Beginner Sewing Projects: Easy Quilts, Rugs and Throws

Assorted Decor Pieces for Your Home

Once you learn to sew it’s a wonderful thing! You can look at clothing and other catalogs, see something you like, then go and make it yourself! Not only do you save a ton of money but you can create the exact colors and patterns you want, plus you get the joy of seeing the finished item. It’s a lot of fun; you can make gifts, home decor items and all your own clothing for a fraction of what others are paying.

When you’re creating a sewn project the stitching isn’t the only thing of concern. It’s always imperative that you make each cut exactly as specified. With fabric pieces that are cut wrong you’ll end up with anything from off-center buttons to a sleeve that’s longer than the other. Measuring and cutting are very important. Once you think you have that down pat, and you’ve learned the basics of sewing, you’re ready to move on to huge quilt and rug projects! Don’t think so? Read more and you’ll see that you have just what it takes to make the easy decor items.

Surely you’ve seen quilting blocks, finished quilts and shows about quilting that display gorgeous works of art that others have made. Most of these are done by skilled seamstresses who have years of experience. You can make similar items, with just the skills you have now, and give any room in your home an instant make-over. Using quilt block techniques you’ll easily create rugs for the kids’ rooms or for stepping out of the tub; quilts for your bed or a throw for the couch. Just make sure each block is cut to perfection and you’re well on your way to creating gifts and decor.

A quick lesson about quilting blocks: small ones are more tedious and will take a longer time to assemble; large blocks go together much more quickly. No matter if you’re making a rug or a quilt you’ll decide how large you want the squares to be, and how large you want the finished item to be, then you’ll cut the appropriate amount of squares. Although there are techniques for creating a quilt that ends with blocks which aren’t the same size as the others, for now, you’ll keep everything simple. So, choose a rug or quilt size that is easily divisible by other numbers. For example, make a rug that is 4’x 12′ rather than one that is 3’x11′. With a 4×12′ rug you can make squares that are one foot by one foot or six inches by six inches. With these dimensions everything will work out evenly. If you’re not that great at math it can be helpful to draw a rectangular diagram, section it off into blocks, then count how many you will need.

After cutting all the blocks to the proper size, and deciding on your pattern, you will then begin to assemble the rug, throw or quilt. The materials you use will depend on the item you are making. For instance, if you’re making a rug you might want to choose heavy felt. For a throw velour is a good choice. Make each block from the same fabric or use alternating colors and designs to make a more interesting arrangement.

To start, lay one square on top of the other making sure the right sides are together. Stitch down the right side. Open these squares up and lay the third square on top of the second one, with right sides together. Stitch down the right side. Continue doing this until you have stitched all the squares you need to make the width of the item. Now make another row, and another, just as you did with the first row. When each row is as long as you need it to be you will then stitch the rows together.

To stitch the rows together lay one row on top of the other and make sure the right sides are together. Stitch all the way down the length of the row aligning the squares so that they line up perfectly. After the second row is stitched to the first you’ll continue adding each row until you have the entire length finished. Cut off many loose threads and trim away excess fabric where you’ve sewn the squares together. Trim it so that there is a mere quarter-inch of excess fabric at each stitch line.

Although a felt rug doesn’t need hemmed a quilt from blocks might. If needed, hem all the way around the perimeter. It can be helpful to make the top hem a little larger than the sides and bottom. This will make it easier to see which way is up when you’re making the bed. If you want the hem in place, but you don’t want the rows to be smaller squares because of the hem, you’ll have to cut top, bottom and side squares larger than the others. If you do this, keep the larger blocks in a separate stack, then select one when needed.

You’ll love showing off the new rugs, throws and quilts you’ve made for your home. And, you’ll love seeing the look on a recipient’s face when you give him or her one of your beautiful gifts. They’ll cherish it forever and think of you every time they see it. Learning to sew can be somewhat challenging but don’t be intimidated! You’ll easily be able to make new decor pieces yourself then move on to even harder projects!