A quilter is much more than just their toolkit, but without the proper tools you’ll find that every step is a struggle. Beginner quilters can benefit from these basic tools that will make quilting a breeze and keep the process fun. The tools every beginner quilter needs range from the basics such as sewing machines to acrylic rulers. Don’t worry, we’ll explain why you need each piece here!
1. Fabric Scissors
You’ll want one large pair of fabric shears and a smaller pair too. The smaller pair of fabric scissors is useful for trimming, while the larger pair will help take care of the bigger pieces. Remember that fabric scissors will dull quickly if you use them on paper.
Whenever choosing scissors, big or small, remember they should feel comfortable. A large set of fabric shears should be lightweight and easy to open and close. A small pair of fabric scissors should fit comfortably in your hand and should have a pointed tip.
2. Self-Healing Cutting Mats
You don’t need the extra-large mat that will cover your kitchen table, but you do need a small mat for cutting out your pieces. The most popular size is 24 x 36 inches, and it should give you enough room to work with both large and small squares. Many self-healing cutting mats will have a grid and a non-slip surface which make measuring and cutting a breeze.
3. Rotary Tools
To use your self-healing cutting mat, you’ll need a rotary cutter and a few replacement blades. A rotary cutter will change the quilting game for any beginner. It’s far easier to cut exact pieces and keep a straight line with a cutting tool that doesn’t pull and twist the fabric the way scissors do.
The most common rotary cutter sizes are 45mm and 60mm which is the dimension of the blade. Always choose the option that feels more comfortable to you. The only thing to note here is that the blades do wear out quickly, so you’ll want to purchase a replacement pack before you need them.
4. Acrylic Rulers
The tool that makes your self-healing cutting mats and rotary tools seamlessly erase the struggle of quilting: an acrylic ruler. As a beginner, you can start with one 24-inch long ruler that is either 6 or 8 inches wide. There are a variety of specialty rulers in triangular or square shapes, but you can add those to your toolbox later as you become more comfortable cutting pieces for a quilt.
5. Sewing Machines
While you could, in theory, quilt without a machine, there’s no reason you should. You can quilt with basic sewing machines that don’t advertise having “quilting” options. The only thing that you’ll need to know on your machine is how to sew an accurate 1/4-inch seam. A walking foot is vital if you plan on binding your own quilts.
6. Pins (Or Clips) and Needles
You’ll need both pins and sewing needles for your quilt. It’s not uncommon to break a needle when working on a quilt, and you’ll want to use a fresh one for each new project, so it’s best to buy needles for sewing machines in packs.
As an alternative to traditional pins, many quilters are opting to use clips instead. They’re easier to remove as you’re working on sewing machines. They also hold together several layers of fabric easily, and you don’t have to worry about anyone getting stuck if you lose one.
7. Seam Rippers
Even the most experienced quilters reach for a seam ripper regularly. You can find large seam rippers, tiny seam rippers and specialty ones with an ergonomic handle in addition to what came with your machine. You only need one seam ripper though, so choose the option that you believe will fit best in your hand.
Although it might seem like you’re purchasing a lot of tools at once, quality quilting tools will last you through many years and countless projects. Acrylic rulers, a seam ripper and quality scissors aren’t tools that you replace on a regular basis. Above anything else, sewing machines are notorious for lasting for decades. Check out Goldstar Tool’s online store for one-spot shopping for all your quilting needs.