Hi everyone! It’s Michele here for today’s Learning Center post on not so basic quilting tools. I asked several quilting friends to recommend their favourites and have give-aways for a few of them too. Karen from Sew Many Ways is also sharing a few of her most popular DIY tools. See also, last month’s post on Basic Quilting Tools.
One of my most favourite tools is my June Tailor Shape Cut Ruler. I’ve had mine for a few years now and use it quite often. I have the 12″ ruler with 1/2″ increments, though I know they make other variations of it too.
Here’s a video showing how it works:
While not really a tool per se, here’s Pat Sloan’s recommendation… pretty and organized! These are wooden spools from textile factories.
On to the recommendations from other quilting friends…
One quilting tool that I feel every beginning quilter should own is the Angler 2 by Pam Bono Designs. I find it very helpful when stitching diagonal lines for half square triangles etc. I have had mine for years and use it all the time.
We have two give-aways for the Angler 2 below.
My recommended tool is a Stiletto. It helps keep your seams accurate when your fingers can’t do it for you.
The two tools that I just love are the Fons and Porter binding tool
and the Wacker Seams Perfect. You can find this at most quilting shops. I just listed this particular site so you can see it.
The Kwik Klip is one of my favourite gadgets. I use it to open and close the curved safety pins I use for basting. If you are still opening and closing by fingers only, you have to try this out. So much less stress on the little muscles in your fingers and hands. Made a huge difference for me.
Michele’s note: While I rarely pin baste anymore, I do love this tool too when I do.
Does a stencil count as a quilting tool? I’m saying yes because this stencil helps make perfect HST (Half Square Triangles) patches. Visit Kitty’s blog to see the tool in action and Sunday Best Quiltworks for photo tutorials and a video.
We have a give-away for a set of four stencils below.
I have been a quilter for over 30 years. And all this time I have struggled with 1/4 inch seams. I have even purchased the 1/4″ foot for my last two sewing machines. My seams were just too large and I would never get that “scant” 1/4″ seam that many patterns call for. My finished blocks would never be the size the pattern said they should be! And then last month, I headed away on vacation and came home with a Perfect Piecing Seam Guide.
This little guide is phenomenal and immediately corrected my piecing problems. I blogged about too.
I can’t live without my Gypsy Gripper. I have arthritis in my wrists and it really saves me a lot of pain when cutting with a rotary blade and holds the ruler steady.
Also got to have my Machingers Quilting Gloves for free-motion quilting. Helps again with the arthritis pain but grips that fabric and moves it along so much more easily.
Michele’s note: I love these gloves too; they’ve made a huge difference to my free motion quilting. We have a give-away for two pairs below.
I love my Clover chaco liner. The white one always brushes off of fabric easily and it’s so much easier to use, in my opinion, than a marking pencil or marker. It glides right over the fabric.
One more thing that is absolutely worth the $199 purchase price in amount of back pain saved — the GROLAND kitchen island from IKEA. What is a kitchen island good for in the quilting world?? It is the perfect height for a cutting table so that I’m not bending over to cut but standing upright. Not too tall, not too short. Just perfect. It’s made of unfinished birch which gives it a nice crafty feel, in my opinion, and it has a sturdy shelf and hanging rails. Totally amazing.
My first suggestion would be a hemostat – can’t tell you how many tubes I have had to turn for various reasons over the years and since buying a hemostat on amazon last year I am in love! It is a snap and good for lots of other uses too if you get inventive with it. You can get them in lots of different sizes – which is useful depending on how long the tube is you are trying to turn. I prefer this to a lot of other tools because you pinch the fabric instead of hooking it which can lead to snags.
Michele’s note: I need one of these!
My second suggestion is still my all time favorite tool – the Easy Star and Geese Ruler. I use it ALL THE TIME!
Here’s my Fancy Flocks quilt I made with it and a link to a tutorial I did too.
Michele’s note: I love this ruler too!
Oh yeah, and let’s not forget the ever useful Purple Thang!
Karen – Sew Many Ways
Karen from Sew Many Ways has a really fun series on her blog: Tool Time Tuesday. Her ideas are both clever and creative and I often ask myself “Why didn’t I think of that?”. I asked Karen to share a few of the most popular DIY tools that she’s featured on her site.
Hi, my name is Karen from the blog Sew Many Ways. I want to thank Michele for inviting me to join in on the fun. She asked me to share a few posts I’ve done on my favorite quilting tools…beyond the basics. I thought the best things to share for sewing and quilting are design walls, pincushions and thread holders.
I’ve done several different kinds of design walls over the past few years. Click HERE to the post that has all the tutorials for the ones I’ve made so far. Below is a picture of one that is made with pvc pipes and it’s portable too!
Pincushions are another essential in my sewing room. I love them and they are easy to make. Click HERE for the link to all the pincushion posts…they’re not your usual pincushions! Below is one of many to make for yourself…it’s from a chicken feeder!!
Thread holders for hand sewing are a must too. This post was one of my first when I started blogging over 3 years ago. Easy to make and inexpensive too. A necklace thread holder! Click HERE for that post.
Thank you again for letting me participate in such a fun project and thanks for stopping by my blog too. There are lots of other helpful tips and hints, so feel free to browse around!
Sew Many Ways
The Angler 2
The Angler 2 is a plastic quilting template that fits every sewing machine. It can be installed and reinstalled in minutes with a few pieces of painter’s tape. Make up to 7 3/4″ squares. It eliminates the necessity of drawing or pressing diagonal seam guide lines and is very accurate for chain piecing. After a bit of practice, it cuts piecing time in half! See the demonstration videos on our site.
I have two Angler 2 templates to give away.
Sunday Best’s Original Half-Square Triangle Stencil
Half-Square Triangle Stencil – No more cutting and marking squares! You can make 32 perfect half-square triangles in 15-20 minutes. Just pin, mark, sew, press and cut. Minimal waste of fabric and no paper to remove! See our demo on YouTube.
The give-away is a set of 4 stencils: 1″, 1-1/2″, 2″, and 2-1/2″ finished sizes.
Machingers Quilting Gloves
Machingers Quilting Gloves are specifically designed for machine quilters. They are lightweight and form-fitting. The have fully coated fingertips for excellent grip with less resistance and drag on fabric. No coating on palm allows skin to breathe in cool comfort. They are made of nylon knit.
I have two pairs to give away.
How to Enter the Give-Aways
Leave a comment below sharing your favourite Not So Basic quilting tool. Include a link to the tool if you can find one. Additionally, indicate which of the three tools being given away above that you would love to win. One comment/entry per person. Winners will be randomly selected next Wednesday, April 11th 2012.
Congratulations to …
#144 Carla G. and #51 Gene Black won the Angler 2
#98 Shari won the triangle stencil pack
#44 Rhonda H. and #55 Kathy won Machinger gloves
Thanks to the sponsors for the lovely prizes. Winners, check your inboxes for a message from me.