Quilting Kits- Keeping It All Together

By Sherri McConnell

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quilting tool kit

Many quilters like to keep their basic quilting and sewing supplies together in a kit that is easily portable. It's nice to be able to have your quilting tools ready to go, when traveling, quilting with friends, or attending a class. So let's take a look at the items most quilters keep on hand in their bags (or boxes), as well as what to add if you're interested in specific techniques like appliqué.

To begin, a basic hand sewing kit should include the following items:

  • Small scissors
  • Needles (preferably in a needle case)
  • A thimble (if you use one)
  • Pins
  • A seam ripper
  • Thread

Speaking of thread, one good way to keep a variety of different colors handy without using a lot of space is to wind a few different bobbins in basic colors, rather than hauling around larger spools. I should note that this hand sewing kit contains only the most basic supplies, though. If you are going to be cutting projects, preparing or hand stitching appliqué, or even sewing by machine, you'll need additional items.

cutting and pressing tools for your quilting kit

If you plan on doing any cutting and pressing, there are some key components you'll need in your quilting kit. For example, portable cutting mat and pressing board combinations, which are available at many craft and quilt shops, are helpful. These small mats have a surface for rotary cutting on one side and an ironing surface on the other. A small travel iron is a nice item to have too. Often, if there are several people in a class, lines will develop at the ironing stations. If you have a small travel iron to use at your work space you can save a lot of time. Having your own acrylic ruler and rotary cutter are a must as well.

In addition, for English paper piecing or appliqué, yet another set of tools are needed, which you'll want to incorporate into your kit. For English paper piecing, include extra paper pieces, scraps of fabric to sew, and plastic paper clips or an acid free glue stick to hold papers and fabric together. In gathering supplies for appliqué, you'll want to have small appliqué pins, appliqué glue, an awl, and a larger assortment of threads in order to match the fabrics you're working with. Other great tools in a quilting kit for appliqué include: freezer paper, a thin Sharpie marker, and regular scissors for cutting paper.

machine quilting tool kit

If you prefer sewing by machine, when you take your machine on the go be sure to bring along your foot pedal and electrical cord; it's also handy to have your own extension cord for power. Other items to include are extra pre-wound bobbins in the thread color you'll be sewing with and the feet and accessories that go with your machine--you never know when a specialty foot might be called for.

By keeping basic sewing and quilting supplies gathered together in small kits, you can easily find and use the items you need for any specific type of quilting project. What do you keep in your quilting kit, that you haven't read about here?

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