Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Easier Method

I am extremely grateful there are many wonderful tools and supplies available for sewists to use when making quilt tops. With a few basic ones, the process of creating the tops just became much easier! I’ll take the easier method any day! Although I know some do, I personally cannot imagine cutting out all those small pieces to create an entire quilt top using scissors. No, ma’am. Wouldn’t do it. 

My “quilt sewing basket” has grown over the twenty years I’ve created quilts. Today, in comparison to the walls and aisles at the local fabric store, or quilt shop, I have quite a bit more to acquire ~ at least according to the marketers!

The gadget aisle is indeed one of my favorite spots within a store. I can easily spend an hour examining each new-to-me product. Some I’d like to have, maybe, eventually. Others I cannot see buying/using when something else will do. I’d rather buy fabric!

Are you ready to start making quilt tops?!?

Let me first say, many folks, including myself, highly recommend purchasing quality tools, the best you can possibly afford. The investment will be well worth it in the long run. When I use photos, it will be from different suppliers found through doing a goodsearch.com (QOVF benefits with each one of my searches!). I am not affiliated with, nor a vendor of, any store or supplier. I just want you to know what I’m talking about!

The following is what I suggest for the basic start-up tools and supplies (in addition to your normal sewing machine and essential tools for general sewing such as straight pins, seam ripper, scissors, etc.):

Self-Healing Rotary Mat
  1. You will not regret the absolute largest size you can possibly afford and then have a flat surface to use it on. It must always be stored flat (like on the floor underneath a couch, bed, etc.)! I know. They are expensive! Watch for sales! I’ve had my 24” x 36” Olfa twenty years and counting! It’s a little less than the “listed size” like 23.?? by 35.??? but close enough for government work. It fits on top of my 2’ x 4’ table beautifully!
  2. A smaller mat, like 12” x 18” is not absolutely necessary at first, but really does come in handy!

WISH LIST: Someday I would like the 17” x 17” rotating self-healing rotary mat! It would be very helpful when creating the disappearing blocks! Yep! You’ll see them in a few days! But, for now, I can make do without it.

The Rotary Cutter tool – best thing since sliced bread, as my mother would say!
I’ve had several brands over the years. I’m currently using Fiskars and love them! Replacement blades are common size and are easy to switch out.
NOTE: The blade is EXTREMELY sharp! Use caution when cutting fabric! I'll share tomorrow in more detail!

Quilt Ruler for Rotary Cutting
I will admit, I’m partial to Dritz Omnigrid rulers.
  1. The 12 ½” square ruler is versatile, one that can do angles and smaller projects as well. I worked with (and still have) a 9.5” square, for a long time, and with great results. 
  2. The 6” x 24” ruler is nice to have available, but not essential.

Okay, now you have everything needed to cut the fabric… unless I missed something! What did I forget? What do you consider essential cutting tools? Please let us all know in the comments.

Oh, one more thing I remembered, but it’s not about cutting…

Not all sewing machines come with a ¼” presser foot. It’s not absolutely necessary, if you have painter’s tape! But just know, when sewing pieces together, a scant ¼” is basic on all quilt tops.

I highly recommend: know your machine and find/order/buy its ¼” presser foot today!

See you tomorrow!

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