When it comes to quilting supplies, I am a bit of a minimalist but there are a few things that will make the process of making a quilt much more enjoyable. If you are a new quilter, don't feel like you need to be every product that is shown to you — you don't need much to get started.
I am going to give you a list of items that I would consider to be essentials, and then a list of things that are optional but that I find to be helpful. For some items, I will give you an inexpensive option and an option that is a little more of an investment.
A Cutting Mat
These come in a variety of sizes, thicknesses, colors, and textures. If you have room, I definitely recommend getting a bit one because it is nice not to be limited by the size of the mat.
Budget Option: Olfa Self-Healing Mat
Investment Option: Creative Grids Self-Healing Mat
I have used a few different types of rotary cutters (and wrote a blog post a while back with a few reader recommendations). After buying an expensive Creative Grids rotary (which I did not like) I keep coming back to my Olfa. I prefer the ergonomic cutter because it automatically closes the blade, but the quick-change cutter is also good. Both the 60mm and 45mm options work well for cutting fabric, but my 45mm gets the most use.
Budget Option: Olfa 45mm Quick-Change Rotary Cutter
Investment Option: Olfa 45mm Rotary Cutter
This is probably the item where I would most recommend splurging for the investment option — the Creative Grids ruler is textured and helps prevent slipping and I think it is more easier for beginners (and non-beginners) to use. They are pricey and an alternative is to buy non-slip stickers to go on the back of your ruler. The Creative Grids rulers are also a little more sturdy feeling. My go-to ruler is my 8.5" x 24.5" and if I had to have just one ruler, that's the one I would pick.
Budget Option: Omnigrid 6" x 24" Ruler
Investment Option: Creative Grids 8.5" x 24.5" Ruler
Some quilters are not pinners, but I am a big believer in using pins to get more accurate results in your quilt. I am not talking about those thick, non-flexible pins that you might have seen in your mom's tomato pin cushion (did anyone else's mom have one of those?) I am talking about patchwork pins.
Budget Option: Clover Fine Patchwork Pins
Investment Option: Little House Pins
If you are like me, you don't use an iron for clothes but you will need one for quilting. For about five years, I used one that I found in one of my college apartments that someone had left behind. You do not need a fancy iron, but it is nice to have one that will get good and hot. I press all of my fabric on the maximum heat setting.
Budget Option: Black + Decker Iron
Investment Option: CHI Iron
Splurge Option: Oliso SmartIron I am including this one because people love this iron and it does have some great qualities (it gets very hot and it can save some stress on your wrist) but I don't necessarily think it is worth what they are charge for it.
Not everyone likes the same brand and that's ok! Your machine may work better with a different brand than mine. My favorite thread is Aurifil 2024.
I know that some people will be sending their quilts off to be quilted at a long armer, so this will apply just to anyone who is brave enough to give it a try on their own (I definitely recommend it!). There is more than one way to baste a quilt and I like to pin baste, but I will give you my favorite spray baste option as well.
Scotch Rough Surface Painter's Tape (make sure to get the widest one)
If you are using pins, this will save your fingers! Kwik Klip
The Optional Items
A Magnetic Pin Cushion
There are about a million different quilting notions and products that you can by, but in my opinion you don't need anything more than what I have listed here. Notice I didn't even list fabric scissors — I almost never use mine!