Must Have Quilting tools
Here's my shopping list of quilting tools for the beginner. If anyone see's something I've missed, let me know and I'll add it.
Rotary Cutter- buy the Olfa brand, I like the 60mm ergonomic one for cutting up to 8 layers. if that’s not in the budget, the 45mm one works well also.
Extra blades – a sharp blade will make your cutting much easier and more accurate
A cutting mat – but the largest one you have room for, it will speed up your cutting and get you to the fun part sooner.
Sharp scissors – I recommend the Gingher brand 8” sheers and a pair of 4” embroidery type for clipping threads. I keep my small scissors on a lanyard around my neck; otherwise I spend a lot of time looking for them.
An Iron – I like an iron that is a bit heavy and that will get very hot. I don’t worry about steam because I use spray starch. Your iron should be comfortable to use because you will be using it a lot.
A large ironing surface – I made a big ironing surface by taking a scrap of plywood , stapling a piece of cotton batting and an ugly piece of fabric to the underside of the plywood. (No stapler? Use duct tape, a girls best friend LOL) Then I cover it with an old beach towel that I can throw in the wash when it gets stiff with starch.
Rotary cutting rulers – I LOVE my ruler collection, probably have too many, but they really make the cutting and sub-cutting much easier- I like this brand the best because I can see the markings very well.
Olfa makes a good ruler also. Buy the brand whose markings are easiest for you to see.
I would start out buying a 6 1/2” by 24” and a 6 ½” by 12”. I would add these to my collection as I went along – a square ruler in the size block I make the most, i.e. a 6 ½”, 9 ½”, and/or 12 ½”- these are great for squaring up finished blocks. Then an easy angle for cutting triangles.
Notions – needles, pins, (buy good ones, cheap pins are not sharp, frustrating to use and can ruin your fabric) a pin cushion, extra bobbins, (wind a bunch of these before you start to sew) oil and a brush for your sewing machine, (it’s very important to clean your machine after), a seam ripper, I like this type the best:
HAVEL'S ULTRA PRO II SEAM RIPPER
Or this one:
HAVEL'S SEAM RIPPER WITH Handle
Thread – buy good thread, cheap thread is not worth your time and money. I like to use a thin thread like Bottom Line or Sew Fine in the bobbin, both produce very little lint and more thread will fit on the bobbin, saving you time.
Sewing Machine – again not a place to skimp; Buy the best you can afford.
I would focus on quality rather than features. Lots of stitches and options are nice, but I’d rather a sturdy, reliable simple machine than one with a lot of “bells and whistles”. The reason for that is quilt making uses simple stitches.
The features you will need are a straight stitch, the ability to lower the feed dogs, and an adjustable zig- zag stitch. The accessories you will need are a ¼ inch foot, a darning foot and an appliqué foot. You will be happy with these features for a long time
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