Sew, What's New?

Curating sewing and quilting talent, techniques, and tutorials, since 1997.

Easy Sewing Projects For Beginning Quilters And Anyone Else

By Maybelle Maddison

OK. So you have decided to take the plunge and start quilting. The challenge is that you do not feel comfortable with your sewing machine. What you need are some easy projects to get you started, but that do not feel like you are wasting your time. The following list of projects make great gifts and you will also have great practice when it comes to tackle your first quilt.


Wallets are wonderful. What I'm thinking of specifically, is the Wonder Wallet pattern by Lazy Girl Designs. I've made so many of these because they are easy and practical. Over Christmas I used them as gift card holders. Because they only use half a fat quarter, you can go crazy over novelty prints without taxing your budget. With this pattern, you will get used to sewing in a straight line and using your walking foot.

Once you are confident with wallets, your next project can be a quilted purse.


Pillowcases are all straight lines. Again, using novelty prints, these makes great gifts for young kids. I made pillowcases last Christmas out of High School Musical flannel. My nieces loved them!

Another benefit is that once you feel confident with your skills, you can make a quilt out of the same material. The recipient will get both the quilt and pillowcases. Now that is thoughtful!


Folks who work in offices will appreciate a set of coasters to keep their desks nice. The upgrade for this project will be place mats to match the coasters.


A quilted bookmark is the perfect gift for the reader in the family. You can choose the fabric and design according to the recipient's hobbies. Adding a book with this gift would be a nice touch. Another option is just to make a bookmark for yourself. I know that I have a hard time keeping up with them.

Tote bags

you can easily find tote bag patterns all over the Internet for good reason - they are easy and practical. If fact, you can have a tote bag for different reasons. You could have a tote bag for the grocery store, a tote bag for the library and a tote bag for work. You'll learn how to sew in a straight line. If you are a ready to branch out, you could use a quilt block as decoration on the bag. (Video)

Cranking out wallets, pillowcases, coasters, bookmarks and tote bags will have you getting comfortable with your sewing machine in no time. While you're producing lovely handmade goodies, you'll also be preparing yourself to start quilting.

Visit How to Choose A Beginning Quilting Book for information on starting quilting.

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