Quilting Tools We Love
Our thoughts on the products we use in our Quilting
Leaves Galore Rulers by Sue Pelland
We use these rulers to create embellishments for our art quilts. They can be used to create leaves, flowers, bows, ribbons and tulip shaped leaves and petals. These are just perfect for your applique projects.
But that's not all you can do with these versatile rules. We also use them to create gentle curves, quickly and easily, on our quilt borders.
You can see an example of where I have done this on the 'Reversible Quilt as You go with Sashing' quilt
The rulers come in three sizes:
- Petite - measures 15" in length and allows you to cut 2.5" and 5" curves.
- Standard (Norme)- measures 18" in length and allows you to cut 3" and 6" curves.
- Grande - measures 24" in length and allows you to 4" and 8" curves.
Believe me once you start using these rulers for your applique and embellishments you will wonder how you did without them.
We will be doing a full video review for these rulers in the near future.
Creative Grids Equilateral Triangle Ruler
We created a tutorial on how to cut and sew 60º triangles for quilting. In that tutorial, we actually used the Sew Easy triangle ruler but we realise that being an Australian brand, it may not be that easy to find in other countries. So we scouted around to find an alternative and came up with the Creative Grids brand which has excellent reviews on Amazon – almost all 5 stars!!.
We have a number of Creative Grids rulers these are some of the features that we particularly like about them:
- They have easy to read black and white markings.
- They have an exclusive gripper which holds the fabric in place while you are cutting. So the moment you put pressure on the ruler, it stays in place and won't move until you release the pressure. So you no longer need to be concerned with the ruler slipping and causing mis-cuts.
- You can create both 30 degree and 60 degree triangles up to a height of 12 ", that include the 1/4" seam allowance.
- Plus the ruler comes with fully illustrated, step by step instructions.
We would be lost, I'm sure, without our Quilters Slidelock. It's so easy to use but its awesome in that it gives you a firm, lock-like grip on the fabric. There is no slippage, so no dodgy cuts of fabric and it also protects my fingers because they are well away from the cutting area.
The Slidelock ruler can hold up to 6 layers of fabric. Ideal if you are cutting a number of the same block pieces. I tend to cut single layers but that is a personal preference. There is even a version with a lighted edge, great for this of us that no longer see quite as clearly as we once did.
I find it works well with either my 45 or 60 mm rotary cutters.
The slidelock comes in two sizes - 24" and 14" . We decided to get both sizes, the small one is ideal when for cutting small quilt blocks.
Creative Grids Quilting Ruler
This ruler is one of our most used quilting rulers. In fact, I find that I use mine all the time. It's just great for squaring up quilts, material and blocks. And as this ruler is 24" long, you get to make a nice long cut in one go. These long rectangle rulers are a boon for all quilters. And it has a number of great features.
- Firstly of course is that the ruler measures 24 ½” x 8 ½”.
- it has easy to read black and white markings that are printed in 1" grids which are also marked in 1/8 inch and 1/4 inch increments. So really handy markings for quilters.
- Have the white dots with the black numbers facing you to get the 1/4 inch dashed lines that help with trimming seam allowances.
- Use the Turn-A-Round feature ( shown by the black dots with the white numbers) to add the 1/2 inch seam allowance.
- The ruler has that awesome Creative Grids feature where it slides over the fabric until you apply pressure to the ruler. Once you apply pressure, the exclusive grippers hold the fabric in place, so no more chance of slipping while you are cutting. And because the grippers are already on the ruler you don't have to purchase grip material to attach to the ruler. So that's a saving.
The June Tailor Shape Cut Pro Ruler is a must if you cut lots of 2½” strips. I love the fact that It’s accurate. When we first started our, some of our strips were a bit dodgy but no more. But you can use the Shape Cut Pro to not only cut 2½” strips, you can also use it for cutting 5″ and 10″ squares. Which are just so handy for all sorts of projects.
The Shape Cut Pro measures 20" x 23" and is made from clear acrylic.
You can cut layers of fabric at once, so that saves you time.
