HOW TO QUILT AND SEW FOR BEGINNERS


HOW TO QUILT – HOW TO MAKE A QUILT – PATCHWORK QUILT PATTERNS

Nine patch pinwheel quilt

Nine patch pinwheel quilt

Would you like to learn how to quilt and sew?  Can you sew two pieces of fabric together?  Can you cut fabric in a straight line?

….. Then you’re already on your way to a creative new world.  Learning how to quilt and sew opens up endless possibilities for hand-making gorgeous projects for yourself and your home.  It’s straightforward when you know how:  no more giving up on a pattern in despair because the instructions are too complicated to follow.  We’ve all done that!

Weekly quilting newsletters

Simply by signing up for our free weekly newsletter you’ll see that Ludlow Quilt and Sew will take you through a step by step, all-you-need-to-know guide to get you started.  You will find:

  • Clear, easy to follow instructions and photos on how to make a quilt
  • Suggestions for techniques and shortcuts that work as you learn
  • Imaginative ideas for simple projects to help you learn how to quilt and sew
Cat in a window quilt

Cat in a window quilt

Soon you’ll be turning out beautiful patchwork quilts to create a stunning family heirloom quilt or a special gift, pretty cushion covers, table runners and a whole manner of different projects from tote bags and purses to Christmas decorations, wall hangings, oven gloves or small lap quilts.  The list goes on – all helping you to save money whilst gaining an enormous amount of pleasure and satisfaction from a rewarding new hobby.  As you progess in your skills, there’s a machine quilting section to help you.

So many quilt projects to try

Just take a look at some of the diverse projects that you can find on the Ludlow Quilt and Sew website:

 

A few years ago I wanted to make a really special gift for a ‘significant birthday’ of my brother.  I decided to make a quilt and made one that I thought was stunning (luckily, he thought so too!).  I now realise that I made it very badly, but I became totally hooked on quilting and learning how to make patchwork quilts.  I’ve heard it described as a healthy obsession and I’m happy to be obsessed.  There are so many glorious fabrics waiting to be quilted and so many different kinds of quilts to make that the possibilities are truly endless.

Jane Austen quilt

Jane Austen quilt

I read every how to quilt blook and magazine that I could find, enrolled on as many courses and workshops for making patchwork quilts as I could find.  Then a friend mentioned that she would also love to learn how to make patchwork quilts but thought that it would be too difficult for her.  She was amazed when I showed her that by breaking down the quilting project into small steps it was possible for anyone to learn and produce beautiful patchwork quilts for all types of uses.

How Ludlow Quilt and Sew can help you

That was the light bulb moment when I realised that if I could show my friend how to do quilting, then I could help other people learn how to quilt and sew from my patterns and simple tutorials.  So I decided to write them down and turn them into the free beginner quilt and sew guide that can now help you on the road to an incredibly rewarding hobby, even business.

  • With Ludlow Quilt and Sew you CAN learn how to make unusual (special) gifts for family and friends..
  • Do you ever see a style of fabric bag that you must have but it’s the wrong colour?  With Ludlow Quilt and Sew you can learn how to make your own – in your own choice of fabric.
  • The most beautiful project in your power to make would be an heirloom quilt that could be cherished for generations.  Ludlow Quilt and Sew will show you how.
Colour shades quilt

Colour shades quilt

My one claim to fame is my simplicity (my quilting, that is, not my mind!).  I have been told many times that my quilt patterns and tutorials are clearly explained and easy to follow.

See what others – from all over the world – have said on the testimonials page – or just read the comments beneath the articles.

Take a look at some of the free quilt patterns with clear instructions to help you learn how to quilt and sew.

Choose from a range of quilt block patterns for your quilting project.

Sign up for our free weekly newsletter now and receive a free teacosy pattern.

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Comments

  1. Hi Rose,
    Congrats, I am nominating you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award! Check out your nomination at http://myjourneythrume.wordpress.com/2013/03/22/a-very-inspiring-blogger-award/
    Congrats!
    Jess

    • Oh thank you so much, Jess. That is such an honour.

    • Thank you for such a wonderful site. I have never quilted before and I love the way you have given such friendly and easy to understand instructions. You have inspired me and it will be a pleasure to let you know how I get on.
      Lynn. x

    • Another lovely quilt to try, We call the light block Snowballs. I have just completed a baby quilt using all Snowballs.
      Looking forward to the next one.

