Tips + Tools to Begin Quilting

have you ever been out shopping, and a quilt catches your eye, and upon closer inspection, you think to yourself, i can do that..yes you can!

do you have a basic sewing machine..? can you sew a straight line..? then you can quilt!

…but you’re not sure where to begin, what tools you’ll need or how much it will cost. today we’ll talk about what you’ll need to get started, you just may be pleasantly surprised at just how affordable quilting can be.. and your quilting journey will begin, but beware, it’s addictive!

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Machine Thread Basics

Machine Thread Basics - Kreations by Julz

ah the great big world of sewing machine thread, have you ever stood there in the fabric or craft store just staring at the oodles and oodles of brightly colored threads, so many brands, so many different types, which one should you buy? aren’t all threads the same just different colors?

i thought i’d tackle the subject of machine thread basics, and hopefully the next time you go shopping for thread you’ll have a bit better understanding of which type of thread you’ll need for your next project.

1. first, what type of sewing will you be undertaking?

will you be constructing garments, quilting, machine embroidery, crafts, mending..? each have different requirements.

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Organized Thread + Bobbins

Organized Thread and Bobbins
like many of you quilters, crafters and sewaholics i don’t have a dedicated room for sewing.. for me its because i enjoy  sewing in our great room where my hubby is, we can still be hanging out, laughing, talking, and i’m not all alone upstairs in a room..

..and the other reason, i’m a nap time sewing/quilter, i get quite a bit accomplished when the little ones in our house are sleeping upstairs!

it does make it challenging to organize my fabric and other goodies, i just make it work. i have a buffet in the dining area that has two drawers dedicated to my sewing needs.

yesterday i talked about my presser feet and machine needles storage here.. today it’s all about my thread and bobbins..

i found these cute wooden storage boxes at tjmaxx a couple months ago, knowing they’d be perfect for my sewing supplies and in fact they are perfect! i just slip them into the drawer and i have instant storage that no one even knows is there [until now]..

..as for my bobbins, i really like these dritz bobbin containers. i pre-wind plenty of bobbins in my most used colors so they’re ready on a whim, because those of us who sew and quilt often start another project before the last one is finished, so it’s nice to have those bobbins ready to go!

Organized Thread and Bobbins Drawer

..as you can see this is where i store my presser feet, needles and accessory box too!

Organized Machine Accessories

Organized Sewing Machine Accessories with Labels

i love to organize! i feel like i can’t function if i can’t find things and it drives me crazy when i can’t..! okay, call it OCD, my kids do…

i thought i’d share a quick little post about how i organize my sewing machine accessories and machine needles! they go together like bread and butter, so i store them in a simple 17 compartment plastic organizer, one compartment is larger and fits my walking foot perfect!

Organized Sewing Machine Accessories

keeping everything together makes it easy to tuck your container into your sewing tote and go off to class, a retreat or a sewing party with friends!

i label my container, so i can grab my presser foot quickly, and when you purchase a new presser foot, just add a new label! if you don’t have a label maker just use a thin sharpie and you’re all set!

happy sewing!

My Melody

Babylock Melody

introducing my sewing, my quilting, my crafting BFF…Melody! she’s an amazing partner!

i’ve owned 5 sewing machines in my lifetime and this is the most i’ve spent…the sky’s the limit when it comes to the cost of sewing machines… unfortunately my budget doesn’t reach the sky..

when looking for a sewing machine, it’s a good idea to give yourself a target price range, mine was around $1000-ish.. you’ll also want to make a list of your must have features..

my must haves included:

  • automatic thread cutter
  • speed control
  • automatic needle threader
  • drop in bobbin [i love the idea of seeing just how much thread i have left]
  • a decent amount of stitches
  • the ability to plow through layers of fabric, duck cloth, canvas, and denim
  • extension table
  • walking foot
  • free motion quilting foot
  • warranty

Melody gives me all those features and much more, she hums along happily, stitches beautifully, i couldn’t be happier… [ok let's be realistic, even when you're perfectly happy with your sewing machine, you always look at the newer, bigger, better, faster, models available.. haha]

Melody and i will be best friends forever… or until i hit the lotto [okay not really because i don't even play the lotto]..

she’s great!

 

Thread Envy

i have serious thread envy.. i want AURIfil thread in every color they offer! but alas.. i can’t always have what i want, so i’ll settle for my quick little shopping trip yesterday where i picked up these little spools of goodness!

..aren’t they pretty!

Aurifil Thread - kreationsbyjulz.com

50WT 100% cotton AURIfil thread 1422yards 1300mt

Machine piecing : Gives a great result with a nice flat seam every time.

Machine quilting : Use for very detailed machine quilting with a lot of back tracking such as feathers and heavy background quilting . Perfect for quilting that creates texture when you don’t necessarily want to see the quilting lines. Use the same thread in the bobbin. Use a Sharp/Microtex, quilting or even denim needles 80/12. – source