Thursday, January 28, 2010


Just a little one.  Just because.

But first:

Thank you to Shasta, the High Road Quilter, for her Ten Best Posts Today Award.  Head on over and check out her other links.  I'm honored, Shasta.

Also, please note the new button in my sidebar.  I am now a proud member of the Portland Modern Quilt Guild. Our fearless leader is Elizabeth of Oh, Fransson (you probably already follow her blog, and if not, you will), and she is working on a great meeting place for us so we can hold our first meeting. More about that later, but in the meantime you can check out the PMQG link.  I also have a button for The Modern Quilt Guild, and they are springing up all over.  Look for your city on the right sidebar of the site and click on the link!

I have been doing a little bit of sewing each night this week.  I am doing "something" for "someone" and can't say what or who just yet, but I'm having fun with my Jennifer Paganelli stash!

And now to that giveaway!  I have been an extremely frugal quilter lately -- trying to make do with fabrics in my stash, only buying fabrics on sale, etc.  And I haven't bought any new tools or gadgets for a long, loooooooong time.  So, to win a set of 4 fabulous Amy Butler Love fat quarters...

...tell me about your favorite quilting tool or gadget.  I'll start things off, but since I don't really have any of the latest tools/gadgets, here are some other things that "enhance" my sewing experience:

Riedel "O" stemless wine glasses (they don't tip over -- really).  Fine, thin crystal, providing that little bit of elegance that I thought I would miss without the stem.  Of course, this is for late afternoon and evening sewing.

For early Saturday morning quilting I recommend a latte served in Spode Blue Italian.

Now that you have your beverage of choice, put on your favorite music or pop in a DVD and light a Thymes Frasier Fir candle:

Frasier Fir Candle
 These wonders are definitely not just for Christmas!  Some pine or fir scented candles have a harshness to them, but these are pure bliss and put me in my happy place as fast as anything.  To me they do smell like Christmas, yes, but also like summer in the woods, camping, the yards of some of the homes I have lived in.  They smell like home to me.  If you have an extra $26 just burning a hole in your pocket, try one.  And if you don't like it, sent it to me!  I'm all out!

My last quilting tool/accessory is any quick and easy meal (made at home or from a restaurant) so that I can hurry up and get sewing!  Hmmmm.  That sounds like a post for another day.

Anyway, leave me a suggestion below, and maybe next time I will share a few actual quilting tools.  I'll draw a winner Monday night.

With wishes, true and kind -- Joan


  1. My favorite quilting tool is actually a ruler that makes all things measuring and straight edge required easier. It is a 3 ft x 4 in ruler that I have added fabric grips to. It has a gripping edge and actually works quite well on my cutting table/

  2. I do not have any of the latest and greatest tools or gadgets either, but find that watching "The Lucy Show" on DVD helps to put me in a fun frame of mind. I also tend to use my microwave to pop some popcorn when I need to take a little break. Lucy, popcorn and a glass of ice tea get me on the roll again :-)

  3. I love my gypsy gripper! It helps me hold down my rulers without being afraid that I will cut off one of my fingers.

  4. I don't have many gadgets. I'm happy with what I but enough to get by to make a quilt. I love my rotary cutter and Fiskars scissors.

  5. For me it has to be the rotary cutter. When I first started quilting (before a long break) everything was using a scissor. And maybe also the new sewing machine - it made everything go so fast.

  6. It's been said before, but a good it's invaluable to me: The Gypsy Gripper. Makes cutting safe and accurate!
    My second (or first) tool is my removable sheet of batting design wall, just behind my sewing table. This is a revolutionary help and very low investment cost.
    Besides that, I like listening to radio and sipping coffee...
    Enjoy the modern quilt group - and please share (would love to join too)

  7. Not sure why, but I have to have a couple of candles lit whenever sewing. Besides that, I need my reading glasses of course. Thanks for the fun give-away. :)

  8. My favourite gadget is my little thread snippers (I don't know what they're actually called but they look just like this: )

    I got mine for only $3.30 at Tessuti Melbourne and haven't looked back! I've even considered buying another set. I forced my friend to buy some when we were in there one day and a few weeks later she said to me "you know those snippers you made me get, Best Purchase EVER!"

  9. aving the right ruler for the project on hand just makes me happy!
    would love to try that candle as I love the smell of trees !
    I am going to pass on the giveaway thanks anyway, just wanted to comment!

  10. Great post - I love your favourite quilting "enhancers"! I'm on a new regime, so these don't have a place by my sewing machine anymore, but I used to love M&Ms, because "they melt in your mouth, not in your hands" - a perfect way to combine chocolate and sewing! On another note, so jealous about the PMQG. My town is too small to ever start anything like that. Have fun - I'll be watching to read about all the adventures!

  11. I love your ideas Joan...I never burn candles, but I think it would be nice while working with fabrics...lots of senses in use! I would recommend a book on cd...I don't have many bling tools in my room...rotary cutter and rulers are as fancy as I get! so grab a book and start sewing! thanks for sharing your LOVE>

  12. Well Joan, my favorite quilting tool tongue! LOL Yes. It's gross, I know, but there it is. It sticks out when I'm really concentrating on a project or can't quite seem to get a seam right. It's perfectly balanced against the fluff usually floating around in my head that's not helping me with the wip.

    Another handy things is chocolate with mint or raspberry flavoring. And talk radio. And a clean house.

    I did just buy the Stack 'n Whack fan ruler, but when it came, I had perfectly cut my own rectangles for the Dresden Plate block from eyeballing a tutorial anyway. That's now an almost useless, unnecessary tool.

