5 Essential Quilting Accessories for Beginners
If you’ve made it to this blog, you must be a quilter. Whether you’re a budding quilt enthusiast or a seasoned quilting veteran, there is value for you here. The topic of discussion today is the supplemental accessories in quilting that make creating easier, more comfortable, and more fun. When you have the tools which allow for precision, quilting becomes less frustrating and more creative. We at the Grace Company hope that you find something you love on this list, something you can’t believe you previously lived without. Now, let's dive in!
A Light Bar
In quilting comfortably, we often think about the necessity of an ergonomic setup, like good posture and the position of our tools to keep proper alignment in our bodies. Good lighting while you quilt is caring for your eyes the same way that you care for your body in this craft. When you quilt in poorly lit work areas, it is easy for your eyes to become strained and fatigued which results in less time quilting. The cool thing is that beyond just being comfortable, a light bar allows better accuracy of stitching detail, color, and texture in your quilting projects. With so many benefits for your body and precision, it’s easy to see why this is our #1 pick for the quilting essentials. Our personal favorite model is the Luminess free-standing light station which is easily fitted over any quilting frame, sewing table, or work area. The Luminess light station comes in two sizes (up to 6 feet and up to 11 feet), both of which are adjustable in height and width. Our favorite feature of this model is the efficient LED lights with TRUE-COLOR balanced bulbs.
At one point or another in our lives, we’ve all wished we had more than two hands. Quilt clips aren’t quite extra hands, but they come close! Clips are the safest way to adjust and hold the layers of your project without damaging the fabric with pins. This is especially enticing when working with delicate or specialty fabric. Whether you’re choosing to float your project on the frame or load it on normally, quilt clips will ensure that your project stays put while your clips securely hold several layers of fabric. With the secure hold from the clips, adjustments in your quilt are easy to make and easy to keep straight. An additional, and possibly the best, benefit of quilt clips is that they make finishing your quilt a breeze by keeping your quilt taut, even when you unpin the ends. Quilt clips come in varying sizes, so be sure to check the diameter of your frame rods before you order your clips. We’ve included our handy cheat sheet for Grace Company’s quilt clip and quilting frame combinations below.
This one might seem a bit odd in our lineup of essentials. If you’re thinking to yourself, “thread is thread,” we heartily disagree. Quality sewing thread will make you a faster quilter because it alleviates the need to stop quilting to problem solve the many things that can go wrong with cheap thread such as your thread consistently breaking mid-project, or worrying about excess lint clumps that have been spun into the thread which cause a bumpy, uneven finished product. The 3-ply, core-spun Finesse thread has a consistent round design which adds a pleasing depth to your stitches, it makes setting your thread tension easier, and it won’t break when stitching at high speeds. The wide variety of thread colors ranges from solids to variegated options, so you’re sure to find the perfect match for your quilting project.
Self-Healing Cutting Mat
The name “self-healing” is a bit of a misnomer, but it puts the appropriate image in your mind for how this mat functions. A self-healing cutting mat is constructed with thousands of little pieces of mat pressed together to create the surface. Instead of one solid surface that cannot recover once it has been sliced, the pieces of the self-healing cutting mat spring back into place after being pushed aside by the blade of your cutter. The TrueCut mats have a center core of five layer PVC plastic, allowing the mat to self-heal faster and keep the cutting surface smooth. Each of TrueCuts self-healing mats are double sided to increase the longevity of the mat’s usage. One side includes angle reference guide lines, the other side has bias markings for cutting bias strips. The grids offer precise measurements down to ⅛ of an inch, and have angle markings for 45, 60 & 90 degree cuts.
Rotary Blade Cutter
A rotary blade cutter ensures more accurate cutting by allowing you to cut with the fabric flush against the mat. A rotary cutter enables you to make perfect squares without the need for pins or extra marks on your fabric. Using a rotary cutter is a more ergonomic option to making small repetitive motions with scissors. TrueCut took the usual design of a rotary blade cutter and improved upon it with the input of lifelong quilters. The handle is really the same kind of handle as a traditional rotary cutter, but by moving the head of the cutter right below the point of the most cutting power, your wrist will be naturally aligned with your arm. Now you can cut with more power using less effort! So beyond just having better accuracy, your wrists will thank you and you can quilt for longer periods of time. Some additional features include the ability to customizable the handle with your name or a photo, easy set-up for right or left-handed quilters, safety lock feature, and the quick blade change button.
Thank you for taking the time to read our top 5 quilting accessory essentials! We hope that you found something that will enhance your quilting capabilities. All of the products highlighted above can be found on the Essentials or TrueCut pages on our website.
The Grace Family