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Favorite Finds ~ Sewing & Quilting
Favorite Finds ~ Sewing & Quilting
You know we all like to sew, right? And if we're quilters, then it probably follows that we all have plenty of stuff.
Let's start with the big stuff... amazing quilter and all-around really neat lady Natalia Bonner of Piece 'n Quilt listed her sewing machine and long-arm quilting machines in her "favorite finds"- a Bernina Aurora 450, Anniversary Edition and a Gammill Premier with a 10' table. The extended base for her long-arm machine was also listed. You have to love a girl who loves her machines.
Celine Perkins of Perkins Dry Goods - the creator of gorgeous quilt patterns the the best seam-measuring-tool ever - also loves her sewing machines - a Janome 6600 and a 1600P.
Side note - Do you have more than one sewing machine? Are they back-ups? Or are they machines you don't really use much but are too good - or too sentimental - to part with? (I have "multiple" and both. They're back-up and they also have sentimental value. If you doubt the value of back-ups, I have two in the shop right now... one is in for regular service and then one suddenly developed a "tension issue".)
Related to sewing machines, our buddy Thelma Childers of Cupcakes 'n Daisies has the sewing machine table of
my our dreams...
The Horn of America Multi-lift Table. I love the size of the work-space.
After that, it was all about the tools. Rulers. Cutting implements. Thread. Rulers. And various other notion-y sorts of things.
Let's start with scissors... Amy Friend cited her prized Gingher Buttonhole Scissors.
Do you know what distinguishes these from "regular" scissors? That little knob-thing. It can be adjusted to limit the size of the cut to a precise length... like the length of a single button-hole. Pretty cool, don't you think? (FYI - I had to look that up because I didn't have a clue.)
Sherri K. Falls of This & That mentioned her 5" Gingher scissors. These are the "regular" knife-edge scissors. I forgot to ask Sherri if she preferred these or what Gingher calls their "craft scissors".
These have slightly shorter, nubbier blades for cutting. My favorite by-the-machine scissors are more like these craft scissors.
Roseanne Kermes also cited a pair of scissors - the Olfa Precision Applique Scissors. A picture of those... next!
The yellow scissors - those are Roseanne's favorite. I like them too - those are mine in the picture. The Elan 5" embroidery scissors were mentioned by several people - lightweight and very sharp. One thing is clear - 5" scissors can be found on a lot of sewing tables.
The polka dot scissor case! Emma Creations has done a small version for embroidery scissors for several years and they finally - finally! - came out with a slightly bigger version for larger scissors.
Barbara Groves of Me & My Sister mentioned the Clover Wonder Clips. I don't know what color Barb prefers but I love the multi-color box/package. The red, neon green and pink are very nice but really... I want all the colors. (On a side note, the really funny part of this is that Wonder Clips had been around for years but Barb only discovered them recently. But when she did find them, she was all-in! I was a bit late to the party too. I'm glad she mentioned them because they're one of my most favorite "finds" too.)
That Clover white seam ripper is the favorite of yours truly - and several others. I buy them by the box. Yes, I use them frequently... I have quilts that I know I've made twice because I've sewn - un-sewn - re-sewn so many times.
Thread Heaven and Thread Magic. Barb - of Me & My Sister - mentioned the Thread Heaven as being crucial, necessary, required. A couple of the ladies in the office mentioned the Thread Magic as their preferred "thread conditioner" because they like the slots in the case.
The Fun Tape Measure? I think it's the colors. None of the ladies who mentioned these do much garment sewing so... I'm thinking it's about the colors and the "fun tape" part.
Brenda Riddle mentioned the Thimble Pads. They're my favorite too! (I could never get used to a thimble so these had to do.) Do you suppose these pads are the secret to doing gorgeous applique and embroidery like Brenda does?
Peels! I need a couple packages of these peel-things from Smartneedle. I was skeptical, I wasn't sure they were going to work but the peel stays nicely snug around the spool, even larger spools and cones. As someone who always has a couple of spools unraveling in a drawer despite being certain they're secured... I think I'm going to need a package or four of these Peels. The cool two-sided - two-ended? - seam ripper is also from Smartneedle. Given that Tammy recommended both of these... we'll have to start calling her SmartTammy.
Speaking of thread...
Celine, Thelma, and Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life all mentioned Aurifil - the 50 wt. Mako cotton thread. Sherri also mentioned Aurifloss, as did Brenda - she has a gorgeous new Aurifloss assortment color-matched to her coming-soon Windermere collection.
Of course, they're all winding their bobbins on the Side Winder by Me & My Sister.
Doug Leko of Antler Quilt Designs cited his two new 60 wt. thread collections for Presencia and Janice Vaine - embroiderer and hand-stitcher extraordinaire - loves Superior Silk Applique thread - and thimbles by T.J. Laine. She also loves porcupine quills for a stiletto or laying tool - if you haven't tried them, they're very nice because they're long, thin and surprisingly lightweight.
Thelma mentioned the Folded Corner Clipper by Prairie Sky - given how perfect her piecing is, I think I'm going to need to try this. Several people - but not Celine! - mentioned Celine's Perfect Piecing Seam Guide as helping them achieve and maintain a perfect scant 1/4" seam allowance. Pat Sloan loves the narrow Omnigrid ruler - it comes in a set of 3 rulers called a Marking Trio. They're a 1/2" width and either 4 1/2", 6" or 12" long. For marking and quick measuring, this little ruler is terrific.
The Olfa Frosted ruler says right there on the ruler that it's 1" x 12". But look closely. 1 1/4" x 12 1/2". Whatever - Betsy Chutchian loves this ruler and so do I - it's a new favorite - found because of Betsy. I'm a little surprised I didn't have it as the Olfa Frosted rulers are my favorites. (Thank you, Betsy.)
Sherri mentioned the Itty Bitty rulers by Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings. (I agree - they're awesome.)
The Ruler Pal by Jodi Nelson of Pleasant Home is another one of Sherri's favorite finds - as is Jodi's legendary Polka Dot Magnetic Pinbowl.
Pins! Celine loves the Glass Head pins by Collins.
The Little House pins from Japan were listed by Thelma and I don't remember who else as a favorite. (I had a list... but I've misplaced it right now.) They're super-fine, very strong and very, very sharp.
While the pins come in a lovely little tin, I prefer substituting something a little more... fun.
Candy tins. I don't care about the candy, I just want the little tin. World Market always has something entertaining, as does the aisle by the checkout at that big-box sewing store we don't like to mention... the one with the coupons. These tins are very secure, making them a nice addition to a little sewing bag or pouch.
The Abbey Bag by Abbey Lane Quilts. Do you see a theme here? Abbey Lane does really awesome bags! Janice and Marcea of Abbey Lane created these and while they both mentioned them as being favorites, so did several others. Janice loves the Abbey Bag and the Beatle Bag is Marcea's favorite. The Beatle Bag came up a couple of times as being an awesome traveling bag for sewing and other stuff - especially since you can get refills for the clear plastic inserts.
So what did we forget? What favorite sewing tool or find do you have that we should know about?
After all... if you think it's cool, we probably would too.
We might even need it.