Everything You Need to Start Quilting
Quilting can be an amazing hobby as well as an income generating activity or even a full-time career. It also boosts your creativity and can help relax your mind when stressed. However, every craft has its own essential tools of the trade that beginners need to know about and learn how to use. For quilting, it’s mostly about measuring, designing, cutting, sewing, and pressing. But what are some of the crucial supplies beginners need to know about?
Here’s everything you need to start quilting.
Shear and Scissors
Of course, quilting involves cutting pieces of fabric and sewing them up together to create a finished product. For your fabric, you will need a pair of large fabric sheers that are designed for cutting fabric and thread alone. These should not be used to cut paper and other material as this could end up dulling the blades and making the inefficient. For cutting paper and other project templates, invest in a smaller pair of scissors. Be sure to look for one that is comfortable to handle and fits well in your hand.
The other important piece of equipment you need when taking up quilting is a sewing machine. There are many different types of sewing machines, which vary in prices, sizes, mechanism of operation, and the types of stitches they can sew. Some of them are manual, whereas others are electricity-assisted. It doesn’t have to be an expensive one, but it is important to ensure you go for a good quality quilting machine that won’t make your job a nightmare. You can get a lot of those online by simply doing some research online. For instance, ensure that your machine has at least a ¼-inch seam allowance and maybe accepts a walking foot.
Rotary Cutter, Mat, and Blades
Rotary cutters, as you can tell from the name, are rotating tools that allow you to cut out your quilt patterns easily. They vary widely in size and design and are mostly distinguished by the blade size. The most common options come with 45mm and 60mm blades. Smaller and larger cutters are also available and it all depends on which one you find more comfortable when cutting through various layers of material. Of course, smaller blades are more convenient when cutting appliqué shapes.
In addition, you’ll need a cutting mat, on which you’ll be placing the material you’re cutting. You don’t want to leave marks all over your work station. It is important to remember that the kind of cutting mat you pick will affect the quality of your work. For instance, you will need a mat with a self-healing surface. This will protect your cutting blades as well as the cutting surface. Also, it is important to arm yourself with several cutting blades just in case the one you’re using gets blunt or breaks.
The quilting ruler is another essential quilting tool that is highly important in this craft. It’s a transparent ruler with a special kind of gripping that keeps allows you to cut through your material without the rotary cutter slipping away. It helps to increase your quilting accuracy. They also come in a wide variety of sizes.
Of course, you can’t quilt at all without thread. Quilting thread is available in a wide range of weights, colors, and material quality. Most quilters consider the 50-weight cotton/poly-cotton variety a favorite. You may want to experiment with a couple of blends before choosing the one you’re comfortable working with. Additionally, you will want to arm yourself with several sewing threads in different colors since not all thread colors may go well with certain colors of fabric. It is also dependent on the kind of stitch you’re doing, whether its appliqué, binding, or decorative stitches.
Pins + Pincushion + Needles
Pins are also overly essential in quilting. They help hold your fabric in place when making patterns, designing, and sewing. They improve the quilter’s accuracy and are best stored on a pincushion. There are various kinds of pins, most of which are ideal for specific uses. For instance, glass head pins are great for projects that require ironing with the pin on, especially since they’re not prone to melting from the heat. Silk pins, on the other hand, are able to glide through most types of fabric. Appliqué pins are great for appliqué quilting. In addition to these, you will definitely want to arm quilting kit with specific types of needless depending on the sewing machine you’re using and the kind of fabric you’re operating with. Both machine and hand sewing needles come in a variety of sizes, strengths, and qualities.
Iron +Ironing Board
To press your initial and final pieces for the utmost accuracy, and iron and ironing board come in handy. A good iron box should be fairly heavy, comfortable to handle, and easy to work with. There are ironing boards specifically meant for quilters so don’t be shy to look for one.
Quality Quilting Fabric
Last but not the least, the other obvious thing you really need when taking up quilting is fabric. As a matter of fact, this one should have actually been number one on the list. Especially if you’re a fresh beginner, you will definitely need some fabric to practice your stitches with and develop your creativity. However, not all kinds of fabric will do. If you can, try and look for quilt-quality fabric, preferably cotton. This is a fabric that doesn’t stretch all that much and it’s tightly woven compared to the regular fabric. The other good thing about quality cotton fabric is that it will hardly run or bleed when you wash it. You will find them in lots of colors and dimensions at reputed quilt stores.
Quilting is no doubt a fun and exciting activity. But this may not be the case if you don’t have the right tools, supplies, and equipment in your arsenal. With just a couple of months of practice, you can actually monetize your quilting while having fun. The above are just but some of the basic necessities any quilting beginner shouldn’t lack.