Some of you have been asking for me to share some of my notions! I have a lot, some I can’t live without, and some could probably walk out the door and I wouldn’t notice (maybe I should purge some of those then…the word hoarding comes to mind)
Obviously, you will need a sewing machine that can sew a straight line. You don’t need fancy for quilting. You are also going to need some space.
First things first, you will need a cutting mat. I have several sizes, my must have size is the Olfa 36×24. I have a smaller one that is 12×18, and I have a huge one that is 36×56 (not pictured).
Second, and the reason you need a cutting mat, is because in quilting you really need a rotary cutter to ensure accurate piecing. I love my olfa cutters. Along with the cutters, you are going to need extra blades. I usually change out blades every other quilt, but my quilts are small. I labeled my bad blades so I don’t mix them up. This will prevent the blades from cutting open your trash bag. They are EXTREMELY sharp, so be very careful!
To help cut the accurate sizes, you are going to need an assortment of rulers. The 6×24 is a must have. I also think 1 square is a must have, but I will leave it up to you which size square you prefer to use the most. I use the 15×15 to help in squaring up my corners of the quilt. The little square is nice to have to squaring up my quilt blocks. I generally have about 6″ quilt blocks, so I use this one a lot.
If you do a lot of Half square triangles, you can get this little duo, it has come in really handy for me. It is a rotating mat & special ruler just for them. These are not must haves… just very nice to haves. 🙂
Unfortunately for me, this is a must have… a seam ripper. Maybe you are awesome and don’t need one, but I have not quite gotten there yet!
Next up, pins & pin cushion/bowl, lots and lots of pins! I have quite an assortment. The big tan flower pins are not my favorite, but they do well when I am trying to help label my rows, columns, and stacks. The colorful glass bead pins are what I use the most. You want them to be a very thin diameter to help prevent too much distortion on your fabrics. I also have some tiny pins with no heads for when I am trying to reduce bulk if I need to sew near a pin I don’t want to remove. I don’t recommend sewing over pins. You will either ruin your pin, or the timing on your sewing machine, neither of which bring happiness. I keep all my pins in the magnetic bowl. I tend to spill them, so the magnet helps hold them in the bowl.
Although most trimming is done with the rotary cutter, you will still need some good scissors. I prefer gingher scissors. I have a large pair, and then a tiny pair I use to cut threads. I consider both of these as must haves.
Hopefully you have an iron on hand, because you are going to need it! I have been using a target Black & Decker iron, but I just upgraded to this Rowenta.
Thread is a must have, and I say this because it needs to be good thread. I prefer Aurifil thread, it goes through my machine like butter, and doesn’t produce a lot of thread lint. Cheap thread will break or will wear out before the quilt does, and you don’t want that!
When it comes to making your quilt sandwich, I recommend frog tape to help hold down the layers while you work on getting them stuck together. To connect the layers I use Spray adhesive, which is great when working with stretchy fabrics like minky, and curved safety pins. I added little plastic grippers to my safety pins, for more stability when pinning. I also use this wooden Kwik Klip to help keep my fingers from hurting. It takes a lot of pins to hold all the layers together properly. Those are both nice to have, but not required.
When adding the binding, these clover clips work great to hold the binding in place while you sew it.
You are going to need a measuring tape to measure your quilt to make sure it is square, and to determine how much binding you will need.
When you go to quilt it, you are going to need something to mark quilting lines, chalk is perfect for that. I have a couple different methods depending on the fabric and fabric color. I use the pencil mostly on my half square triangles to mark where I need to sew.
These other two things I use a lot, but are not must haves. These little rulers are great for measuring for the HSTs, ensuring you are keeping your scant 1/4″ seam, and trimming binding. The measuring gauge is used when you get to a binding corner to make sure you stop 1/4″ away from the edge.
These are the notions that I use the most. What notions can you not live without? What are some of your favorite things?
Some other blogs on what quilters recommend see: