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5 Essential Tools for Quilting

Before you even start sewing a seam, it’s important to assemble a kit of essential tools so that are at ready when you need them. Chances are, you already have a few of these items, but we’ve rounded up our favorites. It’s also a great way to put together a starter kit for a new sewist or quilter.

1. Rotary Cutter & Cutting Mat

Ok ok… technically these are two items, but they go together! You can’t have one without the other. This pairing is today’s quilter most used item. The rotary cutter is the quickest and easiest way to cut precisely and accurately. The cuts made by a rotary cutter are usually neater than those made by a scissor. Please use care when changing a blade. The blades are extremely sharp! When not in use, it’s a good practice to lock and close the rotary cutter. Do not cut on a surface without a cutting mat. The cutting mat protects your blade AND the surface you ar cutting on. They are available in a range of sizes and can cover an entire tabletop or a smaller space.

The Quilter’s Select rotary cutter is great because it’s ambidextrous. You can use it with your right or your left hand. The Olfa splash cutters are also fun and will brighten up any tool kit!

2. Acrylic Rulers

A quilter can never have just one ruler! However, there are basic ones that are versatile and should be in everyone’s kit. Everyone should have a 6”x24” ruler to cut down yardage and a large square (we like a 10”x10”) is adaptable for multiple cuts as well.

These from Quilter’s Select rulers have a uniform grippy surface on the back that keep the ruler steady and prevent it from slipping while you’re cutting for the most accurate cuts.

3. Large Shears

Although you have a rotary cutter, sharp tailor’s shears are useful when cutting non-standard shapes. Keep these sharp by only reserving them for cutting fabric, NOT paper or anything else. An easy way to identify your large shears is by tying a ribbon to one of the handles.

These Kai dressmaking shears are comfortable to hold and cut through fabric like butter.

4. Embroidery Scissors

Didn’t we already list scissors? Trust us, these are different and also super necessary. You’ll want to keep a pair of sharp embroidery scissors beside your sewing machine at all times to snip threads and trim patchwork pieces.

We love the Karen Kay Buckley’s Perfect Scissors. They’re sharp and have a micro-serrated blade. Plus, they come with a sheath to keep the protected when not in use.

5. Seam Ripper

Nobody likes mistakes, but when you a have to unpick a seam, make the task easier with a good seam ripper that’s sharp and ergonomic. You can take out a seam in seconds if done with the right tool!

We always have multiples of the Clover seam ripper at all our sewing stations. The handle allows for a comfortable grip and the tool is sharp and easily cuts through threads.