Beginning quilters don't need to invest a penny in quilt patterns. Until you get some experience and decide you want to continue making quilts, use patterns you find online or in library books. The best patterns for beginners are those that are made up of repeating pieces and straight lines. Try some classic quilt patterns to make a simple baby quilt.
Many fabric companies sell coordinated groups of fabrics already cut into strips. They roll these strips together into a thick, flat disc and sell them as Jelly Rolls. Beginning quilters can use these pre-cut strips to create many different baby quilts. Make a series of Log Cabin blocks and sew them into a quilt or make one giant Log Cabin for an even easier pattern. Sew sets of three strips into squares and combine them into simple patterns like Rail Fence or Roman Stripe.
Squares are the basis for a good many of the quilt patterns in existence, so simple patterns for baby quilts using squares are very easy to find. Combine dark and light squares to make Irish Chains or vary the colors and make a simple top to showcase the fabrics. Choose bright fabrics with identifiable pictures like fruits, animals and letters to create an I-Spy quilt for your baby.
Triangles may be the most versatile of the basic quilt block shapes. Sew two triangles together to create a square. This triangle is the basis for thousands of quilt patterns, from simple star designs to intricate patterns requiring dozens of triangles for one block. Look for simple designs like Friendship Star, Pinwheel, Shoe Fly or Hole in the Barn Door.
One patch quilt patterns are a little different from the usual quilt made from blocks. In a one-patch, every piece of fabric is a block itself. Beginning quilters often find one-patch quilts the easiest to do because there are no directions other than to make rows of patches, then sew the rows together. Good beginner pattern shapes include triangle, tumbler, rectangle and square. Use a coordinated pattern of lights and darks or collect many different fabrics to create a charm quilt, wherein you never repeat a fabric on the entire quilt top.
Working in sunny Florida, Anne Baley has been writing professionally since 2009. Her home and lifestyle articles have been seen on Coldwell Banker and Gardening Know How. Baley has published a series of books teaching how to live a frugal life with style and panache.