Quilting Tool and Equipment
This website assumes that you already have
some basic sewing skills, and therefore sewing tools like seam rippers.
The following are additional
items you will need for quilting...
Pictured above you see Rotary Cutters,
Rotary Cutting Mats, Quilting Rulers, Scissors, and Marking Pencils. Here are the essential things to know
Rotary Cutters - I prefer to use the
ergonomic, medium size rotary cutter, pictured above for every day use. You can buy
Rotary Cutters in several sizes. The large cutters will cut through more
layers of fabric. Many people prefer to buy just one cutter, so they
choose the large one. Your blades will eventually get dull and you will
have to replace them. It is more economical to just deal with one size
If you are planning on learning
Paper Piecing, you will need an extra Rotary Cutter. Never cut
paper with your regular Rotary Cutter. Mark the one you use
for paper, so you don't mix them up.
Cutting Mat- A medium size mat
(18x24 inches) is good size for beginners. However, if you afford it, but
the biggest mat available. The mat will be reversible.
The front will have grid marks, while the back is a plain gray color.
While it might be tempting to align your fabric and cut on the grid marks, you
will not get as accurate a cut, and you will wear out your board by cutting on
the same lines all the time. Cut on the plain, reverse side. It is
easier to read your ruler on the reverse side.
A smaller, square
rotating cutting mat is convenient, and essential for cutting
safety. You will make many pieces that you need to cut in
different directions. If you put these pieces on the rotating
mat, you can just turn the mat to cut the piece without disturbing
the piece or hurting yourself by trying to cut sideways.
Rulers - You will need several
sizes of rulers. One of the most
versatile rulers is the 12x6-inch rectangle. Make sure that it has the
45 degree angle line marked on it, as well as markings for 1/8 -inch cuts.
You will also want a smaller
square Ruler and a larger 12-inch square Ruler, with all the
The smaller, triangular shaped ruler is called the "Easy
Angle". This is the ruler I reach for most of the time to make
small cuts. It is also called "The Right Triangle". You will also use it to cut triangles.
Marking Implements - You need
light and dark chalk pencils to mark your fabrics.
You can also use a
pencil on many fabrics. If you use a fine point, you can also use a black
permanent pen (felt tip marker) at times. However, you have to be careful
because when you mark a permanent line with the black marker, and cut on it, if the line is too
thick, you will not cut away all of the fabric. You may be able to see the
marking from the front of your quilt, and worse yet, it may bleed when washed.
Scissors - You
will be using your scissors a lot, so buy quality scissors and don't
use them for anything but fabric.
Cutting Tables -
If you do not have a high enough table to work
on, you will hurt your back. You can use a regular table, and
lift it up, or you can buy a hobby table.
The hobby tables are great,
because they fold down on both sides, so you can put them away if
you aren't using them.
Some people find these tables flimsy, but I like them.