9 Recommended Tools for Beginning Quilters

Quilting is a hobby that is growing in popularity every day. Contrary to what you might think it's not a hobby for "old ladies", but appeals to people of all ages and both genders. It's an excellent way to relieve stress, and provide a creative outlet and reprieve from the challenges of everyday life.

If you've been interested in starting to quilt, but we not sure where to start or what you needed, here are some of the products that I recommend that you purchase to start. After you get going a while, you'll find other fun things to buy, but this list will give you the basics.

Cutting Mat

Quilting is done almost entirely with geometric shapes. These shapes (usually squares and rectangles) are easier to cut using a rotary cut, mat, and ruler than with scissors. You'll get much more accurate cuts, and in quilting accuracy is everything. You'll need what's called a "self-healing" cutting mat. Which means that it "heals" itself after the rotary blade cuts into it. You'll want to purchase one specifically for quilting as the material is less likely to dull your blade.

Cutting Ruler

You'll need at least one ruler, although you will probably want more as you go on. I'd start with a 6" x 36" ruler. This will allow you to make most cuts. I like the Creative Grids rulers since they are non-slip.

Rotary Blade

Use the rotary blade along with the ruler and cutting mat to cut out your fabric pieces. Get a good quality one that feels comfortable in your hand and be sure to change the blade often. A dull blade can be very dangerous.

Cut Glove

Speaking of dangerous, those rotary blades are SHARP. Protect your non-cutting hand with a cut glove. It will help prevent injury if the blade slips while you are cutting.

Quilt Pins

Quilt pins are different than regular sewing pins since they are fine. They will not leave large holes in your fabric and they will allow you to pin your fabric more accurately. Larger pins can bunch up your fabric a bit which can mess up your accuracy when you're stitching the fabrics together.

Quilting Cottons

Quilting is done almost entirely with 100% cotton fabric. Choose a good quality cotton so that your quilt will last for years and hold up to repeated washings.


You need an iron WITH steam. The steam will help to set your seams and give you nice flat quilt blocks. I love the Olisio, since it raises itself up and down and can help relieve wrist strain.

Seam Ripper

Odds are you're going to make a mistake (or two, or ten). You'll need a seam ripper to undo the seams so you can start over again. This one has a rubber grip on the lid that helps to remove loose thread after you've finished unpicking.

Books or Patterns

I'd recommend picking up a good quality book on quilting or a very well written pattern to start. It will answer many of your questions and give you a good idea of the whole process. It might just save you a bit of frustration in the process too!

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