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Topic: Help: Needed supplies for beginners?  (Read 522 times)
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elenadp
« on: October 07, 2008 12:44:03 PM »

I'm starting to get into quilting and need some help with the basics. What's the difference between all the different rotary cutters available? What size ruler and mat should I buy for cutting basic squares and bricks? I have a standard needle that came with my Singer machine---can I just use that or do I need special needles?  Huh

I'm taking a class at my local quilt store, but need to buy supplies at JoAnn's because that store is way too expensive. I'll probably just end up buying some Amy Butler fabric there or on Etsy.

Thanks for any help!!!  Grin
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MissDisney
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« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2008 01:02:43 PM »

my list of MUST haves:

  • a large workspace to cut fabric - i use a 24x17 inch mat on a 30x18 inch table, and i wish it was bigger alot of the time
  • a GOOD iron - the hardest part about *perfect* seams is that your iron really needs to press them even, not just a fold in the fabric. i have a rowenta that i paid 30 for on sale, usually they are around 50
  • a rotary cutter and SHARP scissors - you dont need a fancy rotary cutter, i have a fiskars i got 2 years ago that still works perfectly, 10 for the cutter and replacement blades are about 15 for 3 (and i usually use a coupon) and they last a while. scissors, i recommend getting a sharpener too, cos even great scissors will fade with use.
  • a long ruler with a lip on one end - it makes it easier to square up, cos it like flush with the mat, and it helps to hold the fabric down
  • moleskin - to get 1/4 inch seams, the foots never work for me, but using the moeskin i can verify the quarter inch and its leads the fabric really well.
  • Quilting pins - very important, cos regular pins can leave larger holes in some pieces of fabrics, i use the little plastic yellow ones, but i know they make glass head ones that can be ironed.

My non-essential but REALLY useful list"
  • June Tailor "Get Squared" - i use the 12x12 and 8x8 ones, but i want to get the whole collection, it helps because each square will be perfect before you sew it up into the actual top
  • Quilt in a Day Triangle Square Up Ruler - making 1/2 and 1/4 square triangles is SO easy it should be a crime, i use my own method for 1/2 squares, and the directions for the 1/4 squares
  • Cotton thread - I dont always use this, but it does work nicely.

you need the needle your machine uses for med. weight fabric (mine is a 14, but i have a brother machine)
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SewHelpMe
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2008 01:17:43 PM »

I agree with most of Miss Disney's post.  However, I am partial to Olfa brand rotary cutters and blades.  I bought a Fiskar's because it was cheaper and ended up hating it because I had to push so hard to use it.  I also like both the 28mm and the 45mm sizes.

Besides a 6 x 24" ruler (which is a MUST have), my other favorite rulers came from Wal-Mart.  They are the Easy Rule (6 x 13") and Easy Rule, Jr. (3.5 x 9.5") by Sharon Hultgren.

Remember to get a good, sharp seam ripper, too.  And, I really like super-fine glass head silk pins.

As far as sewing machine needles go, you really need to change them out after every 8 or so hours of use so if you only have the one that came with your machine, I'd definitely buy some more.  Somebody will have to help me out because I don't know off the top of my head what the correct needle guage should be for patchwork.

AND...  make sure you go shopping at Joann's from this Friday to Sunday for their Columbus Day Sale.  All quilting notions will be 50% off and all quilting books will be 40% off!

Enjoy your class!  You'll have a blast!
« Last Edit: October 08, 2008 01:24:53 PM by SewHelpMe » THIS ROCKS   Logged
lisadee
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2008 05:37:12 PM »

I have a long 18" ruler then a 12x12 square to really get my cuts straight, that was a big problem in the beginning. Using them both together keeps everything straight and even. As far as needles I think I do mostly everything with 80/11. I do use the invisible nylon thread for the actual quilting b/c it's really strong and hides minor messups when you're stiching in the ditch.
I'd also recommend a good how-to book. I remember (vividly) crying wildly in frustration at 3 a.m. the night before leaving for a friend's wedding while I was trying to finish their gift quilt. I was doing the binding just so incredibly wrong that I would've saved some mental anguish if I'd read ahead of time.
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« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2008 08:39:36 AM »

For half-square triangles, I love the Easy Angle by Sharon Hultgren, and I use the Companion Angle by Darlene Zimmerman for 1/4 square triangles and setting triangles (I love setting quilts on point!) - both rulers are manufactured by EZ Quilting.  I am a ruler addict (I have close to 2 dozen) - but these are useful rulers that do something not easily replicated by other rulers. 
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