I think everyone who sews or quilts ends up with a handful of favorite tools or other gadgets that we can’t live without. This is also true of all kinds of different creative activities – I know for myself I have crochet tools I love and favorite drawing and painting gadgets and even some items for beadwork that I can’t start beading until I have them handy. So here are a few of our favorite tools and things we use all the time for sewing.
First are these sewing clips – we love them! We have dishes of them by our sewing machines, on the cutting tables, by the ironing boards and even at our desks to replace traditional paper clips. These clips are quite inexpensive if you buy them on Amazon compared to buying them at a sewing or fabric site or shop. The last time we bought them we got a cute tin with 150 clips in all different colors for around $12. We use these to hold our binding as we fold it around a topper or runner, we use them to hold pages of printed patterns together and to keep fabric selections organized for a project.
Here’s the next little thing we recently picked up. These are blade saver thread cutters. You put an old blade from your rotary cutter in one of these, stand it up, and then you can quickly snip the threads between your fabric pieces as you work on long chains. The little flower protects your fingers from getting cut by the blade, and you can rotate it to several different spots on your blade as they get dull. We found ours at a local quilt shop.
This next item isn’t something we bought, but put together from things we already had. Do you sometimes find it difficult to get the two layers of small fabric pieces apart when it’s time to press them? I sure do! So we found a simple solution that works really well! All we needed were a couple cute little ramekin dishes from the cupboard, and a basic kitchen sponge. We cut the sponges to fit in the dishes, and wet the sponges. Now we leave these cute little dishes next to our irons, to quickly dampen a finger, which makes it much easier to separate the two layers of fabric we are trying to press. It’s especially handy for small pieces.
Here’s another really handy little item we have several of. These are document holders. They’re really small so take up no space by your sewing machine or on your cutting table, and they hold several sheets of paper quite nicely! Perfect for when you’re cutting up all your pieces at your cutting table, or for following along with a pattern by your sewing machine. They come in some really pretty colors too!
If you read your patterns directly off your iPad or other tablet, this stand is pretty essential. It’s small but very sturdy and is adjustable to any angle. Great for reading your pattern. It can also hold your phone, so it’s very useful as a camera stand.
That’s about all the handy little gadgets I can think of right now, but we’d love to hear what some of yours are. Let us know in the comments below!