There are a few items you will need to start quilting. Here is a general list:
1. Needles-Quilters use "Betweens". I suggest getting a multipack of sizes. Start out using the biggest needle (usually the smallest #) and work down to the smaller ones the better you get. Of course if you are machine piecing, make sure your machine needle is good to go. Just a multi-purpose needle is fine.
2. Thread- Have a nice varied color supply. I suggest a poly/cotton blend. There are different types of thread depending on whether you use a machine or quilt by hand. The hand quilting thread is coated to make it stronger for the many times it goes in and out of the fabric. This thread does not work well with your machine as it is a bit thicker than multi-purpose thread.
3. Rotary Cutter & Mat- These tools make it easier for cutting your fabric and keeping things precise. I suggest getting a good cutter that feels comfortable in your hand and a self-healing mat. You can use scissors to cut if you would rather. After all, how did they quilt before these cool tools came along. Just make sure you are accurate.
4. Ruler- In the notions section of your store, you will find the rulers. A good all purpose size to get would be the 6"x24". Make sure you will be able to see the fabric through it to measure. Some have thick yellow lines and some don't. Get whatever is easiest for you.
5. Pins- Straight pins for keeping pieces together while sewing them. The pins with the flowers on the ends or the ball ends are easy to grab while working.
6. Thimble-I have often heard that buying a thimble is like buying a bra. You have to find the right fit and what is comfortable for you. The ones that are leather and soft are good for piecing and the ones that are all metal are good for the actual quilting. Don't use a leather one to do the quilting. Even the ends of the needles are sharp enough to go through them. Yea, it hurts! You need some strength behind the needles when they go through all three layers.
7. Template plastic-This is good stuff to have so you can mark your fabric for cutting out all your pieces. It is sold in sheets by the quilting notions.
8. Iron & Ironing Board- It is good to have an iron and ironing board close by to press as you go. It helps with accuracy and keeps things nice and tidy.
Of course you will need fabric. But I will let you know how much you need in the first month of instructions.
These should have you prepared for the fun ahead. Remember I will be posting an email address pretty soon for more detailed questions if you need more help.
Saturday, August 2, 2008
This is my own little spot to post quilty related things. I am going to start up some block directions soon and thought that it would be better not to put all my stuff all over the family blog. Plus since I am not real computer saavy, this seemed easier than trying to figure out how to upload documents and add URLs and whatnot. It saves some steps. Less is more, right?
As you might have noticed on the family blog, I do have a couple of links to websites with free block patterns. I will put them on here too so you can go there from here. I really recommend the Quilts Galore website. They have a TON of block instructions and lovely music playing in the background. Easy to print out and colorful too. Very nice. Also, over on About.com, there is a nice lady's blog with instructional videos on quilting techniques and lots of good information. Her address is http://quilting.about.com/ if you want to go there. If I come accross anymore websites I will pass them along.
Well, for now I am going to try to get a plan going for a block-of-the-month pattern. It may take me a bit to get my stuff together, plus we have some vacation time up ahead, but check back in a few weeks to get started with us. Until then, get your supplies ready, head to a fabric store and we'll see you in September.