You don’t need to buy everything here to get started. Quilting is really about using what you have. You should begin by asking friends and family if they have supplies you can borrow. You might find a project buddy this way, too. Only go out and buy when you’ve used up what you have and are ready to upgrade.

I’m providing some web links here for convenience, but I suggest finding a locally-owned store to shop at. Quilting is communal and supply shopping can be a great way to meet more people interested in the craft.

Sewing Machine

Nearly any sewing machine will work for this project. It doesn’t need to be fancy, just something you feel confident on. I will caution you on using an old machine that hasn’t been serviced. Consistent thread tension is important and can be one of the first things to slip when a machine hasn’t been maintained. I haven’t personally tried it, but this Janome available on Amazon has good reviews and is economically priced.

My machine is a Bernina, which was a special gift from my parents in college. It’s high-quality (and high cost!) but most of the internal parts are metal and will last forever if cared for. You can sometimes find specialty shops that rebuild and resell Berninas at a price similar to a new machine of lower quality.

You’ll also need needles that fit your specific machine. I recommend starting with the standard “universal” size. New, sharp needless will make your life easier.

Sewing Thread

I like off-white, natural cotton thread for piecing my fabric together and to hand stitch the binding. Anything you find will work, but I’m specifically using Gutermann Egg White.

A simple trick to use a large cone of thread

Hand Sewing Needles

We’ll be using needle and thread by hand to attach the outer binding. You can use the same sewing thread from your machine, but you’ll want some basic needles for hand sewing.


I personally like a large pair of scissors for fabric and a smaller set for threads and detailed trimming. Any sharp pair will work fine. These look like a good value.

Rotary Cutter

These are not necessary, but are handy for cutting fabric into strips quickly. Also pick up some spare blades.

Cutting Mat

I suggest getting the biggest cutting mat that will fit your workspace. I prefer the black over the green.


I’ve been buying these Black & Decker Classic models, but they’re not the most durable. I get a new one every couple of years.

Starch Alternative

This solution from Mary Ellen’s is stocked at most fabric shops. It makes ironing a lot easier but doesn’t have the smell or residue of traditional starch.

Quilting Ruler

Any straight edge will do the job, but a clear Quilting Ruler is nice to have. It enables you to see exactly what you’re trimming and it has commonly used angles printed on it.

Quilting Thread

I’ll be teaching you how to quilt by hand. I prefer to do this with cotton Sashiko Thread.

Quilting Needles

You’ll want Sashiko Needles to go with the thread. The eye on these is larger than a standard embroidery needle to accommodate the thicker Sashiko thread.


Your fingers will become sore if you don’t use a thimble for hand quilting. My favorite is called the Nimble Thimble. It’s made from leather with a metal tip.

Seam Ripper

When you make a mistake on the sewing machine, a Seam Ripper makes correcting them less painful.


I prefer Glass Head, Straight Pins for temporarily holding fabric together before I run it through the machine. You might also want a box of Safety Pins on hand when pinning the layers of your quilt together. Definitely avoid pins with plastic heads as they can melt on your fabric if you hit them with an iron.

A pin cushion is also convenient. I’ve “borrowed” Chap’s magnetic dish he uses for nuts and bolts in the garage. I like it because you can toss a handful of pins in and not worry about them slipping out.

Water-soluble pencils are always handy to have


I buy most of my batting in bulk rolls directly from Quilters Dream, but you can also find pre-cut sizes like this. I prefer wool and cotton, but more importantly, avoid any synthetics.

Next let's discuss the fabric we'll need to make this quilt