I wrote last week about when I learned to sew, a highlight in my life. When I transitioned to quilting, I already had much of what I needed in terms of supplies. That has not stopped me from adding to the tools of my hobby for decades but the initial outlay wasn't too bad for me.
But what about a newbie? I am often asked, what does a brand new quilter need to start sewing and quilting? I know a bit about this because I launched my stepdaughter and will soon launch my granddaughter. Let's take a look at what I have purchased.
I recommend a Bernette sewing machine, a necessity for all new quilters. I am all about avoiding play sewing machines or tricky antique ones for young sewists. (I made that mistake with my oldest and I have never heard the end of it.) Buy a lower level mechanical sewing machine of the brand you adore.
Once you have the machine, put together sewing kit. If the newcomer is signed up for a class there will probably be a supply list. If there is, there may be a discount that goes along with purchasing on sight. Cool!
First: cutting. A decent sized cutting mat, quality rotary cutter and replacement blades. A pair of really good scissors would be fabulous as well. I think being able to cut well is the most important start for a new quilter.
Second: measuring. When you cut, you have to be able to measure. There are so many fabulous rulers out there. Select a simple 18” plastic ruler and a really good 12.5” acrylic square. It’s important to cut with accuracy.
Third: sewing. A quarter inch foot for that machine and a walking foot for the quilting are sometimes included with the machine.. Luckily, these are not that expensive for a Bernette. And when you sew, you’re going to make mistakes so a seam ripper is a must.
Fourth: Pins and thread.I know the costs are adding up but you have to have thread and pins. I have fabulous pins and magnetic “pin cushions” for them but basics are fine for a novice. I prefer Aurifil thread but maybe one spool of luxurious level thread will suffice.
Fifth: Fabric. Quality fabric or the best you can afford for a quilt makes the project more fun.
Finally: some fun. Once you have a machine with the proper feet, you can cut, measure, pin and sew that fabric but it’s fun to have some extras. Storage, other measuring items or upgrades will come along.
I can’t wait to do this with my 3 year old granddaughter. She’ll start out sewing with me in my sewing room so do I really need to buy anything for her? Probably not but that hasn’t stopped me. She has her own sewing table and chair where now she just colors. I got her a pink and white Bernette which is still in the box. She's interested, that's the main point now.
I couldn’t control myself because as quilters and sewists, I think we have to first expose, then encourage and finally launch the next generation.I hope it works with Zara.
And then, I can start with my grandson.
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If buying a sewing machine for a toddler piques your interest, read the whole post here.