Must-have quilting tools are essential to piecing accurate and precise quilts. Want to know how I know? On my very first quilt, I used a baby board book, a pen, and a pair of scissors to cut my patchwork squares. My quilty friends like to retell and they chuckle.
I didn’t press anything or even know why you would want to. I didn’t even own a 1/4″ foot. When I sewed my rows together, none of my seams nested together into the perfect points they could have been. That quilt was a hot mess, but regardless it is so special and loved because it was my first quilt!!
Since then I have made many many more quilts and have found that having the right quilting tools in my toolbox not only makes the process a lot easier and faster, it gives gorgeous results.
Here is a list of my top ten must-have quilting tools!
- Quilting Select Rulers – This is my number one must-have quilting tool. As soon as I used a Quilters Select ruler, all others were ruined for me. These rulers do not slip at all! They are easy to read and follow and hold up well over time. They are well worth every penny spent switching your rulers over to Quilters Select. My most used rulers are the 6.5″ x 24″ and the 3″ x 12″ ruler. Check them out, I promise you will not be dissapointed!
2. Anti-Fatigue Mat– I like to chain-piece my quilts which means I do all of my cutting, trimming, and pressing usually in one long session. I don’t have carpeted floors so I use my squishy anti-fatigue mat daily. It keeps my feet comfy so I can handle long sewing sessions throughout the day.
3. Chi Iron– For the longest time I used an old iron that literally came with the house. Eventually, the cord had a short in it and I had to hold it a certain way to get power to the iron. Eventually, I bought another iron from a big box store and within a month it quit on me. I needed a solution fast! I ended up shopping Prime day deals and stumbled across a Chi Iron. Oh my goodness, I am in love! It is heavy but not too heavy, has a long cord, heats up insanely fast, and stays HOT, and I really love the pointed tip for pressing small seams. If you are in the market for a quilting iron, I highly recommend the one I linked!
4. Wool Pressing Mat– Switching to a wool pressing mat has been life-changing. It has drastically reduced my need for Best Press. Once the wool mat heats up it helps press your blocks from both sides. I set up a kitchen island cart as my pressing station and purchased a wool mat that covered the entire surface area. It is the perfect ironing setup with storage underneath!
5. Giant Quilt Clapper– You can amplify the results of your wool pressing mat by using a quilt clapper. One of my friend’s husbands started making giant quilt clappers out of his hardwood scraps and we can’t get enough of them! They are large enough to set a 10″ block and cover almost the entire surface area. After pressing your block, set the quilt clapper on top. As it cools it will press your seams completely flat!
6. Giant Cutting Mat– If you cut any of your fabric from yardage, you need a full-sized cutting mat. Mine is 24″ x 36″ which is big enough to cut fabric by the yard. This increases your accuracy when cutting fabric. Pair this with the 6.5″ x 24″ quilters select ruler and you’ll be a cutting professional!
7. Rotary Cutter- Splash– I’ve tried many rotary cutters and there is one I always go back to. The Olfa Splash rotary cutters are my absolute favorite. Splash rotary cutters are lightweight, hold up over time, and are so easy to change the blade out. If you are not in love with your current rotary cutter, try out a Splash!
8. Air Erase Pens– A few of my patterns feature Half Square triangles, which means I am often drawing lines to sew beside and cut. Air erase pens are essential to getting this right. Buy a few and stick them all over your sewing room, I promise you will use them often!
9. Bloc Loc Rulers for HST’s– Speaking of half-square triangles, if you are making any amount of them you are going to want to try out the Bloc Loc Rulers. They make them for HST’s and flying geese and they are amazing! Your seam locks into the groove so there is no slippage making it simple and fast to trim them down accurately. I use my 2.5″ ruler all of the time!
10. Personalized Quilt Tags– The last thing I love to add to my finished quilts is a personalized quilt tag. I think it is so so important to add history to our quilts. I always include my name and the year it was made, which means I order a new set each year. Adding these tags to each of my quilts giving me hope that these quilts will outlive me and one day 100 years from now someone will love this quilt a little more because they know its history.
These are my top 10 must-have quilting tools but the list could go on and on! Here are a few more of my favorite must-haves!
- Auriful Thread
- Janome Memory Craft 6650
- Seam rippers
- Rotating small cutting mat
- Rulers of all shapes and sizes
- Walking foot for binding & quilting
- 1/4″ foot for piecing