    Thanks for the chance to feel the "Love"!

  13. Hi, My favourite quilting tool is my beloved sewing machine Bernina 150 QE. He has been to the workshop only one time in 10 year. And even of the fact that I do a lot of sewing by hand, he's my nr

  14. My favorite is Pandora radio, I can pick just what type of music I'm in the mood for,and my second is my batting design wall. What a difference to be able to see the quilt you're working on, moving things around until just right. Love your blog!

  15. I love my scissors and a good pair of reading glasses!
    bethnaf at hotmail dot com

  16. I love the idea of quilting "tools" that aren't really tools at all! My favorite would have to be Since my computer is in my sewing space, I pop it on and have an endless supply of awesome music (most of which I would have never found on my own, yet are pretty darn accurate in what I like!) It makes the time fly by.

    You should make a master list of what everyone suggested for your next post!

  17. oh, crikey ... I JUST saw that Sharon said Pandora just two posts before mine. And here I am thinking I'm being so original & clever!

  18. Ooooh, my FAVORITE tool is my Purple Thang! Seriously. It measures my 1/4" seam allowance, helps me bring up my bobbin thread, smoothes points and curves when turned right side out, is my stiletto when doing machine applique, prevents my fingers from getting scorched by my iron, +++

    And, I LOVE Harney and Sons tea...especially their Caribe! ; )

    Joan, please don't enter me in your give away. You know I (over) indulged myself last weekend.

    Where do you purchase your Jennifer Paganelli fabrics? I don't have a source and that needs to be corrected!

    Thanks for the FUN and Happy Friday!!!

  19. Hulu and the common toothpick. Hulu AND instant Netflix and I'm all set to sew. Why, just this week, I went through the one and only season of My So-Called Life and many Mary Tyler Moore shows. Oh, the toothpick is for turning applique (I tried to stop using one because it's kind of gross to me...keeping it in the mouth and all, but really there's nothing quite as good). I'll pass on being in the draw so someone else can win -- not that I don't LOVE Amy Butler and your generosity... :-)

  20. The rotary cutter has been a miracle to quilt making and I am so grateful for it. I enjoy a window with a nice view of my birdfeeders and some raspberry tea. I also have a television in my sewing room to keep up with programs and news when I am in the mood for it
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  21. I think my favorite would be my design wall. It's a vinyl table cloth turned around backwards. When I travel I can roll it up with my designs still on it and rubberband it closed. It saves me tons of time. Thanks! Kat.

  22. I have noticed how much I enjoy good lighting, so I have a neat little fold up Ott light that I even carry to quilt class with me. Thank you Joan for your generous giveaway, such pretty fabrics!

  23. Two things: First, I am so in love with my Rule Steady! I've suffered from tendonitis and carpal tunnel for years, and this gadget pretty much eliminates fatigue and pain from rotary cutting (not to mention crooked cuts!).
    Second, the #10 foot for my Bernina! It's great for edgestitching around curves & stitch-in-the-ditch quilting. I use it all the time, it gives such a professional finish.

  24. Joan,
    I got your block this week, thank you! it looks awesome, I love the visual twists in the pattern.
    my favorite tools would have to be my clover thread cutter (which i wear as a pendant around my neck while hand piecing), my design wall (Warm & natural batting hung on a curtain rod), and my workbench-- found for $15 at a hardware closeout store, it's the perfect height for cutting, ironing, pinning, and it's BIG!

  25. Got to say it's my new bifocals--getting old. Also finally bought some Marti Mitchell templates and love their accuracy. Thanks Sharon.

  26. My favorite quilting tool is my 7x14 ruler! Thanks for the give away! Fun, fun!!

  27. First of all I need to get whatever gadget you have that produces that amazing looking latte. The only gadget i use is my June Tailor shape cut ruler seen here:
    It allows me to cut fabric into strips quickly for squares and log cabin blocks. Enjoy your weekend!

  28. My favorite quilting "tool" is/are my DVDs. I went to an Indian festival, and they had music videos on DVD - songs that are in Bollywood movies. These DVDs have about four hours worth of songs, so I can listen to them without having to choose CDs or having to change CDs. They are so fun and happy. They aren't usually in the room I an quilting, so I don't see the video very much, but when I get up to eat or reboot the laundry, it's a real nice treat to get a snippet of some dancing and fancy costumes.

  29. Had to think about this. Besides my sewing tools, my favourite accessories are my Ipod- it can be calming or motivating depending on the playlist(blast from the past!), my snoring cat & my vintage spool- keeps me from getting tangled when sewing bindings on! Loved seeing your accessories!

  30. ok, now to my favourte tools, or should I say tools and accessories
    - first my tread cutter thumb ring, just so very easy to use when you do hand piecing
    - then my small rotary cutter for curved templates
    - some good music and secnted candles, just like you
    - and finally my Roxanne's needles

    big thanks for your give-away

  31. My favorite quilting tool or gadget would be a toss up between my applique pillow, which I made, I also use it for when I am hand sewing down binding or hand piecing. My other favorite is my OTT Floor lamp that is adjustable and pretty so I can put it anywhere I want. It satys most of teh time in teh family room. Not cheap but worth it.

  32. Hmmm, I haven't sat at the sewing machine in a while. I have some long, skinny, curved, tweezers that I love to poke and prod various projects. I think they came from Clotilde many years ago!

  33. I am eager to learn to quilt but have never done so before. would the Portland Quilt Guild be a good place to learn? (I am an absolute beginner!) runlorirun(at)