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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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Mary, I like to make pillow cases as well, and always wondered how to make them more finished...CT has a kit that has the simple solution, I ordered a kit on clearance to try and the instructions were simple and the results were great, absolutely no exposed seams....You might look into this...It was great....
Rebecca, Which kit was this? I ordered the Holiday Pillow case kit which I loved and have been making many sets now from this easy set of instructions. I have gone one set further and I cover the seam from the main body and the cuff with satin bias tape. This seems to make it seem really hand finished for a quality gift. I hate to see any open raw seams showing when looking into the pillow case and I doing something wrong? Help! I do not have one of those fancy sewing machines that finish the seams off like a store bought item.
When reading this, It really got me to thinking about how far things have come and all of the new things that quilters use, and how intimidating this can be...being raised by quilter's, my mom, grandma, aunts, etc. I never really thought about how people learn to quilt, but I have to say that while I am now attached to my rotary cutter and accessories, If I have a good sharp pair of scissors, a good thimble and pack of strong needles, I can be happy to work with what I have...I use my sewing machine for piecing , but I can do it by hand, so aside from the obvious, my hands and eyesight, I think i just need a basic supply pack, and a big scrap bag....I love quilts with lots of color, so scrap quilts make me happy, have a good day
Rebecca, Can you share which Thimble do you use? I have yet to find one that fits, comfortable so still using the old stand by "Bandaid" when my finger gets too sore. Thanks...
I just use what I call a regular thimble, I have tried several kinds, and I like the metal ones with the deep dimples and the ridge around the top, sometimes my thimble finger gets sore, ( I have fibro and it swells a little) so I just stick a little bandaid or a little piece of batting under the edge that is sore, sounds kinda silly, but it works for me...We have a quilter in our group that doesn't use one at all, she just pushes it through with her finger nail, my nails are to soft and I would just run the needle up under them, but she does a good job....I hope you find something that works well for you, thimbles are on my must have list.
I think that the rotary cutter is the most popularand useful, so of us can probably remember when a good pair of scissors was not that odd to cut the fabric pieces with. No I couldn't go back to that, its just too hard on my hands and accuracy really suffers.

I too wait for sales to pick up extra blades and I think I have a mat in every size. I remember looking high and hard for any kind of quilt book back in 88-89 when I started quilting. The printed (cheaters top) was quite common back then to start hand quilting. You still see baby quilt top panels in fabric stores. But that was what I started with. Susan/IA
I bought a strip cutter this year...it is made by fiskars. It looks a lot like the one they use for scrap booking. It has a 45 mm rotary blade and the bar comes down and you push the blade across. It is in a groove and no fingers to cut. It will cut through about 4 layers. Mine is a Donna dewberry model and has the base with measurements and will cut a width of 12 inches and length of 6. I never before could keep my strip straight
Measure twice and cut once is my rotary cutting chant.

Hey Ruth, As I was trying to cut 2.5" strips/squares this weekend, I told myself that I am thousands of hexes away from completion and I should look into one of those strip cutting machines that look like a binding tape maker. May need to try my paper/photo cutter like the one you use - I never thought to try using it for fabric. Evelyn
I agree with those who say hands and fingers. And then just give me a needle, thread and a bag of scraps and I'm happy. My grandmother began quilting late in her life and while I treasure the quilts I have that she made for me, she past away before I had the desired to learn the quilt. I knew how to sew, and had done lots of cross stitching and just decided one day I want to quilt. So I picked up a book on how to quilt and a baby quilt kit at a quilt shop and away I went. I prefer sitting in front of my Tv to sew and so just started sewing it by hand plus my grandmother had done it that way. So hands and fingers and then needle, thread and scraps that's all I need.
Besides what others have said--a GOOD sewing machine--not necessarily expensive, but reliable. Good lighting, both task and general. I LOVE my rolling chair, can't imagine sewing without it. I have a Rowenta steam generating iron that I love also. I also have made a work table out of a full sheet of plywood. The whole thing is prepared for a pressing surface--which is wonderful. I also have a special pressing board that I use just for fat quarters. It is about 26" x 22" and is 3/4" plywood. If you haven't made one of these it is pretty easy. First layer is muslin or artist canvass, then 100% cotton or wool batting, them several sheets of aluminum foil, then the board. Pull it tight around to the back and staple. The new love of my quilting life is Sta-Flo liquid starch. You can mix the strength you want, it is much less expensive than canned starch and tons and tons easier to iron. Here is my starch method. Any starch that is beaded up on the fabric will flake off and not do what you want. When I am doing several of the same size (typically fat quarters) I lay down the first piece, spray it throughly, lay the next piece on top, and then smooth the top piece. This pushes the starch into both the top and bottom piece without starching my hands. Then I spray the top piece, lay on the next and smooth. If I have time I really like to roll the pieces up and let them soak/sit a while. I place the first piece down, iron it nearly dry and then put the next piece on top and iron it nearly dry--until I have finished or have a stack of 20 or so. I set that stack off to the side and start a new one if I need to. When all have had the first ironing, I start over and iron them DRY. You can put the wet ones in a plastic bag and they will be fine for a couple of days. I really like a knife edge 1/4" foot. Mine works really well for me.

Sorry if this is more than you wanted--but once I get started--it is hard for me to stop!!! LOL
My Singer 221 would be first on the list, then (like everyone else) my rotary cutter, mat & rulers. Fiskars Micropoint scissors, Fiskars spring-loaded scissors, pins & magnetic pin cushion. I really love my micropoint scissors everything from applique to snipping threads, I even got another pair for my scrapbooking.
Most say cutter and mat,my hands look after them, GOOD thread cotton best,if hand quilting one that is waxed it wont tangle like others.My thimble when i bought mine i went to shop and tryed on a few and then to get used to it before sewing i wore it on my finger round the house.My Mum was a tailer and she tried so hard to get me to use a thimble before i got one. A comfortable place to sit and sew. I found it was better to buy yards of fabric instead of fat 1/4s unless that small size was what was needed. Have fun get in with a group they will share and help.Pat in New Zealand


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