Quilters’ Toolkit

Aside from fabric, batting and thread, you’ll need the following bits of kit to get started.

All are available to purchase right here in Ireland and, with the exception of the sewing machine, you can pick up everything you need to pop your quilting cherry for under €80. Huzzah!

Cutting mat – protects the surface that you’re cutting on from scratches and keeps fabric from slipping too easily. I personally do not use anything smaller than A3. Home Focus has a nice Fiskars one here for €19.

Rulers – ever tried cutting a straight line freehand? If you’re some sort of cutting god (or goddess) and you are able to cut precisely without wobbling or going wonky, then amazing. Go you! The rest of us mere mortals will require a ruler to ensure the absolute precision that quilting requires.

A 12’x6” and 6.5” square should do for starters; the smaller of the two I use for squaring up and trimming half-square triangles, one of the basic shapes used to make a quilt block. Limerick Quilt Centre stocks both for €20 and €17 respectively (they also offer free shipping in Ireland if you spend €50 or more 😉

Rotary cutter – you’ll have your fabric precisely sliced and ready to sew in double-quick time with one of these babies. I use a 45mm diametre blade (I imagine the smaller ones are handier if you’re working on more intricate designs, paper piecing, etc). This Fiskars cutter costing €19.95 from Home Focus is the biz.

Seam ripper – this small but ESSENTIAL item of kit is a quilter’s best friend. You will sew imperfectly and, at times, back to front, but this baby literally lets you rip it up and start again! Available from any good store which stocks sewing supplies. This Clover brand ripper from Limerick Quilt Centre will be the best €1.25 you’ll ever spend.

Pins – one of the main ways to baste your quilt, ie temporarily join together your layers (front, batting, backing) before they are sewn (quilted) together is by using pins. Spray basting (gluing) is another popular technique, although this can end up costing €€ more. These pearl head pins sure are pretty (€2.50 for a pack of 40, though I’d recommend getting at least a couple to start off with). The bird pins in the pic below I picked up for buttons on eBay although they took yonks to arrive.

All the bits you need to get started


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