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Quilting Supplies for Beginners: Everything You Need to Get Started

Quilting is an amazing DIY hobby that not only soothes and stimulates your creative energy, but also results in a beautiful quilt to wrap yourself in on a chilly day. Though the task itself isn’t a difficult endeavor, it does require a hefty list of quilting supplies for beginners.

If you’re eager to get your quilting adventure started, keep reading for the list of supplies you’ll be needing!

Finished quilt block with a sewing machine, thread and other quilting supplies for beginners

Necessary Quilting Supplies for Beginners

Because quilting is such a popular hobby, people have come up with ingenious and specialized ways to make their work easier and more efficient. But the truth is that you don’t necessarily need the most advanced fabric scissors or seam cutters or fancy water-soluble markers.

Here’s a breakdown of the quilting supplies for beginners you really need to get started.


There isn’t any quilting without quilting fabric, so we’d say this is the most important material of them all! Quilting fabric usually comes in bundles of squares bundled together.

You can choose from an infinite combination of patterns, colors, and textures, but we always suggest choosing 100% cotton, like these gorgeous precut fabric squares.

You’ll be pressing your quilt onto your skin, after all, so you should make sure it’s quality material!

Sewing Materials

In order to quilt, you’re going to need some sort of sewing mechanism. If you’re old school and have a lot of time on your hands, you could opt to sew by hand, with a good ole’ needle and thread.

Most people, however, opt to add a sewing machine to their quilting supplies for beginners. Especially if you’re a beginner who’s already figured out that you really like quilting, it’s certainly worth spending some money on a sewing machine to make the work easier and faster.

Quarter-Inch Sewing Foot

quarter-inch sewing foot is an essential quilting supply for beginners if you’re using a sewing machine because the sewing machine accessory helps you keep a consistent quarter-inch seam along your quilt with the help of a guide bar.

Walking Foot

walking foot is another necessary accessory if you quilt with a sewing machine because it helps guide the top and bottom layers under the needle at the same pace. This way, you’re sure that the layers don’t shift and create annoying ripples in your quilt!

Fabric scissors/Embroidery scissors

Though you can use regular, sharp scissors to cut both fabric and thread while quilting, specific fabric scissors and embroidery scissors undoubtedly make the job easier. They both allow for more precise cutting and leave less room for messy mistakes!

Though these quilting scissors aren’t necessary for quilting supplies for beginners, they sure are helpful—and scissors, on the other hand, are absolutely essential!

Safety Pins

Safety pins are simply a must addition to your quilting supplies for beginners to keep your fabrics fixed in place while you sew them together. Regular pins are fine, too, but why run the risk of poking your fingers while on the job?

Quilting Ruler

In case you didn’t already know, a regular ruler doesn’t get the job done in quilting. For your shopping list of quilting supplies for beginners, you’ll need a special quilting ruler, which you can buy individually or in a set with other tools.

Iron/Ironing Board

Though an ironing set might be a surprising addition to your list of quilting supplies for beginners, we promise this is a must. In fact, it should be hot and within reach during your entire quilting journey.

You need an iron and ironing board to press not only to flatten any creases but also to set seams before you cut the material!

Wonder Clips

The fact that wonder clips are sometimes called quilting clips should tell you all you need to know about their necessity. As opposed to safety pins, they don’t leave holes in materials and are great for holding together fabric along the seam of your quilt. Plus, they come in an adorable assortment of colors!

Seam Ripper

Seam rippers are an important addition to a list of quilting supplies for beginners because they allow for the easy undoing of any mistakes. And as a beginner, chances are you’ll make a few!

Seam rippers are used to unpick threadwork without ruining the fabric beneath so that you can start over again. The great news is that they’re not expensive, and you can easily find them online!

A colorful quilt being pieced together

Optional Quilting Supplies for Beginners

Not every quilting material out there is strictly necessary, and we understand that beginners probably don’t want to spend too much money on a new hobby they’re not yet committed to. That’s why some of the quilting supplies for beginners are optional – but they certainly make your life easier!

Rotary Cutter

To be honest, a rotary cutter is essentially a pizza cutter but for fabric! It’s not a must in quilting supplies for beginners if you have scissors, but it’s certainly helpful, and it’s a plus to get one with a protected blade that is only exposed when you squeeze the handle.

This rotary cutter set also comes with a quilting ruler and a self-healing cutting mat, both of which are things you need, so why not bundle it all together?

Cutting Mat

If you like to buy things separately, you can always opt for a stand-alone self-healing cutting mat. If you’re into other crafts, you might already have one, since it’s a basic supply for lots of other creative activities.

Cutting mats are important to pair with rotary cutters so that you don’t slice into whatever surface you’re quilting on!

