JJ Crafts, quilting, sewing

Getting into Quilting

This is going to be my year of quilting. I’m going to make my first quilt. I got everything I need for Christmas. The plan was to start straight off having ‘practiced’ on my table mats. In reality, I didn’t do as much quilting on the table mats as I wanted to as I ran out of time before Christmas and I realised I should probably practice using my new feet and the join as you go method I want to use before I start my quilt. Just to make sure…. Okay, I’m procrastinating but I’ll be making a table runner first. It’s going to have three blocks so I’ll have two chances to practice my joining method and I can give my walking foot and quilting foot a test drive.

But onto what this post was suppose to be about; all the quilting goodies I got for Christmas.


After spending literally months looking online at fabric fat quarter packs and not finding anything that was right I eventually stumbled across this:


It’s wanderer by Joel dewberry (well, half of it). And it fits exactly the image I have in my head for my quilt so when I saw it I almost danced. And then I found out you can only buy it in America. But it was perfect and I couldn’t find anything else that fit what I wanted for my quilt so seeing as it was going to be a Christmas present I went for it, I just added the extortionate shipping into the cost of the present.

I’m really happy with it, I only actually need 6 of them (assuming I don’t ruin anything by way of rubbish cutting). So it’ll take a bit of time to work out which six I want but at the moment it’s the bottom 6 in that photo.



I also got a lot of white fabric for the sashing and backing (I bought six metres, I might end up needing more. Who knows? Not me) we went out to the craft shop to get it because the cheapest I could find online was £8 a metre plus shipping and that adds up to a lot when you want….lots. (I say THE craft shop because there is pretty much only one craft shop on the island that does a decent amount of fabric). I am not well versed in different fabrics, all I’d heard was 100% cotton being repeated so that’s all the knowledge I went in with. The two options in the shop for white fabric were either polycotton or 100% cotton poplin. I went with the poplin (£4 a metre) but after googling I’m not sure this is the right kind of fabric to quilt with. I can’t find out for certain because google doesn’t seem to know what cotton poplin is and keeps telling me different things. But its what I have so it’s what I’ll be using.



I also bought some quilting thread in white and a stash of thread from someone getting rid of their craft supplies (It’s sylko brand and I got all that for about £4.50 including p&p). I haven’t bought any binding because that’s a long way off!

I bought heirloom fusible batting 20/80 in queen size. I’m planning on making a double size quilt (I know, I start easy, right?) but with the join as you go I’m sure I’ll end up using all of this up. It was pretty good value at only £25 (I think that’s good) and hopefully the fusible element will help keep things neat.



I got a quilting ruler. It’s 6×12 inches. I didn’t want to get a bigger one because I’m not actually sure my table is 24 inches deep so that would probably be a bit too cumbersome to try and use!


I also got a pack of sewing machine feet. It had pretty good reviews and includes a 1/4 inch foot, a free motion foot and a walking foot.



Finally but certainly not least, I got some Bluetooth over ear headphones. I’m always listening to music but listening to music with earphones when I’m cutting or using the sewing machine is just simply hazardous! And listening to music on a speaker isn’t ideal as the sewing machine is loud so I bought these little beauties that make me look a little like an alien but means I can jam out to music while quilting/cutting safely and without turning my music up so loud it annoys other humans. They do have the unfortunate side effect of not realising I’m singing aloud though which is probably more annoying but whatever.


I’m very excited to get started and use some of these for my table runner. Fingers crossed everything goes well and I can start on my actual quilt soon.

Does anyone know anything about cotton poplin and would you like to educate me? Haha. And have I missed any essentials?

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22 thoughts on “Getting into Quilting”

  1. That’s awesome 🙂 I actually got the exact same foot box, I’ve tried a few already and they are pretty good! Did you get a rotary cutter? That’s something I’ve been using a lot since I started sewing a bit more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cool! So far I’ve only used the 1/4 foot. Yeah, I got a rotary cutter and mat first a couple of months ago. They make cutting things SO much easier.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I loooove the fabric with the flowers in the top row. That’s gorgeous! I think you are insane for not using it 😛

    Poplin is a really good long wearing fabric, so it should be fine. Funny that Google doesn’t know it, though! They used it back in the Laura days 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I will be using it! Just not for the quilt. It doesn’t go with my plan. But I’ll definitely be using it for something. A bag maybe?

      That’s good to know.
      Google seems to think poplin can’t be cotton but I’m almost certain my 100% cotton poplin IS cotton lol


      1. Well good 🙂 Cos its super pretty!

        Poplin was quite popular back then as a slightly more expensive fabric because it lasted so well. So I imagine it can’t have changed THAT much. Fingers crossed!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I think this wikipedia article has it about right about the poplin. It has a different weave structure than traditional patchwork fabric, which is plain weave. So I wouldn’t combine it with patchwork fabric for the top of your quilt. It might give you a very nice and sturdy back for your quilt, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Is there are a specific reason you’d say not to? It doesn’t feel thicker or stiffer than the other cotton. In fact possibly lighter.

      I’m using it to make a table runner with some other quilting cotton as well purely to see how they work together. Is there anything I should look for to see?
      At least using it for the back would mean I haven’t wasted loads of money though. I’d just have to spend a lot more :/


      1. can you see the weave structure of the fabric? Descriptions of fabric for sale can be misleading … if it’s plain weave in spite of the name, which it would probably have to be to feel lighter than regular patchwork cotton, then just use it as planned. And if your trial goes well with the table runner … do what works, there is no quilt police!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Okay so I had to look up what plain weave meant :blush: but yes that’s what it is!
        Haha. I know there’s no quilt police, I was just worried that it would… I dunno, not hold the stitching and end up falling apart or something!
        Thank you for all the help 🙂


  4. Poplin (in France at least) is usually 100% cotton, but slightly lighter weight than many of the fabrics sold as patchwork fabrics. I have used it as backing fabric on quilts and I think I’ve also used bits on quilt fronts too. Might be a good idea if you wash your fabrics first, before cutting, that way if Poplin is going to shrink up a little more, you won’t have any nasty surprises. You can also make it easier to sew (or so I’ve been told) if you use starch to help stiffen it up a little if you’re going to use it for piecing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t had any problems piecing it so far. But that’s interesting about washing first. I’ve made a couple table mats out of it already so I can throw them in the wash and see what happens before I quilt with it. Thanks.


  5. Everyone else has given you good info about poplin. I’d only add that I prefer not to use it for quilts because the weave is closer and finer than quilting cottons, which makes quilting harder; the needle makes more of a hole in the fabric because it can’t just push through the looser weave. As quilting involves LOADS of stitching, this can make a difference. Poplin is best known as a hardwearing, crisp and easy care shirting fabric.
    I have a really straightforward tutorial for Quilt as You Go here:
    and some advice on the joining process here:
    I hope you find them useful. Kate 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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