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Quilting, like most hobbies, can be as expensive or affordable as you want it to be.
However, investing in the beginner quilting supplies can get quite spendy. If you purchase all of your supplies brand new, you can expect your initial investment to be anywhere from $250 to $850. Once you have the basic supplies, making quilts will be as expensive as the cost of your fabric and batting.
To figure out how expensive making a quilt can be, we first need to determine the costs of our supplies. Most of these supplies are one-time investments. Of course, you can upgrade as you gain experience, but you’ll be able to make a quilt from start to finish with these items.
How Much Do Beginner Quilting Supplies Cost?
This post will go through each supply that you’ll need to get started. I’ve determined a rough estimate for the average price of each item using current retail pricing from popular quilting stores like Fat Quarter Shop and JoAnn Fabrics.
You may have a few of these items on hand, which is great! You may also be able to get some of these items secondhand, but today’s post will focus on the price of new quilting supplies.
For my cost estimate, I am assuming that you will be completing the quilt from beginning to end and I’m not accounting for the cost of sending the quilt to a long arm quilter. If you choose to send your quilt to a long arm quilter, this service will cost anywhere from $0.02 – $0.05 cents per square inch of your quilt.
The most expensive item that you’ll need to start quilting is a sewing machine. While it is possible to make a quilt by hand, the majority of quilters use a sewing machine during their quilt-making process. Sewing machines range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.
If you are looking to purchase a new sewing machine for beginners, I recommend going with a basic model by Singer or Brother. It’s not necessary to spend hundreds of dollars on a machine when the most basic models will do what you need to make a quilt, especially if you’re brand new to the hobby.
I chose to purchase the Singer Tradition 2277 sewing machine when I first started quilting because it is one of the cheapest options available on the market with all of its functionality. I still use this machine today and I really enjoy it!
This machine was around $130 new and I thought that was a reasonable price for a new beginner sewing machine. If you have a bit more to invest, I recommend getting a used sewing machine. You can get some great high-end vintage models for around $500 if you shop used machines.
If you want a more detailed review of the Singer Tradition 2277 sewing machine from the perspective of a beginner quilter, read this post.
Sewing Machine Needles
Your sewing machine should come with a pack of needles to get you started. If it doesn’t, purchase a pack of universal 80/12 sewing machine needles. These needles work well with cotton fabric and they come in value packs.
You can find a pack of 3 needles for around $4. My favorite brand is Schmetz.
Rulers of all shapes and sizes can be used in quilting, but you should invest in a 6” x 24” ruler as a beginner. This shape is perfect because you’ll be able to easily cut both long strips of fabric and smaller pieces of fabric.
You can find these rulers for anywhere from $20 to $40 for an average price of $30. This is a great item to use a coupon on or to buy on sale. My favorite brand is Creative Grids, but they are one of the pricier options.
A rotary cutter makes cutting your fabric quick and simple and it’s a must-have tool for a new quilter. I recommend purchasing a name-brand model like Olfa or Fiskars.
These range for anywhere from $13 to $25. My favorite brand is Olfa and the rotary cutter that I own is $18.
You’ll also need a rotary blade, but your rotary cutter should come with a pack of new blades for you to use.
Rotary Cutting Mat
Rotary cutting mats are every shape and size and this is one place where you don’t want to skimp on quality. Self-healing mats last a long time and tend to be a favorite among quilters.
While the prices vary depending on the size you get, I recommend purchasing the largest mat you can afford. Ideally, you should purchase a 24” x 36” mat because this size mat nicely fits a yard of fabric folded in half.
You can get a 24″ x 36″ mat for an average of $60. I recommend using a 50% off coupon from Michaels or Joanns to ensure you get the best price possible! My preferred brand is Fiskars and I purchased this foldable cutting mat which is great for small spaces.
Small Scissors or Snips
As you make your quilt you’ll need to trim your loose threads. A small pair of scissors or snips will be perfect for this task. These can range anywhere from $3 to $15 for an average of $9. I love my Fiskars thread snips!
An iron is a necessary tool when making a quilt. Luckily, you probably already have one! You do not need a fancy iron when quilting, although there are plenty of luxury models available. I recommend getting a basic model from a department store like Target.
Irons range for anywhere from $10 to $40 for an average price of $25. I have a BLACK+DECKER iron that I love!
If you already own an iron, you probably have an ironing board. If you need to invest in one, I recommend getting a large ironing board because you’ll want to be able to use the surface to iron small and very large pieces of fabric.
You can get a basic ironing board for around $20. I have an extra-wide ironing board from Target that is amazing!
A tool that is necessary as a beginner is a seam ripper. Let’s face it, we all make mistakes and the mistakes will be more frequent as you’re getting started.
This tool may come included with your sewing machine but if it’s not, you can find one for an average price of $4.
When you start to assemble your quilt, you’ll need safety pins to hold everything in place. You’ll need a large amount of them so I recommend getting at least a 50 pack of safety pins.
I prefer the curved ones because they are easier to use in quilting! You can get these for around $3.
Except for replacement rotary blades and sewing machine needles, all of these tools are one-time purchases. After you invest in these tools, all you’ll need to purchase is the fabric, thread, and batting for making your quilt. Let’s go through the average pricing of fabric, thread, and batting.
Quilting Cotton Fabric
Fabric is one of the most fun parts of quilting and it’s the supply that can be easy to spend lots of money on. Brand new fabric lines will be the most expensive, while more affordable options can be found at large retail stores like JoAnn Fabrics.
You could even get fabrics free if you tap into the community of quilters in your area and ask if anyone has extra fabric they’re willing to part with. You’d be surprised how generous quilters are with new members of the community!
If you’re going to purchase new fabric yardage, you can expect to spend between $5 to $13 per yard for an average of $9 per yard of fabric. To make a small throw size quilt you can expect to need several yards of fabric. For today’s example we’ll say our quilt needs 5 yards of fabric. For a quilt this size, you can expect to spend about $45 on fabric.
Batting is the middle layer of your quilt. For your first quilt, pre-packaged batting is probably best. Pre-packaged batting comes in different sizes depending on the size of quilt you are making. If you’re making a throw size quilt, your batting will cost an average of $10.
You can use all types of thread for quilting and you likely have a spool of thread already on hand. Polyester and cotton are the two types of thread that are most popular among quilters. A small spool of thread will cost around $4. I prefer the Aurifil thread because it has virtually no lint and it’s very thin which is great for quilting.
How Much Does it Cost to Make a Quilt?
By adding up the average price of new beginner quilting supplies, fabric, thread and batting, your first throw size quilt will cost around $362 to make. Of course, your second quilt will be much more affordable because you’ll already have your supplies and notions on hand. All you’ll need to purchase for your second quilt is fabric and batting! If you made the same quilt again, it would cost around $55 to make.
Quilting may not be the most affordable hobby, but there are plenty of ways to make it more cost-effective. Seek out used supplies and notions, secondhand sewing machines and utilize quilt shop sales to help keep your costs low.
Now you know the real costs of quilting and I hope this helps you decide if quilting is the right hobby for you!
Other Blog Posts You May Like:
How Long Does it Take to Make a Quilt?
Singer Tradition 2277 from a Beginner Quilter
How to Find Quilt Patterns Online
5 Ways to Stop a Quilt Ruler from Slipping
Why is My Rotary Cutter not Cutting?