Do you have time for hobbies? Heck no. A mom’s “hobby” is usually whatever messy craft the kids are doing. But it’s essential to hold onto your own interests and keep that creative spark alive—without glitter glue. If you need a project you can get passionate about, quilting could be the answer. It’s both relaxing and challenging. And in the end, you’ve made a masterpiece you can actually use. Check out these different quilting styles and techniques you can try.
Pieced or Patchwork Quilt
It’s as simple as sewing together contrasting pieces of fabric, usually to form a block. In the past, resourceful quilters would recycle old clothes and scraps into incredible designs. Today, one of the great joys is in choosing new fabrics and color palettes, or materials that have meaning to you. You can use any kind of construction, and any shape is fair game—strips, triangles, squares, tetradecagons (that’s 14 sides). Pro tip: a smaller project like a baby quilt is perfect for beginners.
You can create an artful scene for your quilt that tells a story with cut-out fabric shapes. Or make a design with them by applying them to the top of your quilt. It’s an artful way to freehand your quilt, and you can either stitch the appliqués onto the quilt or glue them down. (No glitter glue.) You can use a solid-colored background or play with prints and textures.
If you already enjoy needlework, you can combine it with quilting. Usually, the fabric blocks are somewhat blank to leave room for personalized stitching. You can use an embroidery machine or your own deft handiwork to add names, motifs, quotes, cartoon characters, or anything else you can dream up. This kind of quilt is ideal for gifting. You don’t have to customize the whole quilt; if you prefer, you can just embroider one block for a meaningful touch.
English Paper Piecing Quilt
Have you seen those vintage quilts with flowers made of little hexagons? Those are made with English paper piecing, or “EPP,” if you want to sound like a pro. If you like sewing by hand, this is a satisfying style to try. You start with a shape—probably not a tetradecagon—and cut it out on a sturdy piece of paper. Fold a piece of fabric around the paper and stitch it onto your quilt, paper and all. Afterward, you carefully remove the paper from the center of the fabric.
Foundation Paper Piecing Quilt
Here’s some more quilting jargon! FPP is a technique for more complicated quilts. Stitch your fabric onto a paper pattern with lines and numbers to make each block. It’s kind of a quilting-by-numbers approach. There are patterns for beginners, too.
There are enough different quilting styles and techniques to try that you’ll find one that’s right for you. You can always combine methods or create your own. Don’t worry about perfection when you’re quilting. As long as it’s made with love, it’ll come out beautifully.