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  • Writer's pictureDanita EllisEllis

These are a few of my favorite things ....Part 4 (notions)

Now that you have your sewing machine set (and cleaned), cutting tools and rulers...what is left?! Well, there are a whole bunch of miscellaneous tools that I use to make my quilting life easier.


Pins:

There are a few different kinds of pins you will need when quilting. You will need straight pins like these and safety pins like these. You will need straight pins (pictured to the left) to hold your pieces together while you are sewing. I like these ones because they are a good length, and the yellow heads are easy to see so you make sure you pull them out before running over them with your machine.


You will need curved safety pins (pictured to the left) when/if you pin baste your quilt sandwich together. This is the last part of making a quilt before you actually sew the top, batting and backing together...the actual quilting part of quilting :) I like these ones because the little curve in them, helps the tip come back up to the surface to fasten much easier than a normal straight safety pin.


Binder Clips:

Binder clips are an essential tool in my toolbox, and I use them for all kinds of things. Of course I use them to hold my bindings together, but I also use them to hold stacks of my blocks together so I don't get the piles messed up, I use them to hold my patterns open and posted where I can read them, and I have even been known to use them in my hair when I can't find a hair tie :)


I like these colorful ones because of their bright and cheerful look. But you can also find them in solid colors here, here and here. You can also find them in multiple sizes, mini, medium, large, long or a variety pack. Makes me wish I would have invented these fantastic tools.


Marking tools:

There are a variety of marking tools that are helpful while quilting. I tend to use just a few but I will talk about a couple of others here so you can make wise choices when building your own toolbox.


When I first started quilting, I marked my quilt patterns on my quilts with a normal #2 pencil. It would wash out and I never had issues with it leaving permanent marks. I know some people are highly opposed to this method of marking. I then moved on to this marking pen and used it for many years. I liked that it had different colored led and although the markings came out when I washed the quilt, they didn't come out while I was hand quilting. I also liked that the lead didn't run out quickly but, the lead did break from time to time, if I was moving too fast and it got caught in the fabric weave.


In the past 3 years I have swapped over to chalk markers. I am not doing much hand quilting anymore, so these work well for my machine work. I use them primarily to put a guideline down and then free motion quilt around the markings. The one thing I don't like about these chalk markers is that they leave chalk EVERYWHERE! I do not ever plan to use them if I hand quilt. They do give a sharp line that is easily removed by taping the fabric. I again like the multiple colors (although you can purchase them in singles red, yellow and white) to help the markings show up on different colors of fabric.


I would like to try these marking tools but have not yet purchased them to try them out. if you use them, leave me a comment telling me what you love about them. Tailors chalk, and a Hera marker. I have a friend who is making me a Hera-Type marker and I'm excited to try it. I'll post a review to it once he is finished making it.


Sewing Machine Needles:

Everyone will tell you that a needle in your machine can make or break your sewing experience. I am here to tell you that is absolute FACT! Read your sewing manual and do not stray from the type of needle they tell you to use in your machine. I like a good deal as much as the next person but after MULTIPLE broken needles and having to get my machine serviced MULTIPLE TIMS...pay the extra couple of dollars and save yourself lots of headache and money on your machine. I have a brother machine, so I use these needles without fail.


Hand Sewing Needles:

I have tried a bunch of different needles for my hand piecing and quilting. Over the last year or so I have landed on these needles, particularly in the last few months as I have done more hand quilting. There are a variety of sizes in this set so you can find the length that suits your stitch style and the eye on the needle covered in gold makes it easy to see and thread.


I don't think I will go back to any other needles after using these ones for the last few months.


Come back in a week or so to see the final installation of my Favorite things!

This post contains affiliate links meaning, if you click on the link provided and purchase the items mentioned, I will get a small portion of the sale.

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