  2. Thanks so much for your reply. The instructions are clear enough for me to read and follow. I am new at quilt making. I hope you have a very blessed and happy Easter with your family. Marion

  3. sandra wanless says:

    trapunto help please

  4. Hi Rose,
    Thank you for sharing your ideas of your amazing job I’m Colombian quilter and I love your Vídeos. I don’t need to speak very well English to understand Your clear explanations, Hi have as well some Vídeos in YouTube; But in a Spanish for people who don’t speak English but share the same passion for quilt. Thank you again. Consuelo

  5. Andrea Herman says:

    I just want to say a quick “hi” from northern Virginia. My daughter and 3 grandchildren live outside Ludlow — and they seem so very far away from me. It is such a pleasure to receive your cheery newsletters, great patterns and clear tutorials, and they are even more special since you are close enough to blow kisses to my family. Unfortunately, health problems prevent me from visiting, but we must learn to accept what we cannot change, I guess. Keep your cheerful hello’s coming! They help me in more ways than one. Maybe I can get my daughter to stop by and say hello some day.

    • Hi Andrea. Isn’t it a small world? I’d love to see your daughter if she’s in town. What a pity you can’t get over here as well. rose

  6. Dorothea Meyer says:

    Dear Rose,
    I want to make the cathedral quilt. My question is:
    for one Piece i Need two fabrics. A big one and a small one. when my big one is 6 Inch, how big ist the small one.
    I`m so sorry about my crazy english. I`am from Germany and i only learned english at scool. I hope, you can understand what i will say.

    • Dear Dorothea. Your English is very good – I wish my German was as good as your English! If you are using a 6 inch square for the big one, then the small one should be 1.3/4″. Good luck with the quilt. rose

  7. Norma Smith says:

    hello Rose love your videos,please can you tell me who makes the pins that you use with the plug or buffer on the end stops you stabbing yourself! Norma Smith New Zealand

    • Hi Norma. They are called pinmoors and I stock them on this page: http://shop.ludlowquiltandsew.co.uk/pinmoor-93-p.asp. I think that Leah Day also sells them over at Daystyle Designs, but I don’t know if anyone in New Zealand sells them.

    • Hi Norma, If you can’t find a stockist of the Pinmoor items near you, there are silicone ‘ear defenders’ made of similar stuff, available at most sports shops and as ‘silicone rods’ online. May not last as long as the ‘real thing’ – but just as handy. One pair makes 4 pin ends.

      • Thanks for commenting and for giving such a brilliant idea. I used to stock pinmoors but can’t get a reply from my supplier any more, so I think that using ear defenders is a wonderful idea for an alternative.

      • Hi Rose, That’s fine – the earplugs are just a handy alternative…..
        I must say I love your picturesque part of the country!! The A49 road used to be our ‘escape’ route south, from northern England, each summer and Ludlow our favourite place to stop for tea. About 20 years ago we visited the church of St. Laurence during an Easter Flower festival and the church was full of sunlight and the scent of flowers……. unforgettable and unbelievably beautiful. Lucky you.

        • Hi. You are reinforcing what I think – I’m really lucky to live in such a beautiful and friendly part of the world. I always thought that I would get used to it and not notice it so much but that hasn’t happened.

  8. Christine Emerson says:

    I have applied for your newsletter and received my confirmation link but when I replied it came up with error 404 , this page no longer exists. please can you help

  9. Joan Wells says:

    Hi Rose
    Thanks for all the lovely articles.
    I am new to patchwork and quilting, and have patched a runner for my kitchen table, quite pleased with it too.
    Now I need to get the backing ready. I have a piece of fabric which is not long enough, but it is on a fold and I cut it in half down the length. I was told I should join it at 45 deg as one does when making binding strips.
    How would I join the two pieces to make it long enough, surely it is not intended to waste that amount of fabric, it is much larger than strips used for binding?
    I hope you understand what I am asking, as I am probably not explaining myself very well.
    Thank you
    Kind regards
    Joan.

    • Hi Joan. I think I understand … When I join pieces of fabric for a table runner backing I just use a straight seam. I can’t see any great need to have the seam on the bias. All I can say is that straight seams have always worked for me.

  10. Kris Leitz says:

    Tried to confirm my email address but I keep getting message that the link is broken.

    Love your tutorials! Especially your QAYG quilts!

    • Thanks, Kris. Sorry if you had problems with signing up. I’ve checked and your email is on the list so you should start receiving newsletters now.

