I was talking with my sister today, who wants to start quilting, and her question to me was, “What do I need to get started?”
I was asked this same question from someone else who is eager to start quilting. In fact, it was the very question I asked the very helpful employees and customers at my local fabric store. (Use to be local store. I now live where it is very rural. In fact, mountainous. Closest fabric store is about 100 miles away or I shop via the internet, a lot.)
So I told my sister I would make a list and post it for her and for anyone else who would like to know what they need to begin quilting.
Now keep in mind, this is just to get you started. I have been quilting for about three years now and I am always adding to my tools to make my quilting projects easier. So if you see something online or in your local fabric store that looks like it might help you, go for it.
Another thing to keep in mind, are you going to machine quilt your projects or hand quilt? Some of the things needed for hand quilting may be a bit different. I like to be able to do both. Depending on the size of the quilt and who it is for (an adult vs a child) will determine on whether it is machine or hand quilted. I will say that with the nifty quilting rulers that are available now, I am going to do more machine quilting.
So let’s get started getting some supplies together:
- Cutting mat, preferably one that is 36″x24″ (sometimes you can get one as a kit, that comes with a rotary cutter)
- Rotary cutter and extra blades (Olfa and Fiskers make nice ones)
- 6.5″x24″ acrylic ruler
- 6″ square acrylic ruler
- maybe a smaller ruler size of your choice
- fabric chalk pencils (3 or 4 different colors)
- Straight pins approximately 1.5″ long
- Basting pins medium and large (they look like bent safety pins)
- a handle to put on your large ruler (helps with control when you are cutting – they have suction cups to hold it to your ruler)
- tape measurer – never hurts
- shears (large scissors)
- snipping scissors (little scissors to trim threads)
- Hand quilting? You will need Between needles (size 10-12) and a large quilting hoop
- quilting gloves (you can buy expensive ones or get a pack of cotton gardening gloves with the silicon dots on the fingertips and palms, they work just as well.)
- quilters thread (I use a neutral color, a lot. I also use coordinating colors, depending on the project. But neutral works great, especially for stitching in the ditch.)
- Walking foot (you can find one for most sewing machines)
- Spray Quilting Basting (it helps keep your quilt sandwich together)
- Books – find a couple of beginner quilting books. Or go online to any of the links I have listed under my Favorite Places or even click on the merchants I have on my pages. You can find real nice quilt patterns for free or for a small price.
- Once you have picked out your pattern, you will need fabric, batting and backing.
Oh and one more thing, YouTube! There are some great videos on there that will help to get you started on your journey to quilting.
Did I mention a large table? In my sewing room I have one of those white folding tables you can get at your warehouse stores. It’s about 2’x6′, and I really need another one. But when I am quilting a large quilt I move my sewing machine to that table to give my quilt more support. The bigger quilts get pretty heavy. So if you have a large dining room table that would be ideal. If not pick up one of the folding tables.
Wow! That is quite the list. I hope I didn’t forget anything. So, you probably won’t get everything on your first shopping trip. Again, check out my favorite places and the merchants on my site. There is always a sale going on some where. And don’t forget your friendly Amazon.com and even Walmart.com. I am all for a bargin! Some of that stuff can get spendy.
If you have any questions, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will do my best to answer your question and get back to you in a timely manner.
Until then, happy quilting everyone!