There are about a million different things out there you can buy to make your quilting life easier and it’s hard to know which ones to get. Let’s be honest, we really all want them all, right? Since we don’t have the budget or house space for that, Missy and I are going to share some of our favorite finds and the things we use all of the time. Some of the tools may be familiar, some may be new. We will show you what they are and how we use them so we can create quicker and make more fantastic projects! We haven’t been paid for any of these opinions, we just really love these products!
This week we are starting with three tools that never go far from the sewing machine. The first one is a 1×12″ ruler. We use one by Omnigrid we got at our local store that is the same as this one here. Any small 1×12″ ruler should work though, just make sure it has visible markings that don’t block what is behind them. This little guy isn’t used much to cut our fabric, but is invaluable when constructing, marking, and trimming up blocks. We use it for drawing stitching lines when first constructing the blocks, and then after for trimming. We also never foundation paper piece without grabbing for this ruler ALL THE TIME. It is used to trim up after each seam and is so much easier to maneuver than any of our bigger rulers.
Along with our mighty ruler, we use an assortment of marking pens. Some of our favorite are Heat Erase pens and a Water Soluble marker. The heat erase pens are awesome because they come with so many color options. There is definitely going to be one that shows up on any fabric you need. These work great for marking HSTs or when stitching and flipping. The marks will completely disappear when you iron the block after stitching. If we need it to stay on, despite ironing, the water soluble marker is the one to use. Just a little spritz of water and it goes away. (The one we linked to has chalk on it too, it’s not the same as we’ve found locally, but is still made by Clover like ours, so we are going to assume it works just as well). A word of caution, while we use these marking pens all the time and haven’t had an issue, ALWAYS test your project first. I would be heartbroken if you marked up a quilt on our recommendation and that is the one time it didn’t come out easily, so please, please, please, always test first.
Finally, the last thing we use all the time is something not many have heard about, Fusible Thread. We use this thread for appliques that don’t need the extra stability of a fusible web. This goes in your bobbin, regular thread goes in the top. You stitch around your piece like normal, and then you can simply iron it into place in preparation for the final stitching. The best part is it doesn’t add any stiffness to your applique! Missy has tried a couple different brands and her favorite is Charlotte’s Web by Superior Threads. Ever since discovering it, Missy always has at least one spool on standby so she doesn’t run out. You can use it for raw edge applique or needle turn.
If you use or try any of these tools, please let us know what you think! We always love to find any new little gadgets that are inexpensive, easy to use, and make our quilty world better.