Weve Come a Long Way!

My first quilting class back in 1990 required many tools. Since I’d been sewing for years, I already had these: a sewing machine, basic sewing supplies (like needles, a seam ripper, scissors, pins, tape measure, and a foot for the free motion quilting), a good pressing surface and a steam iron.

What I still needed were: a self-healing mat, 6″ x 24″ plastic ruler, rotary cutter, marking pencil, safety pins, binder clips, masking tape and a walking foot.

It didn’t seem like too much of an investment. I figured that if this quilting adventure didn’t work out, I could probably still use them all. (Can I tell you how intrigued I was by that rotary cutting system? Even though rotary cutters had been out a few years, they were new to me in 1990. Believe me, I was never inspired enough to trace dozens of patches from little templates.)

My first quilt wasn’t that impressive, but the quilting bug bit me something fierce!

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my first quilt: the Rail Fence

I still prefer many of the same simple tools today. But that hasn’t stopped me from checking out every new quilty gadget. In fact, I think I’m quickly becoming a quilt tool and notion hoarder! A quick inventory revealed 7 cutting mats, 3 irons, 4 rotary cutters of various sizes, 5 different OttLites and dozens and dozens of rulers.

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9 of my most frequently used rulers

I’ve experimented with just about every marker out there.

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markers of every kind

(Sadly, in 1997 I had an experience with pencil marks that wouldn’t wash out of my quilt top, but the fabric color did.)

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pencil marks remain, fabric color disappears

With my ever-expanding supply of notions and tools, a better system was needed to organize them all.

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organizer for small notions and thread

An old dresser was the perfect way to combine storage with an ironing station. My husband helped me construct the extra large ironing board that fits perfectly on top.

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converted dresser for notions storage and ironing board

I’m amazed the number of new quilting tools and notions that are unveiled every year. Luckily, I have the fun task of reviewing them. What could be more fun than checking out all the latest quilting products? How about sharing some of those tried and true products we’ve found over the last 30 years. To see a sampling of our favorites, check out Quiltmaker’s July/Aug ’12 issue.

Leave a comment here about a quilty notion or two you can’t live without by noon MST on Monday, June 11th. I’ll share a few of our favorite notions with 3 winners selected at random.

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