Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Essential Supplies for Quilting

Quilting at the Urban Qulting League
Image by athenamat via Flickr
Whenever the quilting impulse arises, you can be baffled as to what precisely you will require as supplies for your new craft. A huge part of the fun of beginning a new hobby is discovering what kinds of supplies you will need to accomplish it. There's something so satisfying about working with tools and supplies. While the craft of quilting doesn't technically require much more than a good sewing machine, needles, thread and scissors, there are so many wonderful supplies on the market that will make quilting easier and much more pleasurable.

Start with a sewing machine, the most basic of your supplies. Though it is technically possible to sew a quilt without a machine, and some people still choose to practise it, most busy crafters nowadays like to use a machine. You will need to use it for patching together the blocks for the quilt top, and after that you can choose to manage the actual quilting by hand or machine. Nonetheless quilters would agree that the sewing machine is the most indispensable of your supplies, so the best advice is to buy the best you can afford. There are many wonderful brand name such as Bernina, Pfaff, Janome, and Husqvarna Viking, to name some. Take note that most quilters only need a machine to sew a straight line, so you don't need to worry about buying one with numerous fancy stitches.

Following on any quilter's list of supplies is a cutting tool. Plain old fashioned scissors are good, and you will need a pair used for fabric and one for paper only (paper blunts scissors very quickly). All the same, as a quilter your new best friend is sure to be a rotary cutter and mat. A rotary cutter is a much more effective tool than the scissors and you are able to also cut pieces for quilt blocks in bulk with it. You will need a rotary mat to protect the surface you are working on. Don't make the mistake of putting a rotary cutter and mat at the bottom of your list of essential supplies-they will make your life easier and your new hobby much more enjoyable.

You will need fabric and most quilters swear by 100 per cent cotton fabric. The array of colors and patterns that cotton fabric comes in is truly astounding. You will also need to put thread on your list of supplies. Cotton thread is good, with a high luster and long-lasting strength. You will need pins for a variety of reasons. Pins seem to be one of those notions that quilters have very specific preferences for-you might prefer good old fashioned straight pins made of all steel, or T-pins, or pins with the brightly colored heads. Why not put a variety on your shopping list of supplies and experiment with which ones you like best? You will also need needles and a seam ripper.

Many quilters also consider a bulletin or idea board as an essential. This can be placed near where your sewing machine is located and used as a place to pin swatches, arrange fabrics in potential color combinations, and post ideas torn from magazines.

Start your list of essential supplies today, and you will be a happy quilter.

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