Top 5 Must-Have Accessories for Quilters
December 4, 2023
If you’ve just started quilting, you might feel surprised to know that quilting accessories are just as essential as the fabric, needles, and thread. The right accessories can make the quilting process smoother and give your projects a polished and professional appearance. If you’re wondering what tools you need to set yourself up for success, look no further. Let’s look at the top five must-have accessories for quilters.
1. Self-Healing Cutting Mat
When you cut on a self-healing mat, it won’t leave any marks, which means your blade won’t fall into any grooves left behind and ruin the accuracy of your cuts.
This not only protects your work surface but also ensures that your cuts are consistently accurate and that your mat lasts longer. Cutting mats come in a variety of sizes, but the most common size for quilters is 24 x 36 inches.
2. Rotary Cutter
A rotary cutter is a powerful tool for quilters. It’s a circular blade that rotates on a handle and cuts through multiple layers of fabric at once. You use it in conjunction with a self-healing mat and quilting ruler. Unlike scissors, the rotary cutter offers precision and accuracy, ensuring that each piece of fabric is the exact size and shape you need.
Rotary cutters come in different sizes, but the most popular starting size for quilters is a 45mm blade. When choosing a rotary cutter, be sure to pick a comfortable size and shape for you. Smaller rotary cutters are especially helpful for cutting around tight curves, while larger cutters can cut through more layers easily. Some also come with ergonomic handles that may be more comfortable for extended use.
A quilting ruler is another essential tool for quilters. It’s a flat, transparent ruler with measurements etched onto it. You use it in conjunction with your rotary cutter and cutting mat to ensure that your fabric pieces are the correct size and shape.
As a result, quilting rulers also come in many sizes and shapes, and they can work for a variety of cutting tasks. However, if you want to start with one versatile ruler that’ll help you across projects, look for one that's 6 x 24 inches and has both horizontal and vertical lines. It should also have a slight rough side that keeps the ruler from slipping on the fabric while cutting.
The right kind of pin to secure your quilt pieces can greatly improve your accuracy. Quilting pins are generally longer than regular sewing pins for garments and are usually heavier. Pin heads can consist of different materials. Beware of plastic heads if you’re planning on ironing them. Some people favor flat-head pins because they lie completely flat. It’s helpful to have different sizes and weights of pins, depending on what your quilting project requires.
5. Marking Tools
Marking tools are must-have accessories for quilters that ensure accuracy and precision in your quilting projects. These can include brush-away chalk, fabric markers that are removeable with heat, or water-soluble pens. They allow you to draw on your fabric temporarily to mark where you need to sew or cut.
These tools make it easier to follow your quilting design and ensure that everything lines up perfectly. Just make sure to test the markings on a scrap piece of fabric before using them on your actual project.
Ready to get started on your next quilting project? You can find all these accessories and more at Montavilla Sewing Centers. We’re a sewing machine shop, but we sell everything you need to complete any sewing project. From fabric and thread to machine accessories, we have everything in one place.