Beginner Quilters Need These 11 Basic Quilting Tools Update 05/2022

All of the gizmos and gadgets can be daunting and confusing to a newbie quilter.

Do I really require all of these templates?

How many different types of pins will I require?

Should I buy a bunch of patterns or make my own?

When I chose to try quilting for the first time, I recall asking myself these questions.

Fortunately, you don’t need to buy everything in the quilting area of your local hobby store to make a beautiful quilt.

In this post, we’ll go over the top 11 quilting supplies to get you started on your quilting adventure.

New world settlers carried quilting with them, but the 1704 Saltonstall quilt is the only one that has survived. (The quilt’s age was determined using a template cut from a 1701 Harvard College newspaper.)

Quilting became popular in the United States during the nineteenth century. Quilts can be found in museums all around the country, but most quilters are not seeking professional recognition.

They quilt because they enjoy the art and are proud of their quilt blocks.

Beginners are always curious about how experienced quilters make Nine-Patch, Shoo Fly, Churn Dash, or Prairie Queen quilt block patterns.

And the answer is straightforward.

Any new quilter needs the correct quilting tools and supplies, a little research, and the determination to produce a quilt that embodies the intrinsic beauty of quilting to get started.

One of the first steps to quilting success is having the correct supplies and understanding what each tool performs.

Here is a list of the needed quilting supplies for beginners:

The Rotary Cutter

Rotary cutters come in a variety of diameters, but the 45-millimeter and 60-millimeter blades are the most popular.

If you have wrist problems, skilled quilters will usually advise you to use an ergonomic cutter.

Rotary cutters of good quality are more exact, especially when working with fabrics with a high thread count. They make quilt blocks with straight edges and more consistent sizes.

Straight Pins And Needles

Once the block cutting is finished, a quilter’s best allies are sharp and durable pins, pin cushions, or a magnetic pin bowl.

As the piecing process takes shape, the pins keep the components together.

Straight pins for handwork and needles for legwork on your sewing machine are required.

Invest in some extra-long quilting pins with multi-colored heads so you can see them readily while working. (Having a variety of pins on hand for different jobs is a good idea.)

A Rotary Cutting Mat And Rotary Rulers

A rotary cutting mat is useful for two things. It keeps the cutter blade sharp and protects the cutting surface.

The cloth will be more stable with a somewhat rough mat, and the blade nicks will disappear.

Reversible cutting mats are also available.

A see-through rotary ruler makes it easy to secure the fabric to the mat. A ruler with very small lines aids in better cloth edge alignment.

There are hundreds of rotary rulers to choose from, but start with a simple 6″ x 24″ ruler and expand as needed.


Quilting scissors come in a variety of shapes and sizes. To get started, beginners require two types. The first is a pair of light fabric scissors that are comfortable to hold.

Only use these to cut fabric.

You’ll also need a set of scissors that can cut through plastic, paper, and other materials.

Because your fingertips rest outside the handles rather than being caught inside the handle holes, heritage rag quilt scissors are popular.

Seam Ripper

When you need to take out a seam that doesn’t belong in the quilt, a seam ripper with a fine head usually works well.

Find a seam ripper that fits comfortably in your hand and has a hard cap to protect the blade while not in use.


Quilts that are well-made require high-quality material. Cotton that is tightly woven will last longer, and bold colors will give your quilt the pop you want.

Most novices begin with a choice of multicolored cotton fabrics, although some prefer tone-on-tone quilting fabrics.

Cotton Threads

For simple stitching, most novices use a lint-free 50 weight cotton thread. However, for artistic and decorative stitching, you can use any weight cotton thread.

Most quilters use cotton thread since their fabrics are cotton as well. Cotton-on-cotton matches keep your quilt smooth and constant to the touch.

Ironing Board And An Iron

To quilt, you don’t need to reinvent the ironing board or the iron. Any sturdy, full-size ironing board would suffice.

Any iron with a high enough temperature to press the fabric is appropriate.

Some quilters use a portable ironing board to move from room to room, while others use a four-foot-long by 12- or 18-inch-wide ironing board that comes as part of a door-attachment kit.

reliable sewing machine

Reliable Sewing Machine

You don’t need a fancy, expensive quilting machine to sew together your quilt top or even quilt your project, contrary to popular belief. I propose purchasing a sewing machine from a well-known brand and within your budget.

If you want to try free-motion quilting on your projects, make sure the machine you buy has either lower feed dogs or a feed dog cover so you can move your quilt around freely under the foot.

basting tools

Basting Tools/Supplies

Straight pins have already been mentioned, but safety pins are also useful for basting the quilt sandwich. When you put your quilt sandwich together, you utilize basting (quilt top, batting, and quilt backing).

Safety pins, Elmer’s glue, or spray adhesive can be used to baste. Additionally, some batting comes with an iron-on adhesive. You might have to experiment to see what works best for you. Elmer’s Glue and safety pins are my tools of choice.

graph paper

Graph Paper

Graph paper can rapidly become your closest friend if you wish to create your own quilt pattern or design. Consider each square of paper to be a square in your quilt pattern.

Graph paper is a low-cost tool that can be used in a variety of ways. If you already have a quilt pattern in mind, you can draw it on graph paper and color it in to determine which colors you prefer.

FAQS about Quilting Supplies

What supplies do I need to begin quilting?

Sewing machine, rotary cutter and mat or scissors, ruler, seam ripper

What is the easiest quilt pattern for a beginner?

Either a basic jellyroll strip quilt or a patchwork quilt made up of identical squares. For beginners, precut materials are an excellent choice.

How do you start quilting for beginners?

I recommend starting with a little item, such as a table runner or potholders, and going for it! You won’t learn until you put out the effort. The best way to begin is to practice.

What tools do I need to make a patchwork quilt?

A sewing machine, rotary cutter, and mat (or scissors, ruler, and seam ripper) are required.

Beginners will require these basic quilting tools to join the increasing community of enthusiastic quilters.

With these tools, you may make quilts that will protect your friends and family from the weather while keeping them warm at night.

But keep in mind that quilts can also be creative. The majority of quilters choose to display this side.

Quilts are one-of-a-kind works of art, with a story woven into every block.

You may convey such stories in a style that displays your originality and creative expression once you’ve mastered these tools.

What are your favorite quilting materials? Let us know what you’d add to this beginner’s list!

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