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Thread: I have ZERO notions... what do I really need?

  1. #1
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    I have ZERO notions... what do I really need?

    Hi all.... I'm really new here.

    I used my aunt's quilting notions (including her machine - a very basic Janome) when I made my first quilt top. I went to her house for quilting, etc. so I never really had any reason to buy my own notions.

    Now, before I knew about the world of sewing machines, I bought a Black Friday Special sewing machine at Target. It's a Singer Promise. My aunt has set it up for me and says it sews fine, but I haven't actually used it yet. I know it won't be a machine for the long haul, but it willl at least get me started I hope. I don't have the money for an expensive machine at this point.

    Back to the notions... Hancock's is holding a 3 or 4 day sale on quilting and sewing notions for 50% off! I figured this would be as good a time as any to get what I need. Just the basics. That's where I thought you all would come in handy! What sorts of rulers, thread, cutting mat, etc. would you all recommend for a beginner?

    THANK YOU!!!!
    Candace

  2. #2
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    What were the notions you used most at your aunt's? Why not start there. My suggestion would be a rotary cutter, the largest mat you can afford, 12 x 6 ruler, seam ripper, small thread scissors (I very seldom use my large ones) and several spools of thread in neutral colors. Also extra needles for your sewing machine and maybe some hand sewing needles and a thimble. Almost forgot the pins. I like long, thin ones.

  3. #3
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    I agree with quiltsRfun. I think she has it pretty much covered. And, a big welcome from Texas.
    Fabric is like money, no matter how much you have it's never enough.

  4. #4
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    I also agree with quiltsrun. Maybe you could look on-line and see if there are some beginner kits available. Olfa used to have a kit with a rotary cutter and mat which was cheaper than buying the mat. And the pins that I like are the flat flower head pins.

  5. #5
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    Thanks ladies! I saw on a quilting tutorial on YouTube this neat rotating cutting mat! I definitely want to see if I can swing one of those.

  6. #6
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    I would add a 6 x 24 ruler as well. And check to see if you can easily see the lines when laid on fabric. I personally like rulers with black lines vs. the yellow ones. Far easier to read. Lay the ruler on top of fabrics that you're attracted to and see what works best for you. The rotating mat really is the cat's meow! Especially for trimming up squares. I've just done almost 300 2 1/2 in. HST's in the last couple of days. And get some extra blades for your rotary cutter as well. Nothing cuts better than a new blade. But you want a mat at least 24" in one direction for cutting larger pieces of fabric.

  7. #7
    Super Member karenpatrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltsRfun View Post
    What were the notions you used most at your aunt's? Why not start there. My suggestion would be a rotary cutter, the largest mat you can afford, 12 x 6 ruler, seam ripper, small thread scissors (I very seldom use my large ones) and several spools of thread in neutral colors. Also extra needles for your sewing machine and maybe some hand sewing needles and a thimble. Almost forgot the pins. I like long, thin ones.
    I agree with all the above except i would get a 6 X 24 ruler. Sometimes 12" is not wide enough to cut fabric. Welcome tot he board from Indiana. You're gonna like it here.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Drue's Avatar
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    You might want to check out ebay for your rotary cutter replacement blades, they tend to be some less expensive even after the shipping costs. They also have rulers and notions you might be interested in...check them out.

    Welcome to the board from another Texas gal. Good luck and good stitchin'
    Those who are piecemakers will sew seeds.

    Hugs,
    Drue

  9. #9
    Super Member luvTooQuilt's Avatar
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    don't forget the dreaded seam ripper... Ive bought so many kinds over the years and my favorite it the Clover (with the brown handle)

    Good luck and welcome..... Hope you like it here...

  10. #10
    Super Member deedum's Avatar
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    I agree, I would only buy the Clover seam ripper!They are the best.

  11. #11
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    I would shop at Amazon. I have gotten some amazing deals. Better than ebay. The rotating mat is wonderful but you might need a bigger mat also. And don't forget extra needles for your sewing machine. You might try the titanium needles. You should change your needle after every project. And don't forget an iron and ironing board. You can get a nice used ironing board at a thrift shop and even Walmart sells them pretty cheaply. Also, you can make your own small ironing board to sit next to you. If you go to YouTube and type in homemade ironing board, you'll be amazed at what comes up. Very, very inexpensive. Good luck to you! You are going to have the best time!!!
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
    Strong people don't put others down...they build them up."
    "Remember that your instincts are more important than rules"

  12. #12
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    Flathead flower pins
    Blue/purple washable marker
    Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift....that's why it's called the present.
    Karen

  13. #13
    Senior Member Moedeenie's Avatar
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    Welcome!!! WOW ... how exciting for YOU! You have received lots of great advice!

