July 22, 2013 by Melissa

I need help.

I made a few quilts many years ago, got frustrated, and quit. Then in January of this year, I picked it up again and have really enjoyed learning and improving my skills. And it’s so great to have a community of quilters and sewists to learn from this time around. When I have questions, I can certainly Google it or find answers in a book but sometimes I just want to hear the opinions of those who may have more experience than me.

So maybe you can help me out. I’d love to hear your feedback to these questions that keep me up at night!

  1. What are you favorite online quilt shops?
  2. What fabric amounts do you typically purchase? (I find myself drawn to fat quarters.)
  3. What batting do you use? Do you buy it by the yard?
  4. Do you use patterns for your quilts or make it up yourself?
  5. Do you quilt your projects yourself? If so – free motion or straight lines?

Thanks in advance for sharing with me!


5 thoughts on “Help!

  1. mlwilkie says:

    Quilt Shops:
    Westwood acres (on
    Fresh Modern Fabrics (on
    Hawthorne Threads (great continuous discounts)
    Fat Quarter Shop

    Size of fabric depends….fat quarter bundles when I want a whole collection, 1/2 yards if I know what I want (or buying from an online shop as minimums sometimes is 1/2 yard when buying yardage). For backings I usually by yardage. All this depends on coupons/sales.

    I try and use organic cottons. In our quilt guild though new polyesters have been mentioned are now a lot better but do not buy these from a store like Joann’s or a chain – they suggest to buy higher quality. Depending on how many projects I have I may buy a bolt. Also take a look at

    I create my own quilt designs so far but I can look at something and translate it pretty easily. Smaller projects I have used books with instructions.

    Currently yes I have quilted everything myself – mostly straight line with smaller projects using FMQ or QAYG. There are some great references in the blog land. You can find classes on craftsy (in fact today is the last day for 75% off). I go for Leah Day or Angela Walters FMQ classes. Leah Day has a weekly newsletter.

  2. Kira Bell says:

    1- Pink Castle Fabrics, Westwood Acres, Fatquarter Shop and
    2- Fat Quarter bundles, half yard bundles
    3- I buy batting from JoAnn’s with a coupon and depending on the size I need I usually buy the queen size, I like low loft cotton blends but have recently used a bamboo/cotton blend and have to say it’s sooooo soft, after I put the binding on my Modern Maples quilt and see how it washes up, I may just use this blend from now on.
    4- I do like patterns and have used them often, I also love designing. About 50% of the time I make my own block patterns in Electric Quilt or on graph paper.
    5- I have always quilted my own quilts on my sewing machine, but now I have a mid-arm I purchased second hand and love quilting with it. I love straight line quilting, but have started practicing more with free motion.

  3. Hi Melissa,

    Good on you for coming back to quilts and quilting. I hope its more fun the second time around :-). Here’s my favourites.

    1 –
    2 – I buy a 1or 2 yards if I really love a fabric, 1/2 if it’s interesting but I wouldn’t use alot of it, and quarters if it would be a nice feature fabric but might overpower other fabrics if there is too much of it. I used to buy fat quarters and I kept running out of fabric 🙂
    3 – I like 80% wool, 20% poly batting. It is warm and easy to wash. Watch out for how thick the batting is as well – it seems to have got thinner over time. I like a more sculpted look so I try to buy the thicker batting if I can get it.
    4 – I do a bit of patterns and a bit of starting from scratch (which will make sense if you have a look at my blog, I do different styles with different techniques). Truthfully, I always have several projects on the go so I’m doing both on different projects.
    5 – I insist on quilting my projects myself (even when they are king bed size). I know a lot of people don’t do the quilting but I feel like I’m missing half the fun if I don’t quilt it myself. The quilting is certainly another skill set in itself, but it’s satisfying because of that too. For example, I never thought I’d quilt feathers but I’ve now done it much to my own surprise.

    Happy stitching.


  4. Joanna says:

    1. Fat Quarter Shop and Lola Pink
    2. It depends. If I have a design already, I buy according to need. If I buy a complete line, I buy fat quarters. If it’s a random fabric I love, I buy a yard.
    3. I use polyester batting from JoAnn’s in precut sizes. Cotton makes for a crinklier finish, but I hand quilt and it’s too dense to get close stitches.
    4. I’ve used both patterns and my own designs. The more experience I get, the more I do my own design.
    5. Again, I hand quilt and I do my own projects. It’s my favorite part of making quits, even though it is very time consuming. It does limit quilting designs a bit, since I cannot figure out how to stipple by hand.

  5. Cindy says:

    So many online fabric shops to choose from, and I do look at many of them. However, I’ve purchased from,,, and Crafter’ simply because I buy random yardage and seldom the whole line. Usually, I buy a 1/2 yard, or, if it’s something I really love, a yard!

    I am not someone that follows a pattern. I admire them. I’ve attempted to follow a few. But, I always change it up before the end. Creative license I suppose.

    I buy batting at JoAnn’s with a coupon. Certain projects get different battings – bags, mini-quilts, etc, end up with polyester batting; quilts have cotton batting; potholders have cotton batting & insulbright.

    So far, I’ve quilted everything myself. But, I do small projects because I know the limitations of my machine. I love straight, or nearly straight because I know my machine. I’ve also gotten very good at organic wavy lines, but again, on smaller projects.

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