Quilter’s 11 Essential Tools

Our friends at Fons and Porter put together a basic list for anyone who wants/plans to cut up big pieces of fabric into small pieces of fabric and sew them together again.

Sewing Machine

We live in a world full of sewing machines that would make your great-grandmother weep with joy. Naturally, we recommend visiting one of our five B-Sew Inn locations for demonstrations on our variety of quilting and sewing machines.  It’s a great idea to test-drive before you buy, which is why we offer hands-on demonstrations of all our quilting machines!

Our B-Sew Inn team members will help “fit” you with one of the best friends you’ll ever have!


Cotton fabric is best: don’t try to make a quilt out of grandma’s hankies your first time out. A reliable fabric shop will help you find what you like, steer you away from expensive, flimsy fabrics and toward the world of luxurious quilting-grade cotton.

Rotary Cutter, Ruler, and Mat

There are many ways to cut fabric, but the vast majority of quilters today use the rotary cutting system. The rotary cutters is essentially a razor blade on a wheel; the ruler (start with 6″ x 24″) offers an edge against which to cut; the mat (24″ x 36″ is great) protects your table and blade. B-Sew Inn has all of these items in-stock and can help you select the ones that best fit your needs. We’ll also be happy to show you how to use them safely!

Iron and Ironing Board

Making patchworks is three things: cutting, sewing, and pressing. Pressing your patchwork sets seams and crisps up the units and blocks. Get a good iron and a safe pressing surface, and always unplug your iron when you finish.

A Pattern

Your pattern is your GPS, your quilt recipe. Find one that speaks to you and refer to it often.

Seam Ripper

No one is perfect.

Design Wall

If you were painting, you’d want to step back from time to time and see the whole picture. It’s the same with patchwork. A design wall is a place for patchwork so you can see what’s happening. A large piece of white flannel or thin quilt batting tacked up will do.

Pins and Pincushion

Thin, glass head pins are essential for basic patchwork. You’ll use them to hold units and rows in place.


We really believe you need two kids of scissors at your sewing table: a pair of large shears and a smaller pair of thread-cutting/snipping scissors. When you get them, use them only for cutting fabric and thread — no cardboard boxes, crafting papers, etc.


Thread comes in an endless number of colors as well as different weights, textures, and material types. Depending on what you’re sewing, quilting, embroidering, etc., you’ll want different types of thread. For basic patchwork, look for a thread that reads 50/3 (this refers to the weight and yarn count) in the color of your choice.


It’s hard to make a quilt if you’re not sewing. Make time for yourself and your hobby. Creative pursuits feed us in all kinds of ways; working on a quilt can actually make you feel like you have more time for everything else.

Remember, quilting and shopping for quilting, is more fun with friends! Introduce this timeless hobby to someone new and spread the love of quilting!

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