In the Studio with Rita: 5 Favorite Quilting Tools

Getting Started with Quilting


You don’t need everything when you first start quilting. Begin with basic tools and supplies. Build your own collection of favorites over time.

I like to start by making shopping lists:

  • MyBasics: What will I need and use? What will make quilting easy and fun?

  • WouldBringMeJoy: What new tools will spark inspiration and build my skills?

  • MaybeSomeday: What dream tools do I want to save for and splurge on when I can?

What are the essentials you’ll need and use the most?

From cutting and pressing to sewing, these are MyBasics in the studio:

Sunporch Studios participates in affiliate programs. This means we receive a small commission when products are purchased through links included in blog posts. There is no additional cost to you. These links simply allow us to share more of what we use and love.


Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 Sewing Machine

Choosing a sewing machine is hard. There are many great brands out there with a wide range of features and prices. For me, I learned how to sew on a Singer. Someday I may explore other worlds, but for now the SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960 meets my needs. It’s a computerized portable sewing machine that has the user-friendly features I looked for when buying:

  • Metal Frame

  • Automatic Needle Threader

  • Top Drop-In Bobbin with Clear Cover

  • Thread Trimmer Button

  • Needle Up/Down Feature

  • Speed Control.

  • Snap-On Presser Feet

  • Extension Table


Omnigrid 12-Inch-by-18-Inch Fold-Away Portable Cutting & Pressing Station

The Omnigrid Cutting and Pressing Station is amazing. The gridded cutting mat and non-stick ironing surface are side by side. I love that I can move it to the kitchen island or keep it next to my sewing machine. Cutting and pressing is at my fingertips wherever I am working. I also love that it folds for easy storage, and has handles for easy carrying. The velcro closure keeps it securely shut when I want to fold it up and store it away. I do have a larger cutting mat and a larger pressing board for bigger tasks, but this cutting and pressing station is my go-to tool. It’s large enough to do most tasks, but not so big that it takes up all of my work surface. Just be careful not to press on the cutting side or cut on the pressing side!


Creative Grid Quilting Rulers

I love quilting rulers. I have a growing collection with many favorites. The Creative Grid rulers are the ones I reach for first. These rulers are premium acrylic quilt rulers made in the USA. I like the easy-to-read markings, the frosted edges (especially the 1/4 inch), and the no-slip grip. The black and white markings are printed in 1 inch grids marked in 1/8 inch and 1/4 inch increments.

The Creative Grids 8.5" x 12.5" Rectangle Quilting Ruler Template CGR812 is perfect for mug rugs. I also love the Creative Grids 2.5" x 12.5" Rectangle Quilting Ruler Template CGR212 for cutting strips. If you’re just starting your collection, these two rulers would be good choices.


Fiskars Comfort Loop Rotary Cutters

If you’re a quilter, you probably own and use several rotary cutters. I do. I like to try out different brands, different sizes, and different shapes. I also like to shop for bargains. Price is important, but safety, comfort, and precision cutting determine which cutters I buy, keep, and use.

One of my favorites is the Fiskars Comfort Loop Rotary Cutter. It’s got great safety features and has made it easy for me to remember to click the button as soon as I am done making a cut. The only time the blade is out is when I am cutting. Safe cutting habits with rotary cutters are essential to prevent injuries. This cutter has worked great for me.

I like the handle. I feel like I have a firm grip on the cutter and it won’t slip as I’m cutting. It’s a smooth motion cut where the blade does all the work.

Blade replacement is easy which means I always have sharp blades for precise cuts, even through multiple layers of fabric.


Oliso Smart Iron

Yes, an Oliso Smart Iron is a more expensive iron than what I started using many years ago. And you don’t need a pricey iron to make beautiful quilts. That said, I love my smart iron because of its safety and user-friendly features:

  • ITOUCH TECHNOLOGY - It’s like magic! The scorch guards lower with the touch of my hand and lifts when I’ve stopped ironing. This feature prevents burns, scorching and tipping.

  • AUTO SHUT OFF - This iron automatically shuts off for safety after 8 minutes if standing, or after 30 seconds if knocked over. It’s a good thing.

  • 1600 WATTS - Because this iron heats up quickly, I don’t need to leave it on all day when I’m in the studio.

  • DETAILER TIP - This 1½ inch. tip is a dream for appliqué and beautiful seams.

  • STAINLESS STEEL SOLEPLATE - Extra thick micro-fine stainless steel plate with mirror glide finish for optimal heat retention and more steam holes for consistent steam flow.

  • TRIPLEPLAY XTREMESTEAM - There are 3 steam settings: continuous, horizontal burst, and vertical burst along with 3 steam levels: low, medium, and high.

Browse and Shop

Here are the links to my favorite quilting tools. I’m also including some budget-friendly choices that are comparable to the ones I shared in this post. I hope you find something new that will bring joy and inspiration to your studio.

Sunporch Studios participates in affiliate programs. This means we receive a small commission when products are purchased through links included in blog posts. There is no additional cost to you. These links simply allow us to share more of what we use and love.