All quilting kits for beginners will have certain tools that are essential and certain tools that might fall into the category of a luxury.
This article will first be concerned with those beginners quilting tools that are absolutely mandatory if you are to grow and thrive as a quilter. In a later article we will discuss the "luxury" tools.
The Necessities: Pins, Needles and Thread
It goes without saying that you will need basic sewing gear to start your quilting. Forget any form of polyester threads. This kind of thread is simply not soft enough for quilting. Stick with cotton thread. Use very thin needles with very large heads. You should also obtain long straight pins to hold your pieces together.
This is an absolute must if you want to finish your quilting pieces before the next ice age sets in. The great advantage of a good rotary cutter is that it allows you to make precision patchwork shaping cuts accurately and fast. Quilting shops will have a wide variety of these essential tools. Get one and learn how to use it.
If you are using a rotary cutter, you must have a rotary mat to protect your work surface. These mats are "self healing" in the sense that they won't permanently tear when a rotary cutter is run over them to cut fabric. The material even has properties to help keep your rotary cutter blade sharp. A 24 X 18 inch mat should be good enough to start, but if you are ambitious, you could go for the 24 X 36 inch size.
Transparent rulers do more than just measure fabric. They are also designed to grip the material while you cut. You must have a 6 X 24 inch ruler, and a 12 1/2 inch square ruler.
The rotary cutter is not appropriate for all quilting tasks. Occasionally you will need scissors to cut fabric. Start with a single pair of scissors and gradually you will learn that different size scissors are best for different jobs. You can accumulate specialized scissors that you are most comfortable with as you gain experience.
You will need an iron and ironing board to press your quilting patterns. Nothing special is required here - just a standard iron will be fine.
You should fasten a large piece of quilt batting or a large piece of flannel to the wall. You can use this as your "design wall" to pin your quilting pieces to. You will find this useful as a way to step back from your work and take a good look at it.
Strongly Recommended: A Simple Sewing Machine
If you are a hand quilting purist, you won't need a sewing machine to start, but eventually you will find it mandatory to produce straightforward simple stitching. If you don't already have a sewing machine you can pick up a simple used model practically anywhere. Check out Craigslist for some good deals. Fancy models are not needed as your main requirement will be simple straight stitches.