  11. I tried to sign up for the newsletter but the link does not work

    • Hi Wilma. Sorry you had problems signing up. I’ve checked the list and you are on it now. Thanks for your interest.

  12. Annmaree says:

    Hello Rose, I haven’t received a news letter for the past two weeks. Hope all is well with you. Annmaree.

    • Oh Annmaree I am so sorry. My email system did its own thing two weeks ago. It deleted a lot of the names from my list. I couldn’t reverse the action and I couldn’t find out who was deleted. I do apologise, but I’m afraid that I have to ask you to sign up again.

  13. Cynthia says:

    Hi Rose! I must say that you have such a soothing voice, and you’re tutorials are so concise that it is so easy to understand. If I’m stressed, I can be very dense and it will take me awhile to understand–you have a knack to “unclog” my mind. Thank you!

  14. michelle says:

    could i have the pattern for the simple lemoyne star quilt

  15. Hi Rose,
    I am interested in your ocean shell fabric..could you tell me the repeats (in inches please) I would like to make a keleidoscope quilt with that wonderful fabric pattern.
    Deb

  16. Is it safe to use spray glue on a quilte you are making for a baby?

    Thank you.

  17. Irene Liebenberg says:

    Hi Rose I want to do a quilt using your magic block but keep getting the meteor please can you assist

  18. Pat Birch says:

    Hello Rose, I did a course with Liberty Bell in Chester,after that I was well and truly hooked. I have made several quilts, but always looking for new ideas your clips are great,informative,and easy to follow.Now signed up to your page Im looking forward to more blocks& tips.Your shop looks inviting too.

  19. Judy Hart says:

    Hello from Goldendale, WA, I love your quilting videos. I have to tell you that your flying geese tutorial is the simpliest one I’ve seen. This includes the one from Ricky Tims using the method he learned from the Brits! Ha! Ha! Keep up the good work and thanks for showing how easy quilting really is.

  20. Hello Rose,
    thank you so much for sending me the nice pattern. I started it already for making a small table cover. Loving blocks I’m happy for new ideas and like to work with them.
    Greetings,
    Marie

  21. K. Sheldon says:

    I want to make a Halloween quilt from a layer cake. I saw a quilt on pinterest that sent me to your site. It is only labeled layer cake pattern, the pattern looks like a broken glass design inside a square sashing. The colors are blues, greens and pinks inside a white shashing. Can you help me find this pattern? Thanks!

  22. jennifer says:

    thank you for your website and you tube videos.

  23. Hi Rose love your tumbler tote bag. Stopping by from Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesday. I couldn’t leave a comment on the post because it is not showing a comment form on the page. Thought I would let you know. Thanks for sharing. Marie (mlismore@optusnet.com.au)

    • Hi Marie. Thanks so much for letting me know. I don’t understand why you can leave comments on pages but not posts but there must be some way that I can change it. Best Wishes, Rose

  24. Eileen Ellis says:

    Hi Rose, As a new subscriber to your website I just wanted to let you know how thrilled I am at having found you! I am making a quilted table runner and for a few days I had been trying to fathom out how to bind around the inside corners. Yours was the only website I found that gave me a tutorial, including a video, on how to do it. Being an experienced sewer and quilter, once I’d watched the video it was suddenly so simple! I am now looking forward to receiving your newsletters and trying some of your free designs. Many thanks from Eileen Ellis, Montagu, Western Cape, South Africa.

    • Thanks for your kind comments, Eileen, and welcome to the website. Yes, binding the inside corners can seem quite daunting if you haven’t done it before, but I’m glad that you found my tutorial helpful.

  25. Lynda Nunez says:

    Hi Rose,
    I love your Christmas Star table runner pattern and would like to make it for my daughter-in-law this Christmas. I believe the blocks are 12″ x 12″ but what are the dimensions of each small block within the big block. I figure 3″ each but I may be way off. Can you help me? Thanks,

    • Hi Linda. I’m not quite sure which bit you mean by ‘small blocks’. The stars are 8″ finished size and the individual squares and half square triangles are all 2″ finished size. I hope that helps.

  26. Lynda Nunez says:

    Hi Rose,
    That’s exactly what I meant…it’s my American accent talking to a true English accent…the English is the same but the translation can be a bit dodgy. lol Thanks so much for getting back with me so quickly.

