Quilt Tools Every Beginner Needs

When you’re new to the world of quilting, figuring out the tools can seem overwhelming. Which brands are better? Where can I get them? Do I need everything right now? The answers to those questions in order are: it depends, Quilting Mayhem, and no you don’t. But having the right tools in your quilter’s kit can make all the difference. We’ll break down the must-haves to get you started quilting.

Rotary Cutter

Chances are, you haven’t seen a rotary cutter before you started quilting. You might have thought you were going to cut out your pieces with scissors. However, traditional scissors require opening and closing for each cut, which can be cumbersome and time-consuming. With a rotary cutter, you can glide smoothly and accurately through your fabric.


When cutting repetitive and consistent shapes, like squares and strips, you need uniformity across pieces. To do that, you need a ruler, specifically an acrylic plastic ruler to use with your rotary cutter. It needs to be a flat edge so that the blade of the rotary cutter can glide next to it and stay straight.


Trust us on this one; you don’t want to get started with your rotary cutter and not have a mat protecting the surface underneath. We recommend a self healing mat about 24” long so that you can cut strips from yardage.

Seam Ripper

Even the most experienced quilters make mistakes and a seam ripper is like an eraser for quilters. Undo those stitches, correct those mistakes, and get back to making your project.

Thread Snips

Snips are generally small scissors with sharp, pointed blades 

allowing for close cuts and getting rid of those long thread tails. While regular scissors are fine for cutting threads, you’ll find that thread snips are more ergonomic and faster to use.


Pins hold fabric pieces together before they’re sewn, helping your pieces align for perfect points and intersections. 


You can’t sew if you don’t have thread. It binds fabric pieces together, transforming your pieces into a cohesive quilt top. Different projects or even parts of the project require threads of differing thicknesses, strengths, or color. The right thread makes a world of difference.

Machine Needles

Needles can become dull or bent over time. Having a pack on hand to regularly replace them will ensure consistent stitch quality.

Seam Gauge

For quilting, maintaining a consistent seam allowance is crucial. A seam gauge helps measure and mark seam allowances, so you can be sure that they’re consistent throughout your quilt.

Curved Safety Pins

Before quilting, the top, batting, an backing layers of your quilt sandwich need to be held together. Curved safety pins are a key part of this basting process as their curved shape makes it easier to pin through thick layers.

While each tool might seem simple on its own, having them all together will help you address the needs and challenges that arise as you begin your quilting adventure. And if you’re overwhelmed by picking the right version of everything, we have a handy kit with all the best tools ready for you right here. We can’t wait to see what you quilt up!

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