Getting Started in Quilting Part 2

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Ok so we made it through the absolute basics.  Today we are going to cover the stuff that makes life easier.  Some of it I'm going to highly recommend other stuff will just be a strong suggestion.

 Photo from: Crazy Knitter on Flickr
So if you look in the picture you'll see that the quilt is on a green board with a yellow rolly thing in the corner.  These are two of the four highly recommended items.

Cutting Mat  - That's the green thing in the picture above.  It's made for a rotary cutter, we'll get to that, and it keeps you from cutting up your table.  It's basically a fabric cutting board.  They come in all sizes and even a few shapes but today we are keeping it simple.  Get the largest you can afford and will fit on the table you are sewing on.  I like Olfa because that's what my mom used.  I have a Fiskars rotating mat, no you don't need one yet, and it is fine.  I'm sharing what I know but if you know someone who swears by a different brand go for it. The first one is the smallest I would get. The second one is the size that I use most often.  I suggest doing some shopping that is a really high price but the only one I could find on Amazon.  The other size I use is a 40x50 mat.  It's mounted to a table.  You can purchase them at JoAnn's I know.


Rotary Cutter - This is the yellow rolly thing in the picture above.  It cuts your fabric.  I'm going to share the two in my house.  Again I use one kind and my husband uses another style.  Either one works.  We use Fiskars primarily.  We each have an Olfa one as well but it's a speciality one and we'll talk about that when we get to that point.  As you can see there isn't a lot of difference.  I like the handle he doesn't.  Personal preference folks.  


6x24 Ruler - The third of my highly recommended items.  When teamed up with the first two you get more accurate cuts than with scissors.  Accuracy means things will go together better.  It also means less headaches.  I'm going to share 3 price points.  You can pick.


Sewing Machine - The last of my highly recommended items.  I'm not going to tell you a specific brand to go get.  I will caution you on spending a lot until you know that you are going to be doing this for a while.  I currently use a sewing machine for the 60s.  I got it at a garage sale.  I've had newer fancier machines but they didn't hold up.  I suggest checking Craigslist.  In my area I can easily get a sewing machine ready to go for $60.  Just make sure it works and it has a pressure foot and foot controler. 

Other things I like to have are safety pins, a pencil or pen meant to write on fabric, sticky notes, binder clips, and a seam ripper.  I'd like to say I've never used the seam ripper but it and I are best friends.  Now some people don't use seam rippers they use razor blades or their rotary cutter.  I like having ten fingers so I don't do that and I don't suggest that.  Maybe when I'm 80 I'll be good enough to do that.  

Join me on Monday when we start our first project!

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About Melissa Shields

Mel is a 30 something year old quilter, attempting to balance her old school roots with today's trends. When not sewing or shopping for a new sewing machine Mel enjoys reading, reality TV, and Nascar.

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