When first starting out it is easy to get overwhelmed with so many tools at the craft store. The truth is you don’t need a ton of them! I’ve listed some below that will help you get started. For the experienced quilter check out some of my specific brands as I detail why I love them! I have included affiliate links to some of these tools where they can be purchased directly.
Quilter Piecing Foot: Most machines come with a ¼ inch piecing foot but if not universal quilters feet can be purchased here. I would double check that this one will work with your machine. Most beginner quilters don’t realize the importance of keeping consistent ¼ inch seam allowances. The tool will help greatly in having an accurately pieced quilt top.
Rotary Cutter & Blades: A rotary cutter makes cutting those gorgeous fabrics so much easier quicker and accurate. The blades are very sharp. Most come with a lock or a way to hide the blade. The most common sizes are 45 mm and 60 mm blades. This really is your preference on what feels better. In the studio we do a ton of cutting and only use 60 mm. Don’t forget to change out your blade when cutting gets difficult! A fresh blade makes cutting so much for enjoyable and easy.
Self Healing Cutting Mat: You will need a cutting mat to use with your rotary cutter. They come in various sizes but a good starting size would be 18” x 24” cutting mat. We use a 24” x 36” cutting mat in the studio. You can choose from some pretty colors here.
Thread: A high quality 50 wt. 100% cotton will is recommended when creating your heirloom. There is a range of low to high quality threads available. Since this is what will be holding your quilt together I would recommend going with medium to high quality. For piecing we like to use Coats Star Cotton Thread and Aurfil Mako Cotton Thread Solid 50WT.
Quilting Rulers: There are many to choose from in various sizes but we only use two in the studio. My favorite go to ruller is O’Lipfa 5-Inch-by-24-Inch Lip Edge Ruler. It has a lip edge that lines up with the side of the cutting mat that helps prevent slipping and helps insure accurate cutting. We also use a O’Lipfa 4-Inch-by-36-Inch Lip Edge Ruler. This one is one inch skinny but longer. It is great for squaring up quilt tops!
Iron & Ironing Board: There are so many to choose from and honestly they all accomplish the same thing. If you have one on hand for household use and it has steam it will work fine. If you wish to invest in a good one the Rowenta DW5080 Focus 1700-Watt and the Oliso TG1600 Smart Iron / Steam Iron.
Pins & Safety Pins: You will need some straight pins preferably longer ones with glass or plastic heads. They are easier to grab and locate if dropped. Safety pins will be needed in the quilting phase if you are not sending your quilt off to a long arm quilter or use a spray baste method. These are curved to help with the basting method.
Scissors: A decent pair of scissors that you keep just for cutting threads and fabric will be ideal. Avoid cutting paper with them and they should hold up for you well.
Some other things you will need also include a Seam Ripper, Needles, Best Press, Batting, Sewing Machine and a Measuring Tape. If you’re a crafter or have sewn before you may have some of this on hand. These tools will help you create gorgeous heirloom with accuracy and speed. Happy quilting, Kristin