Happy New Year!
2019 is here in all it’s glory, full of expectation and it’s time to look ahead, set goals and learn new skills!
Maybe you’ve done some sewing before and now you want to dip your toe in the ‘modern quilting’ waters, or perhaps you’ve never sewn a stitch but have been inspired by all the fantastic quilts you’ve seen online. Well this post is the place to start. I’ll guide you through the essential tools and equipment you need to get started on your quilting journey, and you’ll be making beautiful quilts in no time. There’s even a giveaway at the end, so a starter kit could be all yours!
A sharp rotary cutter really is a quilter’s best friend. They allow for fast, accurate cutting, through multiple layers of fabric. This 45mm rotary cutter by Clover has a great design, retractable blade, is easy to use and has a comfortable soft cushion handle. Once you’ve got the hang of using a rotary cutter, you will never use scissors for cutting fabric again! It really is essential for all quilters. For stockist information, email firstname.lastname@example.org
With your rotary cutter you’ll need a cutting mat. Self-healing mats allow you to cut your fabric easily and accurately. This Sew Easy double-sided, metric and imperial cutting mat is the perfect size for the beginner quilter and the soft mat surface ensures that the fabric will not slip while cutting. Measuring 24×18”, there is plenty of room to cut fabric without damaging your table! For stockist information, email email@example.com
A ruler is the key to accuracy and precision in quilting. There are so many different sizes and brands available, it can be hard to know which one you need as a beginner quilter. The ruler I use the most, and the one I would recommend to a quilter starting out is the 24×6” Sew Easy ruler. As quilters, we work in inches, and I particularly like this ruler because it’s not too ‘busy.’ The lines are clear but thin, allowing for greater accuracy, and you can easily see fabric through the ruler for maximum precision. It’s particularly useful to have the 24” length, as it makes cutting larger pieces of fabric a breeze. Another must-have for all quilters! For stockist information, email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want to make a quilt, you are most likely going to need a sewing machine. (Yes, sewing by hand is fun, and totally do-able but it takes a loooong time!)
I have always championed Bernina sewing machines; I’ve been sewing with a B550 QE for the last five years and it stitches like a dream. But different quilters have different needs, and for the beginner quilter, I can recommend the B475 QE. Features include; an easy-to-use colour touch screen, jumbo bobbin, holding 70% more thread, (now that’s my kind of machine!) automatic tie-off function, thread cutter and the #37 quarter inch foot, as well as the standard feet. It is also compatible with the Bernina Stitch Regulator (BSR), which is sold separately.
I was so intrigued about this latest model (launched in October 2018) that I spent a day at Bernina testing one out for myself. So do join me again for next month’s blog post, where I shall be writing a much more detailed review of this fantastic sewing machine.
For more information visit here.
Did you know a quilt wouldn’t be a quilt without wadding, (or batting as they say in the US!) It is the three layers (quilt top, wadding/batting, quilt back) that make it a quilt. If it doesn’t have the wadding then technically it’s a coverlet. So there you go!
There’s many brands of wadding available, but my go-to choice is Hobbs Batting. I really like their 80/20 Cotton/Polyester blend, as it is suitable for most quilting needs. It’s 80% natural, can be stitched at 4” apart or less, has 3-5% shrinkage and comes in four varieties; natural, bleached, black and fusible. Pictured here is the bleached wadding. I tend to make a lot of quilts with white, so I’ve been using the bleached wadding a lot, and this really helps keep the white ‘white’ and it doesn’t dull the colour, which you certainly don’t want! But the natural is a popular choice too, and one I’d definitely recommend. For more information visit www.hobbsbatting.com and you can follow them on Instagram @hobbsbatting
This nifty little tool has become an essential in my quilting toolkit and negates the need for any kind of marker pen or coloured chalk. You use it to ‘score’ the fabric, to create your quilting lines, and then you just stitch down these scored lines. I really like how simple it is to use and I don’t need to worry about fabric markers magically re-appearing if the temperature changes or if the quilt goes in the wash. This Clover Hera marker does the job perfectly. For stockist information, email email@example.com
For me, binding clips are a revolution. Perfect for holding down binding, or in fact holding two or more pieces of fabric in place, and there’s no risk of accidentally pricking yourself, as I often do with pins! Look at these gorgeous neon green ones from Clover, complete with plastic storage box. They are so pretty but most of all practical. That fabric is not going to move an inch with these clips! For stockist information, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Last but by no means least, and in my opinion the most fun part of all, you need fabric. You can never have too much fabric! There are so many online shops to choose from, and also many quilting shops up and down the country, full of beautiful fabrics ready for you to make your first quilt. I wanted to share with you this beautiful Kona Solids ‘Disco’ bundle, kindly supplied by The Eternal Maker. Aren’t these colour combinations just dreamy? I can’t wait to get stitching with them and they have been a joy to photograph with all my quilting accessories too! Do check out Eternal Maker’s website www.eternalmaker.com where they have more beautiful Kona bundles, and many prints and haberdashery items as well. Follow them on Instagram @eternalmaker
Finally, I’m thrilled to announce that we are hosting a giveaway, to win a starter kit comprising of a cutting mat, ruler, rotary cutter, Hera marker and binding clips. And we have 2 sets to give away!
Giveaway open until 31stJanuary 2019 and a winner will be announced and contacted shortly afterwards. Open to entrants worldwide.
Good luck and happy quilting!