• Tools for Quilting

    You have finally made up your mind that you want to start doing some quilting. You walk to the quilting store just down the street and stare through the window at all the quilts and accessories. Suddenly, you realize that you don't really know what you need to buy to make your own quilt. You are totally lost. Don't worry. After reading this article, you'll know everything there is about buying the right tools for your quilting project.

    To begin with, I have divided the tools into different categories, so you have a better understanding of what you'll need. You could broadly classify your quilting tools by the following:

    - Marking Tools
    - Cutting Tools
    - Other Tools
    - Safety Tools
    - Needles and Pins

    Marking Tools

    The marking tools are used for drawing patterns, marking measurements on fabric, and marking the cuttings on the fabric.

    Graph Paper

    Many of you might be wondering why on earth you would need graph paper for quilting. Using a graph to make your patterns and designs is a lot easier than using ordinary paper. It also gives you the chance to use your creativity to the maximum. And the availability of ideas using the graph paper squares is endless. Hence, you can say that your graph is your rough draft.

    Transparent Rulers

    Normally, when a person uses a ruler to draw something, we think of it as on paper. The principal here is almost the same when it comes to drawing on fabrics. With the aid of transparent rulers, you will find you can cut more accurately.

    Measuring Tapes for Quilters

    A measuring tape is a great way to measure fabric that you want to cut. A measuring tape of around 120 inches is ideal.

    Templates for Quilts

    You can get ready-made templates to draw on your quilt. If you want to be creative when making your quilt, you could make your own with a clear plastic sheet, or use a template that is already pre-cut and add your own creativity to it. However you decide to do it, make sure you have a template.

    Cutting Tools

    The tools involved are mostly those that are used for cutting fabric. They are listed below with a description:

    Rotary Cutter

    More than a traditional tool, like scissors, a quilter would normally prefer a cutting tool like a Rotary Cutter, because of the ease and the accuracy that it can provide.

    Scissors

    This is a traditional tool that everyone who deals with cloth should have.

    Other Tools

    Self Healing Mat

    The self healing mat is a mat that is specially designed for Rotary Cutters. Whenever the Rotary Cutter finishes cutting the fabric, it touches the surface and leaves a mark. The Self Healing Mat is specially designed for this one, single purpose: it takes the cut, absorbs it, and becomes unmarked again.

    Curved Safety Pins

    After you have done your quilting, you will need to put together the layers that you have made. For this task, curved safety pins are preferably.

    Walking Foot

    The walking foot on a sewing machine prevents any tight stitches, meaning it will help you stitch the quilt evenly.

    Fabric Eraser

    After any markings are made on the fabric, you can erase it with a fabric eraser. The fabric eraser can also be useful in removing the markings on the quilt after it is finished.

    Quilting Thread

    In quilting, there are different types of thread. Depending on your pattern needs, you could use quilting cotton, invisible nylon thread, silk finishing thread, and many others.

    Safety Tools

    Thimble

    The thimble is a protective accessory that is worn on the thumb and is used by practically anyone who stitches. It is a must for every quilter. They are available in practically every size and shape to accommodate different sizes of thumbs. You can also get metal and leather thimbles, too.

    Needles and Pins

    Quilt Pins

    You can distinctly identify these pins. Unlike other pins, these pins are longer and have a ball head on them. Some even have flat heads. You can get different types of pins based on the type of patchwork, too.

    Hand Quilting Needles

    The hand quilting needles are used for binding, basting, and other applications.

    Sewing Machine Quilting Needles

    These needles are a bit longer and have a larger eye, so it can go through extra layers of fabric.

    Making a Baby Quilt

    It's your baby's first birthday and you have no idea what to give him at such a young age. Suddenly, you have an idea! You can give your son a brand new quilt. You think of buying one, but then you decide to "make it special" -- why not make it with your very own hands? Now every time you cover him, he will feel the warmth of the quilt made with your love.

    You obviously know that baby quilts are not the same as regular quilts. But what would you need when making a baby quilt? Before answering that, you would first want to define what exactly it is you want to do with that baby quilt. You should ask yourself what purpose the quilt will serve. Is it for bedding? Are you going to use it as a mattress for the baby when s/he sleeps? Or do you simply want to make something soft that will help stimulate the baby's senses while it's playing, much like a soft toy?

    Have you thought about it? Great! Now that you are ready to begin, I'll walk you through the process, and by the end, you will be left with many ideas on how to finish your quilt.

    Let's Get Started

    You should be very careful when choosing the material for your baby's quilt, because their skin is very delicate. The quilting material should not be rough; otherwise, it could scratch the skin or cause some side effects like allergies.

    You will first have to choose two coordinating fabrics (about 1 1/4 yards each, enough to make two large squares), batting, and similar color-coordinated thread. Then, wash and iron the fabric before you start working with it. Next, place one piece on the floor right-side down, followed by the batting, and then on top of that, the other piece of fabric right-side up. After you have done that, draw two diagonal lines with a quilter's pencil and a straight edge, forming an X. Pin everything together starting from the center. Here you will have to decide which fabric you want to be on top and which one you want to be on the bottom. Now fold the bottom fabric up over the top fabric, folding it twice and making a 1/4-inch fold; sew on the fold. There you have it, your basic baby quilt!

    Some Tips That Might Come in Handy

    Now that the main part is complete, you can add color and design using your own creativity. One personal piece of advice is to not use small tidbits, like embellishments and buttons, which could harm the baby. Instead, try something like appliqué. This is one of the simplest quilts that you can make. It consumes only five hours of your time, and it is also a lot of fun to create.
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