Friday, September 23, 2011

Top 5 Quilting Notions and Tools I Can't Live Without

1. Omnigrid 4" Needlecraft Scissors

I LOVE these scissors. Seriously. I carry them with me always (well, except on planes) because they are useful for so much. While I don't care for their rulers, one of the great things about Omnigrid Scissors is that they stay sharp for a very long time and these little guys are no exception; we use Omnigrid scissors at the shop and after 7 years they have not dulled. These are great for cutting out applique, because the tip is so sharp it cleanly gets into any of the teeny corners your applique may have. They're perfect for keeping by your machine for snipping threads, because they stay out of the way. But most of all, these have replaced my seam ripper and my seam snip scissors. The tip of these scissors is so small and SO sharp it gets in under the stitches of a seam easier than a plain ol' seam ripper, in my opinion. We do carry these at The Cotton Patch, so if you want to give 'em a try, come on in!

2. Atlas Gardening Gloves

Here's a secret - the best quilting gloves I have ever had were a pair of my Mom's gardening gloves. She turned me on to this, too! These are Atlas brand gardening gloves, and the palm surface of the glove is rubberized from the tips of your fingers to the heel of your hand. This gives you a greater surface gripping area while you're quilting your quilt, therefore you have less slippage and greater control than you do with quilting gloves that have finger grips only. The back of them are cloth so they breath very nicely - no sweaty hands! Plus, you can get them very inexpensively (less than $5 at Fred Meyer here in Oregon, comparably priced at places like Lowes, Home Depot, Walmart, etc) and they last for a long time. They seriously facilitate the quilting process on a domestic machine.

3. Bamboo Stiletto

We have these at the shop. They're exactly what they sound like. It's a stiletto. It's made of bamboo. What I like so much about it is that it's double ended; there is a thicker side for more heavy duty tasks, and a thinner sharper side for normal stiletto duties. I like these better than the metal ones, because the metal ones have a tendency to dull over time and separate from their handles. Bamboo stilettos come in one whole piece, it's durable, keeps its point and it's a very sustainable and renewable resource. They are inexpensive so you get a lot of bang for your buck, because they are great for more than just guiding fabric through your feed dogs. I use it for applique, scrapbooking, working with polymer's great.

4. Emery Board

Yes. A regular, plain ol' emergy board. Dollar Store, Rite Aid, Target...they can be found everywhere, eveb gas station quickie marts. For one, I break nails all the flippin' time, even quilting, so I need 'em. But what I really use them for most is after ripping out a seam, it gets those stray threads out better than anything else I have tried. There is no way I'm going to pick those little things out by hand, so running an emery board over those threads (gently!) works like a dream and a $2 pack will literally last you years because the surface won't wear down quickly on snipped threads.

5. Applique Pressing Sheet

We have these at the shop. If you do fusible applique, this thing comes in handy like you wouldn't believe. You can build your appliques up and fuse them together before positioning them on your background. It helps ensure that you get your image put together correctly before it's fused to tha background and it's too late to fix it. It's transluscent so that helps you see your fabrics and lines as needed. It's also great for fusing Angelina Fibers, using to catch hot glue, or using any glue on because it'll peel or wash right off, no problems. They are reasonably priced and last for ages.


  1. some good ideas. and i have the gloves :) just have to see if i still have a clean pair :) I got a 5-pack for like 10 bucks on amazon. i know bimart also carries them. also my mom's told me they go great in the washer, just don't try to dry them XD

  2. Yeah, if you dry them, which I have accidentally done X| the palm surface loses it's grip and gets, well, harder and it cracks. It pretty much destroys them.


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