There are many tools that are useful to a quilter starting out. Here are some things you’ll want to make sure you have on-hand:
Rotary Cutter: This is a cutting tool that features a handle with a round blade attached, and it can be used to cut through multiple layers of cloth at once. The most common size used is 45mm. You can purchase rotary cutters and rotary blades here.
Rotary Mat: This gridded, self-healing mat protects your work surface and keeps your rotary cutter blade from dulling. An 18″x24″ mat is a good size to start with. We have a few different mat sizes, check them out here.
Rotary Ruler: These thick, clear plastic rulers are printed with a ruler grid in either 1/8″ or 1/4″ markings and are used for cutting strips, rectangles, triangles, and squares. Check out your options here.
Marking Pen/Pencil: There any many types of marking pencils available including water-soluable or even ones that come off with the heat of the iron. Grab some pen/pencils here.
Quilter’s Safety Pins: These safety pins are curved to make it easier to go through multiple layers of fabric and batting, and they’re used to secure all of the quilt’s layers while they are being quilted together. You can purchase them here.
Basting Spray: This can be used in place of (or along with) curved safety pins in order to hold the quilt layers together while quilting. There are a lot of different options, you can grab the 505 spray here.
Fine Glass-Head Pins: The fine tips make these pins ideal for pinning together quilt pieces without skewing any of your seams. You can grab some pin here.
Sewing Machine: Any type of sewing machine will work as long as it is in good working order. As you start quilting more, you may want to invest in a heavy-duty machine or one that comes with an extension arm for quilting.
Walking Foot: This is an essential presser foot for machine-quilting, as it helps the top and bottom layers of fabric feed evenly through the machine.
Iron & Ironing Board: Heat and weight help pressing go more smoothly, and a bigger ironing board makes ironing your quilt or quilt blocks easier.
Thread: Cotton is best for quilt piecing, but when quilting the layers together, it can be done with cotton, variegated, extra strong, or even embroidery thread. We have regular thread options online, and the thicker quilters thread available in our stores.
Machine Needles: Universal size 80/12 needles work great for quilt piecing. When quilting the layers together, some quilters prefer to switch to a jeans/denim needle, but you only need to go up a needle size if you are working with thicker thread. If you plan to quilt with a finer metallic or embroidery thread, a topstitching or metallic needle may be your best bet.
Ideally, use a needle that’s made for quilting. Quilting needles have a tapered point and a strong shaft that can easily go through layers of fabric. If you’re using a sewing machine, this is usually a 90/14 needle, though you can use an 80/12 or 70/10 if you have an elaborate pattern. You can also use these needles if the quilt is thinner than usual, as with a summer quilt that has no batting in it. We have dozens of options and you can check them all out here.
Hand-Sewing Needles: Quilting needles (also known as betweens) are short, fine needles with a rounded eye and are used for hand quilting. If you are hand sewing a quilt, and you do not have a quilting needle on hand, the best needle is a 7 or 8 gauge because they have a long shaft and an eye large enough for quilting thread. Look at them here.
Fabric: The easiest materials to work with when quilting are quilting cottons, which include batiks and quilting flannel. These materials are easy to cut, sew, and press when working on your quilt. Of course we have hundreds of fabric options, you can search them all in our online store.
If you need any supplies for quilting, other types of sewing or crafts, don’t hesitate to visit us at Fabricana.
2 thoughts on “Must know for Quilters: quilt tool guide”
Would love to hear about completing quilting projects.
Hey Catherine! Do you mean how to sew certain quilt techniques for the top stitching portion of the quilt?