Quilting Tools Deep Dive: The Notions That Make Our Lives Easier
If you’re looking for quilting notions to take you further and make your sewing experience all the more delightful, you’re in the right place. We’ll outline our favorite picks for upgraded notions in this post. First, we’d like to empower you with some of the best resources we use to continuously learn more about this wonderful art.
Quilt guilds, sewing friends, and quilt-alongs make it easier to learn about tools that’ll make your craft easier, more efficient, and satisfying. We recommend starting out with a membership to the Modern Quilt Guild, because you’ll enjoy instant access to not only a vast collection of patterns but also, the ever-growing Resource Library. The Modern Quilt Guild hosts the annual QuiltCon, a spectacular social event that unites quilters from all over. Local guilds often put on educational programs, open sew days, and other activities.
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Sewing friends are the best friends, and the quilting Instagram community includes helpful, quilt-loving folks from all over the world. If you can find sewing or quilting classes in-person or online, you may find wonderful new pals to share tips and tricks with.
Next time you see a fun and challenging-looking quilt-along coursing through your Instagram feed or inbox, join it! QALs (or SALs) is where you’ll build skills the easy way: with instructions, videos, and live chats with quilt pattern designers. They put a tremendous amount of thought into planning their QALs, so it’s worth following along to learn about the perfect notions for the project at hand.
If you’re just getting started on your quilting journey, welcome! Check out A Guide For Beginner Quilters where you can find a list of must-have tools. Consider that your foundation, and this post as your foray to frustration-free quilt making.
A hera marker creases fabric, and it does not leave marks from ink, chalk, lead, or otherwise. This creates easy-to-follow straight or curvy lines for machine quilting or hand quilting your project. The creases really last so you can move your quilt around without losing your lines. Plus, you won’t have to worry about ink (or worse) staining your fabric. Modern American Vintage makes beautiful wooden hera markers if you want to add a more decorative touch to your sewing space.
Rotating Cutting Mat
A rotating cutting mat is particularly useful when you have a lot of HSTs to trim, like with the Playroom Quilt. Amy counts this as one of her favorite tools because she can carry it with her and trim blocks while her family watches TV. A rotating cutting mat reduces your time spent trimming because you don’t have to worry about realigning your fabric so much. It’s like giving yourself the gift of time!
Wool Pressing Mats
Read the Wool Pressing Mats blog post to find out why Amy sings the praises for this notion, and learn how to infuse your ironing board with a wool mat. If you decide to purchase a Project Wool Pressing Mat - make sure you enter Code: SEWNHANDMADE30 to get free shipping and $30 off your order!
Fabric Solids Color Chips
I start all my quilt projects by matching colors in photographs to fabrics, or just playing around with colors until something clicks. Having color chips separate from your color cards from Art Gallery Fabrics Pure Solids, Robert Kaufman Kona, Peppered Cottons, and Tula Pink Solids makes it convenient—and fun—to arrange and rearrange colors until you arrive at a palette that makes your heart sing. The advantage of ordering from Nicki, the quilter behind Woven and Woolly, is that when colors are added to the Art Gallery Fabrics or Kona solid lines, you can easily order expansion packs.
On every beginner’s list, you’ll see quilting pins. Strolling down the aisle of your local Joann store, you may see boxes labeled “quilting pins” full of pins with bright yellow heads. Since my first quilt, these have sat to collect dust because they’re unwieldy! Fine quilting pins from Tulip (or Clover) are much finer, shorter, and easier to place, resulting in more satisfying precision.
Specialty Rotary Cutter
Most quilters will start out with a 45 mm rotary cutter because imprecisely cutting fabric with scissors would basically limit you to improv quilting. Ever notice the other sizes, though? An 18 mm rotary cutter recently made my experience with cutting curves—just like on the Sunroom Quilt—much less intimidating because it provided so much more control. Nicki from Woven and Woolly said her 60 mm rotary cutter provides more stability than her 45 mm rotary cutter when cutting straight lines.
Bonus: Holiday Gifts For Quilters!
- Modern American Vintage seam ripper to make ripping seams a more pleasant experience
- Dritz Slip 'N Grips to keep the ruler from sliding around on fabric
- Fabric labels to add your name and care instructions to your quilts
- Rose gold magnetic pin bowl to keep your sewing space safe and pretty
- XL Stripology Ruler to knock down your cutting time
- Ruler grip to save your digits
- Bloc Loc rulers to aid in bulk trimmings
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