Not having the proper tools can make the sewing and quilting process difficult and can frustrate those who are just beginning to sew. So having a few of the right tools on hand can make all of the difference. And as you will see the tools aren’t many, super expensive, or hard to find.
So, let’s start at the very beginning with a great pair of fabric scissors.
They don’t have to be expensive….but they do have to be sharp! You will have a much better time cutting out patterns if your scissors are sharp. I really love my KAI dressmaker shears they are a really fantastic pair of scissors for a terrific price! (And you can find them HERE.)
A tape measure is another essential. I really long these long, yellow ones that have both metric and imperial measurements. And did I mention it is long? Like super long…..fantastic for measuring quilt tops.
Another thing I never had when I first started sewing was extra bobbins. So I would either use whatever color was on the bobbin (not-so-great looking), or unwind the whole thing and re-wind it (such a time waster). So, grab some extra bobbins. I think I am up to 20-30 bobbins and I love it….I can just grab the same color as my thread and I am ready to sew any color I need.
You are also going to need lots of pins. I really like ones with big heads on them, mostly because I have carpeting in the room that I sew in…and it’s way easier for me to find a pin that falls on the floor. My philosophy is pin, pin, pin! I know some don’t agree with me, but I find that the more I pin, the better my project turns out.
I also can’t live without a sewing gauge. I use it to make sure that my hems are straight and it is amazing. One sewing tools that I use on just about every project I make. (My three year old seems to love them too….so I have 2 or 3 because they sometimes go missing 😉 )
Another must have is a seam ripper. I had the tendency when I first started sewing to not unpick anything and kept telling myself “it’s good enough.” Until one day I could hear my grandmother’s voice in my head saying, “a job worth doing is doing right.” And she is, of course, correct. Any project that is worth doing is worth doing right. I also somehow thought that expert sewists never used their seams rippers…..and now my belief is that expert sewists use them the most! There still isn’t a big project that I do that I don’t have to rip out something and do it again…..I have learned to LOVE my seam ripper!
This is another tool I love—my point turner! It helps so much with getting great looking corners. After clipping your corners just use this little guy to make really crisp corners! These tools are inexpensive and come in super handy. (You can find them HERE.)
Something to mark your fabric is also an essential sewing tool. I love tailor’s chalk (mostly because it is super cheap and never runs out of ink!) but there are lots of tools out there to mark fabric: fabric markers, chalk markers and probably many more that I don’t even know about.
The next tool looks funny but it can come in really handy! It’s called a bodkin and it is amazing for pulling elastic through casings. For years I have been using fat safety pins that tend to open in the middle of pulling them through….and making me frustrated…but not any more!
This tool is a time saver for sure! The elastic pulls through the small hole and then the ball-point end is easily pushed through the casings…..it’s fantastic! (And again it is an affordable tool that you can find HERE.)
And my last set of tools is probably the most expensive (coupons can help) but they really are essential for sewing! A cutting mat, a clear quilting ruler, and a rotary cutter.
There are many good choices for these tools but today I found a Fiskars bundle kit that includes the mat, ruler, and rotary cuter all together for only $28.06 over on Amazon. HERE is the link to the listing. (It really is a super great deal!)
Both Elizabeth and I have this exact same cutting mat and recently ordered a classroom set of these rotary cutters and rulers for a class we were teaching and we really like all these products!
So there you have it….a list of some great tools to have on hand when beginning to sew or quilt.
And, just for fun we each wanted to throw in a favorite tool to use….
And of course, Elizabeth chose her beloved Wonder Clips.
She uses these all the time for multiple tasks but her favorite is to use while hand binding quilts. Again, these are another reasonably priced tool and can be found HERE.
And finally, I have my FAVORITE scissors to use when making ragged projects. (Which I actually make A LOT of.)
These Fons and Porter clipping scissors are the perfect size, shape, and sharpness to make the clipping of ragged projects as easy as cutting through butter. (Seriously, I love these things.) And you can find them HERE.
We could continue all day with other tools that we like to use….but this is a great start….the right tools really can make all the difference.
-liZ & Elizabeth
(This post was a joint effort 🙂 )
***NOTE: Affiliate links have been used in the post.