Tuesday, April 13, 2010

1st Quilt Ever -- Basic Quiltmaking Supplies!

Before we get started talking about making our quilt, let's talk about the basic supplies you'll need.

#1: Rotary cutter, ruler, and mat.
If you don't own these items, please -- buy, beg, borrow or steal some! (Well... maybe not steal!) No matter how accurate you try to be, cutting with scissors is NEVER as accurate as cutting with a rotary cutter -- and accuracy is VITAL for a successful quilt. ALSO -- rotary cutting is a million (okay maybe not quite a million) times faster!!!!

You can often purchase all three of these items together in a set, and if you shop at JoAnns you can use a 40% off coupon!

~ Having a nice sharp blade in your rotary cutter is an absolute necessity. You will want to cut through multiple layers of fabric at one time for maximum speed and efficiency. (I'll talk more about cutting later.)

~ I use a 24"x36" mat. I cannot live without it! If you do not own a cutting mat, I strongly suggest you go for the larger size. It makes cutting so much easier!

~ I own a few different rotary-cutting rulers, but absolutely prefer my 6"x24" ruler over all of them. Using a ruler of this size makes cutting so much easier! Please use a ruler that is meant for rotary cutting. Using a metal ruler will dull your blade in an instant. Plastic rulers just aren't strong enough and will end up getting dinged by your rotary cutter blade -- which will, in turn, dull your blade. Rotary cutting rulers are clear acrylic, and have measuring grids on them.

AGAIN -- making quilts = lots of cutting! Make it easy on yourself by having the right tools for the job!

#2: Iron.
I hope everyone owns one of these already!

Mine is a little vintage fellow. I've tried other irons -- even the fancy-schmancy brands. I like mine. My amazing husband has replaced the cord for me once -- it used to have a lovely blue cord that, sadly, wore out. He has also offered to replace the iron entirely. No thanks!! :o)

#3: Ironing Board.
My husband got me this one years ago as a birthday present. Romantic? YES!! After having used my normal-sized skinny little hand-me-down ironing board for years and years, having this double-wide beauty is a dream! I'm not telling you to go out and splurge on one of these... but if you are ever in the market and the opportunity arises to get one of these babies -- DO IT!

#4: 1/4" Sewing Machine Foot.
This isn't a necessity, but it's nice. This is the foot that spends the most time on my sewing machine... aside from my free-motion foot, that is!

#5: Free-Motion (or Darning) Foot.
I continue my quest to convince you that you CANNOT live without one of these babies!!
When it comes to quilting a quilt, using one of these feet is WWWAAAAAAYYY easier than using a regular foot! I, for one, do my best to avoid straight-line quilting. It takes too long, it's physically much more cumbersome to do, and... for most quilts free-motion is just better. The end. :o)

#6: Safety Pins.

You will need safety pins when it's quilting time. There are a few kinds out there. The bendy pin on the right is supposedly better for basting quilts. I find that the only difference between the two kinds is that the bendy ones are more expensive. Don't waste your money. ALSO -- get the smaller size of safety pins!! The larger pins just won't do the job as well! One more thing: It's no secret that I love the dollar store, BUT -- don't buy safety pins at the dollar store. They aren't as sharp as the ones you will get at, say, JoAnns. They will frustrate you and possibly damage your fabric.

#7: Masking Tape.
You will need this when it comes time to baste your quilt together. I confess I use dollar store masking tape. It works fine most of the time, although there are certainly some versions that are less sticky. Some people use packing tape instead of masking tape. Either kind works. More on this later.

#8: Sewing Pins.
I hate pinning. But sometimes there is no way around it. You do need pins. (Sigh.)

Gather things together! Tomorrow we'll talk FABRIC!


Nima said...

Thank you so much for this series...I'll be waiting for your next post..

I'm doing my hand quilting course now and it is about to end..glad to see this quilting series. i actually wanted to do machine quilting as well .

I have some doubts. I have read online about the walking foot. is free motion foot same as walking foot. can i use it on my ordinary sewing machine. I don't have a quilting/embroidery machine. i use regular basic model sewing machine..looking forward to hear from you. thak you

Sew It To Me said...

