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How to learn to quilt

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

Quilting takes a few hours to learn, a lifetime to master

Quilting takes a few hours to learn, a lifetime to master

Quilting is an art. And it’s a homemaking skill. It’s a timeless craft passed down from our ancestors, and it’s also something new and exciting as an art medium. 

No matter how you see quilting, if you’re wondering how to learn to quilt, I have some ideas to help you get started. 

But before I do, I have to warn you. Quilting is addictive. Before you know it, you’ll be gathering up quilting patterns and converting a closet into a place to store all that wonderful fabric you find. Ready to take the risk? Okay, here’s how you start. 

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Take a class

Like most other things in life, one of the best ways to learn it is to take a class. I started hand quilting at a place called Mormon Handicraft in Salt Lake City. Like many fabric and needle craft stores, they offered small group classes to beginners, intermediate and even experienced quilters. 

The advantage of an in-store class is that the materials and tools you need are right there. If you forget your “betweens” (the tiny needles quilters use) or need more fabric, it’s only a step away. And most of the people who work there love the craft, so they’re anxious to share with newbies.


If your town doesn’t have a quilt shop or a fabric store that offers classes, check out local adult education programs at the public schools. Or there may be a Continuing Education class at a local college. Even some community groups offer classes or lessons in quilting. 

Try historical societies, too. They often offer or know someone who offers classes to keep classic crafts like quilting alive. 

Find a mentor

If a class doesn’t work for you, consider looking for a person who already quilts and ask her if she will help you get started and show you how to learn to quilt. 

Arts and craft fairs are great places to find experienced quilters. Or there might be someone in your church or temple who loves to quilt and would be happy to get to into the craft. 

In many cities, there are Meetup groups, Facebook groups for quilters, and local groups for quilters. Joining one of those might be a good way to find a few people who will teach you the basics, and answer questions during meetings. 

Go online

What did we do before the Internet? Seriously!  There are videos and films and websites to teach you how to do almost anything.  All you need is a good Internet connection, a big enough computer monitor and some speakers so you can hear the instructions. 

You might even be able to combine the class idea with online learning, by finding a virtual quilting class through a college or university. 

Some places to get started with online quilting lessons include Quilt University and Quilt Campus (both online schools devoted entirely to quilters). There are even for-credit online classes offer by places like the University of Nebraska and Mountain State University in West Virginia. 

Buy a book … or a dozen

Books are another great way to learn how to quilt, especially if you’re a beginner. But odds are just one book won’t answer all your questions.  Try gathering 5 or 6 basic quilting books, then select an easy pattern from one of them.  

Having the extra books on hand will help you when you have a question the first one doesn’t answer, or you need a different set of instructions for something you don’t understand. 

Try it!  

No matter how many books, classes or videos you choose, the best way to learn how to quilt is to get some material, needles and thread and get started. 

Once you see those beautiful colors and patterns coming together, you’ll be hooked!  

Oh, and make sure that closet is cleaned out and ready for your fabric stash!  Just don’t say I didn’t warn you.  


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