I have never been taught how to quilt. I don't really follow patterns much either. My mom made a few quilts when I was a kid but all I remember of that was her screaming at the "f@*$ing sewing machine." Let me tell you, after inheriting that machine I understand why she swore so much. I have learned A LOT this past year, and continue to learn more each day as I sit down at my workspace and create. Some things that come to mind are:
1. Chain stitching is a great time saver as well as money saver. On a preschool teacher's salary and both my husband and I going to school as well, any amount of $ saved making quilts is appreciated!
2. Warm N' Natural batting is the best. And it is most affordable at Jo'anns by the bolt and with a fabulous 50% off coupon.
3. Cheap fabrics from Jo'anns, although more affordable, will most likely bleed....especially when red. Which I learned from doing this quilt for my friend's baby, Ana: "Repeat"
4. A glass of wine or a nice cold beer paired with free motion quilting is great at relieving tight muscles to get your quilt moving.
5. Music is a must, thanks to Pandora and the endless music choices.
6. There are so many talented quilters in the blog-world that have easy to understand tutorials, they have been great teachers and wonderful inspiration for me. I especially have enjoyed AmandaJean and Elizabeth Hartman.
7. Have an easy to use calculator handy and double check your measurements and the placement of your ruler before cutting....twice.