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Thread: Tools/Equipment for someone just staring out -

  1. #1
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    Tools/Equipment for someone just staring out -

    If someone was wanting to make a quilt - and did not have a lot of money - what would you recommend that they get to start?

    Let's assume two scenarios:

    1) The person is vaguely aware that a quilt is made of fabric - and maybe used scissors in kindergarten - but thinks quilts are pretty. (And probably is planning to make two king size, three queen size, and five toddler/lap size quilts in six months - the quilts will make great Christmas gifts!)

    2) The person has sewn garments by machine and has "basic sewing supplies" like scissors, pins, sewing machine, etc. - but no "quilting specific" supplies like a rotary cutter.

  2. #2
    Junior Member charley26's Avatar
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    YouTube, library, and where have they been?

  3. #3
    Senior Member tallchick's Avatar
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    Rotary cutter
    Cutting mat
    6 x 24 ruler (the best you can afford)
    12.5 x 12.5 ruler (the best you can afford)
    High quality thread
    Good resources for tutorials, patterns etc., lot of free stuff out there

    I think these basics are a good starting point since they have a machine, pins, scissors etc.....
    Lisa

  4. #4
    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    What they are going to need the most of is... money!
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  5. #5
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    I was scenario #2 - I started with paper piecing. Paper piecing was a great introduction to quilting and allowed me to attempt a more complicated pattern with success. And yes, I was clueless with a rotary cutter too!

    scenario #1 - needs to take a beginner's class and start with a small project. It is a great way to be introduced to this hobby.

  6. #6
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    First thing they need is a reality check. They have plenty of ambition and enthusiasm, which will propel and benefit them greatly, but Iíd advise they start with the smallest toddler quilt made from the simplest paytern , and go from there.

    After the reality check:
    1. Large rotary mat
    2. Rotary cutter
    3. Safety glove
    4. 6x24 ruler and an 8.5Ē sq ruler
    5. Crib size batting
    6. Medium grey machine quilting thread
    Last edited by zozee; 06-09-2019 at 04:08 PM.

  7. #7
    Super Member Maureen NJ's Avatar
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    I agree with the rulers, especially sizes by tallchick, rotary cutter and mat. I would also recommend Deb Tucker rulers, Tucker Trimmer I and II. She has great videos on YouTube. As time goes along, try rulers by Blocloc and Creative Grid. Watch for sales on good quality fabric like Moda, Andover, Henry Glass, Wilmington, etc. I like to buy at local quilt stores or online at Old CountryStore and Hancock’s of Paducah. Use good batting. I love Quilter’s Dream in Select cotton or their wool for special quilts. I think you should start with lap quilts. Almost all of the fabric companies have free patterns online. Sharon Schamber has a great YouTube video on quilt basting the quilt top, batting, and backing together. The Quilting Board is a great resource for information and help too. Good luck!! Fun, satisfying hobby!

  8. #8
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    #1 I think needs to take a beginner's quilting class at a shop that supplies most things like an iron, ruler and cutting mat, and has machines for you to use. Its a great way for reality to set in! That way the only major expense is class fee, thread, pattern, and fabric. Might want a rotary cutter, scissors, and pins. A great investment to discover your actual desire.

    #2 has been covered by other responders.

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    Good suggestions here. I’ll add mine: A good quality seam ripper (e.g. Clover).

  10. #10
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    If #2 has the same aspirations as #1 to make 10 quilts in 6 months, then I think they both need a reality check. If both #1 and #2 want to learn how to quilt, look carefully at the advice that's already been offered and start watching some of the great instructional videos on YouTube.
    Like a lot of things that a person does ....................it's all about the journey..............not the destination.

  11. #11
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    Try watching some of Jenny Doan’s videos - just google her name - or her company, Missouri Star Quilt Company.

  12. #12
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    Blondie~...I'll second your idea of a seam ripper. The basic Clover brand seems to be the best for me, and I get one with a JoAnns coupon every couple of months just to have stock-piled! LOL

  13. #13
    Junior Member juliasb's Avatar
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    When I first started serious quilting I didn't have a clue. First thing is a rotary cutter. Get one that feels good. (reminder always keep a sharp blade on it). Second good cutting mat. If you can only afford a single ruler get the ruler that feels the best in you hands that you can manage. I started with a 12" x 6" ruler only because I couldn't manage the 24" x 6". However you may get more bang for you buck with the 24" x 6" ruler. The other thing that I can't emphasize enough it a good iron! Every piece you make, every block you do with need to be made square and between your ruler and iron they create success! As so many have said there are so many good tutorial out there.
    Also make good use of the block library here. They are clearly marked for the level of skill. I want to here how these quilts come out. Send pictures! Happy quilting!

  14. #14
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    They need a good friend to help get them started. I would invite her to my house, show her all the stuff she needs and give a quick demo of how to use it and explain why. Then let her ask questions and go from there.

