Beginner’s Corner: Tools for Beginning Quilting

Have you just started quilting, signed up for a quilting for beginners class, or know someone who wants to learn how to quilt? To make sure you (or they) are properly armed for class and ready to sew, here’s a list of beginning quilting tools we came up with that many new quilters will find helpful!

Tools for Beginning Quilters

45mm Rotary Cutter such as this Olfa Rotary Cutter. This size is best for cutting many layers and general quilting; smaller sizes are best for applique, smaller pieces, or cutting curves.

Cutting Mat an 18″ x 24″ is a good size to start, although many quilters prefer a larger board like our 36″ x 59″ Cutting Mat.

Acrylic Rulers, especially a 6″ x 24″ or 6″x 12″, or a smaller 6.5″ x 6.5″ for cutting smaller pieces of fabric. Non slip rulers like our Creative Grids Non-Slip Rulers are very helpful!

Scissors for cutting fabric  or snipping scissors like our Angle Master Scissors. The larger scissor is helpful when cutting many layers of fabric, and smaller scissors are great for small, tight areas, applique and snipping threads. It’s best to have scissors that you will use just for fabric and thread, as paper and other materials will dull them faster.

Sewing Machine and Hand-Sewing Needles Our Roxanne needles come in both betweens and sharps. Betweens are usually for hand quilting, while sharps are for piecing or general sewing, although quilters often use one type that they prefer. The larger the number, the smaller the needle. Beginners tend to be more comfortable with a larger needle (smaller number).

Sharp, Fine Pins Our Thin Quilting Pins are great for machine and hand piecing. Our Quilters Pins are thick and strong, and great for pinning the top, batting and backing, and pinning binding in place.

Cotton thread (machine/hand-sewing thread) in neutral colors (tan or light grey) like in our Aurifil Thread Collection.

Sharp pencil or marking tool  Mark on all different colored fabrics with this 8-piece Pigma Permanent Marking Pen Set!

Iron and ironing board You’ll want an iron that produces a consistent steam. A slightly heavier one is helpful when pressing fabrics. A smaller pad like our Travel Ironing Pad is very helpful for quilt class.

Masking tape or sticky note pads to mark your machine’s .25″ seam allowance. Our Perfect Piecing Seam Guide is a helpful way to mark a consistent seam.

Let’s not forget: Fabric, fabric, fabric! There are so many options for cotton quilting fabric!


Finally, there are items that are “nice-to-haves,” though not absolutely necessary. Among these, we’d include a Supreme Slider (an excellent aid for free-motion quilting), a Mighty Bright Sewing Machine Light, a needle threader, and notions to keep your bobbins in line. The Machine Mates Collection has all of these helpers, and more.

We’d love to know if you think our list is missing anything. Which tools did you find the most helpful when you were learning to quilt?

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Beginner’s Corner, Informational, Quilting Tools and Supplies

3 thoughts on “Beginner’s Corner: Tools for Beginning Quilting

  1. A walking foot is essential for your machine. A 12 1/2 inch acrylic ruler is also a good investment. Template plastic if you intend to do appliqué, or freezer paper.

    1. OMG!! I finally received a quarter inch foot that it seemed took months to arrive. Supplies here in the “bush” are not easy to come by which is how I find Keepsake Quilting in the first place. Anyone interested in this hobby should definitely invest in the quarter inch foot!!!

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