Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Beginner Equipment for Patchwork & Quilting

If you have decided to start quilting, you may have picked up a book or two on the topic. Often, these books have a long list of supplies and equipment that you will need to make a quilt. For beginners on a budget, the huge supply list can be overwhelming. However, for many simple quilts, you do not need every single item on that list. You may be able to get by with just a few things and add to your equipment as money allows.

Here are ten essential tools to begin your first quilt. Remember that other tools are around to make parts of the process quicker and simpler, but you do not have to have them right away.

1. Sewing Machine

You can borrow one from a friend or buy one. If you buy a machine, a less expensive model will be just fine for a beginner.

2. Fabric Scissors

Even a cheap pair of new scissors will cut better than the ones that you clip coupons with. Dedicate these new scissors for fabric to keep them in perfect condition.

3. Fabric

For a beginner, cotton or cotton blends are the best option for quilting. For a first quilt, you may want to choose a fabric that is less expensive, so if you make some mistakes, it will not be as painful. Consult your pattern to determine how much fabric you will need to complete the quilt top.

4. Seam Ripper, Pins, Needles, Thimble and Thread

If you have ever sewed in the past, you probably already have these items. Buy regular needles for quilting and stitching and sewing machine needles for your machine. If you plan to hand quilt, you will need a good thimble. One place where you should never try to save money is on thread. Cheap thread will probably not feed through the machine as well nor will it hold up over repeated washings.

5. Rulers

You can use a regular ruler, but you may be better off splurging on a rectangular quilting ruler. This tool will help you keep your corners square and your cuts accurate.

6. Fabric Marking Tools

You can use chalk, washable sewing pens and pencils or even painter's tape to mark quilting lines. However, test your tool to make sure that the markings can be easily removed from the quilt after it is quilted.

7. Batting and Backing

There are many types of batting available to pad your quilt. Research the different types before you go to the store. Your pattern will also have suggestions about how much fabric you will need to back your quilt.

8. Iron and Ironing Board

You will need to iron every seam in the quilt, so make sure that your iron is clean and in working order.

9. Rotary Cutter and Self-Healing Mat

You can cut all of your quilt pieces with scissors, but you will save time if you buy a rotary cutter and mat.

10. Basting Supplies

You can baste your quilt with aerosol quilt basting spray, or you can use safety pins. Either way will work.

Patchwork & quilting are fun hobbies, and it does not have to be expensive to get started. These tools will get you started in both machine and hand quilting.   

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