The sheer number of quilt patterns out there can often intimidate beginning quilters, leaving them unsure just where to start. While longtime quilters may whip out complex designs without ever consulting a quilt pattern, it's not so easy when you're not familiar with the basics.
Fortunately, beginning quilters typically thrive with simple quilt patterns that use techniques they can master. They can then extrapolate to more advanced projects as they gain more experience.
Before we look at some good quilt patterns for beginners, let's look at just what makes them GOOD quilt patterns for beginners.
Quilt Patterns for Beginners
Good quilt patterns for beginners share similar qualities that make them simple for newbies to complete. The patterns below already adhere to these basic guidelines. But when you're seeking options on your own, look for quilt patterns that:
Teach basic quilting skills
Include lots of detail
Are easy to assemble
Use basic shapes for quilt blocks
Utilize precut quilting fabric
Basic Quilt-Making Tutorial
Pretty much every pattern a quilt maker uses requires the same steps for completing their quilting projects. This basic quilting tutorial walks you through the steps so you know what to do once you find the ideal beginner quilting pattern for you.
Pick out easy quilt patterns that work well for your skill level.
Select quilting fabrics that match the mood of your project.
Cut the fabric using a cutting mat, rotary cutter and quilting ruler.
Piece the quilt top with an accurate 1/4-inch seam allowance.
Join the quilt top, batting and quilt back to complete the quilt sandwich.
Quilt the layers together using the walking foot on your sewing machine.
Trim the layers so they're even, then sew on the quilt binding.
Keep in mind that some quilt patterns you encounter may add or omit certain steps, depending on the overall design, whether or not you're adding an applique and the results you wish to achieve.
Classic Quilt Patterns for Beginners
Traditional quilt patterns and templates are often simple enough for beginning quilters and offer a classic look that blends well in most homes. If you don't like the look of traditional quilt blocks, though, you can always change up the colors and fabrics to suit more modern sensibilities and contemporary furnishings.
As you gain experience, you can switch up other elements within these basic quilt patterns to create your own unique DIY quilting designs that perfectly suit the room you want to place them in or the person you want to give them to.
If you do a lot of sewing and have lots of leftover fabric, scrap quilts — also known as patch quilts — offer a fun way to use them. The fun thing about true scrappy quilts is that your blocks don't need to match at all; they just need to be cut to the same size. These quilting projects typically require you to sew similarly sized strips together to create uniformly sized quilt blocks, then join them together into a larger design.
This free string quilt block tutorial works well when you're using jelly rolls or layer cakes you've picked out on your own, or you can download free quilt block patterns for scrap quilts. We also offer packages that come complete with the quilt pattern and fabric via our Scrap Crazy collection, and they come in a variety of colors to better match your existing home decor.
Log Cabin Quilts
One of the most iconic American quilt patterns ever, log cabin quilt patterns remain popular because they lend simple beauty to your space and are easy to make. Though the basic chevron-like pattern itself might look complex, it's entirely suitable for beginner quilt makers.
Our free quilt block pattern Easy Peasy utilizes basic log cabin quilt pattern styling and works great with Apricot and Ash fabrics. If you prefer a complete beginner quilt package, try our Tula Pink quilt pattern that needs only 2 yards of backing fabric to complete the look. Alternatively, use our Marrakesh quilt kit to make a gorgeous log cabin-style table topper if you want to start out with something smaller.
Medallion quilts utilize "rounds" of coordinating fabric quilt blocks sewn as squares into a beautiful quilt. Perfect for making the most of jelly rolls and fat quarter fabric bundles, medallion quilts are typically easy quilt patterns for beginning quilters to master. To get started quickly, try something like the Berry Ice medallion quilt pattern that includes all the fabric necessary for the quilt top and binding.
The Rainbow Unicorn pattern combines elements of medallion quilts and panel quilts for an interesting baby quilt design.
A pattern like Ruth Ann's Sampler quilt combines several key quilting skills — including bear paw and star blocks — into a single design, making it a good choice for a beginner quilt.
Panel quilts are perhaps the simplest quilt patterns for beginning quilters to use, and they work well as both mini quilts and bed-size quilts. These quilts usually have large center panels surrounded by decorative borders and elements for a cohesive design. For example, the Pinwheel Dream Big quilt pattern combines pinwheel quilt blocks at the top and bottom and flower border block piecing, and the Starlite pattern works great for baby quilts. It has a simple design that pairs well with large pieces of animal-themed fabric and coordinating charm packs or fat quarters.
Since panel quilts don't require as much intricate sewing and piecing, you can typically make a beautiful quilt in this style quickly.
Flying Geese Quilts
Flying geese quilts remain popular for centuries after their inception due to both their attractive aesthetics and their simple-to-piece patterns. Utilizing classic quilt blocks formed with half-square triangles, flying geese quilt patterns have numerous variations. It depends on whether you want a symmetrical result that mimics the look of traditional quilt patterns or an asymmetrical look that flatters modern spaces.
For a more classic look, try our Flying Fish precut quilt kit, and for a more contemporary feel, use our free quilt block pattern Dazzling Delight, which pairs perfectly with our Dazzling Garden fabric collection.
Now that you know what to look for in quilt patterns for beginners, you can explore options like paper piecing and creating pieced quilts on your own with an eye toward what does and doesn't work with your skill level. We carry a vast array of digital quilting patterns in our online shop that you can download immediately, and some of them are even free quilt block patterns, so you can look them over without committing to a purchase.
To simplify the quilt-making process, we also sell quilting kits that include patterns and precut fabrics that let you get started right away on making your soon-to-be favorite quilt.