  27. Phyllis Smith says:

    Hi Rose,
    I’ve just found and joined your website, and I must say it’s my absolute favourite. I love your simple techniques, the way you break down the projects into steps, and how modest you are about your abilities, though you make fabulous quilts! I showed one of your videos to my husband, as I raved about how you simplified the techniques, and he said, “Of course . . . she’s a Smith!” :) I’ve been learning quilting much as you’ve described your entry into this addictive hobby–reading everything I could get my hands on, watching videos and DVD’s, and I’ve gone through innumerable websites and blogs. I have to say that yours is my favourite. I have reached the point in my quilting journey where my sewing friends want me to teach them patchwork and quilting. Would you mind if I share some of your ideas and techniques along the way? I’d be sure to credit you and your site, and encourage my friends to visit and sign up for your site, too.

    Many thanks for opening up my quilting world even more than it was before. Some of my UFO’s will now be able to be finished and given to their planned recipients!

    Phyllis Smith
    Wirral, Merseyside, UK

    • Hi Phyllis. Nice to hear from a fellow Smith and thank you for your kind comments. I am flattered that you want to share my ideas and have no problem with that. I would be delighted to have your friends sign up as well.

  28. Hi Rose,
    I am from South Korea, living in Baltimore, Maryland U.S.A.
    I sure would like to meet you before I die.
    Would you be coming to U.S.A one day?
    I wish I could go to U.K. to meet you but who will
    take care of my Dog…
    Thank you so much for your quilting lessons.
    My best days are when I get your e-mail.
    If you need something not available in U.K.,
    just ask and I will send it to you “FREE”.
    My way of paying you for the quilting lessons.

    Take care, Jema

    • Thank you, Jema. You are very kind. I am certainly planning on coming to the USA at some stage but I have no idea when. I am glad you find the quilting tutorials helpful.

  29. Hi Rose, please help, my daughter has requested I make her a quilt, she has seen a fabric she likes, how would I set about doing the quilt out of one pattern, obviously no cutting into squares, but how do I estimate sizing, would I have to sew two or three strips together? would I join horizontal or vertical or can you buy extra wide fabric? Thank you for your time.

    • Hi Sharon. If I understand you correctly, it sounds like you want to make a quilt using a length of the fabric that your daughter likes. You would need to add wadding and backing fabric. Yes, it is possible to buy different widths of fabric, some wider than others. If you take a look at the beginner quilting page you’ll find some links towards the bottom of the page that cover the stages that you’ll need: http://www.ludlowquiltandsew.co.uk/beginner-quilting/. Hope this helps. There’s also an article on quilt sizes further up the page.

  30. Ella Wilson says:

    hi Rose do you think you could show how to do good corners like the miter type Im always being told I make nice quiltes but my corners are rubish and to a point I agree so if you have chance I would to learn, I think maybe finishings would make a good video what do you thinkRose.
    Ella from Islay

    • Hi Ella. Great idea. Do you mean the corners of the border or the corners of the binding? I hope you had a great Christmas and best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year.

  31. Hi Rose I am a very new sewing fan from South Africa and have decided to try quilting and am very excited and nervous at the same time thank you for your wonderful site I will be following you step by step have a blessed 2014 thanks Sybil

    • Hi Sybil.Good luck with your quilting – get one project under your belt and you’ll be as hooked as the rest of us! Best wishes for the New Year.

  32. I want to try the 3d tumbling block quilt. You’ve made it look do-able. I usually don’t go any further than getting the fabric on most projects. How would you go about quilting it in the end

    • Hi Jan. I haven’t actually quilted my tumbling blocks quilt yet. I think that the minimum would be to stitch in the ditch around the faces of each block. Beyond that it would be quite nice to have a design (a flower or some such) in all of the light faces or all of the dark faces. I suppose it would depend on which faces you had the plainest fabrics in.

