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Thread: For newbies - and perhaps some not-so-new quilters, too

  1. #1
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    For newbies - and perhaps some not-so-new quilters, too

    Are you reading about all the gadgets, rulers, mats, sewing machines, thread, templates, patterns, irons, books, videos, die-cutters, longarms, etc. available for quilt making? Are you finding this intimidating?

    I still find it intimidating - and overwhelming -

  2. #2
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    I don't find it imtimidating, maybe because I absolutely hate change and I refuse to buy specialty rulers, mats, cutting machines, etc., although I would love to have a long arm.

  3. #3
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    I know what you mean but I don't feel overwhelmed or intimidated. I have my things that I like and ways of doing things that work for me. I'm not really into the latest gadgets but I love learning new things- tips, techniques etc.
    I started my quilting journey the old fashioned way and still love to hand quilt best of all.

  4. #4
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    Not intimidating at all. I like hearing about the new products, and occasionally I buy one. When I was a new quilter I was a little too quick to buy things that I didn't need and still haven't used.

  5. #5
    Super Member quiltingshorttimer's Avatar
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    Not overwhelmed, but amazed at how someone figured out how to design some of these specialty rulers! I generally buy those things that I'll use more more than one quilt.

  6. #6
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    I often wonder how our quilting ancestors managed hundreds of years ago. Their tools must have been as basic as you can get - and they would be hand sewing by candle or lamplight.

  7. #7
    Super Member helou's Avatar
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    I agree with you Moira. I am curious about all the gadgets and find it very interesting. When I started quilting more or less 10 years ago I wanted to learn and I bought a mat, a ruler, a rotary cutter and that's about it. I'm so grateful I have a sewing machine and electricity and that's all I want loll

  8. #8
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    It isn't necessary to learn about every possible thing available, especially when you're starting out. When I first started sewing decades ago I used universal needles (in various sizes) for everything, and they worked fine. Now I use sharps for woven and jersey needles for knits, and I've tried lots of different types of each, but when it gets down to it, I could have kept using those universal needles and been fine except maybe for some thick canvas types of fabric I've used.

    There are also whole categories of things I ignore. I would love to learn how to use a longarm, but I wouldn't use it enough to make it worthwhile to purchase, and there's nowhere close enough to rent one, so for now longarming is out for me.

    I try to learn about more things as I go, but what I'm doing now is working for me, so I don't worry too much about all the things I don't know about, because then I would be overwhelmed!

  9. #9
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    I don't find it intimidating or overwhelming. I find it interesting and absolutely don't feel a need to buy any or everything. I do like to find out about new things, you never know when one will come along to solve a problem for you or make it easier to achieve your ideas. After all, some of the basics most of us use every single time, ie rotary cutters, basic rulers, the variety of available thread, even electric sewing machines etc were unheard of way back in the day. I can't even imagine I would quilt at all without them. When I think about how the pioneer women quilted I can't imagine I would have even survived crossing the country in a covered wagon! Just think of what the internet has done for quilting.

  10. #10
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    Not intimidated or overwhelmed at all. I love a gadget or gizmo but don’t have all of them. I have few specialty rulers mostly gotten at garage sales or markdown at Tuesday Morning. I don’t really have a stash. I have what I enjoy using and can manage.
    Alyce

  11. #11
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    I don't feel intimidated-just amazed that so many people think a new tool will solve problems that could be solved by being more careful and accurate. I, like most all of us, have purchased rulers and gadgets that just take up space because they don't live up to expectation. However, I really like tutorials, schematics etc. that show better ways of accomplishing a task. An example is better ways of binding.

  12. #12
    Super Member luvstoquilt's Avatar
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    I am not as quick to buy a new ruler as I once was but I love there is so much available. I will never have a long arm because I would feel like I would have to make it pay for itself and making quilts is my hobby and not a job. I love to learn new techniques, appliqué, hand quilt, etc. I have found there is no standard as far as accurate measurements on rulers and if you use several, your corners will likely not meet.
    "You must do the thing you think you cannot do"....E. Roosevelt

    Sharon
    Yorkville, IL

  13. #13
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    I love new rulers, tools, and gadgets. I don't feel I have to buy them but I do a lot of them because I want to. Some are wonderful and save me time and frustration. Some I use once and decide not worth the time. I don't think in terms of wasted money I think of now I know for myself if it is useful or not. If you feel guilty about buying something to try then you will never enjoy the process.
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  14. #14
    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
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    straight stitch sewing machine (that is almost as old as me!!), Fiskars scissors, basic iron, needles, thimble, quilting hoop. I don't need all the gadgets. DH used to make all the patterns we used. I made my own quilting patterns (I did buy a few fancy ones). I am just getting started with a rotary cutter and mat.

  15. #15
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    I don't find it intimidating or overwhelming at all. I have the tools I enjoy using and they get well used for sure. If I go to a class and see a demonstration on a tool I feel I could get a lot of use out of then I really consider purchasing it. I remember my grandma would cut out certain size pieces out of cereal boxes and using that as templates so I just consider myself lucky that all of these new gadgets are available.

