12 Quilting Tools for Beginners - The Essentials You Need To Quilt

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you start quilting for the first time. You might be asking... where do I begin? Which tools should I get? Which tools are essential for beginners?

We’ve got you covered with this list of quilting tools for beginners. Take a deep breath and settle in. We’ll show you which tools you need to get started and help you move from being overwhelmed to being an empowered quilter.

Best Quilting Tools for Beginners:

Here are the 12 best quilting tools for beginners: cutting mat, rotary cutter, acrylic ruler, ruler tools (grips), scissors, snips, marketing pens, sewing pins, sewing needles, sewing machine, iron and board, and spray starch.

Cutting Mat

A great cutting mat to start with is a 18” x 24”. This size allows for cutting a piece of 45” wide fabric without adjusting and moving the fabric in order to make a straight and continuous cut. Cutting mats are great because because of the ruler grids that help you measure and align your fabrics. This is absolutely an essential you need to pick up if you’re a quilting beginner.

quilting tools: ruler mat

Rotary Cutter

A rotary cutter is another essential quilting tool for beginners. If you want straight and clean cuts, then you need to pick up a rotary cutter. We recommend a 45mm cutter for quilting beginners. There are a variety of sizes from 18mm to 60mm. With a 45mm rotary cutter you can cut through 2-3 layers of fabric at a time. It’s the right size for quilting beginners.

Acrylic Ruler

Another essential quilting tool is a ruler. Don’t buy cheap rulers because you will use these as much as you use cutting mats and rotary cutters. We recommend purchasing 5” x 12” and 5” x 24” rulers. You’ll need these for cutting all sorts of shapes with your fabric.

Ruler Tools

Here are a few tools we recommend purchasing that will make measuring and using your rulers easier:

  • Gypsy Gripper - these grippers are simply fantastic. They are suction cups with a handle that attach to your rulers making cutting easier and more precise.
  • Nifty Notions Sandpaper Dot - place these on the back of your ruler for extra grip.
  • TrueGrips - another grip that goes on the back of your ruler to keep it from slipping.


We recommend you purchase a quality pair of scissors that are sharp. If you want to invest a little here, then go ahead and purchase a few types of scissors that you can use for cutting loose threads, for cutting paper, and then for cutting fabric.


As the name implies, these little scissors are fantastic when it comes to cutting loose threads. Just snip those threads right off with some snips.

essential quilting tools

Marking Pens

It’s always handy to have some marking pens around. Whether you’re going to be marking fabrics or tracing patterns, you need some marking pens around that aren’t going to be permanent. Make sure you purchase marking pens that disappear. You can also purchase quilting pencils and have erasers.

Sewing Pins

Why pins? Pins are an essential so you can keep fabric secured together during the sewing process. Pins also help you to sew more precisely. We recommend getting glass-headed pins as they will no melt under your iron. You’ll also want to have some safety pins around for sandwiching layers together for quilting.

Sewing Needles

Your options for sewing needles are nearly endless. It can be daunting to know which needles to start with for your first quilting projects. Remember, get very sharp needles. And we recommend sizes 10-12. Your final tip is to change your needle often—whenever you start a new project, it’s time to change your needle.

Sewing Machine

A sewing machine will be your greatest investment. You DON’T have to purchase the nicest one out there. All you need is a sewing machine that can sew a straight line and you’re golden for getting started with your quilting. Purchase for your skill level and then go from there as you advance.

sewing machine quilting tool

Iron & Board/Mat

You don’t need anything too fancy here. Get an iron with steam control or get one of the irons we love—the mini Mighty Steam Iron. If you have an iron around the house then you likely have a board as well. If you don’t, you can also get an iron mat. Just make sure you have something to iron with and iron so you can get wrinkles out of your fabric.

Spray Starch

If you want crisp seams in your fabric, then utilize a starch. We recommend Best Press because it works so well and doesn’t leave behind white flakes.

There you have it—the quilting tools and essentials for beginners. Get your tools and get started on your first quilting projects. We’re excited that you’re getting into quilting. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out.