20 Items Every Sewing Room Should Have
Clover Wonder Clips
Use handy clips instead of pins to keep quilt binding in place. Clips are especially useful on fabrics such as vinyl, which might be ruined by pins; denim; or another thick material that is difficult to pin.
For more info: clover-usa.com
Sewline Trio Marking Pen
The Sewline Trio Marking Pen combines three quilting tools in one—a fabric pen, black pencil lead, and white pencil lead. Simply twist the pen to move from one to the other.
For more info: unitednotions.com
Seam-Fix Seam Ripper
This seam ripper doubles as a thread remover. After you’ve used the sharp point to take the seam apart, you can use the plastic ends to grab the bits of broken thread, removing them from your fabric.
For more info: http://seam-fix.com/
Better Homes and Gardens® Complete Guide to Quilting™, Second Edition
With more than 750 step-by-step color photographs, this ultimate quilting reference offers tips and troubleshooting advice. The spiral-bound book covers all aspects of quilting, including cutting, piecing, appliquéing, hand and machine quilting, and binding.
For more info: 800/881-1327
A portable sandboard, such as the Essential Sandboard from C&T Publishing, keeps materials in place while quilting. Use the fine-grit sandpaper side to hold fabric in place and the smooth white side on the reverse for tracing and drawing.
For more info: ctpub.com
Sew angles faster and more accurately when you use a seam guide, such as Clearly Perfect Angles by New Leaf Stitches. The guide clings to your sewing table and its grid helps you line up 45-degree angles so you can spend more time sewing and less time marking fabrics.
For more info: newleafstitches.com
There’s no substitute for a well-lit sewing room. The Stella Light offers warm, natural, and cool white light settings and five levels of dimming.
For more info: stellalighting.com
Dies and die-cutting tool
Save time cutting fabric with dies and a die-cutting tool. Fabric dies, from companies such as Accuquilt, make cutting quicker and more accurate. Choose from a spectrum of shapes and sizes.
Price: dies from $19.99
For more info: accuquilt.com
Tank steam iron
The tank in a deluxe steam iron holds more water than traditional irons, which saves time when pressing fabrics. You can use it for up to 1-1/2 hours before refilling it.
Use a cutting mat to protect your work surface when working with a rotary cutter. Find the largest size cutting mat that will fit your worktable.
A necessity for every quilter, rotary cutters slice fabric easily. Remember to keep a pack of sharp blades handy, and change the blade when you start struggling to cut through fabric.
Make sure to have a sturdy ironing board that allows steam to pass through. It will be your constant companion when you’re quilting.
A sewing machine should last a long time, so buy the best sewing machine you can afford.
80/12 sharps machine needles
Using the correct sewing machine needle, such as an 80/12 sharps, can make all the difference when you’re quilting cotton fabrics. Remember to change your needle after every 8–10 hours of sewing.
1/4-inch machine piecing foot
The 1/4-inch seam is the foundation of any great quilting project. With the needle in center position of a 1/4-inch machine-piecing foot, the edge of the foot serves as a seam guide.
Have a variety of thread weights and colors on hand so you’re always prepared for the next project. For machine piecing, use 50-weight, 100% cotton thread; for hand quilting try a heavier, thread such as 30-weight.
Reserve a few pairs of scissors for cutting fabric only. Paper and other materials will dull scissors.
Utilize pins to keep fabric pieces together and prevent slip-ups while quilting. Have a variety of pins (fine, appliqué, and flower head) available and use the right one for each project.
Purchase different sizes that have various markings to make cutting a breeze.