  15. #15
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    Quilts can still be made without the bells and whistles. Scissors and cardboard patterns still work but most of us enjoy a rotary cutter, rulers as recommended here and a cutting mat. This person certainly has grand expectations to be a beginner wanting to make all those quilts by Christmas! I'm somewhat reluctant to recommend a quilt shop to a beginner simply because of the cost involved with high quality fabrics before knowing what they are doing. Perhaps there are classes at JoAnns that will help get this person started and the instructor can point her to "acceptable" fabric for a beginner. I would have a beginner start with a small project and perhaps borrow supplies for that, discovering if she really wants to delve into this. Some have the idea that it is quick and economical. (Ha--Learning in progress!)

  16. #16
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    I am against using poor quality fabrics for the first quilt. I did and regret it. My first big quilt wasn't perfect but my DD loved it. The fabric was cheap and started to fall apart. I think pre cuts are the best for a beginner. All the colors go together and less cutting means less mistakes.
    I would insist on a cut resistant glove or other cutting safety device. That would be the single most important thing. I would never start a beginner to using a machine that did not sew flawlessly. A machine that causes frustration is worthless.
    I believe giving what I can will never cause me to be in need.
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  17. #17
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    I send people to Missouri Star tutorials and precuts. Some use specialty rulers but not all of them.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onebyone View Post
    I am against using poor quality fabrics for the first quilt. I did and regret it. My first big quilt wasn't perfect but my DD loved it. The fabric was cheap and started to fall apart. I think pre cuts are the best for a beginner. All the colors go together and less cutting means less mistakes.
    I would insist on a cut resistant glove or other cutting safety device. That would be the single most important thing. I would never start a beginner to using a machine that did not sew flawlessly. A machine that causes frustration is worthless.
    It makes sense to use "decent" fabric and a "working properly" machine -

  19. #19
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    Quality fabric gives the best results and fosters confidence. Quality tools make all the difference when learning. I have taught beginner quilting and it does make a big difference using the good stuff. I bring high quality tools of different brands and many students show up with lousy ones. After using theirs then mine they understand the difference.

  20. #20
    Senior Member MicheleC's Avatar
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    I was kind of the person in scenario 1 when I started quilting. I had lofty goals to make three quilts for my nieces and nephew for Christmas. My friend and teacher was a quilter and she showed me the MSQC tutorial for a jelly roll race quilt. I thought since it was something fairly straightforward that I could do as a beginner sewer. She took me shopping for my supplies which included:
    -Sewing machine - I spent approximately $250 on a Brother Simplicity SB700T. It came with an extension table and was labeled for quilting.
    -Extra machine needles
    -Rotary cutter
    -Self healing mat
    -Rulers for cutting
    -A basic sewing kit (scissors, pins, pin cushion, seam ripper)
    -Fabric from a quilt shop to include borders and backing for the quilts I was making. I was shocked at the price at the time.
    My thinking was ďIt canít be that hard.Ē I was half right. It was fairly easy to start sewing but more difficult to see accurately on the first go. What I wish she had done at the time is give me a reality check as suggested and encourage me to start with a smaller project. When life happened and then she moved away, I didnít sew or quilt for a long time. I wasnít confident enough to do it on my own at the time and my work schedule and some small social anxiety prevented me from seeking a class. It wasnít until a few years later that I started looking online for information on how to finish the quilt. That was when I learned that it was possible to finish a quilt completely on a domestic machine. I learned about so much more than she had the opportunity to show me. At the time she intended, once the tops were finished, for me to rent time on a long arm to quilt them. I had no idea what that was and assumed that was how it was done.
    All the tools she suggested have been incredibly useful for the craft. My 6.5 x 24.5 creative grids ruler that was my first purchase is still my go-to ruler.
    In retrospect, what would have been helpful was a beginner quilting class and to test drive more machines. My little machine got me started but it was a struggle to sew a nice straight line compared to my new Janome. Those first quilts, that Iím just now quilting the last one, very clearly show what a novice I was.

  21. #21
    Super Member NZquilter's Avatar
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    My mother-in-law was in scenario #2 when she expressed a desire to quilt. She has made and designed wedding dresses and theater costumes, but had never tried quilts. I bought her a rotary cutter and mat set and a Craftsy class for Christmas. Shortly after she subscribed to Bluprint Unlimited classes and she quilts all the time.
    We didn't realize we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun. ~ Winnie the Pooh ~

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  22. #22
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    When I taught beginners, I let them use my supplies until they decided which ones they liked. Then they could go get the things they wanted or liked.

  23. #23
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    Amen sister!
    Quote Originally Posted by sewbizgirl View Post
    What they are going to need the most of is... money!

  24. #24
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    Ain't that the truth?!?

  25. #25
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    Smaller project to start with like the front of an easy tote bag to quilt, make blocks etc... or a quilted Potholder or Rug Mug or even a table topper. by using an easy pattern she could learn the basics and have a useful item to use before tackling a huge project like a King Size Quilt. Then she wouldn't be overwhelmed..
    Friend who can share your laughter and tears are the only ones you need.

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