In the beginning of November I took a class at Spool of Thread called 3, 2, 1… Quilt! It was a beginner quilting class which was perfect for me because I already know how to sew and work a machine but had never quilted before.

Quilting supplies

Tools of the trade — quilting supplies

I can’t tell all the secrets in a tutorial here, because 1) there are other places online that already do that; and 2) you should take the class at Spool of Thread because our teacher, Jill Weldon, was amazing. However, I will detail my experience learning to quilt.

First of all, you should know that I was terribly intimidated by quilting because I thought it was all about precision and math and numbers. While precision is important, the math and numbers are less important, at least in a basic alternating-square quilt. We had all been given a list of supplies to bring (fabric, thread, quilt batting, etc.) and all the tools were provided for us (rotary cutter, mats, rulers, sewing machines).

My sewing machine at Spool of Thread

I decided to bring my sewing machine to class since I already know it well.

The class started with Jill explaining how one would assemble a quilt like this, and suddenly you could see all the little light bulbs go off above our heads. Very enlightening. My fabric became the demo since I had ironed it moments before, and Jill showed us how to use the self-healing matts and rotary cutters.

We then got to work on our main patchwork section. Jill was great about helping us all (as we all worked at different paces) and then rounding us up to explain the next step. Occasionally my corners didn’t match up but Jill said, “Just fudge it. It doesn’t have to be perfect” which was the best advice anyone could have ever said to me!

We then gathered up for a lesson on how to measure, cut, and attach the border pieces. I decided on using all the same print in different colours for my quilt.

We then learned how to make a quilt sandwich and attach the batting and the backing.

I was really happy I got my backing from Dressew (and had enough left from another project) because the batting at Spool of Thread (for sale) was a lot less cushy. Although, everyone’s quilts did fold smaller than my beast.

For the last half hour we worked on tacking down the corners. I had decided to sew buttons at each corner because I’d saved a load of buttons that was the same purple-hue as the border.

I was able to sew about 6 buttons in the last half hour of class… and with my move and everything, I still haven’t finished. Basically you want to be able to wash it and squish it without the batting and backing becoming misaligned. It’ll get done eventually, and for the meantime, it’s a great lap blanket while I’m at the computer!

Class of completed quilts

The inaugrual Beginner's Quilting Class at Spool of Thread (instructor Jill on far left with scarf on)