Handmade Conversations: Quilting for Beginners with Ellen Luckett Baker

Posted by on Oct 29, 2013

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Ellen Luckett Baker of TheLongThread


Ellen Luckett Baker
Ellen Luckett Baker
We are so pleased to have interviewed Ellen, who blogs at TheLongThread about quilting. 

How did you start quilting, and what do you love about it?

I started sewing, crafting and quilting after my first daughter was born almost eleven years ago. I'd always been interested in design; I was an Art History major in college and worked as a museum educator and a floral designer before that. But once I was home with my daughter, I found that I needed a creative outlet. Though I don't always enjoy the process when it starts to feel like work, I love the feeling of accomplishment that comes from completing a project.

I love the quarter circle coasters in your book, and the way you combine large-scale and smaller-scale prints to make modern, fun patchwork. What are some good quilting projects for using up scraps?

I love the string-piecing method, which I describe in 1, 2, 3 Quilt. This is the process of simply sewing together uneven strips of fabric. These new patchwork pieces can be cut again and used in quilting or patchwork projects, such as placemats, totes or handbags. 

Your book teaches quilting in a way that's accessible to beginners. Do you have recommendations for items that should be in a beginner's quilting toolbox?

A rotary cutter, self-healing cutting mat and a clear, 6" wide ruler are the most basic tools you'll need. Cutting is the most tedious and time-consuming part of quilting, but learning a few shortcuts like stacking your fabric as you cut or making strips into squares can simplify the process.

What are some quick and simple quilting projects for beginners?

Great basics are small projects like table runners, placemats or coasters. Then you can work up to a smaller quilt, maybe a baby quilt or small throw. In the beginning, it's important to make small projects that you can easily top quilt yourself, or projects that will stay together easily without any top quilting.

"1-2-3 Quilt: Shape Up Your Skills With 24 Stylish Projects" by Ellen Luckett Baker was published in September 2013 by Chronicle Books.

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