Simple Quilt Patterns for Beginners

    by Allison Edrington

    About the Author

    Allison Edrington is a freelance journalist based out of Eureka, Calif., specializing in crafts, science fiction and gaming. She has written for the "Eureka Times-Standard," covering education, business and city government, and previously worked for the "Chico Enterpise-Record." Edrington graduated from California State University, Chico, with a bachelor's degree in journalism and a minor in history.


    Completing a full quilt can appear to be a daunting task for a beginner to the craft, but starting with a simple pattern can ease you into it. Three pattern types are especially simple for beginners to learn quilting basics -- baby quilts, T-shirt quilts and Amish quilts.

    Components of a Quilt

    There are four main components to a quilt. The quilt top is the side of the quilt that lays face up and is the focus of most patterns. The bottom layer is the backing and is often just one type of fabric. Between the front and back is a layer of batting made of cotton or another fibrous material that acts as insulation. The edges are the final component that connect the two sides and seal the batting between the top and bottom layers. Many websites offer free quilt patterns for beginners and craft stores often have free patterns available.

    Baby Quilts

    One of the appeals of making a baby quilt as a first project is its size, as they are smaller than adult-sized quilts. You can make a simple patchwork quilt or use the quilt squares to create an animal or other nursery friendly image. You can also use a large pre-printed panel for the center of the quilt and add simple borders around it.

    T-Shirt Quilts

    Not only is this pattern simple, it is also thrifty. Using screen-printed cotton T-shirts that you no longer wear or that you find in a thrift store, cut out a 14-inch square from each of 12 shirts. Attach fusible interfacing to the back of each square and arrange the shirt squares to form a 3-by-4 block rectangle. Sew 2-inch fabric strips between the squares to create rows, and then sew the rows together. Add a border, piece together a backing out of one fabric, and then use your sewing machine to quilt the layers.

    Amish Quilts

    Amish quilt patterns are popular because of their simplicity. These are often single block patchwork quilts that use simple, primary colors. Make one large quilt block from a variety of colors including black. Add wide borders with cornerstone blocks to showcase your quilting. Add batting and backing, and then quilt using your sewing machine.

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