Updated: Jan 29
Which supplies do you NEED to begin quilting and which ones can wait? Here's a list of my favorite brands of the must-haves with a couple of nice-to-haves to get you on your way!
I haven't been quilting for a super long time, but I HAVE been sewing for years. I've been through enough scissors and cutting mats to tell you all which are worth the splurge or skip.
I learned early on that "you get what you pay for", but I also learned that the brightest and shiniest tools your money can buy don't always outlast their more basic counterparts. I've purchased all of these items with my own money (including the countless others that came before them!) and have not been gifted them in return for my reviews or recommendations- so this is the REAL, real. However, as an Amazon Affiliate, I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you each time readers buy from recommended products.
Start with starch.
I cannot stand scented starch. This stuff is fragrance free and the nozzle on this spray is just *chef's kiss*. The even distribution of the spray results in such a smooth cutting surface and that, in turn, reduces cutting errors and more precise piecing. I can personally attest to their amazing customer service as well! I had received an order in a super damaged box and the spray nozzles on a couple of the bottles were smashed along with it despite being very carefully wrapped in bubble wrap like they always are. I reached out to get them replaced and they immediately sent them out and they arrived so quickly! Accidents happen and I loved how responsive their company was!
Measure twice, cut once
I just recently switched to this set of rulers and I am thoroughly impressed. I work with a lot of dark fabrics, so having lines that are lighter colored that don't blend in makes it much easer to read the measurements. Additionally, the backs of these rulers are coated with a non-slip layer that helps ensure your ruler stays put.
My favorite feature, though, is that it is right and left hand reversible. Am I left handed? No. However, according to the "Quilt Police" I "cut wrong" and regularly flip my ruler around to make it work and having the numbers on both sides makes this a really smooth and simple process!
Self healing with longevity
This is a supply that shouldn't need to be replaced regularly and should last for YEARS. I've gone through so many cheaper mats and absolutely none of them have made it to the year mark.. some haven't even come close. I have a very large mat that spans my entire table that works great for pretty photos and for cutting large lengths, but it is riddled with large cracks that act like grooves for my rotary blade and drive me mad! I've done most of my cutting on this mat for well over a year and I don't see needing to replace it for a very very long time. It was definitely worth the slight price bump!
Just one cut
Just like their cutting mat, their rotary cutters and blades are well worth their price tags. I own a couple of higher end cutters and while they are awesome, I'd say that this is my go-to and the one that I'd most recommend.
The thread that just won't quit
Take my money. A bit of a higher price point, but man, this stuff is tough and versatile. Their color options are insane and I love that my favorite local quilt shop sells this brand which makes last minute replacement spools easy to get same-day!
Beginner's best friend
Beginners and experienced quilters alike need a solid seam ripper and this one is LEGIT. It works like a tiny little thread saw and make opening seams so much faster that the traditional ripper!
This handy little pair of scissors has been my go to for probably 5 years. I love the spring and keep them right next to my machine for quick grab and snips.
Pin. Pin. Pin.
While I tend to 86 the pins most of the time, they are essential to getting smooth curves. This set is heat resistant a great diameter for quilting fabrics. The wide, flat heads make grabbing them on the fly and finding them after you're done a breeze.
The best for binding
I can't imagine a sewing life without these clips. When I'm doing the final binding process on my quilt, I can easily attach, slide and readjust these clips as I go. There's way more than I can ever use, so I'd recommend getting a batch to split with a friend!
You have a good point
I'm new to milliner needles, but I can say that I won't be switching anytime soon. I think my number one tip is to switch out your needle with every new project. These are excellent for attaching bindings by hand.
Just a thimble
Thimbles tend to be a personal choice and while I will probably die with my custom silver Thimbles For You one with an acorn gemstone on my middle finger, it was definitely a splurge and I highly recommend this silicone one if you're in the market. I like that it slightly covers the sides of my fingertip without being too cumbersome like a traditional one. The hybrid of the silicone makes grabbing and pulling thread really easy on the fingertips too!
This is a list that I think would suit a minimal and/or beginner quilter quite well. There's always more things to collect, but I know it can be hard to get started and feel like every adds up so quickly. I'm a firm believer that if you invest in better quality that you'll avoid frustration and save money in the long-run!
In the future, I'll create a list of items that are nice-to-haves that have changed my quilty life for the better!
Did I forget anything? Leave a comment with your favorite items I may have missed below!