Good tools make the job easier, and there are some basic notions that most quilters consider essential. Since quilting can be such an expensive hobby, I made a list of 10 items that you can find for under $10 each. Let me know which of these quilting tools is your favorite!
TL;DR… Here is a video description for you visual folks.
Maintaining that quarter-inch seam is the key to success in quilting. The tool I recommend for checking your seam allowance is That Purple Thang. It has a small square on one end which will keep you consistent, and the other end has a pointed tip which works as a stiletto to guide fabric under the needle. Such a handy gadget!
Note: All photos are from the Fat Quarter Shop website. Please check for these items at your local quilt shop. My affiliate link is shared below. Purchasing from my link is an easy way to help support this blog. Thank you!
Diagonal Seam Tape is a handy way to line up your fabric for perfect seams. Simply apply a strip of Diagonal Seam Tape across the bed of your machine, lined up with the needle, then follow the lines as you sew.
This blog post demonstrates how I mark my sewing machine bed and “read” the throat plate when I don’t have tape on hand!
Two of my favorite things in quilting are half-square triangles and foundation paper piecing! One tool that helps with either technique is the Add-A-Quarter ruler. It was specially designed with a lip, or beveled edge, so that you can easily create a quarter-inch seam allowance when cutting.
Making mistakes is a part of life! While no one really wants to have a date with Jack, I’ve found the Clover White Seam Ripper to be the most comfortable tool for getting that onerous job done.
Another essential item is a good pair of scissors. I like to keep a small pair next to my machine at all times and the Sweet Snips are a good choice for cutting stray threads.
Having guidelines makes sense, whether you are marking corners of flying geese units or planning a free motion quilting motif. When marking fabric, make sure you test your tools on a scrap first – you want to make sure the marks will come out with no surprises later. The Dritz Mark-B-Gone Blue Water Soluble Marker is a good choice.
If I am working with a dark fabric and need a light colored line, I reach for the White Pastel Chalk Pencils. These white marks are easy to erase. I try to keep my marks light and small, just the bare minimum to guide my sewing lines so that I don’t have much to clean up later.
Line things up
We all know it can be a struggle to keep our fabrics lined up while we sew. The next category of basic notions is chosen to help you keep your fabrics secure. I reach for Wonder Clips when I am trying to keep stacks of fabric organized or when I am attaching binding.
Because of my love of paper piecing, I keep a Sewline Fabric Glue Pen handy. Glueing my first fabric to the paper eliminates the need for pins. Other quilters use fabric glue for sewing curves and while binding, too! Let me know if these methods work for you.
You need a way to keep all these great tools organized in your sewing space! Most of these basic notions can be kept in the Stash-n-Store mini, placed near your machine for easy access.
Finding these essential quilting items at a low price gives us more room in our budget for fabric. Yippee!
Here is my affiliate link for the Fat Quarter Shop, where you can find all these notions for under $10 (prices current as of November 2023).