Home / DIY / How to Make a Quilt: Learn Quilting Basics & Get Creative With Textiles

How to Make a Quilt: Learn Quilting Basics & Get Creative With Textiles

Essential Quilting Supplies

How to Make a Quilt

Photo: MaxCab via Shutterstock

Scissors – As with all textile arts, good scissors are a must. You’ll want to have several pairs, including large fabric shears and smaller scissors that are good for snipping thread.

Rotary cutter – An essential tool for quilters, a rotary cutter will help you create accurate shapes. The tool looks similar to a pizza cutter, and will easily cut through fabric. Take some time to practice on scraps to get your technique down in order to create uniform shapes for your projects. A 45 mm blade is typically a good starting point.

Self-healing cutting mat – You’ll need a surface to cut your fabric on, and you don’t want the sharp rotary cutter to ruin your table (especially if it’s made of wood). This mat will allow you to keep a smooth surface even after continuous cutting.

Seam ripper – If you make a mistake, this tool will help you pull out seams in a pinch and start from scratch.

Acrylic Quilting Ruler – You’ll need these to accurately cut your fabric. They have special markings to help make accurate cuts, have a grip so the fabric doesn’t slip, and are transparent so you can see as you are cutting. They come in different shapes and sizes, but a good place to start is with a 6” by 24” ruler.

Sewing machine – You don’t have to spend a lot of money, but do need to invest in a sewing machine with a reliable motor. If you’re thinking about free-motion quilting, you’ll also want a machine that will let you drop the feed dog.

Needles – A must whether you are hand sewing or using a sewing machine.

How to Make a Quilt

Photo: MaxCab via Shutterstock

Iron & Pressing Pad A must in order to keep your pieces flat and sturdy once sewn together. Traveling irons are great because they heat up quickly, while a pressing pad traps heat while not stretching out patches or embroidered pieces during ironing.

Basting Pins – You’ll need quite a lot of these for most projects. Quilters use curved safety pins made especially for the job.

Clips These are a nice alternative to straight pins to fix your quilt sandwich and to bind while basting your quilt.

Batting – This layer of insulation is the “filling” of your quilt sandwich. Be sure to consider how warm you’d like your quilt to be when choosing a material. Wool will be the warmest, with cotton more lightweight. Batting comes in a variety of thicknesses, called loft. Wool has the highest loft, for a fluffy feel. Polyester batting is an affordable choice and holds its shape well. It’s often selected for cribs and bedding.

Thread High-quality thread is a must for a durable quilt. 50-weight 100% cotton thread is a good choice, as it’s sturdy but not too bulky. You’ll find many different brands in a wide array of colors.

Fabric Of course, we can’t forget the fabric! Again, this is an area to invest in and purchase top quality. 100% cotton is a good choice and by buying high-quality fabric, not only will your quilt last longer, but it will be easier to sew and there will be less chance of color bleeding.

Quilting Kits

As you’re starting out, you may want to consider a quilting kit. This will save a lot of time, as they not only arrive with the quilt pattern, but all the fabrics you’ll need to create the perfect quilt.

Eventually, you can graduate to using patterns, which give you a design and instructions, but more creative freedom. You’ll find free quilt patterns online or PDF downloads available on Etsy and Craftsy. Or try books like 100 Modern Quilt Blocks and Quilt as You Go Made Vintage. In the meantime, let’s look at our favorite contemporary quilting kits on Craftsy.



Quilting Kit

Monique Jacobs | $147.25


Quilting Kit

Monique Jacobs | from $73.60


Quilting Kit

Amy Gibson | $215.50





Quilting Kit

Monique Jacobs | from $67



Quilting Kit

Tula Pink | $165.20


Next up: Free Quilting Tutorials

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.

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