Quilting Gloves

Quilting gloves are great because they protect both your hands and the fabric. How? Protecting your hands is obvious – the specially made material softens the poke from pins and scissors. But what about the fabric?

Even if you wash your hands, your skin might still carry oils that, if in constant contact with the fabric, can stain the material in the long term.

Besides the protection, quilting gloves also help you grip the fabric better for more precise actions.

Starch for Ironing

In case you don’t know, spray starch is sometimes used in ironing clothes because it makes the material thicker and stiffer for a more crisp look, which is especially desirable in corporate work clothing. So why is it useful in your quilting supplies for beginners?

Spray-on starch helps the fabric maintain its shape while you work and handle it. Though it’s not strictly necessary, it helps keep the fabric from distorting when you spray it on before ironing.

Flowerhead Pins

Flowerhead pins are longer-than-normal pins with flat, decorative heads in the shape of flowers or butterflies. They’re sometimes also called quilting pins because they’re so useful! Their length and flatness make them great for keeping together many layers of fabric under the sewing machine.

Two women working on quilts

You can certainly figure it out with traditional pins (that’s why they’re on our optional list), but they certainly make the job easier!

Water-Soluble Fabric Marker

A water-soluble fabric marker is the easier way to mark up the design for your quilt onto the fabric without ruining it. While some quilters use chalk or painter’s tape, water-soluble fabric markers are great because, as their name suggests, the markups dissolve with water.

That means you don’t have to worry about any stray marking mistakes! Add water-soluble fabric markers to your quilting supplies for beginners to make your fun hobby easier.

Seam Press Roller

Even as a beginner, it’s fun to look down the line at all the quilting tips and tricks professionals use to create a perfect finish. Pressing open seams to make the quilt as even as possible is one of them.

Though you can do this with an iron, you always run the risk of warping the fabric. That’s why we suggest adding a seam press roller to your quilting supplies for beginners, which gets the job done without any heat.

Quilting Kits

Though you can use the list above to assemble your list of quilting supplies for beginners, there’s also the option of buying pre-made quilting kits.

Sure, it doesn’t allow you to vet every single element of the kit, which some might consider a risk, but the truth is you can find pretty inexpensive options that might be a good choice for a first quilting experience.

For example, this craft quilting kit comes with 50 necessary pieces, including pre-cut cotton quilt squares, a set of sewing supplies, scissors, a tape measure, and more. Plus, if you decide to upgrade, you can always keep the supplies you like and replace the ones you don’t.

Some quilting kits even come with a specific pattern to follow with step-by-step instructions. Unbounded creativity can sometimes be a little overwhelming, so having a clear guide is a great way to learn the skills before diving head-first into your creations.

Quilting Supplies for Beginner FAQs

Is quilting difficult?

Like any creative endeavor, quilting has its challenges, especially if you’ve never used a sewing machine or even a thread and needle. But anyone can become an expert quilter with a little hard work and the right set of quilting supplies for beginners (like those we listed up top!).

Just remember a seam ripper to correct mistakes, which we’re all bound to make, beginner or not!

What are the most important quilting supplies for beginners?

Though the list of helpful supplies for beginner quilters goes on and on, the most important ones are sewing materials (either a sewing machine or the basic needle and thread), fabric, and scissors. Without these basics, there’s simply no way to get quilting started.

Then you’ll certainly need pins and a quilting ruler.

You can also opt for quilting kits for beginners, which do the work for you but give you less control over each individual element. But if you’re looking to test out a first quilting project before diving in completely, it could be a good call!

Completed quilt draped over a chair outside

Do I need to know how to iron for quilting?

The short answer to this question is yes, you do need to know how to iron to learn how to quilt. In fact, an iron and an ironing board are on our list of essential quilting supplies for beginners.

If you’re in a tizzy, you could probably figure out how to get some of the job done with DIY methods, but it will never look as good, and it will take a lot longer. In general, you should always have a hot iron at hand during the entire quilting process.

Do I need starch when quilting?

Starch is important in quilting because it makes materials thicker and stiffer for a crisper look. This may not be as desirable in quilting as it is in corporate clothing, but it helps keep the quilting fabric stiff and easier to use while you’re assembling the quilt.

Wrapping up Quilting Supplies for Beginners

We hope this post has inspired you to assemble your own list of quilting supplies for beginners or opt for the premade quilting kits. Either way, make sure you stick to quality products with good ratings to back up its reputation.

Remember the basics (sewing materials, fabric, scissors, pins), and don’t forget about the super helpful ones (rotary and cutting mat, water-soluble fabric marker, quilting gloves).

Did we convince you to buy a sewing machine? If so, then check out our list of recommended best sewing machines for beginners to accompany you on your next quilting adventure!