How to quilt shopping list

Shopping List Of Required Materials

to Start Quilting

You will need to buy different tools and materials to learn how to quilt. Depending on your choice of method to sew and quilt.

Cotton fabric: Cotton fabric is the choice fabric when piecing a quilt top, and to use as backing material. Cotton drapes well, it takes and holds a crease which makes pressing seam allowances easy, it is easy to sew because it isn’t slippery like polyester. Buy the best 100% cotton fabric you can afford. The best cotton fabrics have a higher thread count per inch, they are not flimsy or see-thru. They have a nice, soft feel to them. Most importantly, a good quality fabric will last. If you think of the time and effort involved in making a quilt, it is worth to purchase good quality materials.

Batting: There are many choices available when shopping for batting for your quilt. Batting can be made from polyester fibers, cotton, wool, silk and even bamboo fibers and fiber blends (80/20 cotton).

The batting thickness is called “loft”. A high loft batting is puffier than a low loft batting. There are several factors to consider when deciding what batting to buy. First, the look you want to achieve. Traditional quilts use low loft cotton batting, because it is flat and it shrinks a little after washing, giving the quilt a vintage look. Cotton is breathable.

If you prefer a puffy look, or if you are tying rather than quilting your quilt, polyester batting is a better choice. Some quilt makers prefer using polyester batting when hand quilting, because it needles easier. Polyester is lightweight. On the other hand, polyester fabrics tend to migrate to the quilt surface, giving the top a fuzzy appearance. Polyester needs less surface quilting than cotton batting. Polyester is less expensive than other fiber battings. When machine quilting, cotton or an 80/20 blend is the best option, as it isn’t slippery like polyester is.

Batting is available as pre-packaged cuts to fit specific size quilts or by the yard. If you buy batting by the yard, remember to add a few inches extra to the measurement of your quilt top.

Thread: You will need to buy at least two types of thread, one for piecing the quilt top and one for quilting it. Cotton thread is the best choice to sew and quilt cotton fabrics. Shopping for thread can be a confusing task. These notions will help you pick the right thread for your project:

Cotton thread usually has two numbers printed on the spool. The first number refers to the thread weight, the higher the number, the thinner the thread. The second number refers to the ply, that is, the number of fibers that are twisted together to make the thread. Both numbers are separated by a slash, like 50/2.

Mercerized cotton thread 50 or 60 weight is used to hand piece the blocks. For machine piecing, use a 50-weight cotton.

For hand quilting, a thicker cotton thread is needed. A 40 weight glazed cotton works well. Glaze refers to a special finish for hand quilting thread that prevents tangling. Never used glazed thread on your sewing machine.

There are several choices of thread if you plan on machine quilting your top. Cotton 40 weight, metallic quilting thread made from rayon or polyester, and polyester invisible thread. Monofilament is not recommended, as it tends to get brittle and break with age.

Appliqué work requires a thin thread that will seem to disappear when pushed into the fabric. Silk or a 60-weight cotton thread are the best choices for appliqué.


Thread color for piecing should match the color of the fabric being sewn together, but neutral color thread can be used in a similar hue to the fabric. Start by buying white, ecru, medium gray or taupe, dark grey or taupe and black. Quilting thread can match or contrast the colors of the quilt top. If your quilting is less than perfect, trying to match the color of the thread to the top is advisable. Traditional quilts are quilted with either white or off white thread.

Needles and pins: A variety of types of needles and pins are required materials for sewing and quilting.

If you hand piece, the most important consideration when buying needles is that they feel comfortable to you. There isn’t one needle that’s best, it is a matter of selecting a needle that you find easy to thread and to hold. Sharps or milliners are the usual choices, in sizes 8-11. Hand quilting needles are called betweens. They are shorter than hand piecing needles. You might need to try different sizes to find the right match for you. Thicker needles are needed if your batting is thick. Sizes 5 to 12 are available.

For machine piecing, you will need to get universal or sharp needles in size 80/12 and for machine quilting, you will have to buy quilting machine needles in size 70/10 or 80/12.

Buying a long basting or curved basting needle is not a necessity, but it makes easy work of basting a quilt.

Pins are necessary to hold the fabric pieces together prior to sewing them, to baste the quilt layers and to hold the binding in place when finishing your quilt. Glass head sharp pins are good for pinning fabric pieces and applying binding. Long quilting pins or safety pins are used to hold the quilt layers together. For appliqué, you might need to get appliqué pins, which are shorter than regular pins.

Replace all your pins and needles when they get bent or dull. A sewing machine needle should be replaced every six or ten hours of sewing.

Scissors: You will have to buy two pairs of scissors to cut fabric and snip threads. A pair of eight inch dressmaker shears for cutting fabric and batting, and a pair of small thread scissors or snips to cut thread with. Do not use your shears on anything but fabric to prevent them from getting dull.

For more information on making a quilting block click here!

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