When you first start out quilting or have been quilting for years, you should know about your choices when it comes to your basic quilting supplies. New products are on the market all the time, and sometimes it is worth it to upgrade your basic quilting supplies, even if what you already have works “fine.”
Pins – Is There A Difference?
You can get the basic steel pins like our grandmothers had, but now there are so many other options, ones that make using pins more enjoyable and easy. The step above the old pure steel pins with heads that get lost in on the quilt or in the carpet are the pins with the colored ball heads. The balls come in different colors – the bigger the better when quilting is concerned! If you are willing to spend a little more, look for pins with flattened flowered heads. They are easier to grasp and put into or pull out of fabric. They are much easier to find on a quilt or when you drop one onto the floor. These flowered pins are also a bit longer than the other types, making them better for quilting and many other purposes.
Cutting Tools – Old Vs. New Methods And Tools
Back in the old days, the only tools we had for cutting out patters or quilt squares was a simple pair of scissors. We can still use scissors, or, for faster cutting out and more accuracy on straight lines, we can use a rotary cutter, with mat and ruler.
Using a rotary cutter, the fabric lies flat on a self-healing board and a ruler is used to cut against for straight lines. No more having to pin to the fabric for patterns – you can use weights to hold the pattern down easily. Of course, if you prefer to pin, go ahead – just don’t cut over a pin or you will nick your rotary cutter – and the blades aren’t cheap to replace. Of course, having scissors sharpened isn’t cheap, either…
Getting The Pattern Onto The Fabric
When my mother quilts, she usually using a paper pattern and a pencil. The lines for quilting along are marked with the pencil, and after the quilt is finished she goes back and erases the lines as best she can. Is there a better way now, with basic quilting supplies? You betcha. The quilting design can be bought on a plastic stencil, which holds up well over time. Then the quilter can use a pounce – which is a bag that holds a powder. The pounce is wiped across the stencil, and the powder marks the quilt where the lines will go. There are some wonderful things about this. First, it comes in white – which will mark almost any quilt color – and a blue, which will mark anything the white won’t. Next, it is easy to clean up afterwards – most of the powders will come off with steam! Other types just brush away. No worries that your quilt will be permanently marked by the pencil. Also, using a pounce is much quicker than hand marking. This basic quilting supply, with our mothers and grandmothers didn’t have access to, is truly a time and energy saver.
If you look online or in a quilting store, you’ll see many other basic quilting supplies that weren’t available only a decade or two ago. These include templates, ring or pendant cutters, and fat quarters – among a lot of other things. They can speed up the quilting process and make it more enjoyable.