I wonder how many of my favourites are your favourites? I hope you find something new or at least remind you what some tools are useful for. Apart from a rotary cutter, mat and quilters ruler, which are essential tools, I like tools which are also useful and make my life easier. It could be the shape of the tool or its purpose that attract me to it. Sometimes it is the colour that I see first and then I have to decide if it is useful or not.
I started sewing at around age 12 and most of the sewing I did for the next 20 years was dressmaking, I only started quilting less than 20 year years ago and I found many of my sewing tools useful for quilting. Ask me for a demo of any of our tools next time you visit the store.
If you click on the photos, the link will take you to the quilting tools page of our online store. If you click on the individual item headings below, the link will take you to that item in our online store. You can also call me to purchase if you can't make it to the shop
One of my most used tools. Uses include pushing out points or corners, using as a stiletto when sewing instead of putting your finger too close to the needle, put behind and underneath your presser foot when sewing bulky seams, in front of the presser foot for sewing over bulky jeans seams. Just don’t do what I did and leave it up against the iron….it melts!
I have owned many seam rippers over the years and this one is my favourite. I love the feel of it in my hand and the silicone knob on top is the best part. You use it to wipe the thread snippets away after you have cut them, instead of using tweezers or struggling to pick them out with your finger nails.
Fray stopper has been around for a long time. Now is comes in a pen with a brush on top so you can apply more accurately. I used it a lot when dressmaking and have found it useful in quilting especially when you crosscut a seam and are worried about the stitches coming undone before you sew the seam.
Magnetic Pin cushion
I think I have about four of these in use at the moment. One at the cutting table, one on the ironing board, one at the sewing machine and one behind the counter. Great for picking up your pins off the floor when you knock them off the table!
Non aerosol spray starch alternative for removing wrinkles and stabilising fabrics before cutting. Also great for ironing finished items for a crisp finish. Doesn’t leave a powdery residue like some spray starch brands do. You can choose a scent you like or scent free. I use before cutting fabric to minimise stretch on triangle shapes and also if I have had to prewash a fabric I will iron it with Best Press before cutting out to give to more body.
John James Easy Threading Needles
These hand sewing needles have a slotted threading eye at the top into which the thread is passed through. They are specially made and are perfect if you have difficulty threading ordinary sewing needles.
Who hasn’t got a tape measure or two kicking around in a draw or your hand bag? I have heaps of them, long ones, short ones, yellow, white and now you can get bright jelly colours of blue, pink and purple, of course!
If you haven’t seen these before, they look like weird bobby pins, but, actually very useful for keeping your machine bobbins matched with it’s co-ordinating thread reel. You just slide the bobbin onto the buddy and then push in onto the cotton reel. Try them yourself or buy some for your BFF.
As you get on in years and your eyesight starts to get a bit dodgy, these needle threaders are great for threading your needles. The difference with these is you start by putting the needle on beak of the bird, the thread is then hooked on the end of the beak and you pull the needle over the thread. Voila! Even Steve can do it and will show you next time you visit.
This is great for drawing around templates to get a ¼” seam allowance for English paper piecing or applique. You can also use it to draw lines either side of the diagonal centre of squares when making half square triangles. It is also useful when cutting out for measuring an accurate ½” between shapes.
Gold plated needles are luxury needles that every serious needle enthusiast should own and they make an ideal gift for the discerning sewer. Gold plating allows the needle to slip through the fabric beautifully and with ease. Once you have experienced using these you will want no other needle.
This one is my glue pen of choice. I use it for gluing fabric in English paper piecing, foundation paper piecing and holding fabric in place when I can’t use pins or clips.
It is water soluble and dries clear. Fabrics can be puller apart easily to realign, just remember to release the glue from the paper before pressing. Refills come in 2 pack or six pack. – Who said a quilter can’t have a six pack!
These little plastic circles stick on your fingers or thumb when embroidering or hand piecing. They help grip the needle as you stitch or sew and reduce finger fatigue. Yes that is a thing!
I use many Sewline products including the Fabric Glue Pen, Stainmaid, Cuticle Oil Pen and Aqua Eraser. The Trio Pencil can take three leads. You get Pink and White chalk and grey Lead refills with the pencil and you simply turn the barrel to select which colour you want. Better than have multiple pencils with different leads.
Embroidery or crewel needles have a long eye which makes threading the needle so much easier when using multiple strands of thread. The most popular sizes used in embroidery are size 7 and 9. I use size 7 for stitching with two strands, size 9 for one strand and size 5 for stitching with perle 8 thread
These clips are amazing. I love using them to hold fabric together when pins are awkward, like sewing around curved seams, attaching zips, or sewing on quilt binding. You can get them in a few different brands, but I like the purple ones!
Take a look through this rose coloured Perspex to show you the value of the colour, ie. light, medium or dark to guide you in placement of the fabric. Certain blocks require the values to be strategically placed or the design doesn’t look right.
These would have to be my favourite scissors. Sharp (titanium), small blade, spring action handles.
Very manoeuvorable, easily cut around curves and you don’t get a numb thumb with the spring action handles, also great if you have arthritis
Stainmaid has saved me from unpicking after a pin prick on more than one occasion. It is a blend of orange oil and natural ingredients which effectively lift oil-based stains, lipstick, coffee, tea and even blood from fabric. Ask me how I know?
I don’t know about you, but I am very hard on my hands. Chipping nail polish and breaking nails, so I use the cuticle wand to revitalise my cuticles. It has a special no spill applicator so that you don’t get it everywhere – just rub it in – no oil residue either.
To keep my hands soft, I use Citrus Bliss Hand Lotion by doTERRA. It is a light, uplifting lotion infused with citrus scented essential oils including wild orange, lemon & tangerine. It’s non greasy , absorbs quickly and leaves hands smooth, soft and hydrated. I keep stock of many doTERRA Essential Oils, lotions, rubs, fractionated coconut oil, diffusers and accessories. You can see, smell and purchase them in store. the Introductory Kit is a great place to start. Includes a 5ml bottle of Lavender, Lemon and Peppermint Oils, along wiht a guide for suggest uses. Alternatively, I can put a sample set together for you. Simply call me or ask next time you visit.
Well, I have probably shared enough for now. Next time I will share my favourite rulers and templates. In the mean time, you know where you can find me.