My Top Ten List of Tools and Equipment I Can’t Live Without

comments (2) April 3rd, 2008     

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MaryRay Mary Ray, contributor
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Invest first in the tools that really make a difference.

Invest first in the tools that really make a difference.

Photo: Mary Ray

My Top Ten List of Tools and Equipment I Can’t Live Without

Every craft endeavor necessitates some tools and equipment to make the process more enjoyable and the results better. But if you’re tempted by every gadget available, you won’t have space to create and you’ll spend all of your time figuring out how to use them or trying to remember where you put them.

It’s best to invest first in the tools that really make a difference, the ones you just can’t live without. Keep these handy and in good working order. (But don’t feel bad if you occasionally succumb to the widget world. We all do and sometimes we find the tool of our dreams to add to the Must Have list. I’ll write about some of my favorites in future posts.)

1. A sewing machine: (unless you’re a total purist and want to sew everything by hand). All you need is a straight-stitch machine. However, there’s an amazing world of machines out there nowadays—some designed specifically with the quilter in mind. If you’re in the market for a new one, be sure to test drive several to find the one that’s right for what you do—and your budget, too. You’ll find a wide price range with excellent models at every level.

2. A dependable steam iron:
One with a smooth sole plate and a good surface to press on (this can be an ironing board or a padded table or a portable ironing pad).

3. Scissors: A pair of sharp 8-inch shears plus a smaller scissor for trimming. Keep them away from anything that’s not fabric or thread or they’ll get dull real fast. Keep a separate pair of scissors handy for cutting paper.

4. A rotary cutter: With a great hand grip and mat (which is essential so you don’t ruin your table).

5. A clear plastic ruler: One that’s 3 to 6 inches wide and at least 12 inches, but preferably 24 inches, long.

6. A good marking tool: There are lots of different types: my favorites are the chalk writers which have a wheel that marks a thin line on the fabric. There are fine felt-tip markers, too, that are either erasable with water or that make a mark that disappears spontaneously. In some cases, a lead pencil will work. You can also use a sliver of soap (but be careful, because some soaps with lotion will leave an oily mark on silky fabrics).

7. Straight pins: Long, sharp pins.

8. A straight stitch presser foot: Made for your machine that has a quarter-inch toe for easy seaming.

9. A seam ripper: A must for those inevitable mistakes.

10. A flat basket, box, or tray: For you to store the project you’re working on—especially if you’re inclined to have lots of projects going at the same time.

posted in: gadgets

Comments (2)

kygirl writes: when you get into quilting really heavy as i do you end up with so many of the same thing but in different sizes and for different projects or purposes. great
Posted: 12:01 pm on September 10th
Jen_sewandsox writes: Great list. I was happy to see I had everything on it already!
Posted: 4:42 pm on April 11th
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