Every so often we tend to spend some time cutting our a bundle of strips and squares so they are on hand when we need them.
We love the Shape Cut Pro so much that we also bought the smaller version as well.
Now I have to say that this is one of my favourite rulers. I made myself a quilt using this ruler and I am really happy with the result.
This is another Creative Grids innovation and it makes cutting gentle curves from squares simple and easy and you just need the ruler and a rotary cutter. So simple.
The ruler cuts gentle curves from 5" to 10" squares so you can see it is quite versatile. The curves are easy to piece and we do have a tutorial on how to do this. You can used the pieced units to replace any half square triangle or square in a traditional block to add a sense of movement to the quilt. The effect can be quite dramatic. You do need to be aware that the finished size will measure 1" less than the cut size.
As with all Creative Grids rulers this one also has the grippy underside so the ruler slides easily on the fabric until you apply pressure. Then the gripper holds the fabric in place while you cut.
The ruler comes with fully illustrated step by step instructions.
I have to say we love this iron. We no longer have to worry about leaving the iron turned on, it just pops up on its pop our feet and the sole plate doesn’t touch the ironing board. There are times when we have to move the iron around the room when we are filming, but that’s no problem because of the 12 foot cord. Love it, love it, love it.
There are a number of different colours available including pink, purple and blue. We have the yellow version. It is the only colour that was available in Oz when we purchased ours. The iron has iTouch Scorchguard Technology (don't you just love buzzwords) that prevents burns, scorching and tipping, and it definitely works and that's what matters.
You can see the iron in action in many of our video tutorials.
Olfa Rotary Cutter
Like a lot of quilters we have a variety of rotary cutters. Olfa is one of my personaI favourites. I like the 60mm, but the 45mm works equally as well, its just a matter of personal preference. These rotary cutters cut through layers of fabric quickly and easily.
Olfa Rotary Cutters can be set up for use by both right and left handed quilters. The 60mm blade will cut up to 8 layers of fabric, so that's a real time saver. I find it comfortable to hold and use and it has a blade cover that easy to move for exposing or covering the blade.
We used Mary Ellen's Best Press starch alternative because it makes ironing so much easier. Plus it smells divine. There are a number of lovely fragrances available and you can also get a non- fragrant version as well.
It I have found it to be a great product for wrinkle free results and it can also be used successfully on dark fabrics as it doesn't leave any residue.
The product is acid free, it's soil resistant and apart from making your fabric smell divine (which I have already mentioned) it does not attract bugs. I would definitely give best press a go if you haven't already tried it. You can buy it in a spray container and refills in your favourite fragrance is readily available.
Terial Magic Fabric Spray
Now here is a product that you are just going to love if you like to make photo transfer memory quilts and bags. Terial Magic is what I use when I am transferring photos onto fabricl. But that's not all you can use it for.
It was originally designed for those clever crafters who make those awesome fabric flowers and leaves that stand up and give a 3D effect. You can use it on all sorts of projects that need a firm fabric as it imparts a firmness that is ideal for holding shapes and folds. It replaces stabilisers and fusible fabrics for quilters and embroiderers. It keeps fabric from fraying so it's ideal for scrapbookers and crafters.
- Buy Terial Magic
- Watch our Video on How to Photo Transfer to Fabric Using Terial Magic
Singer Confidence Quilting Machine
We were doing a number of quilting classes and Paula found that her Janome Quilter was just way too heavy to take with her. So she decided to purchase a lighter machine to take with her. I find it to be a reasonably good machine although it doesn’t like bulk, so make sure your seams are nesting perfectly. The bobbin winder is great and the machine does come with a lot of extras.
There 98 built-in stitches with 7 fully automatic one-step buttonholes, so you have plenty of scope to decorate those table runners and quilt blocks. It comes with 4 bonus quilting feet and an extension table which is nice, I also like the automatic needle threader, this is a must these days or i spend way too much time simply trying to thread a needle.Attaching the Darning/Quilting/Embroidery foot was a little tricky so we did a video on how to do it.
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