Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Gathering Begins

Care is not one to procrastinate! My first quilting lesson is already up at her blog, and the topic is basic supplies.

Buying supplies is something I can do. I have a whole roomful of crafty things to prove it!

Going over the list, some are things I already have, some I won't need until later, and some I should probably pick up soon. Especially since the current Jo-Ann's ad looks like this:

That's right, folks! If you need any of this stuff, now's the time to buy it. Is our timing excellent or what? I do have a cutting mat and 6 x 24 inch ruler, but I think I should upgrade. My mat is pretty small, and the ruler, well, my husband thinks I'm saying this to absolve myself of inaccuracy, but I think my ruler is not as straight as it could be. Do these things wear out? Because I've had it for about 18 years. In any event, it's all scuffy and sometimes the mark I need is so faint as to almost be invisible, so I don't think I'm being too extravagant if I buy myself a new ruler.

But about that cutting mat...Care recommends a 24 by 36 inch mat. That is going to run about $22.50 after the discount. The next size down, 18 by 24 is about $11. Now, if I am using a 24 inch ruler, that would mean I'm going to be making 24 inch cuts, max, right? Can I get by with the smaller mat, or does the larger one really REALLY make life easier for an additional eleven dollars? Anyone? Also, is any one brand better than the others? I know they carry mats made by Olfa, Fiskars, and Gingher (and maybe more). My oldie is an Olfa, but it was a garage sale find, so I took what I could get.

Rotary cutter (with new blade), check! Iron, check! Ironing board, check!

I have to look into these feetsies for my machine. Perhaps I should start by locating my instruction booklet? I see there are a few questions about presser feet in Care's comments already. How DO you know if a particular foot will work with your machine? Where's the best place to buy these? Is it any wonder I've never made a quilt before? :)

Jo-Ann's, here I come!


Wendy said...

I vote for going ahead and buying the larger mat. You'll be glad later!

Denise said...

Yes go with the bigger mat and it doesnt really matter what brand. As to the feet take your foot off of your machine and take it with you to the sewing center. It will either be a high shank or a low shank (the part above the foot to the screw) and you want to make sure you get the right shank height cause a high shank wont work with a low shank machine. This way you can compare it to the ones in the package. The package should list what machines it is compatible with on the back. Pick up some new needles while you are at it. Good luck!

Susan said...

Denise is absolutely right about the foot. A sewing machine or specialty shop will be much more helpful than say, Joanns. And I have had one of the smaller mats for years and have made tons of quilts no problem. Some things would be easier on a larger mat-but I have no complaints. And easier storage.

Anonymous said...

I love my big mat and 36" ruler. You probably don't need it for quilting, but it makes nice easy cuts for tote bags, pillow covers, bias tape, and even skirts!

Erika said...

I'm with everyone else- go ahead and get the bigger mat now, you'll be glad you did.

lorena said...

Bigger mat, yes. I have both a large Fiskars mat and some Olfa mats in different sizes but I find that, comparatively, my Fiskars one seems cheaper as the cuts don't heal as well as on my Olfas. I've bought all my mats with coupons so they feel like an "affordable" splurge. :)

Indigo Blue said...

Hi, I would invest in a cutting mat. I have one that is A3 and one that is A2. The A3 is good fot taking to classes and sewing groups but I do use the bigger one a lot for using the rotary cutter no matter what I am making. Also buy the best quality that you can afford too as this item does not do the job very well for long if it is a cheap version. I have learnt that. I would look in art shops as they do the same kind of mats that are used for craft knives, graphis designers use them. they could turn out to be alittle cheaper because they will not have the "Quilting" cutting mat name attached them but they are in fact the same product inmost cases.
Good luck I shall be back to see how you get on.

Lynette said...

I'm sewing my first quilt along with Care too, and wanted to pop in and say hello! Good luck! I'll be trying this right with you! (But maybe a couple weeks behind since I'm in school and finals is nearly 2 weeks away!)

Darling Petunia said...

Thanks for all the input regarding the mats! As you now know, I went ahead and got the huge one. It adds a nice splash of color to my upstairs hallway, where it's living for the time being.