Must Have Quilting Tools to Make Quilting Easier
Quilting is such a fun and therapeutic past time. But there are some parts of quilting that can be so frustrating and make us want to pull our hair out! I have been on the hunt for all the must have quilting tools that will help make quilting less frustrating so it can just be relaxing and fun! Here are some of the things I use and some that are on my list to try!
Must Have Quilting Tools to Make Quilting Easier
Quilting is one of my very favorite things to do. I just love starting with a big pile of fabric and ending with a beautiful handmade quilt.
If you love quilting you might like THIS post about how to design your own quilt and how to become a quilt designer.
You might also like THIS post about how to quilt for beginners.
And if you are looking for tips and tricks on quilting check out THIS post with tips from tons of amazing quilters.
What quilting supplies do I need?
There are a few very basic supplies that you must have to start quilting. These are the supplies that make quilting possible. To see the supplies that make quilting easier but aren’t mandatory keep scrolling.
A rotary cutter – There are lots of options for rotary cutters out there. I prefer this ergonomical design.
A cutting mat – In my mind the bigger the better. A larger mat is helpful when cutting down large cuts of fabric.
A clear ruler – I prefer a ruler that is 6.5″ wide so you can easily create pieces in half inch increments. They no longer sell the exact ruler that I use but this one is very similar.
A sewing machine (unless you plan to hand sew the entire quilt, which is entirely possible.)
Fabric – There are about a billion options for fabric. Joann has a great selection of cost friendly fabrics that are great for beginners and you can always find a coupon to bring the cost down even more. If you want high end I LOVE using Art Gallery Fabrics.
Thread – see below for more info about thread.
Pins or WonderClips – I put pins in there because if you have them they will definitely suffice. However I only ever use Wonder Clips. So if you have to purchase something get the wonder clips instead of pins. The clips are also great for binding the quilt and you can’t use pins for the binding.
Do you need a special sewing machine for quilting?
No. You do not NEED a special sewing machine for quilting. I have made dozens of quilts on my regular sewing machine, the one linked above.
However if you start quilting and it is your passion and you find that you want to do more intricate things you may decide to get a fancy machine that has a deeper neck.
There are also frames where you can use your regular sewing machine to do even more intricate free motion quilting designs. Or you may also decide that you want a long arm quilter, which is a machine that allows you to do really intricate designs.
However many people prefer to send their quilt to a long armer to have it quilted once they have completed the quilt top and back. There are long armers who have years of experience and are able to make beautiful designs for you.
I definitely recommend creating a few quilts yourself on your regular sewing machine to see if you like the process of quilting before you proceed with purchasing the often expensive extra equipment.
What kind of thread do you use for quilting?
When you are machine quilting you can just use a standard sew all thread. I use Gutermann and Aurifil.
I often get a 1000 yd spool of white for all my quilt piecing (unless your quilt is very dark in which case I would use a gray or black thread throughout.) Then you can get a smaller spool in the color you want to use for your quilting.
It is very important that you use a high quality brand. Don’t try and save pennies on the thread. A bad thread will clog up your machine and will not hold up to free motion quilting.
Tools to make cutting easier:
Rulers – There are about a million different quilt rulers out there. You can find a ruler for basically any specialty type of quilt you might be making. There are flying geese rulers, a classic curves ruler for circles and orange peels, and even half square triangle rulers.
I only recommend you get these rulers if you plan to make a lot of these types of quilts. They can be pricey and they are one dimensional as they really only have one use.
Trim a Tip Tool – This tool cuts the excess fabric from the tip of triangles when paper piecing. If you have ever paper pieced with lots of triangles you know the tip can be cumbersome and get in the way.
Gypsy Cutting Gizmo – This handy little tool is a quick and easy way to separate your chain pieced blocks and pieces.
Rotating Cutting Mat – A rotating cutting mat is really nice for squaring blocks. Once you line your block up you can then rotate the mat to square rather than lining the block up again each time you want to square a side.
You can see both the rotating mat and the gypsy cutter in the video below. See the tutorial post for the blocks in the video HERE.
Tools to make pressing easier:
Starch – I LOVE using starch to help with quilting. It makes your seams nice and crisp and it makes squaring and trimming so much easier. Be sure to follow the directions on the packaging and don’t spray too close to your fabric to avoid spots.
Wool Pressing Mat – This mat will help you to ensure that your blocks are perfectly pressed and flat. A flat quilt block as many quilters will tell you is the key to having a really great finished quilt.
Roll and Press – The roll and press is great to give your seam an initial press without heat. It will help the seam lie flat so you can press the seam without having to hold your fingers just under your iron!
Oliso Iron – The Oliso is the gold standard in quilting irons. It has a lot of bells and whistles that make it very desirable. You don’t have to have a fancy iron, but it is always fun am I right??
Cricut EasyPress2 – I like the EasyPress because it is paired with a small pressing mat that you can set right on your craft table next to your sewing machine. I really hate ironing boards and getting up to iron things when I am in my quilting flow. Plus the 6″ version is a great size to press your small blocks. I use this instead of an iron 90% of the time when I am quilting.
Tools to make free motion quilting easier:
Supreme Slider – This handy little mat helps you slide your quilt to make free motion quilting easier on your home machine.
Grip & Stitch Pads – These little pads are perfect for helping you move your quilt around as you free motion quilt.
Quilting Gloves – This is another great tool to help you grip your quilt and move it as you free motion quilt.