These are a few of my favorite things...
As a quilter, we tend to have our absolute favorite tried-and-true notions and tools! Well here I am to show you a few of mine!
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no extra cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and purchase. I only recommend products that I have personally vetted.
My first favorite thing is Flatter spray, and I was introduced to it by the fabulous Angela Walters of the Midnight Quilt show. If you haven’t seen her YouTube videos, go check them out! She is entertaining and very educational! The reason I’ve stuck with Flatter spray as my go-to starch for fabrics is it smells amazing, but it also has less chemicals than other name brands that shall not be mentioned. And if you’re sensitive to scents, there is a scent-free option.
When it comes to piecing, I absolutely love my Clearly Perfect Angles sewing template! This is a clear plastic sheet that clings to your machine bed. It helps you to sew squares on point, especially when creating half square triangles (HSTs)! This amazing product was shared with me by Melissa Corry of Happy Quilting Melissa. I bought it after one of her classes and have never looked back! I even keep it on my machine when I’m sewing regular clothing!
I also really love my Frixion Pens for marking fabric when I’m cutting! It works wonders to mark squares on the diagonal so you can make half square triangles (HSTs). The pen marks come off with friction or heat, so I just use my iron for pressing and it takes the marks off. I’ve never had the marks not come off, but I have found that if you put your quilt block in the freezer, sometimes the marks reappear! Which could be handy if you need to double check your markings… otherwise I just plan to use this pen where the marks will be in the seam allowance and not on the fabric in the quilt block.
If I need to mark fabric in a less permanent way, I actually use my water soluble pen. But you have to act fast if you’re using this pen. It depends on how humid your area is, but the pen only lasts about 20 minutes for me before it disappears.
Speaking of Melissa, she also introduced me to this amazing tool called the Bloc Loc! This ruler helps with squaring up HSTs after you’ve sewn and pressed them. They come in different sizes, but you can actually use them to trim smaller blocks because of how the Bloc Loc ruler is marked. This is an amazing ruler!
The one other ruler I find amazing is the Stripology Ruler by Creative Grids. Get the biggest one you have room for! This is a huge help for cutting strips for binding, as well as cutting squares out before you start a new pattern! It cut’s down my cutting time by half!
Favorite Notions for Longarm Quilters
Many of you know that I’m a longarm quilter. I kind of actually became an accidental longarm quilter, which encouraged me to branch out and find tips and tricks that make longarming much easier. So read on if you’re looking for my favorite longarm notions!
This first notion is great for piecing and quilting at a regular machine too. It’s an automotive Magnetic Parts tray! When I was sewing minky blankets for a local company, I found myself wanting a way to organize the hundreds of pins I accumulated. Anyone that sew with minky knows the struggle of pinning literally every inch to keep the fabric from shifting when you’re sewing. And I needed a HUGE magnetic pin cushion! I found one of these and it has become my go to pin tray! It works really well for longarms too, because you have to pin the quilt to the leaders when you’re loading it on the frame.
If you’re looking for a faster way to load your quilt onto the longarm frame, check out Renee’s Red Snappers! These were developed by a longarm quilter and shop owner local to Utah and I seriously love these! These are considered an after market product for your longarm and when you are taught how to use your longarm from your dealer, they will teach you the pinning method – which is great because it’s consistent and you want to know how to run the machine the way your dealer teaches you. Once you’ve got the pinning method down, I would totally add on the red snappers. They make loading a quilt so much faster! However, if you have arthritis or minimal grip strength, stick with the pinning.
The next thing for my longarm is a 3 tier rolling cart. It’s actually the perfect height to fit underneath my longarm poles. It has dividers so I can keep all my little notions like needles, bobbins, chalk and frixion pens, toothbrushes (yes, toothbrushes!) and lint brushes.
Speaking of brushes, I just use these Sewing Machine cleaning brushes in the bobbin area. I’ve been known to pick up a make up brush from the Dollar Store to clean out the bobbin area, but if you do that, beware that those brushes pull apart more easily when they get snagged or tugged.
If you’re one that likes to tie and bury your threads when quilting at the longarm, then this needle is for you! It’s a self threading needle that makes it easier for you to bury your threads in your quilt. Drop a comment if you don’t know about tying and burying threads and we can have a chat about that next time!