Common quilting supplies include scissors, a rotary cutter, a self-healing mat, quilting rulers and water-based markers. Fabric, thread, needles and pins, and an iron are also basic supplies. A sewing machine, long-arm quilting machine and computer with quilting design software are other common supplies.
Laying out fabric on a mat for measuring and cutting with the quilting ruler and rotary cutter results in precisely sized pieces. Self-healing mats absorb the cuts without becoming shredded themselves. Markers are useful for tracing patterns, drawing cutting lines and making notes on the fabric. The water-based ink washes away.
Most quilting fabric as of 2015 is quilt-grade 100 percent cotton, though specialty quilts may use denim, velvet and satin. Thread should be cotton, not a synthetic blend. The iron removes wrinkles from fabric for more accurate cutting. After sewing pieces together, ironing the seams smooths the new sections and can minimize sewing errors.
Many quilters use sewing machines for piecing and applique, and sometimes for the actual quilting. Long-arm machines offer a variety of stitches for putting together the top, filler and bottom layers of the quilt. Quilting design software lets users plan layouts, audition colors and fabric swatches and print out patterns.