Other Quilting Tools – Making Quilting Easier And More Fun
There are other quilting tools that are needed to successfully complete a quilt, other than a rotary cutter, mat, fabric and thread. Some of these other quilting tools, such as batting and backing fabric for the quilt are also necessary tools, but there are some tools that make quilting easier and fun.
Other Necessary Quilting Tools
Batting is a necessary component of any finished quilt that is made. What is batting? Batting is the middle layer of the quilt, the filling, so to speak. Batting provides both fluffiness and warmth. Batting is generally made of 100% cotton, 100% polyester, or even a cotton/polyester blend. Some quilters even use fleece, which is also a warm fabric.
Quilt Backing Fabric
Quilt backing fabric is the back layer of the quilt, the layer that along with the quilt top encloses the batting to make the quilt complete. Generally the quilt back was traditionally made of 100% muslin which is a cotton fabric; however, quilt backing fabric today is generally a cotton or muslin blend, and many quilters like to use flannel, which along with the middle batting layer, provides extra warmth and softness. Quilt backing fabrics should be extra wide, so that the back of the quilt does not have to be pieced, but is one continuous length of fabric, as a result quilt backing fabric can be selected in widths of 106, 108, 110 or 118 inches wide, particularly for quilts that will actually be used for bedding.
Other Quilt Basting Tools
Generally quilts are basted in preparation for sewing with either round headed pins or safety pins, but there are other options for quilt basting. Quilt basting can be done using a quilt basting gun, or quilt basting spray. The quilter can choose whatever basting tool is best for them.
Quilting Table Attachment For Sewing Machine
Quilting requires a large sewing surface, especially during piecing, since as more and more pieces or blocks of the quilt are added together, the quilt gets larger. For those that do not have a sewing table that allows the sewing machine to be recessed into the table to create a large work surface, a quilting table attachment becomes a necessity. Quilting tables do not automatically come with all sewing machines, but are an optional accessory, one which a quilter may want to purchase with or for their machine.
Supplemental Quilting Tools
Supplemental quilting tools are not necessities but can make quilting easier or more fun. Some supplemental quilting tools to consider are:
Quilt Fabric Calculator
There are even calculators that assist the quilter in calculation yardages for a quilt, some of these are software programs and some are formulas provided by quilters on their websites; however, there is one that is becoming popular that is actually a real device, a real calculator. Just as in the software programs and other formulas. The information is entered such as quilt width, length, and border width to find the total quilt yardage, yardage for the backing, batting, binding, and border yardage resulting in the total yardage needed for the quilt, thus assisting the quilter in estimating the cost of the fabric needed for the project.
Quilt totes are a nice addition to the quilter’s tools. These totes allow you to store and even carry your work with you, especially for those that may be taking quilting classes. There are a variety of quilt totes to choose from, some that are carried by hand and some that are rolling totes.
Quilt racks are nice for displaying quilts and for hanging quilts that are works in progress. Especially if the quilt is being used as bedding, a quilt rack is a nice place to hang the quilt when it is not in use.
Circle Cutting Tool
Quilts are not just constructed from squares and strips; some quilters like working with circles, as a result there are actually circle cutting tools to assist in creating the perfect circle.
Rotary Cutting Machine
For those that want some assistance cutting the blocks or strips for their quilt project, another nice tool is the rotary cutting machine that is electric and can cut up to four layers of fabric at a time. The machine uses a foot pedal as part of its operations, and the strips are cut in widths from 3/8 inches to 2 ¾ inches. There are two blades included, one for straight cutting and one for zigzag cutting. For many the rotary cutting machine will prove to be a nice innovation in other quilting tools.
I’m sure that there are even more innovative other quilting tools out there, but as these tools show, there are quilting helpers for anyone that loves quilting. Regardless of how the quilter does their quilting, the point is that quilting is still great fun even if one only uses the necessary quilting tools and other quilting tools.