  33. Dear Rose
    Thankyou for the ideas ,especially how to get all the measurements right I have been quilting for a long time but you always come up with something new I am not an expert but I can always learn something new. Thanks again
    Irene

  34. Hi what I am trying to do as my wife and I are due to be great grandparents in April this year, She has in the past Embroidered many quilts, but now I am sorry to say has been diagnosed with alzheimer’s, and gets very confused at the same time She has promised to make a quilt for our grandson and his partner, what I am looking for is a nice pattern for a boy for her to try and make for them, and because I am not confident that she will get it finished in time the Baby is due in April is too order the same pattern reade maid so as not to disappoint both my wife and the couple,can you advise

  35. beverly bussa sokolay says:

    I enjoyed your instructions for cathedral window , and have decided to use the by hand process. This is for a group project and I must provide instructions to quilters of various levels of experience, so the task must be relatively simple. My question is: when it is time to sew the glass into the sides, how does one create the curved seams? Does one just pull the fabric farther out in the center of the seam? How much allowance is recommended for the glass fabric, regarding how much is to be tucked into the seam? Thank you for your instructions. I am a long-time quilter, but I never thought I would be able to sew a cathedral window, though I have always loved the pattern

    • Hi Beverly. Thanks for your comments. The cuved seams are created by rolling the background fabric over the glass fabric. I think you’ll see how this is done in the pattern itself.

  36. Hello from America! I’m new to sewing and quilting, just recently pieced together a baby blanket backed with fleece so not a quilt exactly but it gave me a taste of cutting and sewing squares. I’m so inspired to quilt…..if I can just wrap up a few projects first. Thank you for sharing your passion and your amazing talent!

  37. Mari Elliott says:

    Hi Rose,
    I save all your patterns and hope to make several of them soon.
    Is there any way I can get a printed copy of the Amazon pattern. I did download it at Amazon but I don’t have a kindle or other book to put it on.
    Thanks for all your beautiful patterns.
    Mari

    • Hi Mari. I don’t actually know if you can print from a kindle book. I’ve never tried it myself. All of my ebooks are also available in print (also on Amazon) if you wished to buy one.

  38. Hello Rose , Its wonderful to be able to get a website such as yours. I am British living in USA with no hope of returning unfortunately. I dearly love being able to connect with British friends. Your site is wonderful.Love your stuff. Marie S.

  39. Rae Harradine says:

    Hi Marie. I have tried twice to join your group but I do not get a reply in my emails. I want to buy your amazing pattern of the bethlehem Star Quilt so I would be very plesaed to hear from you. Thank you so much. have a wonderful day and keep smiling. Rae

  40. Rae Harradine says:

    Oooops I called you by the wrong name. I am so sorry . From now on I shall call you Rose. I was reading the last message and seen Marie.

  41. Hello Rose
    I just wanted to say how much I enjoy your site. I live in Australia (originally from NZ) and a few years ago I made the trip of a lifetime to England to visit my daughter who was living there at the time. I have always loved England and all things English and I am hoping that I may be able to go back oneday. Your site is wonderful for beginning quilters like myself but the thing I enjoy most are the little snippets and insights into your everyday life. Thanks so much
    Kindest regards, Lis

    • Hi Lis. Thanks so much for your kind comments. I certainly hope you do get to make a return trip to England – just as I am hoping to make a return trip to Australia one day! I’m glad you find the quilt patterns helpful.

  42. Evelyn Blair says:

    Hi Rose,
    I downloaded your sampler patch book and have just finished making it. I am delighted because it turned out so well. I learned such a lot doing it and things that I’ll need to look out for on another quilt. It is not perfect but my daughter is delighted because I made it for her. Thanks again for your book and your site.

    • Thanks, Evelyn. I’m so glad you found the book helpful. I’m working on a star sampler quilt at the moment that I hope to distribute as a book as well. I’m so glad that you seem to be finding quilting as satisfying as I do.

  43. Bonnie Jenkins says:

    Dear Rose, thanks again for sharing another beautiful quilt pattern, the Peace Garden.
    Best wishes for a very happy birthday on Monday. My husband and I are delighted that you have finally joined the 60′s Club.
    Regards
    Bonnie

    • Thanks, Bonnie. I may not be able to draw a pension now because of the new rules, but at least I’ll get concessions on entry to places like museums now.

  44. The more I go thru your site the more I love it! Sandy

  45. Daniele says:

    Hi Rose,
    A few months ago I found one of your videos on youtube and now I finally got around to check out your website. I am amazed by everything you do. Your explanations are very clear and easy, both the written ones and in the videos. I’ve subscribed to your newsletter to and I’m excited to get the first one. You’re filling my head with a lot of ideas and give me confidence that I’ll succeed doing them.
    Thank you and I wish you all the best from Luxembourg,
    Daniele

    • Hi Daniele. Thanks so much for your kind comments, and welcome to Ludlow Quilt and Sew. You should now receive a new quilt or project pattern every Friday. Enjoy your quilting – that’s the most important part.

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