. Through their outreach (monthly sewing lounges, and Stichin’ For Change), and a great website, participants work on their own projects in a collegial atmosphere, learn to sew, or help others learn to sew. The DC area’s craft scene is flourishing right now, in spite of, or even because of, the bleak economic climate, and DC Threads is a part of this larger scene.

For fabric and supply shopping, if you are in DC, Maryland, or Virginia, please consider supporting these local businesses:

Capitol Quilts

Gary & Susan McLaughlin, owners

15926 Luanne Dr., Gaithersburg, MD


Artistic Artifacts

Judy Gula owns a fabulous crafter’s paradise in Alexandria, VA ( You can sign up for workshops, order products online, and Gula has a link to her blog from the main site.

4750 Eisenhower Avenue 
Alexandria, VA 22304

703-823-0202 x213

Honfleur Home

8519 Georgia Avenue

Silver Spring, MD 20910


Honfleur Home donates a portion of their proceeds to arts and education. They run classes, and sewing cafes where you can rent time on their sewing machines!

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