Monday, January 9, 2012

ABC of Quilting Post # 7

Today's Topic is

Get, Set, Go!!! : Quilting Tools

So what are the basic tools that you'll need to start quilting?

I must say, when I started, I had none of these, but I survived! Today, I have most of these and I love it... It saves a lot of time... And brings precision to my work...

Let us start with

Marking Tools.

You will need temporary marking tools like the Collins Vanishing Fabric Marker  for the regular marking. You might want to choose The Clover White Markign Pen for darker fabrics. These markings will dissapear when ironed or when washed. These are ideal for making temporary marks, like sewing lines or applique outlines or even marking the fabric for fussy cutting!

You might want to think about using a Pentel Roller Gel Pen or Pigma Micron Marker for making permanent marks like siggy blocks or Labels!

Of course there are loads of other suggestions, but these are the ones I have used and loved!

Sewline also offers Mechanical pencils with Lead refills in different colors. (Click each word for a different color).

Cutting Tools

Scissors : Always keep a separate pair of scissors for fabric & paper because paper dulls the blade. Jenn Eskridge of Reanna Lily Designs has this wonderful idea of tying a piece of fabric to the scissor handle to remember not to use it for paper! She recently shared the idea on Pink Chalk Fabrics. Use dressmaking shears to cut fabric and sharp, pointed embroidery scissors for close work and for snipping threads...

Always use a metal edged ruler when cutting templates with a craft knife. 

For cutting fabric, I will highly recommend a Rotary Cutting Set. The basic set comprises of a Self Healing Cutting Mat, a Rotary Cutter and A Quilters Ruler. 

Cutting Mats are made of thick self-healing material and help keep your blade sharp. They are available in a variety of sizes and I prefer using the 24" x 36" Cutting Edge Mat that I bought from Keepsake Quilting!

Rotary cutters are one sharp things, mind you and you do not want to hurt yourself while using them. Always keep the blade retracted when you have finished cutting!

Quilting Rulers, again are available in a variety of sizes... I have a set of 4.5" sq, 6.5" sq, 9.5" sq, 12.5" sq and 6" x 24". But I find that the one that gets used mostly is the 6" x 24" one followed by the 9.5" sq. 

Apart from this there are a lot of tools you might think of to make fabric cutting easier.

You could use the True Grips  or the Invisi Grip to prevent your ruler from sliding on the fabric.

And you could also use a Gypsy Gripper to hold your ruler more comfortably.

Needles  and Pins!

You will need pins to hold your fabric together as you sew and needles for, obviously, sewing! You will need both Machine and Hand Sewing Needles

Apart from these, you will also need Curved Safety Pins for basting your quilt.


Thread is as important to sewing as Fabric! After all, its what holds the fabric together.

You get a variety of thread in the market, the choice of the thread will depend on what you are using it for. I do recomment 100% cotton or 100% polyester thread for piecing and quilting. If you go for cheap thread, it will show in your quilts!

While choosing the color, go for a neutral color thread for piecing and quilting... And use the same color in the bobbin (wherever possible)...

If you buy quilting thread, make sure it is not wax coated (thats for hand quilting and not machine quilting!)

Ironing, or rather, Pressing

You will need to press your fabric often, and I mean PRESS not IRON! You will need to do it before you cut the fabric, after you sew it, before you baste it and after you finish the product! Your regular iron and ironing board  will work wonderfully. If you want you can invest in a small table top ironing board or a Quilters Cut 'n' Press

Other Sewing Notions

There are a whole lot of other tools that you might consider investing in. They will save a lot of time and give you a lot of comfort!

Here's a quick list of the ones I think you might find useful

Beeswax : Running thread over beeswax smooths it and helps prevent knots forming while hand sewing.

Freezer Paper : This is used for accurate hand piecing or appliqué. It has non-wax coating on  one side that can be temporarily ironed onto fabric.

Fusible Bonding Web : is a mesh of glue used to adhere pieces of appliqué to a background with heat.

Graph Paper : Used for designing quilts and blocks. Makes calculations easier.

Seam Ripper :  Use this to undo your stitches. Unpick every third stitch and pull thread from the other side to undo seams.

Tape Measure : Useful for roughly measuring fabric. Not for precision measurements.

Template Plastic : To cut reusable templates.

There are loads more... Link them up if you find any!


  1. Do you get the cutting mat and the quilting rulers in India? I would love to get them if it is available here.

  2. I can't believe I survived without a square ruler/cutting edge and rotary cutter. I also cannot survive now without my 505 spray adhesive. I have submitted a link to a shop that also has fact sheets on various ways to use it. I have done a quilt and lots of smaller projects and there is still plenty in the can.

  3. Wow! This could be one particular of the most beneficial blogs We’ve ever arrive across on this subject. Basically Wonderful. I am also a specialist in this topic therefore I can understand your effort.
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