Five Tips for the Beginner Art Quilter

Quilting and Quilt Making can be confusing if you are a beginner.

But don’t worry help is here! The good news is that no special skills are needed when quilting, absouletly everybody can do it.

Brenda Gael Smith from Twelve by Twelve gives you her top tips for anyone thinking about quilting for the first time!

1. Start a journal or sketchbook – a simple notebook is an invaluable tool for any artist to develop design ideas and experiment. Use it as a collection point for inspirational photos, clippings and fabric swatches; keep notes on processes and materials; capture doodles, sketches and word play and expand on the possibilities.

2. Take a class or learn a new technique –An understanding of the elements and principles of design will provide a sound foundation for your creative practice. Also when working with unfamiliar techniques or materials, learning from an expert introduces you to processes and pointers that will allow your own artistic vision to flourish. Each year the Australasian Quilt Convention offers an exciting line up of tutors and workshops.

3. Join a group – whether you meet in person or belong to an online group such as the Twelve by Twelve International Art Quilt Challenge, being part of a creative community enables you to share ideas, encouragement and enthusiasm.

4. Take an art excursion – visit a quilt show or an art gallery. The internet is a wonderful thing but it is no substitute for viewing art in real life. Study the work on display and jot down some notes on the pieces that most appeal to you. Check out artist talks to get further insights. Fellow “Twelve” Kirsten Duncan and I are presenting a floor talk about the Colourplay exhibition daily at AQC at 1.30pm.

5. Start making – there is power in doing. With practice, comes creative confidence and greater self expression as you develop your own artistic voice.

Brenda and her group Twelve By Twelve will be part of the Australasian Quilt Convention in Melbourne this weekened. To find out more about this fantastic event, make sure you visit:

Also check out Brenda's free tutorials at

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