5 Helpful Quilting Supplies I Love

pokey boltonpokey bolton quilting suppliesYou might have seen this picture from my wrap up of "QATV" Season 8. Yes, I am vertically challenged and need a little boost in order to reach the pedal on the set's sewing machine. The Quilting Arts crew thinks it's funny to capture these little behind-the-scenes TV moments. And frankly, I do, too.

But, in all seriousness, my feeling is that if there's a way to remove an obstruction to getting down and creative, go for it. Sometimes it's a make-shift solution, like my stack of books. But often, there is a professional solution that's only a click away.

You have to figure, if you're having a problem with your quilting mechanics, such as gripping your project while free-motion stitching or having a heavy fusible ruin the hand and transparency of your fabric, someone else has probably had an issue with that, too. And there are quilting products to fix it.

Here are five quilting supplies the pros use that might help you, too.

Mistyfuse. I use a variety of fusible products for my quilting. But I was thrilled when Mistyfuse came along because it's so light and airy, perfect for using with sheers and silks. It doesn't change the hand of the fabric, so if you want to do some three-dimensional draping, the fabric won't be too stiff.

transfer paper quilting supplyTransfer Artist Paper (TAP). I love transferring images to fabric. But let's face it, it can be a, shall we say, unpredictable technique. When fabric artist Lesley Riley came out with TAP, it took a lot of the guesswork out of the process but left all of the beauty.

Moldable stamps. Raise your hand if you have bins full of rubber stamps and never have just the right one when you need it? I thought so. Moldable stamps are the ultimate in creative efficiency. Heat the stamp material with a heat gun, and press the material into a raised pattern. When it cools you can use this stamp as many times as you want. When you're tired of it, zap it with the heat gun again and start over.

Machingers. Free-motion stitching expert Susan Brubaker Knapp swears by these gloves. Slip them on before stitch to help you maintain light but firm contact with your quilt as you move it around under the needle.

Quilt Halo. Another of Susan's favorites, the tacky, rubber surface of the Halo holds your quilt tightly and smoothly while you quilt. Especially good when you need to keep the fabric taught for thread sketching.

So there you have it, five of my favorite, most helpful quilting tools and products. And now's a good time to try them, because you can get these and hundreds more quilting supplies online this week for 15% off the regular price, and hundreds morein the Quilting Daily store.

P.S. What quilting supplies do you find most helpful? What couldn't you live without? What product rocked your quilting world? Don't keep it to yourself! Share in the comments section below.

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Machine Quilting, Quilting Daily Blog, Tools, Supplies & Resources

11 thoughts on “5 Helpful Quilting Supplies I Love

  1. I think the best thing ever invented for free motion quilting is the silicone sheet that fits over your surface, under your quilt. I think it is called the slider. I can sure tell when i forgot to add it to the surface.

  2. I use the light weight Atlas gardening gloves for machine quilting. They’re a bit thin for serious weeding, but perfect for getting a grip. And they come in a several colors.

  3. I have a small wooden footstool that my machines foot pedal sits on. The top of the footstool is covered with a scrap of non-slip rug pad to keep the pedal from sliding off.

  4. Slippery peddle on the floor? two simple answers one is in the bath section of your favorite box store thats the stickers to keep you from slipping in shower or the same basic product by 3 M used on the edge of stair treads to prevent falls both have a bumpersticker peel N stick backing or
    also if height is needed you can have your local shoe repair shop build up a crepe foam support to the height that is right for you shouln’t cost much but will work for years use. and be less Co led up ( ive had requests for that exact problem many times even soled the bottom of the peddle with whats called a ripple sole to keep it in place on slick tile floors.
    Friday will be my 34 th anniversary of business and its one of the many things a cobbler can do..

  5. * ‘Surgical’ needle-nose tweezers — super handy next to your machine. I use them to pull bobbin thread through, for pulling out tiny bits of unpicked thread, etc. But beware — they are dangerous! See this blog post for how I ended up in the ER after using my knees to catch them when they fell: http://sandgroper14.wordpress.com/2009/07/05/tested-local-emergency-room-last-night/

    * Gypsy Sit Upon cushion — I’ve only just purchased one of these and almost immediately my neck/shoulder pain from free motion quilting has stopped! My machine is not embedded into a table so I had to reach up to FMQ, thus raising my shoulders, elbows etc. This cushion raises me enough so that I can FMQ for ages now without pain. And it’s like a Fitball in that it moves! See http://cybertext.wordpress.com/2011/03/19/great-cushion/ for my initial experiences with it.

    * Supreme Slider (as mentioned earlier)

    * Microfiber bendable brushes/applicators — these little brushes are amazing! They’ll get out all sorts of lint from your bobbin area, even after you’ve cleaned it using your usual methods. And I also keep one at my computer keyboard because can get between the keys to get out the hair etc. that gets caught in there. You can get them from some quit stores. I get mine online from: http://www.quiltinaday.com/shoponline/notions_display.asp?i=2050

  6. Use the cotton, lint free pads made for make-up removal to clean your sewing machine after oiling. You can also use them as a “mouse” where you stitch through the pad to save thread at the beginning and end of stitching. If you stitch through the pad after oiling your machine, the oil, which frequently runs down the needle and onto your fabric, gets caught before it makes a spot on your work. They fit perfectly in the square space below the needle race in my Janome 1600DBS and helps keep it clean and clear of oil and lint both.

  7. Pokey,
    Thanks for sharing this photo with us. I took my two young daughters to their first quilting workshop this weekend, the youngest who is 5 1/2 years old, couldn’t reach the pedal on the floor, so I followed your example and set the pedal on the machine case and she was able to sew away (carefully supervised of course). Both of my girls are pleased as punch with their bags made at the workshop and mummy now reckons she’s not going to get much alone sewing time…. All the best Tracy.