Quilting Tools ~ What I use…What do You use?

My friend Donna has been shying away from quilt making because she is terrified of using the rotary cutter…see her post HERE. She also has pictures of everything she’s collected to make quilts, wanting to know what else she may need.

So I decided to list my favorite tools, books, and sites. For all you quilters out there…what are your favorites?

We’ll start with the mats, rulers, and cutters.

~ I’ve always had the OLFA 18×24 Self-Healing Rotary Mat, but Hancock Fabrics had the 24×36 size 40% off a couple of weeks ago…so guess what I bought?! 🙂

~ My favorite cutter? The ergonomic 45mm Olfa Deluxe Rotary Cutter with the safety lock.

~ I have lots of different rulers but these are my favorites:
O’Lipfa Lip Edge 5×24
O’Lipfa 12.5″ Square
Omnigrid 9.5″ Square
O’Lipfa 6.5″ Square
O’Lipfa 60° Angle
EZ Quilting 6.5″ Easy Angle
EZ Quilting Companion Angle
Dear Jane 4.5″ Square


Didn’t think I’d use this bobbin winder, but I just love it to death. I always buy two of the same thread, one is for winding bobbins. I wind up at least 3-4 bobbins before starting a project. Was $15 at my local Hancock Fabric store in Sparks.

Speaking of thread…I love the satin or silk-finished mercerized 100% cotton thread. I like Connecting Threads’ thread, Sulky Cotton Thread, and Mettler Silk-Finished Cotton Thread.


Thimbles…LOVE LOVE LOVE a simple Sterling Silver Tailor’s thimble for hand quilting. I don’t like regular thimbles. I use either this tailor or a Fons & Porter ring thimble.


Books…I’ve lots of books, here are some of them.

BUT…I really only use these six!

The Art of Classic Quiltmaking
Stars by Magic
The Crazy Quilt Handbook
Friendship Triangles (I’m a triangle and pinwheel fiend…great book for me, maybe not for you)
Scrap Quilts ~ The Art of Making Do
Basic Applique


For inspiration, ideas, supplies and patterns ~ I love these online sites:

Supplies & Fabric ~

Hancock’s of Paducah
Connecting Threads
Wish Upon A Quilt
Fat Quarter Shop

For Patterns and Ideas ~

Moda Bake Shop
Quilters’ Cache

My Favorite Quilting Blogs for inspiration and tutorials ~

p.s. I Quilt
Tula Pink
Quilt Obsession
Sew Katie Did
Red Pepper Quilts
Oh, Fransson!
Quilts Your Way

My friend April and I bounce lots of ideas off each other throughout the day…we are each other’s enabler! 🙂 Ohhh! Did you see this? This fabric is sooooo cute! Blah Blah Blah. BUY THIS! LOL!

There are a lot MORE…but me thinks I’m running out of room. 🙂 All you’d have to do is click on the above and check out their favorite blogs!


Sewing Machines…well, that’s a personal preference and mine is JANOME! I had a Janome 6500P, but it was destroyed last year. Yes…I still tear up. Until I can afford to buy myself another, I am sewing on a Janome Threadbanger and a Singer 301.

13 thoughts on “Quilting Tools ~ What I use…What do You use?

  1. Wow!! What a great collection of… EVERYTHING… I will need. I guess I DO still need to buy a few things. More rulers, for sure. And a few of those 6 favorite books. I will check out the sites and blogs mentioned. This means a lot to me that you put this together for me and the new quilters out there. THANK YOU!! 😀

  2. Ah, let’s see. I’m sure I’ll post as other things come to mind. But for grids, Creative Grid is easily my favorite. Their little no-skid patches really make a difference in slippage… a difference I miss when using one of my OmniGrids. I should just convert everything over.

    For rotary cutters, I love the Fons & Porter one. It has a super comfortable grip, and a way to adjust for heavier or lighter jobs (as in how many layers of fabric. When I use it on four layers and adjust accordingly, I’m so pleased at the job it does without shifting the lower layers.)

    For books, Better Homes and Gardens “Complete Guide to Quilting” was one of my first “bibles” and I still often refer back to it. Clear explanations and great pictures. For handsewing and design, Jinny Beyer’s “Quiltmaking by Hand” is just lovely, both for learning and for inspirational eye candy. I’ll have to dig out a book on quilting with batiks I have at home; I’m dying to make something from it. For handquilting (not necessarily piecing), I recommend Roxanne McElroy’s “That Perfect Stitch”; her needles are great too. Finally, Linda Franz’s books and pattern CDs are very fun (and she’s a neat lady to boot.)

    Sewing machines… my Singer 221 Featherweight is a great piecing machine and SO cute. My Singer 301 is a trooper; at least as competent a piecing machine as my 221, but with the added advantage of being a decent quilting machine; the feed dogs drop. My Singer 57825 is my workhorse for household stuff (and repairing hubby’s sporting good wares.) And I LOVE my brand new Janome Magnolia 7330!

    Since no friends or family locally have any interest in quilts, my support and networking mostly comes from the Internet. My favorite forum is Quilts Your Way. Plenty of non-quilt-related discussions too, but lots of design discussions and their gallery is an excellent online museum. 😉

    And where would I be without this blog’s owner? I wouldn’t have discovered the joys of quiltmaking without her! (Though she knows I was not having much joy when quilting yesterday LOL!)

  3. Wow, I feel like you sneeked into my sewing room and took pictures of my stuff. I have tons of books and I have that bobbin winding gadget which I just love. I have three sewing machines, a brother pq1500 for my quilting, an old singer like yours that belonged to my mom and a modern feather weight from singer. I love buying sewing gadgets and quilting books from JoAnn’s with my %40 or %50 off coupons. I had to stop buying fabric when I realized it was getting ridiculous having so much fabric. I just stopped cold turkey and now when I get the urge to buy fabric I just step into the big closet that full of fabric. I sure did enjoy your post. You can find a simular post on my blog, “My Essentials What Are Yours”

  4. Thanks, April. Very helpful tips as well. I’ll end up with 100 quilt books, I am sure. After I buy all the ones suggested.

    I do need to buy more rulers. Will get the kind with grips on the bottom. Need the Klutz Glove and a walking foot. For starters. I am sure I will buy more stuff as I go. Thanks again for your input. (Hi Michelle!! 😀 )

    Do you have a link to Quilts Your Way?

  5. I love your info, I had been using a couple newer machines, and recently came across a singer 301 for a great bargain and love it so far! I am curious what you use your 301 for exactly, do you do your own quilting with it or just the piecing?

  6. Pingback: I Need WHAT for Patchwork Quilting??? | PATCHWORK QUILTING

  7. I am back AGAIN. Re-reading. I just realized all of you have multiple sewing machines. Think I will search for that Singer 301 to see what it sells for.

    JoAnn’s had that Bobbin Winder for $30. I’ll wait until I can get it on sale or with a coupon.

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