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You’ve come to the right place! When starting out, I like to make a quilt sandwich. You cut a 12×12-inch square from any fabric (I prefer a simple fabric so I can see my design). Next cut another piece of fabric and a piece of batting 14×14-inches. You will put the right side down of the 14-inch square fabric, place the batting on top of this in the center, and top it off with 12-inch square right side up. This is your quilt sandwich.
Now set your stitch length at about 2.4, width will be set at 0 for now. Lower your feed dogs. (You can refer to your owner’s manual if you need help here.) Attach a darning foot or quilting foot if you have one – this foot is usually oval-shaped with a spring on the shaft. Use a thread you can see easily and that contrasts with your fabric; you want to see what you are doing.
Start out simple and progress as you become more confident. The fabric needs to be moved by your power because the feed dogs are down and won’t feed it through. I use Machingers gloves that help grip the fabric while quilting. Also helpful to make sure your machine is oiled and correctly threaded.
I prefer to pin (with safety or quilting pins) on my sandwich to keep it from shifting. This isn’t a necessary step, however if you plan to do larger pieces it is good to practice pinning. I do not use 505 stabilizing spray because it tends to gunk up my needle.
Make a few of these sandwiches in different colors. When you are done quilting then you can join them with a decorative stitch that makes a fun baby quilt or wall hanging. You can look online or in quilting magazines for beginner patterns you can try out – typically easy patterns are meandering loops, swirls, feathers, spikes, leaves, and the like. Now sit at your machine and do each sandwich with only one design covering it. You can do them in rows or an allover design. Keep your speed constant and your hands continually moving the fabric. If your stitches are too long, you need to move fabric faster. If the stitches are really short, you may need to slow down.Now just relax and have fun! When you start to feel confident you can introduce new designs like zig zags for a cool effect. Make sure to send us pictures of your progress!