13 Must Have Quilting Tools

There are numerous quilting tools to choose from. This can overwhelm anyone who is not conversant with the most important quilting tools.

If you have decent quilting skills, then there are more tools available to suit different quilting projects.

Here is a look at 13 must-have quilting tools to help you complete your next quilting project.

We are including tools for hand quilting as well as for machine quilting.

  1. Cutting Mats

These are counted among the most important must have quilting tools because they protect your table and surfaces.

They are especially useful when you are cutting your fabric and most cutting mats have grid lines that make it easy for you to use the mat as a ruler.

Self-healing cutting mats are a better option than ordinary mats as they let you cut over an already completed cut without spoiling the new cut.

  1. Rotary Cutter

This is a tool that can act as an excellent substitute for a pair of scissors.

Using these, you will find it much easier to cut fabric quickly though many people still like to use a pair of fabric shears for that.

You can choose from a number of brands and sizes as well as rotary cutter types.

Be sure to evaluate the benefits of each different type before you make your selection.

Also, make sure you understand how to use these quilting tools in the right and safest manner.

  1. Scissors

A pair of scissors is considered one of the most essential quilting tools.

They come in handy when you need to snip some fabric pieces and are the best when you need to cut your fabric for quilting.

Be sure to pick a pair that is specially designed for quilting and be sure to pick the right size for your needs.

The nice thing about these items is they are very sharp and so will help you cut fabric quickly and with minimum effort.

  1. Iron and Ironing Board

These are tools that you will need to have when you need to press your fabric.

When you need to smooth the fabric you will need to use an iron that helps to remove wrinkles from the fabric.

Although you may not actually require an ironing board, it will prove to be useful when you do not have any surface that is resistant to heat.

There is no harm in using a small ironing board but if you need to press large pieces of fabric, then be sure to go with a full-size ironing board.

The best iron for quilting is one that is reliable and durable. It will make your quilting work that much easier.

When choosing it, you need to look at factors like steam power, iron type and sole plates as well as heat settings.

  1. Pins and Clips

Before you actually sew, you need to have pins and clips with which to pin the different pieces of fabric together.

Quilting pins happen to be quite long and some are available with colorful and decorative ends.

It pays to use colorful pins because they allow you to keep track of where you have used them and for what reason.

Be sure to keep your pins and clips in a safe place to avoid the possibility of them being lost.

Sticking the pins in a pin cushion is a good way of keeping track of them.

  1. Marking Tools

It is important that you have marking tools because without them you would not be able to mark the fabric to cut or sew.

These are tools that play a very important role in quilting and if you are a beginner who is going to do some quilting, then these are tools that you must have on hand.

Be sure to pick these according to how well they work for your project.

  1. Needles

Needles can prove to be a very handy tool for quilting, especially when you are thinking about using a sewing machine.

They are also an essential item when you want to quilt by hand.

You can choose between hand needles and machine needles. Both are available in different strengths as well as sizes and which one you choose depends on your needs.

It makes sense to have a few extra needles as they will come in handy should you bend or break your needle.

You can buy them in packages which in turn are available in the same type as well as in a combination of sizes.

  1. Measuring Tape

You may be thinking that there is no need for a measuring tape because you can use your ruler instead.

However, when you need to measure a big item or cut one that is large in size, then you have no option than to use a measuring tape.

Be sure to pick one that is specially made for sewing and quilting. They are designed to make it easy for you to measure quickly as well as without making much effort.

When choosing your measuring tape, go with one that is in the right unit of measurement and which also has the right secondary measurement units.

Keep in mind that you need to use this tape to measure small increments and so be careful that you pick one that has a number of marks as well as labels.

  1. Quilt Rulers

Even if you have a ruler built into your cutting mat, there is still need for a quilt ruler.

This item is designed to make it easy for you to create the most perfect cuts. So, be sure to pick a quilt ruler as it is one of the best tools to have.

They are designed especially to help you measure your fabric. Also, they have more precise measurements and are available in different shapes.

For example, you can choose a triangular quilt ruler or one that has a hexagon shape. There are other types as well to choose from.

  1. Seam Ripper

No matter how good you are at sewing, there are bound to be times when you make a mistake.

At such times you will need an essential tool called the seam ripper. It does, as its name suggests, rips out seams.

Of course, you may be tempted to use another tool to do this but that is not the best course of action.

So, instead of using a knife or a pair of scissors or even a razor, you will be well advised to use a seam ripper.

It is the best tool and is especially good at helping you remove stitches in the safest manner possible.

  1. Sewing Machine

This quilting tool is one of the most important ones that you need to have. They are used when you need to quilt in a more precise manner.

Of course, you may be wanting to quilt by hand and so would not be keen on using a sewing machine.

However, if you are thinking about sewing an entire quilt, then there is no alternative than to use a sewing machine.

This essential tool comes packed with a number of features that make it easy for you to add details that are not easy to do by hand.

Before using a sewing machine, be sure to learn how to use it and be sure to pick one that has the right features.

Before you use your sewing machine, you also need to ensure you know all the basics of using it.

  1. Thread

Before you choose your thread, you should be sure about what thread is best for your needs. This will help you stock up on all the required threads for your next project.

There are options available to you in terms of what thread to use. You can go with a single spool or you can pick a package that has threads of different colors.

In terms of thread material, cotton is the material that is most commonly used but you can also choose other types including those that have the right strength or which have a blend of different materials.

Some people even like to use threads with decorative features. When choosing your threads, be sure to pick one that is specific to either hand quilting or machine quilting.

  1. Thread Cutter

This is the perfect tool for people who are looking for something better than a pair of scissors.

Its main benefit is that it will cut very quickly and in addition, it also proves its worth when cutting threads in chain piecing and fabric units.

Another notable benefit is that you can put it on your desk or table and it will make it easy for you to move pieces of fabric connected by thread quickly.

For many people, this is one of the most useful quilting tools.


After you add these items to your inventory, you are ready to take quilting to the next level.

Most quilters already have most of these items but they probably do not have all.

If it is your first quilting project, then it makes sense for you to use the checklist mentioned above to add items that you do not have. Happy quilting!

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