Most Used Quilting Tools of 2019

Tools are the topic of the day!  Fabric (deservedly!) gets most of the attention, but good quality tools can help make it even more fun to sew! Here, in no particular order, are some of the go-to tools that help my quilts come together.

  1. Straight Stitcher longarm quilting ruler:  The groove down the center of the ruler gives you even more control while stitching, but my favorite part of this ruler is having measurements on both sides of the machine foot as you stitch.
  2. 50wt Aurifil: My go-to thread for the majority of my quilting and piecing!
  3. 12wt Aurifil: Great for hand stitching and machine quilting that you really want to pop!
  4. Spiral Eye Needle:  These are the best needles I have found for quickly burying thread tails
  5. Duo marking pens: The marking pen gives an easy to see brown line, and the eraser pen takes out the mark easily and instantly.
  6. Wool pressing bar: This is fabulous when you want to press a seam open or if you would like you seam lifted off the main pressing surface a bit.  Its a great companion to a wool pressing mat which is another favorite of mine!
  7. Clover Clips:  I love these for binding and bag making!
  8. Stiletto:  The perfect tool to guide fussy piecing or thick layers found in bag making
  9. Scissors: Spring loaded Gingher Shears are great to reduce hand fatigue when you are cutting a lot of fabric.  These small snips are very inexpensive (about $3), sharp, and lightweight.  I keep a pair with every machine and one in my purse.
  10. Rotary cutters: A Gingher rotary cutter and an Olfa
  11. Seam ripper: This one is sharp and has a fine blade.  I try to replace my seam ripper every year.
  12. Add a Quarter Plus and Add an Eighth Plus rulers: These are amazing for foundation paper piecing.  I used to do without, but now I consider them must-haves!
  13. Quilter’s Select ruler:  This brand of ruler has thin black lines that are easy to see and a coating on the back that makes them non-slip.  My cutting, which was always pretty accurate, became much more accurate when I switched to this type of ruler.  I have been gradually replacing my old rulers with these, and I currently have the 6″x24″, 3″x12″, 8.5″x8.5″, and 12.5″x12.5″.

What are your favorite tools?  Did you discover any new notions this year that you wouldn’t want to be without?

I am excited to be participating in this year’s 31 Day Blog Writing Challenge hosted by Cheryl Sleboda of Muppin.com, and I hope you will have the chance to check out some of the other awesome blogs that are participating this month.

Ten Gifts for Quilters (Other Than Fabric!)

As the holidays approach, I’m sure there are a lot of friends and family looking for gifts a quilter would love.  If you are a quilter, you may be looking for a fun or unusual notion to include in a guild gift swap.  This list includes a few of my favorite non-fabric gifts at a variety of price points- from just over $5 to around $50.

10 Gifts for Quilters

Duo Marking Pen and Eraser:  This two part pen set is fabulous for marking quilts that won’t necessarily get washed immediately.  The dark pink pink marks your dots or lines with a brown line, and once its quilted, you trace over it with the white pen to erase the mark.

Duo Pens

Full Line Stencils and Pounce:  These stencils and pounce pad are super easy to use and any residual chalk washes out or disappears with the iron.  I have the 1″ grid stencil, and it is perfect for subdividing areas of negative space.  The next stencils on my list are the 1/2″ grid, a diamond grid, and a clamshell.  They also carry more detailed designs if the quilter in your life prefers the design to be completely drawn out.

Full Line Stencil

Spiral Eye Needles:  These are hands down the best needles I have found for burying quilting threads- they are a massive time saver!  My favorite size is the 8 Quilting, but if the quilter you are buying for likes a larger needle you may want to try the 8 Sharp or even a 6.

Spiral Eye Needle

Safety Stiletto:  Not the shoes 🙂  A stiletto is used to guide fabrics near the machine needle, and is also great for picking out threads left after seam ripping.  I like the safety version so I can toss it in my sewing kit and not have to worry about ripping the bag or impaling myself or others.  (The stiletto I linked to here is very similar to the one I own, but I can’t remember what brand I have- it may be this one, but it may not be this one) The pointed end unscrews and turns inside the handle for travel and storage.

Safety Stiletto

Clover Protect and Grip Thimble:  The scallop shape allows this thimble to expand and contract slightly to provide a perfect fit, even if your finger swells a bit at times.  It comes in a few sizes- I use the medium.  It is so much more comfortable than any other thimble I have used, and it doesn’t turn your finger green like the metal ones!

Thimble

Waxed Silamide Skein:  This is the best thread for basting!  I use it to baste english paper piecing templates and needle turn appliqué pieces.  It  comes in a skein, so once you tear off the bottom of the package and cut through the end loop of the thread, you have precut sewing thread in the perfect length.  Since it is pre-waxed, there is virtually no tangling!  I do not use this for any permanent stitching on a quilt.Waxed Silamide

Commercial Lint Roller:  Have you ever seen the quilter in your life covered in thread and lint?  They need this!  The handle is super sturdy, and I recommend the set with a dozen rolls.

Lint Roller

Quilters Select Rulers:  They somehow managed to come up with a rotary ruler that grips the fabric really well, has thin (and therefore accurate) lines, and is still translucent enough to see what is going on with the fabric under the ruler.  You can find a retailer on the Quilter’s Select website.

QS Ruler

Bobbins:  If you know the type of machine your favorite quilter has, I am certain they would appreciate some more bobbins- You can never have too many bobbins!

Bobbins

Gingher Rotary Cutter:  This is a sturdy rotary cutter that is available in both the right-handed and left-handed version.  The best part is when you do have to change the blade (they last a really long time!), it is set up so you never have to touch the blade.

Rotary Cutter

What quilt-y gift would you like to give or receive this year?