Before I actually started piecing my first quilt, I did a bunch of prep work. Since I was new and I wasn’t sure how I was going to take to it, I went cheap. I read up about these magical things called layer cakes and fat quarters, but I had no way of buying them in Israel.
Ali Express to the rescue. You can get a lot of fabric in China. In a lot of cases, shipping to Israel is actually free. The prices are amazing. The quality isn’t great, but it’s certainly workable just to play around with.
Things in China work in centimeters and meters, not yards and inches. Truth be told, the metric system is much smarter. All the tutorials that I found on YouTube used yards and inches. I actually prefer using yards and inches. I grew up in the US and it just comes more naturally to me.
I bought a bunch of squares that were 10cm x 10cm, 10cm x 20cm, 30cm x 40cm. They were sizes that didn’t match what I saw online for quilting, but they worked for me. I still have some in my stash which I will use eventually.
Ali Express even has batting. It’s really not the best quality. It works in a pinch, but I would stay away from it unless I was completely desperate.
The first thing I did was practice sewing 1/4 inch seams. I didn’t have a foot for quilting and there were no markings on the machine. That’s were washi tape came in really handy. I marked the 1/4 inch mark on the machine and that was my guide.
Then I went back on Ali Express and purchased a 1/4 inch quilting foot.
It take time to get stuff from China. Things can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months. While waiting, I just played with fabric that we had in the house and watch a lot of videos.
Thankfully, most of the stuff came quickly, and I was on my way…
There is actually a quilt store in Israel called Pissott. It’s in Tzomet Bilu. If I were to start again, I would probably start there. They have the good batting that I use in all my quilts. They also sell batting at Bod Ratz in Jerusalem. I’ll talk more about Pissott and Bod Ratz in future posts.