What Supplies Do I Need To Start Quilting – With hundreds of quilting gadgets on the market these days, it’s best to start with the basics if you’re new to the craft. So skip the fancy-pants gizmos—for now—and stock up on these essential quilting tools that will help you make your first quilt.
Every quilter needs at least one pair of large, high-quality fabric shears when cutting templates or reaching areas that a rotary cutter can’t. Choose a lightweight pair that fits comfortably in your hand, yet is long enough to cut through quilting fabric. There are many brands and types of fabric scissors, so find the one that best suits your needs.
What Supplies Do I Need To Start Quilting
Pro tip: Using fabric scissors for paper work and other household tasks dulls the blades and makes cutting fabric and thread difficult. Keep your fabric scissors dedicated to cutting fabric only.
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A small pair of scissors is also great for hand quilting and working on smaller projects. These are not only portable, they are also useful for cutting threads and cutting small pieces of fabric. Look for a pair with a comfortable handle and pointed tip to get into tight spaces.
The two most common rotary cutter sizes for general quilting have 45mm and 60mm blades. Try both to see what you like best – some quilters find the 60mm size useful when cutting multiple layers at once, while others feel more comfortable using the 45mm blade safely. There are also smaller sizes (18mm and 28mm) that are useful for cutting appliqué shapes.
Whatever you do, don’t forget to buy a pack of extra rotary cutting blades. Changing your blades extends the life of your cutting mat and ensures that your fabric is cut smoothly. Plus, you can always snag decorative leaves for fun fabric embellishments if you’re feeling extra creative.
A cutting mat protects the surface you are working on when using your rotary cutter. But self-healing cutting mats give you year-round service because your cuts won’t leave any indentations on the surface.
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When choosing a size, choose the largest cutting mat you have room for, so it’s easy to spread your fabric without damaging your table. A 24″ x 36″ mat is popular because it fits comfortably on a small work table, but if you want something smaller, a 17″ x 24″ mat can work well.
Of course, there are also smaller mats, rolling mats and cutting mats with ironing boards on the opposite side. These are all great options if you plan on making a lot of papers or if you want something portable.
A seam ripper is a basic stitch removal tool, and you’ll use it again and again, regardless of your skill level. Most sewing machines are small, but there are also large seam rippers with ergonomic handles that are very easy to work with.
You can also find seam rippers with fancy wooden handles, metal accents, or retractable features that allow you to store the point safely in the handle when not in use. Whatever you choose, it’s best to have more than one in case you misplace them in your sewing stash.
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With their transparent and easy-to-read markings, acrylic rulers make measuring a breeze so you can cut your fabric precisely.
If youare buying only one ruler, get one that is 24″ long and 6″-8″ wide. This makes it possible to accurately cut through the yardage. Look for one with a 45-degree angle for cutting corner pieces.
The next ruler on your list should be 12″ long and 6″-8″ wide. This can be easier to handle when cutting smaller pieces of fabric such as fat quarters. As you progress in your quilting, square rulers can come in handy for squaring blocks. You can also find special rulers to facilitate half-square triangles, flying geese, hexagons, log cabins and others.
You only need basic stitches to start quilting, so choose a quality reliable sewing machine that fits your budget and you’ll be happy. Many machines come with a special ¼” foot to make it easier to sew a standard ¼” seam, but you can learn to do it without this special foot.
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If youare planning on quilting and quilting, you will also need walking feet to keep the fabric from moving as you wind through the many layers of the quilt sandwich. A free motion or presser foot is also useful for sewing freehand designs on quilts.
Many quilters sew with a 50-weight cotton or poly-cotton thread blend. Other weights of thread can be used for decorative stitches, appliques and bindings. Buy a few different types to see which one you like best with your particular machine.
Pro Tip: Check for lint around and under your sink with each thread use. You would be surprised to find that there is a big difference in the amount of ribbon produced by different threads (and the less ribbon, the better for your machine).
Pins help quilters achieve precision in their pieces by holding fabrics securely together for sewing. The first rule of thumb: choose sharp, sturdy sewing pins and use either a pin cushion or a magnetic pin tray to store and use them easily.
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Otherwise, there are a few types of pins you can choose from. Many quilters prefer silk pins because they easily go through most fabrics without damaging them. If youare planning to iron projects while they are pinned, glass head pins are best because the heat can melt the plastic tips.
Applique pins are smaller than traditional pins, making them easier to place in small areas designed for hand sewing and appliqué. And when you pin your quilt, it’s good to have plenty of safety pins on hand.
Pro Tip: If your pins catch or rub against fabrics, they should be replaced. Bent pins should also be replaced.
Not only are clips incredibly useful for securing your bindings, they are also a great alternative to pins when working with multiple layers of fabric. They can also hold blocks and block pieces together so that nothing is moved incorrectly or out of order. Look for sturdy plastic clips like hair barrettes or a set of bendable metal clips.
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You will want to have both sewing needles and hand needles at your disposal. It is important to have sewing needles close at hand in case you accidentally break a needle, and replace it with a new one before starting your next project.
Hand needles are finer and make it easier to reach smaller stitches. But they’re not just essential for hand quilting—they also work well for binding, appliqué, and hand stitching. They are sized by numbers, with higher numbers indicating shorter and thinner needles. Work as often as possible while checking the needle.
Pro tip: the smaller your needle, the smaller the eye – meaning threading can be more difficult. Investing in a needle threader can help.
The most common needles for hand quilting are “center” needles, which come in a variety of sizes. These needles are small but strong, giving quilters the ability to sew through quilt tops, batting and backing. Meanwhile are sharp and easy to handle.
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The straw needles are longer and more flexible than the middle ones, but they are still sharp and easy to handle; They are a great choice for applique and attached binding. Sharpies are long, thin needles that work best for needlework and needlework. They are often used by quilters who prefer to hand stitch their blocks. ❚ The products we have have been independently selected by our editors. We can get a small commission if you click on one of the products you see on this page. Learn more.
New to quilting? Good news! A few scraps of fabric, scissors, thread, pins and a sewing machine can go a long way! Here’s a beginner’s guide to some other handy tools to help you on your way
Chances are, if you’ve done a bit of home sewing or textile work before, you’ll already have many of the bits and bobs you need for quilting. But there are some additional tools that will really help you start your projects. We asked Sarah Griffiths, senior technical editor for Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine, what essential supplies every quilter should have.
You will need a sewing machine for most projects or they will soon become very time consuming! Almost all standard sewing machines are suitable for quilting, appliqué and patchwork. The most useful types offer different stitch lengths and can also do zigzag stitches. If you want to buy your own sewing machine, check out our guide to the best sewing machines for beginners for all the top machines. You can also go to our guide on how to use a sewing machine, or if you are a little shy about investing in a machine before making your first quilt, you can
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