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How to Make Your First Quilt: Take a Class in Beginning Quiltmaking

You can make a quilt! 

Are you finally ready to give it a shot? We get it. We were there once– admiring quilts made by friends and relatives, but thinking “there’s no way I could do that.” Eventually, though, that thought turns into curiosity: “Maybe I can do that!”

If you follow quilters online, you probably see amazing creations made using machines and tools that are completely foreign to you. The good news is that you don’t need a million fancy tools or an elite sewing machine to get started with quilting. You can create a beautiful quilt that expresses your creativity using simple tools and skills. 

Take a Quiltmaking Class

The key to having a great experience as a first-time quilter is to get great instructions. Nothing matches the benefits of learning from an experienced quilter. Though you can find all kinds of quilt-related information online, as a beginner, you don’t know how to sort through all that information to focus on the essentials.  

In a class, on the other hand, you have an experienced teacher to guide you through the steps. You’ll minimize your frustration. At The Quilt Crossing, we offer several Beginning Quiltmaking classes throughout the year. (The next series of four classes starts March 11, 2024, then another series starts May 15, 2024.)

In Beginning Quiltmaking, we make the Framed Pattern designed by Carolyn’s Stitches. We love this pattern for beginners because it allows you see how various shapes and sizes work together to create a dynamic effect. By sticking with squares and rectangles, though, we keep the cutting and piecing straightforward. The pattern is designed to be made with a layer cake (a stack of 42 precut 10” x 10” fabric squares in complementary colors and patterns), though you can also choose from yardage. (The Quilt Crossing always has a variety of layer cakes available.) 

Framed Quilt Pattern
Example of the Framed Quilt

What does the Beginning Quiltmaking class cover?

Class 1: Quilt Basics

No machine needed in week one. We talk about types of fabric– what works well for quilting, and what you should avoid. We also talk about the principles behind fabric choices– how to combine colors and prints. We’ll walk through the tools you’ll need and get started cutting your fabric. Your homework will be to complete all the cutting and then assemble your pieces into blocks. 

Class 2: Start Sewing 

Let’s talk about sewing machines! Whether you’re using a hand-me-down machine from Grandma or you have a brand-new computerized machine, the basic sewing functions that you’ll use for the Framed Quilt are the same. We’ll talk about threading, tension, winding bobbins, and how the fabric feeds through the machine. We’ll also spend some time sewing during class. This will give you a chance to ask questions about seam allowances and get tips on how to keep your seams looking neat and even. 

Class 3: Sewing Session

We’ll spend most of this session sewing! By the end of this class, we’ll make sure that you’ve sewn together at least one of each style of block.

Class 4: Complete your Quilt Top!

Bring all your finished blocks to class! We’ll play with layouts to find an arrangement that you like the best. We also plan to add a border around the quilt during class. By the end of this final session, your goal is to have a completed quilt top! We’ll also give you guidance toward a completed quilt, including batting, backing, quilting, and binding. 


At The Quilt Crossing, community and creativity meet every day. Located in Boise, Idaho, we’re your source for quilt fabric, sewing machines, and ongoing education. Have a question about Beginning Quiltmaking (or any of our other classes)? Visit the store, email us, or call us (208-376-0087). We’re here to help you along your quilt journey!

Class in session at The Quilt Crossing
Class is in session at The Quilt Crossing!