What essential quilting tools do I need to start quilting? This is a frequently asked question and a very good one!
Quilting can be very enjoyable and has many health benefits for you. You can read more about the health benefits of quilting here.
It is essential to have the proper tools. Any task is made easier if you have the right tools! I have compiled a list of 10 Essential Quilting Tools every beginner should have.
Get a PDF Cheatsheet for the Essential Quilting Tools here.
10 Essential Quilting Tools For Beginners
#1 Self healing cutting mat
I recommend a minimum size of 18″ x 24″ for starters. These mats come in many sizes, but this is a good size for beginners.
#2 Rotary Cutter
Rotary cutters come in different sizes but the 45mm seems to be a good size for most jobs!
#3 Quilting Ruler
These are large acrylic rulers that you will use with your cutter ad come in different sizes, but 6″ x 24″ is the size I would recommend. I also have a 3″ x 24″ that I use all the time. I also recommend one with the 1/4″ markings on it. It is good to see the 1/4″ seam when you are trimming or cutting pieced blocks. As an example, the No Waste Flying Geese blocks make great use of the ruler!
#4 Seam Ripper
I can’t live without mine! I have a Clover ripper and I use it all the time!
#5 Iron and Ironing board or Felted Wool Pressing Mat (optional)
An iron is essential as you will be pressing all of your seams throughout piecing! Felted wool pressing mats are to die for! they are optional and I am still waiting to get mine! If you do have one, when you use it, the pressing action happens on the top and bottom, because the mat holds the heat in allowing it to press both sides of your piece at the same time and in the same action! Amazing!
Need a printable version of the 10 Quilting Tools? Get one here!
OPTIONAL: Spray Starch
I make my own spray starch and you can find the recipe here.
I had never used spray starch or understood its part in keeping your fabrics crisp as you cut and piece them! Once I started using starch, I will be using it now forever, because I like how it works and keeping your fabrics crisp prevents stretching in the wrong places! Very important.
**Tip When you press seams if you just spritz with water, it seems as though you have re-starched your block!
These first 5 essential quilting tools are necessary for quilting. You also need some basic sewing items that I would expect you have unless you have never sewn before. The basic sewing items include:
#6 Sewing machine
A note on sewing machines, a basic straight stitch machine is fine, but if you are shopping for a machine, ask lots of questions, try them out, do your research. Figure out what options you need/want the machine to have.
One feature that saves a lot of time is having automatic thread tension adjustment. If you have to manually adjust thread tension, it canbe very frustrating.
An additional feature that is very helpful to quilters is the 1/4″ seam allowance. Some machines have a feature that allows for an accurate 1/4″ seam. This is very helpful and highly recommended!
Cotton, polyester or a blend are fine. I have been enjoying polyester GLIDE thread lately because it does not break and it does not leave lint in your machine, both of which save time!
I like a large pair and a small pair of good fabric scissors. I do not allow my scissors to be used for any other kinds of cutting, only fabrics!
#9 Straight Pins
You need to have some pins and pincushion. I like the pins with the flat heads. They work especially well for quilting.
I recommend 100% quilting cotton! And fabric comes in all kinds of prints, cuts and bundles! Using a fat quarter bundle is a good way to start out especially if you are unsure of choosing your fabrics. Read more about how to use a fat quarter bundle here.
Wow! That was a lot of information! You can get a printable version of 10 Essential Quilting Tools here.
These 10 Essential Quilting Tools will give you an awesome start on your quilting journey!
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