How do I Learn Quilting?

Jeff Petersen
Jeff Petersen

Quilting can be done alone or with others, so you can learn how to do it on your own, from a teacher, or as part of a group. In fact, learning from all three sources might be the best way to become an accomplished quilter.

There may be quilting classes available to individuals interested in learning how to quilt.
There may be quilting classes available to individuals interested in learning how to quilt.

One of the best ways to learn this hobby is from another quilter. Many fabric and craft stores have quilting sections, and this is a perfect place to start. Fabric and craft stores with such a section sometimes sponsor classes for aspiring quilters, or allow independent teachers to advertise their services. It can be a great place to meet someone to teach you the basics, or more advanced techniques. It can also be a good place to meet other quilters, and possibly join a group.

A quilting circle, or bee, is a meeting of local quilters to meet new people, sew quilts, and spend time together. Joining a circle will give you an opportunity to meet new people with similar interests, get help with your own quilts, and learn which fabrics to choose, favored scissors, needles and thread, types of batting, sizes and shapes of quilts, stitches, and much more.

While you are at the fabric and craft store, you might want to look at some of their quilting books. You can also check online, and in bookstores, but the employees at a fabric and craft store can give you their recommendations. If you find a book you like, you can buy the fabric and other equipment while you are there. Many beginning quilting books will include a shopping list of required tools and fabrics, so it will be easy to pick up everything you need in one trip.

Of course, one of the best resources for quilting information is the Internet. There are countless websites with patterns, tips, guides, and recommendations. Some websites link to specific fabrics and equipment so that you can order everything you need online and get going in just a few days. You can even find step by step videos, e-books, and podcasts to help you learn to quilt. With all these resources at your fingertips, even a novice quilter can learn the basics and get started quilting in just a short time.

Jeff Petersen
Jeff Petersen

Jeff is a freelance writer, short story author, and novelist who earned his B.A. in English/Creative Writing from Creighton University. Based in Berkeley, California, Jeff loves putting his esoteric knowledge to good use as a wiseGEEK contributor.

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Discussion Comments


@zsazsa56 - You do not know a single woman in your area who quilts. Maybe there is a man in your area who quilts.


I really feel like I just need some one to sit down with and show me how to quilt. I have read books and magazines and watched videos but all my attempts to quilt so far have turned out terribly.

Unfortunately I live in a pretty remote area and I do not know a single woman who quilts around here. Maybe I could drive a hundred miles or more to find one but this seems like it would be a waste of time and gas. Anybody got any suggestions?


There are lots of great books and videos you can access about learning to quilt, but really, the best way is to go out and just start doing it. Its one of those things you learn best through experience. You have to make mistakes, get your hands calloused, make a few ugly quilts and use some hideous materials.

Any quilter who is worth her salt has at least a few stories about quilts gone awry. And most of them will tell you that the next quilt they made was the best one yet. Quilting is about experience and work and personality. That's why they don' get machines to make them. You have to add the personal touch, and sometimes that touch is screwing it up.

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