  16. #16
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    I'm not easily overwhelmed, but then you DID address this to newbies. I admit I chuckle often when I see certain gadgets and tools in my LQS, or being promoted somewhere, because I'm experienced enough to know that often, such a tool is unnecessary. But on the other hand, a quilter somewhere has found a way to make money, so more power to her.

  17. #17
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    There are some things that just don't interest me ie, die cutters, computer design programs, sergers and embroidery machines. I stick to regular rulers, 4,6,8,12,18 sq and 6x24, 6x12. I also have several triangle rulers and lent my 60 degree ruler and can't remember who has it... I like 505 spray, have many Thangles, only used one, need to give alway 8 sets.

    So, I guess I don't get overwhelmed but It is nice to know what is available and it is something that would make it easier to do what I want to do then I would know what to get. I am glad those that make beautiful quilts with the design programs and use the die cutters, sergers and embroidery machines.

  18. #18
    Super Member copycat's Avatar
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    I love gadgets. I sometimes get overwhelmed at quilt shows when viewing the venders' booths filled with all the latest and greatest. I get caught up in the moment as the gadget is being demoed..and want it right then. I have learned over the years to walk away and think about it first. Then if I really want it or can remember where I saw it, then I would enjoy having it. )

  19. #19
    Super Member hobbykat1955's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dunster View Post
    Not intimidating at all. I like hearing about the new products, and occasionally I buy one. When I was a new quilter I was a little too quick to buy things that I didn't need and still haven't used.
    DITTO...love all things New that make quilting interesting and easier but try and not buy on impulse like I did when I began

  20. #20
    Senior Member janjanq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by copycat View Post
    I love gadgets. I sometimes get overwhelmed at quilt shows when viewing the venders' booths filled with all the latest and greatest. I get caught up in the moment as the gadget is being demoed..and want it right then. I have learned over the years to walk away and think about it first. Then if I really want it or can remember where I saw it, then I would enjoy having it. )
    I was just about to write the same thing!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by copycat View Post
    I love gadgets. I sometimes get overwhelmed at quilt shows when viewing the venders' booths filled with all the latest and greatest. I get caught up in the moment as the gadget is being demoed..and want it right then. I have learned over the years to walk away and think about it first. Then if I really want it or can remember where I saw it, then I would enjoy having it. )
    This has been me also. I am finally learning to take down the information and then walk away. After thinking about it for the rest of the show, I generally decide I really don't need it. But there have been a very few that I went back and purchased and was glad I did. I was glad that I gave myself "thinking time" though.

  22. #22
    Super Member Wanabee Quiltin's Avatar
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    I know the kinds of quilts that I want to make and they don’t require much. I have recently bought some Creative Grids rulers and they are heavenly. Yesterday I bought a mini ruler to help with HST and snowball blocks. I don’t feel overwhelmed or intimidated at all. When I was a newcomer I felt overwhelmed by all the knowledge that I did not possess but it left me because no one is perfect or knows everything.

  23. #23
    Super Member Rose_P's Avatar
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    I have a bunch of old quilting magazines and was just trying to cull out the ones I'll never use. The ones that date to before Internet are much more oriented toward cutting with templates, which are usually included in the magazine - for us to glue onto cereal box cardboard and trace around. Frequently I look at them and think, "Wow, I'm glad there's a better, more efficient way to make that block!" The better way doesn't always involve a specialty ruler, but sometimes it's a no-brainer. For example, I can't find it right now, but there's a quilt shown that looks exactly like the ones made with the twister ruler in a magazine that predates that amazing invention. Every quarter of a block is the same simple shape throughout the quilt, just as it is if you use the twister, but how tedious to have to do that over and over. I've made three little quilts with that ruler, which was a gift from a friend. I probably wouldn't have bought it because it's not as versatile as things I buy, but the quilts were fun to make, and I'm sure I wouldn't have made them without that ruler.

    I love creative tools that improve efficiency and accuracy, but before I will buy one I have to see demonstrations that convince me I would actually get quite a bit of use out of it. The Internet has certainly made it possible for good ideas and esoteric information to get passed around, not only helping a hobbyist, but also stimulating the producers and marketers of these products to expand what is available. Much of it is great, some not-so-much. I'm happy to browse and occasionally buy something new, but most of the time good basic tools are all I really need. I'm much more fascinated than intimidated by all the innovations.
    True self-care is not salt baths and chocolate cake, it is making the choice to build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from. ~Brianna Wiest

  24. #24
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    I love to hear about new gadgets and techniques. I buy very few, but I'm always interested in what is out there.
    "The great doing of little things makes the great life." Eugena Price

  25. #25
    DJ
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    Super Member DJ's Avatar
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    I do sometimes find it confusing with some people loving a tool and others thinking it's a waste of money. Particularly when it comes to rotary blades (pros and cons of Harbor Freight cheap ones vs. expensive quilting blades or blade sharpeners).

    Kind of like reading product reviews online. Sometimes you just have to try it out yourself to see if it works for you.

    That said, I do appreciate all the helpful comments, tips, tutorials and other useful information I get from this forum.

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