    I started with the Olfa kit (mentioned above) which included a self healing mat and two rotary cutters (45mm and 18 mm), (this set runs about $45 but with a 50% discount...great deal!!!) and my favorite ruler is 7"X14" made by Nifty Notions. I eventually added the rotating mat and a longer ruler and larger mat. In addition to the notions mentioned above, a few more I find useful are a sliding seam gauge, retractable tape measure and marking tool (I like the Clover Chaco Liner Slim-White) and a black Micron pigma pen for labeling your quilts. A little notebook and sticky notes are handy, too! More sales will come and you can add as your budget allows. Enjoy!
    ~ Moedeenie

  14. #14
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    Sounds like everyone has cover everything very well! Good luck and enjoy!!!!!

  15. #15
    Member grandma.me's Avatar
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    why don't you start with the basics. 6x24" ruler, cutting mat, rotary cutter, couple of seam rippers, small scissors for by your sewing machine, good pair of cutting scissors (Fiskars, Gingher, etc), taper measures, pin cushions, quilt stick pins (usually have yellow or white heads and are a little longer than regular stickpins). I am just going through my mind what I all have laying by my sewing machine. Basic colors of thread. This is just what I can think of now. Basically, this would get you started, and then it seems like every time I made a new project there were always some new notions I needed, and I would get them as I needed. I think if you make a list, you will find lots of ideas from the quilters here, and just add it to your list. Bigger items you can get coupons from JoAnn's and Hancock's. I know I still write down notions I hear or read about and pick them up,and I have been sewing all my life. I am 68, and I love my sewing machine and my notions. Quilters, is there more you can add?
    Marilyn
    Marilyn

  16. #16
    Senior Member AnitaSt's Avatar
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    All of the responses have great information. The only thing I would add is a stiletto. I absolutely don't sew without it. You can hold pieces of fabric together all the way to the needle....really helps in lining things up and matching intersections. I first learned how useful a stiletto could be by watching Jodi Barrows' videos on her Square in a Square website. Whether you like her methods or not, she really shows how to use a stiletto effectively. And there are inexpensive stilettos at the fabric store.

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    I would hold off on the rotating cutting mat until you are very, very comfortable with the whole rotary cutting process. Normally the rotating mats are quite small, and I just believe that for someone just starting out on this awesome journey of quilting would do better to buy the largest, stationary mat that you can afford.

    Good luck with your quilting and welcome to the board.
    Of all the things I've lost I miss my mind the most!

  18. #18
    Super Member luvTooQuilt's Avatar
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    Free items around your house you can use in stead of buying:

    Stiletto- you can use a chop stick, kabob stick, a mechanical led pencil with metal tip that ran out of lead
    Pin cushion- make your own stuff with leftover batting
    pin catcher- sm metal bowl, tape or glue a fridge magnet to bottom
    thread catcher- empty kleenex box


    im sure others will add more ideas..

  19. #19
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    Your going to need at least TWO rulers unless you plan on using the grid on the mat to measure - which I don't recommend (ask me how I know). When you use two rules it is MUCH more accurate to measure and you can use the second ruler as a "slide" when you have to cut longer lengths of fabric.

    I suggest getting a medium 9.5" square ruler as your second ruler.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  20. #20
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DogHouseMom View Post
    Your going to need at least TWO rulers unless you plan on using the grid on the mat to measure - which I don't recommend (ask me how I know). When you use two rules it is MUCH more accurate to measure and you can use the second ruler as a "slide" when you have to cut longer lengths of fabric.

    I suggest getting a medium 9.5" square ruler as your second ruler.
    As for the brand ... I can only say that I CANNOT recommend the "Quilt in day" square rulers. The reason is that the horizontal and vertical lines stop at the center diagonal - they don't go all the way through. So when your trying to measure a 2" strip it's difficult to see if the 2" line is accurate to the full length of the square. I have two of her rulers and I hate them.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  21. #21
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I would not get a rotating mat. It is hard enough to get everything aligned and controlled with a regular mat - I would be afraid of not enough control.
    Martina
    Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric!

  22. #22
    Super Member orangeroom's Avatar
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    I agree with the idea of 'what did you use most at your relative's home' theory. I started out with a rotary cutter/18x24" cutting mat/ 6" ruler combo, white thread (dark blue and black also if you can), extra bobbins, size 11 sewing machine needles, fiscar's heavy duty scissors, seam ripper, sewing box, nice long pins. Got my pins from a LQS, not from local JoAnns. What I didn't have and have only just discovered was a walking foot for my machine. Had I known about it, I would've bought one years ago!

    Welcome and good luck!
    Go forth and sew!

  23. #23
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    Something I have to have in my sewing room is Easy Kut Spring Action Scissors. I have several pair that I bought from Nancy's Notions. I keep them all over my sewing area. I use these at the machine and the cutting table. So much easier to handle then the big scissors when you are cutting machine threads. You may not be able to find that exact scissor but you may find something similar. Here's a picture.

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  24. #24
    Senior Member theoldgraymare's Avatar
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    AllPeopleQuilt.com is a good site for basic information, including a list of basic notions.

  25. #25
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    Thank you all SOO much for the suggestions!!! I really appreciate it! I will let you gals know what I end up purchasing!

    Candace

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