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Beginner Quilter looking for input please

Hello Ladies,
I just signed up for my first quilting class and was given a sheet with tools that I will need to purchase.
Mats , rulers rotary cutters etc . Would love some input from all you experienced ladies on what brand to buy, I am so lost!! All the mats come in different colours with different grids, same as the rulers. Any input would be greatly appreciated .

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Comment by Sandy Larkey on April 20, 2016 at 7:50am

I grew up in a family of quilters--I have to say that the only ESSENTIAL for making quilts is a good pair of scissors, needles and threads and a determination to excel.  That being said, I prefer a Fiskars rotary cutter; it has a hand grip that allows you to keep your wrist straighter, so not as much fatigue if you're doing a lot of cutting.  My "best" ruler is an 18.5 x 4.5" Creative Grids ruler; I like it because it has full width markings every inch and 1/8th dashes on those lines, plus black and white dashes you can follow if you're cutting "odd" sizes, i.e. 3 7/8".  It also has grippy dots on the back side so it doesn't slip--as much!  I will admit to times I feel like nailing it to my cutting board!  You will want at least a couple sizes of "square up" rulers; it's a lot easier to trim a block to size if you don't have to manipulate a long ruler.  Marking pencils, I notice nobody has suggested marking pencils; there are several on the market--basically you'll want one color for dark fabrics and one for light.  Olfa's cutting mat is nice; if you're going to be doing most of your cutting in glass, yes, the smaller one with the ironing board on one side would be good.  If you're planning to work at your home a lot, the biggest mat you can get on your work table will save you from having to shift the fabric a lot, thereby creating a chance for a double layer to get mispositioned and wind up with a pair of squares that aren't.  Walking feet or quarter-inch feet for your sewing machine are good things to have; I personally don't use them because I have "orphan" machines manufactured before such new-fangled inventions, but unless you've done a lot of sewing previously and know you can hold the proper seam allowance, you may well want the quarter-inch foot at least.  And don't get too ambitious and go for a king-size quilt the first time around!  Good luck.  And be prepared for "Wow! You made this!" the first time you show off a quilt you made.

Comment by Curda on April 18, 2016 at 1:41pm
Thank you for all your input , greatly appreciated :)
Comment by Gmakitty on April 18, 2016 at 1:09pm

thanks every one... you are never to old or to experienced to learn something different.. enjoy the day

Comment by Carol Ann Hinton on April 17, 2016 at 8:06pm

Hello, Newbie!  Welcome!  My advice (after 20-some years) would be the same as Prairie Quilter's.  In fact, I love the cutter she recommends because I feel it is the safest one on the market.  Yes, you can take a slice off your finger with a rotary cutter if you aren't careful.  The basic rulers are 6" x 24", 6" x 6", and I get a lot of use from my 4" x 14" for cross-cutting.  You don't need every size!  Your go-to mat should be 18" x 24".  (If you are cutting strips from a bolt of fabric, you need the 24").  You can use a smaller one for classes.  If your quilting class is at a quilt shop, they will have cutting mats to use, but you should have your own cutter & ruler.  My mats are all the green olfa's.  I think the material they are made of is superior.  Rules:  Always lock your cutter (blade cannot come out) when you put it down--every time!  Never roll or bend your mat, or leave it in your hot car!  Store it flat at all times--it's hard to get a bend out.

Good luck in your classes -- quilting is a very satisfying craft.  Once you're hooked--you're hooked!

Comment by Gmakitty on April 16, 2016 at 6:08pm

my basics are material, rotary cutter two boards, one that rotates, two rulers, a sewing machine and of course my tutorials, the basics pins and thread and needles and my friends who give me knowledge... Have a great weekend and know I care/gmakitty

Comment by LKC on April 16, 2016 at 11:46am

Ok let me see if I can show you my lap tray that I take on trips. It fits in a suitcase with supplies. I cut small section while watching tv with it.

Comment by LKC on April 16, 2016 at 11:42am

Here is a picture of the two ways I use my rotary system.

Comment by J.S. on April 16, 2016 at 7:26am
If you're going to quilting classes, it's nice to have the cutting mat that is padded for ironing on one side and rotary cutting on the other.
Comment by Prairie Quilter Jan/NE on April 14, 2016 at 8:05pm

Welcome aboard!  Good advice all the way around.  

My most-used rulers are the 6" x 24", the 6" square and the 12" square.  My mat is 24 x 36".  It is an older green one.  (NOTE:  I don't go to classes or retreats, so you'd need a smaller, more portable one for "on-the-go" quilting.)  My favorite rotary cutter is the 45 mm Olfa Deluxe Rotary Cutter like this one.  (I've had others, and this is by far my favorite.  I've not tried the ergonomically correct cutters, so I can't comment on those.)  

Those are the basics for me.  I can't think right now of any other quilting "must-have" outside of (sadly) a seam ripper.  

Have fun and we'll look forward to hearing of your quilting adventures. 

Comment by Gmakitty on April 14, 2016 at 7:25pm

ooooooooo the sewing I mentioned was when my children were growing up, I made a lot of their  play clothes and some school clothes and for SS...then  I had sewn for > 25 years.. I love quilting and am sure you will as well Welcome aboard....

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