Monday, March 13, 2017

Favorite Quilting Tools and Notions

Hello and happy Monday!  First, thank you so much for all of the kind words and comments about the new fabric and patterns! I truly appreciate it, and I know how much time it takes to leave a really does mean so much to me!

After so much crazy sewing in just a couple of weeks, my sewing room is now pretty I started picking things up and putting them away I realized how very helpful some of my favorite tools and notions were in helping me get such a lot done in a short amount of time. So I snapped some pictures and thought it would make for a good blog post.

 In full disclosure I'll let you know that I took all of the pictures on my sewing 

 table...the only clean surface in the room right now other than the ironing board! 


I love Aurifil and use it for all of my piecing and for the machine quilting I do myself. I use either 2000 or 2021 depending on what I'm sewing with. 2000 is a light cream that blends in perfectly with off-whites (perfect for the Moda Bella 9900-60 background I use a lot), and 2021 is a creamy white that blends in when I'm using lighter backgrounds (Moda Bella 9900-97).  I also love my bobbin keeper pictured along with my thread. I keep 4-6 bobbins of each of my two basics along with bobbins of other frequently  used colors so they are ready to go. When I have 5 empty bobbins in the keeper I know it's time to clean the lint from my bobbin case and oil the machine...and fill up those bobbins!

Rotary Cutters 

I've tried a lot of different rotary cutters, but I love Olfa the best! I use the 45mm size...I've tried the 60 mm but it seems to give me more issues with wrist pain, so the 45 mm it is! I love the ergonomic style and the aqua Splash (World Kitchen RTY-2/C 45mm Splash Rotary Cutter)  and feel like both work equally well. I also use the Olfa blades. I've tried the cheaper replacements (including the ones from Harbor Freight) but feel like they just don't last as long and ruined one of my cutting mats. Olfa has a new blade I'll be trying out soon, and I'm looking forward to testing's supposed to last much longer! 


As far as rulers go, I'm pretty dedicated to Creative Grids rulers, although I do love the ruler pictured because of its size: 8 1/2" x 12". My 8 1/2" x 24" ruler is my other go-to ruler. (I won't talk too much about rulers here because I posted in more detail about some of my favorites here).  But I believe these are the two sizes I can't live without!

 Scissors and pins...I love the Little House pins...pictured in my pincushion that come in the little tins. I also love this same style pin with just a bit longer shank. My favorite scissors are my Kai's (black handle) that I got at market a couple of years ago. They really are amazing and haven't needed sharpening in almost two years! For smaller scissors, I love my little pair of Dovo scissors on the pincushion and also love the small yellow Omnigrid scissors which are by Kai as well.

 Two notions I can't do Clover Wonder Clips, Red, 50-Pack  which I use for binding, for bag making, and for any sewing when pins just don't work. My Clover 482/W Seam Ripper is my favorite seam ripper ever, and yes, I use it frequently! I actually have two of these in case I misplace one, but at the moment my back up one is I might have to remedy that soon!

And...I keep my Clover Wonder Clips in a little bag so they're always handy for working on a quilt. I keep a small pair of scissors, thread, and needles in this bag as well.

 Since half-square triangles are such a staple block in so many quilt designs, the question often comes up as to the best method to use. I'm not a dedicated fan of triangle papers (although they are very accurate, I just don't love taking the papers off), and while the BlockLoc rulers are also accurate, you have to buy a separate ruler for each size hst you're sewing. My preferred method is to make my hst's a bit bigger and trim them down. This allows for terrific accuracy and also allows me to press seams open which helps to eliminate bulk in the seams.  The Fit to be Quarter 6.5 by Monique Dillard of Open Gate Quilts works really well at trimming hst's in quarter inch increments up to 6 1/2" (and she has a larger version of this ruler that works for blocks as large as 9" x 9").  And the Itty Bitty Eights ruler by Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings will allow you to trim in 1/8" increments up to a 6" block (see my method for trimming half-square triangles here).

Finally...the Creative Grids Stripology Ruler Quilt Ruler  has really been a time saver and came in really handy over the last few weeks. I love that I can quickly and accurately cut strips in 1/2" increments...and then turn those strips and cut them into squares and rectangles. I also use this for cutting sewn strip sets. I filmed a video tutorial for this ruler while at Fat Quarter Shop last can watch the video by going here.

I sure love my quilting notions and tools, and while I'm always willing to learn about new ones, these are the ones I use over and over again! I'm sure there are amazing quilting notions out there just waiting to be invented...think how much more our grandmothers could have accomplished with all of these wonderful tools!

Thanks so much for stopping by!


gailss said...

Always love reading your favorites and what good ideas you have but have to say today it hit me about the rules.....8 1/2 by 12 1/2!!!!
This would be really useful with a lot of bigger size fabric pieces. Thanks for the info and guess I am going ruler shopping;)))

Little Quiltsong said...

Enjoyed your post and your favorite notions! I definitely need a new scissor that is as dedicated as my old one :) - I'll have to check out the one you have shown. Also I keep thinking about the 12 1/2 length ruler you have mentioned since your 'ruler' post. I have a 6 1/2 x 24 1/2 that I use constantly for cutting up yardage, but it is a bit long at times to hold and use accurately. Thank you, Sherri! Happy clean-up in your sewing room :)!

Lynette said...

Oh! yes!! I'm not imagining things. I picked up a 5-pack of Clover rotary blades on a great sale, and was thoroughly disappointed this past week, as I went through the entire pack in the time I would have been good with just one Olfa blade. I was actually stymied, it seemed so bizarre, and I wondered if it was a fluke. I'm taking your comments to mean it wasn't, and I stay with Olfa blades. :)

jenni said...

Your blog posts have been extremely helpful to me recently! I truly appreciate you taking the time to give such great advice. But I'm going to have to stop reading because I keep buying and buying! 😉

Jan A. said...

Thanks for this great post. I love your tip of winding bobbins and when 5 are empty time to clean. What a great reminder!!! I am stealing this idea. Thanks again!

Jane Lewis said...

Thanks so much for your post! As a new quilter I love hearing what's available out there!

Hildy said...

I love your blog post and I use almost all the notions you've mentioned!
But I use a cheaper rotary blade brand in my aqua cutter because I once bought a 3-pck of Olfa and all the blades in there were dull. I think what I save on the blades I can easily invest in a new cutting mat every few years.

Debbie M said...

Love your post today! IS that darling pincushion with the pockets your pattern? I love it!

Karen said...

I love your "favorites" posts. I chuckled when I saw your thread and bobbin photo -- I have a reserve cone of Aurifil 2021 in the center of my red bobbin holder, but I have only one more full bobbin before I need to refill a bunch. Getting my bobbin holder was a game changer -- wish I'd gotten one much sooner! I just bought another one with full bobbins in an assortment of colors to use for applique and binding when I don't have the right color on a spool on hand.

Jen Dale said...

Really enjoyed your post today, thanks. Like Debbie M said, your pincushion is adorable, can you please share any info on it. I would love to make one.

Lynda said...

I always enjoy your favourite things posts. I use my Bloc Loc half-square triangle 6-1/2" ruler for all my blocks less than 6-1/2" - the flying geese rulers need to be specific to each finished block size.

Janan Doster said...

We must be twins! It seems I really love most of the same handy gadgets , tools and rulers that you do!!
And the right tools make all the difference!!

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