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Being that I am a novice quilter I love to ask "What one thing would you NEVER give up from your quilting experience, or buys"? This helps me know what to look for as I begin building my skills and correct items to try or stay away from ... whild enjoying my new hobby. If you like to share please do!

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My rotary cutter & mat. I started quilting when these two tools were being introduced to quilter hobbyists. Love them, can't be without them, have several sizes of each. I watch for sales on quilters' notions to stock up on new blades. Quilting magazines would be "second" with me. I have hundreds, I loan them out and give a few away to newbies. They provide loads of inspiration, they are informative and entertaining. It's so fun to look back at the older issues, better than an old movie to my way of thinking. RT in Houston
Welcome to the world of quilting. Be ready to become possessed!! I, too, could not live without my rotary cutter and mat. When I started quilting in 2000, the teacher of my first class had those two items on our list of necessary items, even though she did teach us how to make and use templates and cut out with scissors, but that was the one and only time for me. Give me the ease of the rotary cutter every time. Have fun.
A seam ripper, when needed its the best tool.
My hands.
As a hand quilter, I couldn't ever give up my antique sterling silver needle that I've been using for all my quilting for nearly 20 years. A close second is my hemostat (I think that's the medical name for this instrument). It looks like scissors, but the ends are really grabbers, allowing me to pull a needle through multiple layers of fabric.
I, too, use my rotary cutter and mat constantly, but I really like two books i bought - "The It's Okay If You Sit on my Quilt Book" and "That Dorky Homemade Look." Both books have a light-hearted feel, and take some of the too-serious-ness out of quilting with some fun reality. I recommend them both to all.
"It's Okay If You Sit On My Quilt" is a great book to have in your reference library.

The tools I most value are my hands, pretty hard to quilt without them. So I make sure to take a 5 minute break out of every hour of quilting to do a few hand and finger stetches and do something different. Also resting my eyes from the close work by looking at something in the distance, because, though my friend Emma can still hand quilt with near zero vision, seeing is pretty important to quilting.

As for purchased tools, definately the rotary cutter, mat and gridded rulers, and Freezer Paper. I'd not like to have to do applique without it. Sharp scissors are a must for sanity and the sake of your hands.
Hands and fingers! what a easy and realistic answer. I often find mine pricked, pinched, crunched, and even sore from manupilating them in to positions that they are not used to. How thankful or thankless we become when we think or do not about God's gifts of the hands and fingers. Resting them now and again while tackling a big project is a great idea to remind Quilter's to do as we get so absorbed we forget. Awesome!
My basement it's my place to go and sew, where you can leave it in as big of mess as you want and knowone has anything to say about it. I hate it when I hear someone say I have to put it all away so my family can't see the mess don't they receive the quilts. I have a wall that has all the new project hanging on it so you never have to start over and dig out something to work on.
I have at least 3 items i couldn't do without. First is my rotary cutter and necessary rulers and mats, then is my walking foot (even feed) for my sewing machine. I don't sew anything without it anymore.,and third is my long arm quilting machine. I love the quilting process,however with arthritis in my hands hand quilting is no longer an option and trying to fight a king size quilt under a regular sewing machine can turn into a dance of the rediculous. Have fun quilting it becomes os so addictive. LOL
Some thoughts although I notice you are looking for ONE thing (which would be rotary mat and cutter but it has been said) - Retractable tape measure. Chocolate. Silk Thread for applique (just starting to learn that!). Water based glue stick to hold the seams in lace for stitching (couldn't do without it - best thing I ever learned). My heavy piece of wood that I use to flatten blocks immediately after pressing (get's 'em flat!). Quarter inch ruler for paper piecing. Carol Doak's books on paper piecing.
These are some of the best tips I have ever read. I have been struggling with my strings once the seams are completed has anyone used the string glue? I like a finished (real finished look) on my pillow cases so been using binding to close the seam between the main body to the cuff, looks so much more quality. Thanks again Penny.

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