Creating a patchwork quilt is one of those craft projects that it is easy to get carried away with. You walk into a craft store and see the many different embellishments and fabrics that can be used and it is easy to want to go crazy. Knowing what are the essentials versus what are just luxuries will help you keep your quilting items in check. In this post I want to talk about what you need for creating a patchwork quilt.
Creating a Patchwork Quilt Requires … you guessed it! … Fabric
When growing up my mom would make our clothes, make raggedy Ann and Andy dolls … anything to be satisfy her love to create. And, she would save all the scraps of cloth for her life-long project – a handmade patchwork quilt for each of her children. So I learned early in life how important scraps of cloth are in needle crafting.
This is a given for many people, obviously you need fabric for a quilting project. If you don’t have a bag of scraps around as I do, and depending on the quilting project you plan to work on, you may be able to purchase a yard of a specific fabric and cut it yourself. Most fabric stores carry quilting quarters in packs of one or two dozen to help you get started and make it easy to find exactly what you need. If you are just starting out with quilting, choose a basic cotton fabric to work with. The better you get, the more you will be able to use delicate and thick fabrics that make really nice quilts.
Cutting Mat, Rotary Cutter and Scissors – more tools for creating a patchwork quilt
If you are starting to quilt while working on a budget you may need to start out by using just scissors to cut your fabric. That’s okay – I certainly relate. I prefer a rotary cutter because it ensures the line is straight due to the fact that the fabric is not lifted during the cutting process the way it is with scissors. A cutting mat will protect your work station and is also printed with lines to follow when cutting to ensure the perfect sizes every time. If you’re a tight budget check on eBay as you can pick up good used items for a fraction of the cost of purchasing new. Amazon also has a good selection of quilting supplies, but you may pay a little more than on eBay.
Needles & Thread – Can’t live without ’em if quilting is your craft
You will need a decent supply of needles for hand sewing and a sewing machine. Sewing machine needles are available in packs of four or more while hand needles typically are found in a needle wheel that has different compartments for each size and type of needle. This is a great way to stay organized with your needles. Be sure to choose the right kind of thread for quilting, not just any thread. For example, embroidery thread tends to be thinner and breaks easily compared to other threads. This is because the thread is twisted together with an embroidery machine. Always purchase cotton or cotton wrapped polyester thread that will give a firm stitch with your quilt.
Sewing Machine – an option for creating a patchwork quilt you may want to consider
While hand sewing a quilt is, in my opinion, the best thing to do. However, it is extremely time consuming and the end result is not as “finished” as it is with a sewing machine. There are over one hundred different types of sewing machines to chose from. Singer is one of the longest standing machines and is a popular choice for many crafters. However, you will need to test out different machines in the store to determine which are the best option for you. Look for those machines that state specifically they are great for quilting on the box to help narrow down the possible results.
Quilting Frame – a necessity when creating a patchwork quilt by hand
Of course, if you are a die-hard, “I did it my way” quilter, you will scorn the use of a sewing machine and opt for the satisfaction of doing it all by hand. If so, you’ll need a quilting frame to put the pieces together. I’ve seen some nice floor models on eBay and Amazon. You might also look on Craigs List as people are always getting the bug to quilt … then giving up. Their loss – your gain :).