Jann’s Basics Quilting

This is an excerpt from my new quilting book. I’m having so much fun putting it together. I’m going to need pictures and notes from quilters, telling how they got started quilting and how they are sharing this beautiful handcraft. These will be going in the book.




Quilting was beginning to be a lost art form being passed from the older women in the community to the young women or millennials. It is beginning to make a comeback. My dream is to write this in a way to entice and make a book that is easy to understand for those wanting to learn this beautiful craft.

I can show you how to dispel the fears of seeing racks and racks of quilting material, how to choose materials, and start. How long have you wanted to try your hand at quilting? Are you afraid it will be too difficult?

Quilting isn’t as hard as you might think. At twenty I first learned how to quilt. My mother had made a cross-stitch pattern quilt top for a wedding gift for us. An older woman at our church did the majority of the quilting, but let me make some of the tiny, even stitches.

Eight years later, when our oldest daughter was two-years-old my husband Jim and I decided to redecorate her room with a “big girl” bed. She picked blue for her color. Jim painted her room. Then I set to work making a twin-size quilt, matching curtains, and a dust ruffle. I used sheets to make everything, thinking they would be sturdier material for a young child’s room. It made it thicker and harder to sew through, I found out later this wasn’t a good choice.

I found Grandma’s Flower Garden, a beautiful hexagonal pattern, in a magazine, and started my new venture. Using a pattern piece from the magazine made it easy to trace each piece on the material.

As a novice with no one to help me, I just plowed ahead. I cut each piece out by hand.

Next, I pencil marked a stitching line of one-quarter inch from the cut edge of the material on each piece. Then I prepared to compose the pieces.

I hand stitched the top pieces together in the evenings while watching TV. This took a while, but I enjoyed learning a new craft made with love for our daughter.

5 years later, I quilted a cross stitch top my mother made for my sister, then one she made for my brother. Cross-stitch pattern and quilting lines were all printed on the fabric. These were easy since I didn’t have to do all of the piecing like on our daughter’s quilt.

Several years later I found a quilt pattern, bought my material and set out again. This time I learned ways to make the process much easier.

A lot of people piece together and quilt on a sewing machine. Of course, I chose to do it all by hand. Later found it was one of the hardest patterns in the book. Because hand stitching takes much longer it was three years later when my quilt was ready to go on my bed.

Learn from my first experiences in quilting. You can make it much easier on yourself by choosing a pattern for your first quilt that is a beginner’s level project.




Don’t forget to share your stories with me. Also, send me ideas of things you’d want to have in a beginner quilting book. Email me at jannwmartin@gmail.com