If you’re new to quilting, it can be hard to know where to start when it comes to choosing the tools and supplies you’ll need. This list of 10 must-have quilting tools for beginners will help make your learning process a little easier.
Quilting tools for beginners
From basic sewing supplies to rulers and templates, these essential items will help you create beautiful quilts from start to finish.
1. Rotary Cutters
Rotary cutters are useful for cutting fabric quickly and efficiently. Some cutters allow you to cut through layers of up to ten fabrics. Some of them have safety locks, and special handles that make cutting more comfortable and some have left-handed features. For safety purposes, a safety lock is beneficial since it can be locked after each cut.
Choose a blade that meets your needs. The use of a small cutter over a number of layers of quilting fabric is not recommended. Rotary cutters and scissors have different uses. When cutting fabric into smaller pieces, a rotary cutter can sometimes be easier than scissors.
Choosing the Right Size
Beginners love the 45mm quilting blade because it covers a wide range of stitching needs. On the other hand, the 60 mm can go through thicker fabrics with ease and will speed up your projects.
Make sure to choose the right rotary cutter for you if you are left handed. Here’s an Olfa rotary cutter we recommend that’s made for both left and right handed users.
2. Cutting Mats
Using a rotary cutter requires a cutting mat to protect surfaces. Mats with self-healing properties disappear cutter marks, extending their lifespan. Mats with good quality last a long time. The self-healing mat will ensure that the cutter operates smoothly and safely.
When buying a mat, you’ll have the option to choose colors and sizes. A larger mat will give you more space for working with your fabric.
Choosing the Right Size
Cutting mats come in a variety of shapes and sizes. In general, a 24″x36″ is the most popular size, but many people opt for an 18″x24″. When choosing a mat, you should measure your surface to determine how large a piece must be.
We prefer Olfa cutting mats because of their quality, but there are also good reviews about Alvin cutting mats as well.
The majority of people have at least one pair of scissors in their homes, however, it is always best to purchase a pair of scissors specifically designed to cut fabric. It is important to have heavy-duty shears that stay sharp and can cut through anything.
The scissors should not be too long, and they should be lightweight. When cutting through multiple layers, use larger scissors. When cutting out complicated shapes, use smaller scissors.
When sewing layers of fabric together, Wonder Clips hold them in place. They are made by the Clover company. For quilting, they are useful because they are flat enough not to interfere with the sewing process. You can use these clips to attach quilting binding when dealing with fiddly tasks. If the use of many pins would be awkward in layers of fabric, these are a good alternative.
5. 505 Spray
Using this quilting tool will make the process of quilting much easier. 505 quilt spray can be utilized to temporarily adhere quilt layers together while quilting. Although quilting pins can hold your quilt top in place but they can also damage it.
Instead of worrying about quilting pins poking through your quilt top, use quilt basting spray to hold the quilts in place while you quilt and embroider.
6. Quilter’s Ruler
Although there are many quilting rulers available in the market as a newbie, we suggest that you should not choose many of them just choose a long ruler and a square ruler that work well for squaring up blocks.
What Size and brand?
You should start with a ruler that is 8½” x 24½”.. The best ruler is one that is at least 1/4 inch thick, as this will support the cutting blade.
Our favorite brand is Creative Grids for rulers. This is because they have grips on the back of the ruler, that prevent them from slipping on the fabric.
7. Quilting Thread
High-quality 100% cotton thread should be used for quilting. In piecing, it is best to use either a neutral thread or one that matches your fabric. Using the better quality thread will produce less lint, appear smoother, and make the machine easier to use.
When piecing and regular machine quilting, use cotton threads of 50 or 40 weight.
8. Ironing Board and Iron
I know it sounds basic, but don’t forget to iron your fabric when quilting. Irons and ironing boards are essential quilting tools, whether you are doing a quilt by hand or using a sewing machine. The purpose of ironing quilts is to allow you to press seams, reduce thread lint on your quilt top, and prepare the layers you will quilt.
Currently, we are using the Oliso Iron and we are very happy with it. You don’t have to worry about it burning your quilt because it pops up automatically when in the down position.
9. Design Wall
For quilting blocks, you can buy a design wall so you can see the design they are creating as they are arranged. You can arrange the quilting blocks on some design walls by following grid lines. You can plan your quilt based on your color choices and where the fabrics should be arranged. Before buying a design wall, consider the space you have available. There are also tutorials online for building your own design wall.
10. Marking tools
Whether you are cutting fabric into shapes or marking where to sew, marking pens or pencils will come in handy at different stages. You may also need them when transferring quilting designs. Markings can usually be removed with a damp cloth. Marking fabric can also be done with sharp pencils. The sharper the pencil, the better the accuracy.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this list of our favorite quilting tools for beginners. If you’re a beginner and don’t know where to start, we recommend getting the basics down first- your sewing machine, rotary cutter, threading needle, scissors, and blocking pins. Once those are mastered from making simple projects with these tools, then it’s time to move on to more complicated patterns that require special equipment.