Tools of the Trade: Our Top 6 Quilting Tools

There are many tools and gadgets on the market for today’s quilter, but you can never go wrong by investing in a few basics that you’ll use time and time again. Today, we share our top 6 most used tools that are an absolute must for any quilter’s sewing room, from beginner to advanced! 

  1. Rotary Cutter: A rotary cutter saves time while also producing more accurate cuts, and the 45mm Rotary cutter from Quilters Select is a shop favorite. The innovative ambidextrous design ensures precise cutting along a ruler in either your left or right hand. In addition, the unique and easy magnetic blade replacement means you’ll never drop a blade again!rotary cutter for sewing and quilting
  2. Rotary Mat: Now that you’ve invested in a high-quality rotary cutter, you’re going to need a mat!  A specialty mat designed for this purpose will not only protect your work surface, it will also keep your rotary cutter from getting dull. We prefer Quilters Select self healing rotary mats, available in 24x36, 18x24, and 12x18 sizes. These mats can be used on either side, making them super-versatile. Another great feature of this particular brand of mats is that they have one inch lines with two sets of corresponding numbers placed around the perimeter of the mat which can be read left to right AND right to left - meaning you’ll never lose your place or have to count backwards! rotary cutting mat for sewing and quilting
  3. Clear Ruler: These specially-made rulers have guides that allow you to align and cut with precision when using your rotary cutter and mat, and are typically non-slip for added safety. A ruler made especially for this purpose will not dull your rotary blade or be prone to getting sliced as you cut. When it comes to non-slip rulers, we love the Bloc-Loc, which allows the quilter to square up a half-square triangle block in just seconds with ultimate accuracy and safety. Bloc-Loc ruler for rotary cutting fabric - sewing and quilting
  4. Scissors: Of course, not everything can be cut with your rotary cutter - you’re going to need a good pair of scissors (or a few!) to keep handy. Karen Kay Buckley’s Perfect Scissors can be used on a variety of fabrics, including multiple layers of denim. The ergonomic soft handles are gentle on your hands for fatigue-free cutting, and they offer multiple styles and lengths, from large fabric shears to small embroidery scissors.Karen Kay Buckley Perfect Scissors for cutting quilting and sewing fabric
  5. Thread: Not all thread is created equally! Lower quality thread can lead to a frustrating sewing experience filled with knots and breakage. In the shop, we recommend Aurifil Thread for quilting because they offer a wide range of colors and weights, plus they employ sustainable manufacturing practices. These threads aren’t just strong - they also produce virtually no lint as an added bonus!Aurifil thread for sewing and quilting
  6. Marking Pencil: There’s nothing more frustrating than a pencil that skips, bleeds into your fabric, or doesn’t leave a mark when you want it to! Sewline Marking Pencils (below left) have a special ceramic pencil lead that leaves fine lines that are easy to remove afterwards. Another shop favorite is the Clover Air Erasable Marker with Eraser (below right). As you might have guessed, the markings can be easily removed with the built-in eraser, but the markings will also naturally disappear in 2-7 days. Every quilter needs a good marking pencil to add guidelines to their fabric, and you can’t go wrong with either of these best-selling options. favorite fabric marking pens for quilting and sewing

Whether you’re just getting started with your quilting adventure or have enjoyed many years perfecting your stitches, we’re pleased to be your go-to for whatever you need to make your next project shine! You can contact us online, give us a call at (815) 836 - 8735, or stop by the shop - we’re open 7 days a week for all of your quilting needs.

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Tools of the Trade: Our Top 6 Quilting Tools at Thimbles Quilts