Make Your First quilt with Alex Anderson

Make Your First Quilt with Alex Anderson

By Alex Anderson

Class Description:
In this class, designed for the absolute beginning quiltmaker, you'll learn everything you need to know to make your very first quilt: a fun and versatile one-block wallhanging quilt. You'll learn to:

• Choose the right tools to get you started

• Pick fabrics to get just the right look

• Use a rotary cutter to cut strips, squares, and rectangles

• Machine piece (sew a perfect 1/4˝ seam allowance, make four-patch units and half-square triangles, and practice the sew-and-flip method)

• Choose from 12 optional block layouts

• Assemble the quilt top

• Add plain and pieced borders

• Make a quilt sandwich

• Machine quilt a simple grid

• Make and add binding and a label to finish your quilt


Each student will have a beautiful one-block wallhanging quilt to display in their home or to give as a gift to a special someone. In addition, you'll get loads of tips to guide you along the way. No additional handouts are required. Make Your First Quilt with Alex Anderson is the perfect reference!

The skills your students learn here will open the door to a lifetime of exciting quilting adventures!

Class Length:
6 sessions of 3 hours each.

Class Supply List:

Required text: Make Your First Quilt with Alex Anderson

Class 1: Bring required text, notebook, pen, and—if you'd like—your digital camera.

Class 2 and beyond: Materials and supplies as requested by the instructor.


Classroom Preparation:

Class 1:

• Sample of finished quilt

• Materials from Tools and Supplies Checklist on pp. 6, 23, and 25

• Examples of fabrics from Fabric Requirements on p. 30


Subsequent classes:

• Shopping List supplies as applicable

• Block samples

• Practice "sandwiches" for in-class demo and machine-quilting practice

• Binding how-to samples

• Label options

NOTE: For many demonstrations, instructor can use student pieces, blocks, etc.

Class Agenda:

Following the instructions in Make Your First Quilt with Alex Anderson, pp. 6–12:

1. Introduce terminology/parts of the quilt/overview of basic steps to make a quilt.

2. Show and briefly explain various tools and notions, including sewing machine.

3. Discuss choosing fabric and preparing fabric.

4. Review Materials list on p. 30.

5. Shopping time with instructor's guidance.

Assignment: Prepare all fabrics (p. 11) for next class.

Following the instructions in Make Your First Quilt with Alex Anderson, pp. 13 –16:

1. Demonstrate use of rotary cutter, ruler, and mat to cut strips, squares, rectangles, and half-square triangles.

2. Allow students to practice rotary cutting scrap fabric to make strips, squares, and rectangles.

3. Have students rotary cut the strips for the four-patch units (p. 31).

4. Demonstrate how to make the four-patch units. Refer to piecing and pressing tips on pp. 17–18 as applicable.

5. Talk about the importance of pressing direction, so the seam allowances will “nest.”

6. Have the students make 2 four-patch units.

7. Demonstrate how to make the half-square triangle units.

8. Have the students make 4 half-square triangle units.

9. Have the students cut the fabric E squares.

10. Have the students lay out all of the block units.

11. Demonstrate and have the students sew the units into rows, then sew the rows together. Press after each step.

12. Continue making blocks as time allows.

13. Talk about the different setting options.

Assignment: Continue making blocks.


1. Continue making blocks.

Assignment: Finish making the blocks and choose a setting (pp. 18–20).


1. Explain assembly.

2. Allow students sewing time to sew the blocks into rows and sew the rows together.

3. Talk about measuring and adding borders (p. 36).

4. Have them measure, cut, and start to add the inner borders (finish at home).

5. Demonstrate how to make the flying geese units.

6. Have the students make a few flying geese units.

7. Have the students cut the outer border strips.

8. Discuss making the quilt sandwich and basting (pp. 21–22).

Assignment: Add the borders and make the quilt sandwich.



1. Demonstrate machine quilting a grid (pp. 23–27). Show students a practice "sandwich" and have a few handy for in-class practice. Encourage them to practice at home, moving on to their quilt if and when they feel ready.

2. Discuss trimming the quilt backing and batting even with the quilt top.

Assignment: Continue practicing machine quilting, moving on to the quilt when ready. Trim the quilt.


1. Demonstrate making binding (p. 42).

2. Have the students cut, piece, and press their binding strips.

3. Demonstrate applying binding.

4. Have the students start to add their binding.

5. Talk about label options.