Guess what today is?? The first day of Warm & Fuzzy Fest!! What? You have NO idea what I'm talking about? That's OK. The idea just came a couple of hours ago. It is time to get prepared for our Learn to Quilt blog classes. I am off tomorrow to buy the fabric needed for the first project. I am very excited! It is inexpensive, simple and fun! More about that in a couple of days. Before you can even THINK about quilting there are some things that you just have to have. Well, I guess you could live without some of them, but I have no idea how. So all this week, during Warm and Fuzzy Fest (think quilts and snoopy...then you understand how I came up with that name), we will be discussing supplies.
Every quilter needs a rotary cutter, rotary cutter self-healing mat, and a couple of rulers. I will give you my personal recommendations of what you need to get started...
First the rotary cutter. These little wonders have revolutionized quilting. They make it so FAST and EASY to cut out all your little pieces. You do need to be careful though, because they are very sharp. My personal favorite (and I've been using them for years, all sizes and kinds), is made by OLFA. Here are some of the varieties:
This is my favorite. The 45 mm original cutter. I use it all the time. They also sell a 28 mm and a 60mm that I like to keep around. You don't need them to start off with. Just a 45mm is fine.
This would be nice, but not necessary. It is a quick change blade. On the top cutter you need to unscrew a wing nut, but on this handy little cutter, you just push a button.
Some people like this one. It is "ergonomic". Personally, I didn't like it. I actually hurt my hand more!
I like this one as well. It is a 45mm from Fiskars.
Once you decide on a cutter, you need to purchase a Self-healing cutting mat. I am VERY picky about these. I have tried all major brands, and NONE hold up as well as Olfa. If you live in the lower 48, I know you can catch them on sale at Joannes about once a month. To start out, you should get one at least 18x24, but if you can afford it get the 24x36 size. You will appreciate it. Here is what the Olfa mat's look like:
Finally, you need rulers. (I will teach you how to use all these during our online class.) There are two sizes that I can not live without. 6 x24 and 4 x14. I love them both and use them equally as much. The brand that I like for these is Dritz Omnigrid. Here is what the 4x14 looks like:
This one is yellow, but they make a green one I like better. The grids are easier to see on the green one. Olfa now makes frosted rulers that get great reviews. I need to think about buying one someday :)
Finally, scissors. To start out, you just need a pair of small very pointy sharp scissors to cut threads. (You will use the rotary cutter for fabric.) I have several around. I keep one on each sewing machine, one on the ironing board, and one in my hand sewing bag. You only need one pair...but just make sure they are ONLY used for thread. Once you use them on paper, they are ruined. (Same with your rotary cutter!)
In close, here is a quick shopping list for your cutting supplies...
45 mm rotary cutter
at least a size 18x24 self healing cutting mat by Olfa
a 4x14 and/or a 6 x 24 rotary cutting ruler
a pair of sharp snips
Tomorrow we will discuss feet and needles for your sewing machines.
And now your fuzzy thought for today: