slightly biased quilts

slightly biased quilts logo

Hi everyone! Happy Friday! Today I have a guest post from the lovely Jenny from Fab Fabric Girl. Jenny is a fellow pattern designer and has a fun list of must-have quilting notions to share with you today! Enjoy!

Hello and thank you to Jennifer for having me guest post today!  If you are just getting started on your quilting journey, you may be wondering what items are must haves.  Quilting and sewing supplies are usually referred to as notions.  So today, I’m sharing my favorite notions for beginners to get you up and running with your new hobby! 

  • Rotary Cutter – These come in different sizes – 45 mm and 60 mm are the most popular. I find the 60 mm to be too big, so I use a 45 mm. Olfa and Fiskers brand rotary cutters are well known brands and I’ve owned both. However, I recently won an LDH rotary cutter in a giveaway and it’s the best rotary cutter I’ve ever had!
  • Rotary Cutter Blades – You will notice your blade is wearing down when it stops cutting as smoothly or doesn’t cut through multiple layers in one motion.  Make a note of what size rotary cutter you have, so you don’t forget when purchasing replacement blades. Replacement blades are interchangeable as long as they are the same size as your rotary cutter.  My favorite is the LDH rotary blades, but I’ve used several different brands with no problem. 
  • Self Healing Cutting Mat – I prefer my mat to be 24” x 36”, but get what your space allows. Be sure it is self healing.  As you can imagine, rotary blades leave cuts in the mat.  Self healing mats are usually several layers deep and allow the mat to “heal” after cuts.  This keeps your sewing mat smooth.  My first cutting mat lasted over 20 years with light use. It was a Dritz mat.  However, when I went to replace it I found the chemical smell of the new one to be too much.  I tried several brands and had to return them all because of the strong smell.  Even airing them out in my garage for a few days did not help. I ultimately ended up with the KC Global Cutting Mat found on Amazon. This mat did not smell!

  • Straight Edge Ruler – These come in tons of different sizes.  My most used rulers are 6” x 24”, 3” x 18” and 8” square.  I have both the Fiskars and Omnigrid brands.  My Mom has the Arteza brand, but I don’t like the built in seam allowance on their rulers.  It messes me up every time.  If you purchase that brand, be sure to keep that in mind. 

  • Iron and Ironing Board – Any iron will do. My first iron was given to me as a wedding gift from my Aunt and Uncle.  It was a Black and Decker that lasted 20 years!  I found the new Black and Decker irons to be too big and bulky for me. My husband gifted me the Mini Oliso iron, but I found I was too small for everyday use.  My mother in law had a regular sized Oliso and upgraded to a brand new one.  I was super lucky that she gave me her original. I absolutely love the auto lift feature.  

Warning – once you get used to this, you may forget your other irons don’t lift and you may burn your mat.  Don’t ask how I know this ;)

  • Small Scissors or Snips – I usually use my Fiskars snips over scissors for cutting loose threads.
  • Clips – For many years, I used straight pins.  Then I came across clips and never went back.  No more stabbing myself! I have some of the name brand clips, but the bulk clip sets are just as good.  I have this set:

  • Seam Ripper – Unfortunately, you’ll need this.  It should probably be at the top of the list. Any seam ripper will do, but I have found the cheap ones break very easily.  I used this Dritz brand seam ripper for years.

Until I was gifted an amazing handmade double sided seam ripper. It was custom made locally, but this seam ripper found on Amazon is very similar.  

There is an awl, or pointed tip, on one end that is helpful when guiding small pieces into the machine.  I mostly use the seam ripper side.

What other notions do you have or recommend?  

If you are still looking for a sewing machine, you can read about my Baby Lock Crescendo machine here.  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *