Useful tools to use for quilting
There are certain haberdashery items which make quilting so much quicker and easier. Below we’ve shared some of our essential quilting tools telling you what we use them for and why we find them useful.
Clover Wonder Clips
One of my all time favourites, I now use these more than pins. In quilting they really come into their own holding your binding in place. They are also very useful in piecing, holding 2 pieces of fabric together ready for you to sew, plus they don’t mark your fabric. I recommend buying a big pack (50) as you will use them all the time. Plus when you are binding a quilt 10 will not get you very far.
Clover Hera Marker
This innocuous looking tool allows you to mark your fabric by creasing rather than using a pen or pencil which could be hard to remove. When quilting it means you can mark on your quilting lines to guide your stitching. I also use it as a finger press to temporarily press my seams in place.
Quarter inch foot
One of my most used sewing machine feet the quarter inch foot is indispensable if when you are quilting. No need to mark a seam line, just use the plastic guide at the edge of the foot to keep your seams precise.
Sewline Glue Pen
If you are a glue baster when doing English Paper Piecing you’ll know that these handy glue pens are indispensable. They are small and easy to carry around when you are on the go, and they come with refills to keep you going. Also useful for foundation paper piecing when you need to glue to initial piece of fabric to the paper.
Sewline Mechanical Pencil
Another handy pen from Sewline this one contains ceramic leads (which are replaceable) for marking fabric. Much more precise than a piece of chalk, and ideal for drawing quilting lines onto fabric. It comes in 5 different lead colours and has an eraser on it too.
Reynolds Freezer Paper
Freezer paper has many uses, you can use it for applique templates, foundation paper piecing and as a stencil. The shiny side sticks to your fabric when an iron is applied, but it doesn’t leave any residue when you peel it off again after use.
Taylor Seville Thread Magic
This thread conditioner reduces breakage and tangling, ideal for when you are hand quilting or adding embroidered details to your quilting projects. It can also be used on machine threads too, handy for those tricky decorative threads which twist or break when you sew with them.
Add a Quarter Ruler
Perfect for paper piecing of all kinds this ruler allows you to quickly add a quarter of an inch seam allowance to your shapes when cutting. Very handy for foundation paper piecing and English Paper Piecing.
Clover Bias Tape Maker
Simple to use and comes in several different sizes. This handy gadget allows you to make your own bias binding for your quilts so you can ensure it perfectly matches your fabric. See our tutorial here for help with how to use it.
June Tailor Teflon Press Sheet
This see through pressing sheet is great for applique, it puts a protective layer between your iron and the applique so you don’t get sticky glue residue on your iron. You can also use it to add a protective barrier between the iron and delicate fabrics.
Omni Grip 6.5’’ and 12.5’’ square rulers
You will find that many quilt tutorials require 6.5 or 12.5 inch blocks. Having these rulers to hand mean not only can you cut fabric squares that size but also you can use it to easily trim your blocks to the correct size. These rulers are also non-slip which keeps your cutting more accurate.
Image Credit: Kerry Green
Rotary cutters & Self Healing Mats
Patchworkers around the world suddenly increased in productivity when these products were introduced! They speed up cutting time no end and allow you to cut through several layers of fabric at once. Personally, I have been using the Olfa rotary cutters for years. Using the cutters in conjunction with the self-healing mats means you won’t mark your table when cutting.
Best Press is a starch spray which gives a bit of crispness/stiffness to your fabrics. This makes it easier to handle light floaty fabrics and small pieces of fabric when quilting. It comes in several lovely scents, and there’s a non scented version available too.
Heat Press Batting tape
You know all those off cuts of wadding that you keep to use for small projects and never do? Now you can use heat press batting tape to join them together into a more useful large piece. It also comes in useful for joining quilt as you go blocks together too.
EZ mini templates
These handy little plastic templates are ideal for English Paper piecing. They are solid plastic which is easier to use for cutting than cutting around paper templates. They also come on a keychain so you can hang them all up in your sewing room.
Colonial Blade Sharpener
Keep your rotary cutter blades sharper for longer with this blade sharpening tool. Available in 3 different sizes so there will be one the right size for your rotary cutter.
June Tailor Shape Cut
Save huge amounts of time on cutting strips and squares with the June Tailor Shape Cut. These rulers have cutting slots for your rotary cutter allowing you to cut quickly and accurately and through multiple layers significantly speeding up cutting time.
Image Credit: Kerry Green
This tool will save your fingers when you are basting a quilt. Instead of having to put your finger under numerous safety pins as you push the top down to to close them you rest the Kwik Klip under the pin as it comes up through the fabric and then press down to close the pin. You'll find the pin fits neatly into one of the grooves on the Kwik Klip. Sore fingers no more!
If you are raring to get quilting why not check out our how to quilt series?