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How to Make Simple Beginner Quilts

An easy to follow step by step tutorial on making simple Beginner Quilts. These quilt projects can be made on any sewing machine or sewn by hand.

a beautiful quilt made during a tutorial on simple beginner quilts

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Learning to quilt can be super overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be. That’s where “cheater quilts” come in! These are the kinds of quilts that any beginner can tackle. If trying to thread a bobbin on a sewing machine leaves you in tears, THIS is the project for you.

Beginner Quilts/Cheater Quilts Supply List

If you’re interested, here are supplies that I’ve accumulated over time that make this project easier. They’re optional, but helpful:

You’re going to need some fabric for this. Newsflash!  The amount depends on what size quilt you’re going to be making.  I always start with multiple kinds of fabric that is 1/4th of a yard.  It’s cheap to buy 1/4th of a yard, and it allows you to use tons of different choices. Plus, it’s a great way to use up any scraps you might already have on hand.

How to Make Beginner Quilts/Cheater Quilts – Step by Step:

So, here’s what we’re gonna do.  First, wash, dry, and iron all your fabric.

Next, figure out how large you want your individual strips to be. I typically make mine about 2-3 inches wide. Using some sort of guide (like this cutting ruler), cut the fabric in a strip.  Then, make like 2-4 more strips of the same fabric.  Repeat with all the other fabrics. Mix and match. Again, this is quilting for cheaters. I ain’t gonna judge.

Now you have a big ole pile of strips.

a pile of scraps for beginner quilts

Take two of the strips, and put the right side (it’s the pretty side) of both pieces of fabric together. Then, stitch two of those strips together on one side.

a hand holding two pieces of fabric while making beginner quilts

Two pieces of fabric for beginner quilts in a sewing machine

Then, take another strip, and add it “pretty” side to “pretty” side to one of the strips you just connected, and sew it together.

pieces of fabric being prepped for beginner quilts

beginner quilt strips in a sewing machine

Strips of fabric for beginner quilts laying on a piece of fabric

 Repeat until you have a whole bunch of strips connected. Iron.

a iron pressing strips of fabric for beginner quilts
Then, cut off the non-equal edges from your strips.  This is where the rotary cutter and rulers come in handy!

strips of fabric for beginning quilts being cut

From there, choose how wide you want your strips to be, and cut multiple strips of that width.  Now you’re rocking some ready to use quilt strips!

strips of trimmed fabric for beginner quilts

individual strips of fabric laid out on a cutting mat for beginner quilts

Take two of the strips, and place them “pretty” side to “pretty” side. Sew. Repeat until you have strips that are your desired length.  Connect other strips until you have 5-6 that are of the same length.

two strips of fabric aligned for beginner quilts

strips of fabric for beginner quilts in a sewing machine

Take the fabric you want for your “filler” in-between the strips, and cut 4-6 of the same width and length.

a "wrong side" strip of fabric for beginner quilts in a sewing machine

Take the “pretty” side of your quilted strips, and put it on the “pretty” side of your filler fabric. Sew. Add another piece of the filler to the other side of the quilted strip. You’re adding pieces as you did above to connect the solid strips.

A small portion of beginner quilts

Once the quilt top is at your desired size, stop adding strips. Cut a piece of fabric that is the same size as the top.  This will be your quilt back. Put the “pretty” side of your quilt top on the “pretty” side of the quilt back. Sew the two pieces together around the edges, leaving about 6 inches of the outside unstitched.

When you only have those 6 inches left to connect, remove the quilt from the sewing machine.  Turn the fabric inside out. You should now see the right side of the quilt top and the back.

Fold in the unfinished edges (the one you used for turning the quilt right side out), and pin it together. Topstitch over the pinned edges to finish the quilt.

And voila, you’ve just completed a “cheater’s” quilt, better known as an easy quilt!

More Easy Sewing Projects

a beautiful quilt made during a tutorial on simple beginner quilts

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35 comments on “How to Make Simple Beginner Quilts”

  1. Honestly if you put batting in between, you don’t have to quilt, you can do what my grandma used to do and just tie yarn or embroidery floss in pretty colors in intermittent spots. (If you don’t do this, the batting will bunch up eventually with use.)
    These instructions are really neat and easy. Good job.
    I made a cheater quilt from instructions in Woman’s Day magazine about 20 years ago (I suck at sewing – I do not sew straight) and it only took me 8 hours – which is great for me. It is concentric diamonds. I am very proud of it!

  2. What an easy quilt for beginners! You’ve described every step perfectly. Very easy to understand. Thanks so much for sharing your idea.????????

  3. Hey. This looks super nice.
    Can you tell me how large yours is?

  4. I think the name of the quilt is Chinese Coins. The squares are the stacks of coins with background showing between. It’s a great way to use up scraps.

  5. I am slightly more advanced than you, but I can read your posts all day. Keep posting. I need the smileys.

  6. You are a riot! Thanks for the giggle.

  7. Do you put any batting in between the top & bottom? Im just starting to learn to quilt and this sound so easy. Im going to try but, can’t figure out how you added in the batting if you do.

    • You can if you’d like. You’d sew the top of the quilt on to the batting. I don’t always use batting depending if the fabric is heavy/warm enough.

      • Of course, if you put batting in it, you’d actually have to quilt it. That would defeat the purpose of cheating.

  8. My friend is a quilte r and I am not . I don’t have the patience she does . I did make an easy baby quilt using 9 inch squares .
    I love how easy yours is . I am
    Going to try it ! But did you put
    Batting in ?

  9. Let me add one more step to your quilt…wash all the fabric ahead of time and then iron. Fabrics shrink differently and if you wash ahead of time, you don’t have to worry about it. Quilt is cute! d

  10. My only resolution for 2013 was to complete a quilt. Thanks to your tutorial I was able to complete this goal, only 12 days into the year.