Thanks for the tips. I am going to look for the free motion foot and try guilting for once :)


Anonymous said...

I have everything but the quilting foot, i am ready for the next tip. I know what i am getting for mothers day, well besides fabric.

Lynette @ My Craft Discovery said...

I have been challenged to make a quilt this year...and I have felt very overwhelmed! I just got my rotary cutter and mat and have been practicing. This will be my very first, so the timing for this series could not have been better! Thanks!!!!!! If I plan on tying my quilt, do I still need a free motion foot (I imagine not)?

Astyn said...

I am excited to see this series! I have made 2 little doll quilts- and nothing since. I am waiting for new inspiration.

Shirley said...

I am so excited! I've never done a quilt before (well a real quilt, not just a tie one) and I've been wanting to make one forever, but didn't know how. I think I might go out and buy that stuff now! (Don't tell my husband.:)

Kris @ everywhereorange.com said...

thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! i am thrilled you are doing this series!!! i have always wanted to try a quilt but have been too overwhelmed just thinking about it. I have my JoAnn coupon ready to go shopping to get started!!!

The Life of Susan said...

this is so exciting! i have everything but the free-motion foot. now i need to get one. :)

Ms Muffin said...

Uh, I didn't even know that a metal ruler will dull my blade. Have used it up until Easter :-( where I got a nice quilting ruler from my mom!!! So I guess I will have to buy a new blade ... sigh!
And I didn't even know you need safety pins. Will put that on the shopping list right now. Oh, and I also did not know that you need those other feet for the sewing machine. Gotta check tomorrow what my machine came with ... and what I can buy ... I only have a very cheap one bought at a discount supermarket ... At the time I figured I just want to try whether I like sewing. I don't even know if I can buy another sewing machine foot for that model ... Guess I gotta do some research ... or talk my mom into giving her sewing machine to me ... hm ...
Thanks for posting all this information! I TOLD you I have no idea about quilting! Am really really glad that I did not start without you!!!! THANKS!

Melissa said...

Where do I buy a free-motion/Darning foot? (And more importantly, how do I know if it is compatible with my machine?! :O)

Wendy P said...

I have a vintage iron too! I hated all the new ones. All made in China and they break down or otherwise malfunction within months. I got mine on Ebay. It needs a new cord. I hope my husband can do that.

Hopefully there are a lot of want-to-be quilters out there getting your tips! A few other blogs are doing beginner tutorials right now also.

Heather - Dollarstorecrafts.com said...

Thanks for the supply list! My quilting got a LOT better when I finally got a rotary cutter & mat!

Darling Petunia said...

Okeydokey, Care, I have some questions already. Yes, ALREADY! :-P

Leslie said...

this is great...even though i have been quilting for about 5-6 years it is still nice to get a refresher...and talk about basic techniques again.

Susan said...

I bought a free-motion foot just recently for my machine (which is a very simple machine) and it was about $25. It was totally worth it. Machine quilting is addicting and the result is beautiful. I'm so glad Care is sharing-try it!

Alisha said...

Guess I need to get some new feet. I'm determined to become a quilter this year, so I need the right supplies. :)

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for this opportunity to learn quilting.
And sorry for my poor english (I'm italian).
I will follow your posts.

Megan said...

I'm ready! I am also determined to do some quilting this year and your blog seems to be the perfect place to get started. Thanks!!!

Stephanie said...

The only darning foot I've been able to find is the kind with the bottom portion being plastic. It seems like all metal would be better. Do you think it matters?

Care said...

Hi Stephanie,

I've never tried a plastic one, but many people use them with great success.

Here's a great resource that talks about quilting feet:

Hope that helps! Good luck!


Unknown said...

Hi dear author,
How are you? Hope you are well. You blog is full of informative.Thanks for sharing.A rotary cutter, ruler and cutting mat are probably a necessity if you do much quilting, and they certainly do save time and improve accuracy, but the first quilters didn't have any of these accessories and they produced beautiful quilts.To find out more visit-quilting equipment


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