I was thinking this morning of how lucky we are to have all the quilting tools we have that make our life so much easier. Gone are the days where all you had were a pencil, scissors and cardboard templates. I thought I would list a few of my favorites and I would love to hear what some of your favorite tools are. Here are a few of my favorites.
1. My Sylvia cutting table- It is not fancy but it sure is nice to be able to cut at a height where my back is not strained. I really like the fact that it folds down and doesn't take up much room when not in use. I like the fact that it is really stable and does not wiggle.
2. Rotary cutter and mats- My mat is 36" x 70" and fits the whole top of my cutting table. This mat came in 3 pieces and joined together with clamps. If I had it to do over again, I'd have purchased a mat that was in once piece but I still like this one. I removed the clamps because they seemed to get in the way and taped the sections of the cutting mat together. I like it a lot better without the clamps. I also love having the option of other sizes of mats that I can move to other areas of the house or can travel with me to classes or retreats.
My favorite rotary cutter is the ergonomic 45 mm Olfa cutter.
3. Rulers- I love all my rulers. I have quite a collection. My favorites one is the 6 1/2" x 24" It is so versatile and seems to be my go to ruler. If I could only have one ruler this would be the one I would purchase. However, having a ruler the right size for the job I am doing is the best! I also love my 20 1/2" square ruler. I use this ruler for squaring up quilts. I use a lot of half square triangle in my quilts and Eleanor Burn's "6 1/2" Triangle Square up Ruler" is a must half. You get perfectly sized half square triangles every time. This ruler has become one that I reach for every time I need half square triangles. And it came with instructions to make half square triangles several different ways depending on how many you need for your project.
4.Ideal Seam Gauge- This little gauge helps you set your seam allowance accurately and with ease. I like it because I sew on a number of different sewing machines and it ensures that I have a consistent seam allowances on my project. I often use it in conjunction with their seam guide. I like this gauge because it has a scant 1/4" which is missing on a lot of the gauges on the market.
5. Design Boards- Lori Holt of Bee in My Bonnet makes these great little design boards. They come in all different sizes. You use them to lay out your blocks when cutting and moving to your sewing station or ironing board. I found that by using these boards I no longer get my fabric pieces turned in the wrong direction when I've moved from one area of my studio to another. If you'd like to may your own boards, cut a piece of coreplastic the size you want. Attach a piece of cotton batting to the coreplastic using spray glue. Then finish the edges with duct tape. I just love these design boards!
6. Canned soup- Yes you read it right! I have 2 cans of Campbell's soup right next to my quilting machine. I quilt for others and occasionally I will get a quilt top that has excess fabric that needs to be worked in. After the quilt has been loaded onto my quilting machine, I place a can of soup on the quilt on either side of my work area. This little bit of extra tension allows me to work in the excess fabric. I just couldn't live with out them.
7. Apron- Believe it or not, I wear an apron when I am at my sewing machine or when I am machine quilting on my A-1 quilting machine. It is a chef type apron made of sturdy fabric or twill and it has three large pockets on the front. I clip my scissors to the neckline and use a pocket for thread clippings, a pocket for marking tools and a pocket for kleenez or small rulers. One reason I like to wear an apron when quilting is that it keeps everything I need close at hand and the other reason is that I have ruined lots of clothing by catching them on pins or wearing out the front of my tops by rubbing against the bars on my quilting machine. I'm making a new apron that is a little longer than I am used to. I think I will like it because it doesn't have any ties or strap around the neck. The pattern is called Market Street Apron by Cabbage Rose. I've chosen a neutral colored linen and will be using some of my recently purchased chicken prints for the accent
8. Thread- I love thread! In fact I have 5 drawers and some plastic containers full of it. My favorites are any threads from Superior threads for quilting and Aurifil thread for piecing.
9. Wonder Clips- These great little clips are wonderful! They have great holding capacity and can be used for all kinds of crafts. Wonder Clips have a wide opening for holding multiple layers of fabric. It won't damage or distort the fabric. Wonder Clips have a flat base for easy feeding to presser foot with 1/4" and 1/2" seam allowance markings on the base. I especially like to use them when I'm doing my binding. I find I am reaching for them more often for other projects when I would have used pins.
10. Accuquilt cutter- I love the speed and accuracy cutting with my accuquilt cutter. It will cut 10 layers of fabric at once. My husband says I hardly ever use it but that is not true. You can just cut so quickly seems I am not using it a lot. Even the smaller versions of the cutter are great.
So, I've told you a few of my favorite things. I would love to here what are some of your favorites all.