Nathalie Bearden Fine Quilts » Blog

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First things first!

It has been years since I last wrote a blog post. I never thought I would say this, but it feels great to be back. And exciting!!  Since my last blog, I have truly found my calling in life, quiltmaking.

This blog has two missions. One is to teach you to quilt, from beginning to end, no excuses. Two is to have something tangible (meaning I can print into a book format) for my daughters. Sort of like their little how-to for quilting – peppered with some of mama’s cooking here and there. So, quilting and cooking recipes. Both equally-worthy-soul-feeding causes. Now, let’s get started.

Along the years I have been quilting I have managed to collect all sorts of unnecessary quilting gadgets. Some I used once, others I never used at all. Tragedy! It reminds me of when I got pregnant for the first time and had the urge to buy anything and everything with BABY written on it. Only to find out later that I only needed a few items. Re-homing that extra baby gadgetry felt as good or more than buying them. Ok, ok, back to quilting.

Let me save you from yourself and give you a list of the quilting tools you will need. Now, the earth will not shatter if you don’t have a water soluble marker. As they say, necessity is the mother of all inventions. Pin sticky notes onto your blocks or strips if need be. You will figure things out as you go.

Please be aware these are my preferred brands. I would say that for every quilting tool on the market there are at least two or three different brands making similar products. Buy whatever suits your budget. Now, if you already have all of these tools on hand. Go get a latte and let’s meet again soon.

Quilting Tools

1. Rotary Cutter 45mm – along with extra rotary Cutter blades – Olfa or Clover are my favorites.

2. Seam ripper – You need this for what my friend’s mom calls reverse sewing. Or after 10 PM sewing. Nothing good comes after 10 PM.

3. Ruler – Omnigrid. 24”X6” is a great size, I use this 90% of the time. Also get you some ruler grips – little peel and stick circles that feel like sand paper – they help your ruler stay in place while you are cutting your fabric. There is also a peel and stick material that you can cut to size and stick on the entire back of your ruler. I have never used it, but some friends seem to like it better than my sand paper circles.

4. Thread nippers – for thread cutting only.

5. Binding clips – These are called Wonder Clips made by Clover. They help your binding stay in place while you sew.

6. Magnetic pin catcher and glass head pins. I love this magnetic pin catcher by Clover. I am often dropping pins on the carpet in my sewing area. The red heads are easy to find, but the white ones not so much. I used to spend all sorts of time looking for pins. Now, I just swipe the pin catcher close to the carpet and the magnet pulls the little suckers to safety. Why glass head pins? Because they are so fine they won’t leave holes all over your quilt, unlike those yellow head pins, also known as swords.

7. Fabric shears – These will be for fabric cutting only. Don’t use them to cut thread because it will make them dull.

8. 1/4″ seam foot. This type of machine foot has a little guide that will help you achieve 1/4″ seams, called for in most quilting patterns. Every machine brand has a 1/4″ seam foot, but it may not look exactly like this one.

9. Large curved basting pins. You will needs lots of these. 100 at least. They will be used to secure the quilt top, batting, and quilt backing while you quilt. Some quilters prefer a spray baste. I don’t use it because it gunks my machine needle.

10.Water soluble marker – This is used to mark your fabric and the markings can be removed with water. Just don’t iron over where you wrote because heat will set the color onto your fabric.

11. Thread in every color you can get your hands on. I have recently fallen head over heels with Aurifil threads. They are worth every penny.

12. Self-healing cutting mat – Buy one that is at least 35” X 23”. Fiskers or Alvin Co make great ones.

Not pictured but goes without saying you will need these items as well:

Sewing machine, pressing foot (usually comes with your machine), lots of replacement machine needles, iron and ironing board. And chocolate. Ohhh, don’t forget the chocolate.

PS:I will post as often as time permits. If you really want to keep up with my goings on, please subscribe to the post by email. There’s a SUBSCRIBE BY MAIL box on the left column. Just type your email there and you won’t have to come looking for me anymore.

PS2: You will find that my posts are laced with bad grammar and lack of spell check. Please let me lean on my old crutch, English is my second language, and we can all move on in peace. I will try my best not to write how I speak. Key word, try.

  • January 31, 2014 - 12:19 am

    Amy Boyd - This is making me want to quilt! 😉
    Hello, hello!ReplyCancel

    • January 31, 2014 - 2:41 am

      nathaliebearden - Amy, I am going to make a quilter out of you!! You need to learn or how else are we going to be accepted into the Amish community?ReplyCancel

  • January 31, 2014 - 3:12 am

    Kate S. - Came here from Instagram, where I only learned of you this week. I was just wondering how I’d ever get started in this – how serendipitous! So glad you are doing this!ReplyCancel

    • January 31, 2014 - 5:34 am

      nathaliebearden - Nice to meet you Kate! Serendipitous indeed!! I hope I can be of help in your quilting pursuit.ReplyCancel

  • January 31, 2014 - 6:25 am

    Amy Jo - I’m so excited about this! As I stated in instagram (amy_jo_), my new year’s resolution is to try my hand at quilting! I’ve been following you on IG for well over a year and I adore your quilts. They’re absolute masterpieces. Can’t wait to learn from you! Just subscribed by email so I won’t miss a thing.ReplyCancel

    • February 9, 2014 - 6:42 am

      nathaliebearden - Oh Amy, you are always the sweetest! I can’t wait to teach all I know.ReplyCancel

  • February 1, 2014 - 1:15 am

    Liza - It looks great! It’s so clean & simple and can’t wait to see the tutorials. I’ve always loved your work.ReplyCancel

    • February 9, 2014 - 6:43 am

      nathaliebearden - Liza, you and I go way back! So glad we found each other on IG!!ReplyCancel

  • February 1, 2014 - 8:19 pm

    rubyellen - I’m so happy you’re back!!!!ReplyCancel

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