Sewing Space Essentials (Jason's favorites of 2021)
As we turn the page into a new year, we can look back at another great year of quilting. I have spent countless hours in my studio over the past year and have put together a quick list of all the items that I would consider my favourite tools and products to have around the sewing room.
Check out my favourite tools/notions, fabrics/backing, hardware, and EPP/FPP accessories. Did I miss something that you love? Leave a comment below!
Notions & Tools
This rotary cutter has a very comfortable 'squeeze trigger' type of opening for the blade which allows for quick, safe, and easy use. The squeeze trigger design is also great because it decreases hand fatigue. This cutter is designed for both right handed or left handed users, and it can cut multiple layers of fabric in one slice. It also features a dual action lock and an auto-retract blade for safety. After you have used this rotary cutter, you won't want to use any other.
The Seam-Fix Seam Ripper comes with a specially designed rubber end which can be used to pull and remove small pieces of thread from fabric. Like a thread magnet, this feature makes this seam ripper especially useful.
Press any pieced or embroidered block with ease. The density of this high-quality 100% felted wool mat absorbs seams and stitches, effectively pressing both sides at once. Block knitted projects as well by pinning them directly to the mat. An added bonus? The texture of the wool stops fabrics from shifting so there is no distortion when pressing.
This Seam Roller is the perfect tool for any and all quilters! Sometimes I use the seam roller instead of the Steamfast Mini Iron. It’s a great tool for travelling or for a quilter without access to a nearby electrical plug. This Seam Roller will make your seams lay flat during foundation paper-piecing and the rounded barrel puts pounds of pressure on the seam for a crisp press. This is superior for foundation paper piecing and is perfect for on-the-go sewing, such as workshops and retreats.
Reduce thread cutting time with the Gypsy Quilter Chain-Piece Cutting Gizmo. It is the extra hand you need to help separate chain-pieced units when piecing. It makes chain-piecing even faster and fun! To safely cut the threads between the chain-pieced units, simply hold the fabric pieces with both hands and slip the thread into the slot on the top of the Chain-Piece Cutting Gizmo. The embedded razor blade cuts the thread quickly, easily and safely. The non-slip bottom ensures that it will stay in place when in use. Five replacement blades and the magnetic tool needed for blade changes are stored in the base.
The Circle Cutting Mat by Sue Daley rotates 360 degrees, which makes it easy to move your mat instead of your project. It is ideal for cutting out shapes from templates. The 10" mat is self-healing and has inch grid marks.
Pre-wound Bobbin Magic
Pre-wounds are a fantastic choice because they come wound uniformly meaning you will get more consistency in all your stitches. They also come wound with a higher density of thread than when you wind your own bobbins on a domestic machine, meaning they will last a lot longer. Save time and save thread with Pre-wound Bobbins. We sell two brands: for neutrals we have the Fil-Tec Clear-Glide Bobbins and for colours we have the Decobob pack. These Class 15/A bobbins are suitable for most domestic sewing machines.
Fabrics & Backing
The Almost Blue Collection by Andover Fabrics is my new old favourite fabric collection. The stock is not new, but it is new to our shop, and the denim look that is captured is timeless. I want to pair it with new fabrics by Alexander Henry like @gnomeangle has done in instagram.
My favourite new new fabric collection is Nonna by Giucy Giuce. Giuseppe Ribaudo (AKA Giucy Giuce) learned to sew from his grandmother at a young age.
This timeless collection by Andover Fabrics is actually inspired by his grandmother’s home, and is both modern and mid-century, fresh but nostalgic. His floral prints are particularly whimsical. Check out our previous blog interview with Giuseppe.
Zia Bakula and Francesca's Garden with patterns by Giucy Giuce. Two new kits featuring Nonna with patterns and fabrics by Giucy Giuce.
One of my proudest accomplishments in 2021 was creating the Prairie Wildflower pattern for Natural Born Quilters line Prairie Meadow. I created a quilt kit that contains the pattern (with printed foundation paper piece pages), fabric for the front and binding (over 13 m of fabric) and an instructional video tutorial for each block. You can select the quilt kit or just the pattern. The pattern includes some fussy cutting and foundation paper piecing and traditional piecing. Click here to read our blog post on the inspiration behind the design.
Custom Quilt Bundles and Kits:
My favorite thing to create in the shop are custom quilt kits and bundles that you could never find anywhere else. The new Sunprint Brights Bundle by Alsion Glass is an eight piece collection of bright fat quarters. Another favourite of mine is the Inferno Bundle designed by Giucy Giuce, which contains 24 beautiful ombre pieces. And you can check out @Giucy_Giuce on Instagram for ideas! He recently did the mini series in Inferno. The shot cotton Collection by Alison Glass is another favorite to work with. The Kaleidoscope collection is now 60 pieces and we have custom Kaleidoscope bundles! I LOVE the feel of these shirting linen type fabrics!
In terms of kits, my favourite is definitely the new Pandemonium Jewel of the Amazon Quilt Kit. This pattern was created by Carl Hentsch in his book Flying Geese and New York Beauties.
This custom curated kit includes all fabric for the quilt top and binding, including 10.5 m of Kaffe fabric and a 32-piece FQ Bundle of the Kaleidopscope Shot Cottons by Alison Glass, and the Pattern Book (with many beautiful quilt and pillow designs).
Cuddle Quilt Backing by Shannon Fabrics
My favorite quilt backing right now is the Cuddle backing by Shannon Fabrics. It comes in 60” and 90" widths and is super soft and cuddly. It quilts up like a dream. The entire Cuddle collection by Shannon Fabrics is plush, cozy, and smooth.
We carry a wide range of colours and prints which are the perfect way to finish the back of your next project. The extra-wide 90" cuddle comes in many slid colors and makes seamless quilt backings for most of your larger quilts too! – or larger-than-life super cozy throw blankets! We have a new variety of extra-wide cuddle on the way to our shop! So stay tuned.
For Bag making, I want my bags to look professional so I always use the best Bag Hardware out there by Emmaline! We carry hardware in Gunmetal and Rainbow in a variety of styles for your bag projects, labels, snap hooks, zippers and pulls, buckles and more. With Emmaline hardware has what you need to finish your bag so that it looks brand new from a store.
This is my favorite paper to print my patterns on! It can be used in most inkjet or laser printers, and copy machines. This paper holds up beautifully during stitching, with no curling or turning brittle. It tears away easily and a dry iron on a cotton setting can be used with a press cloth on your ironing board cover to protect it from excess ink.
As you porbably know, I LOVE foundation paper piecing! In 2021 I completed the Violet Craft Cheetah Abstractions quilt. My favorite FPP patterns this past year have been those by Violet Craft and Carl Hentsch.
We carry a selection of these patterns on our site, as well as some kits. Carl Hentsch's book New York Beauties and Flying Geese is my most used and favorite book for FPP patterns so far.Brimfield Awakening Patterns Patterns and Products for EPP
We carry many Brimfield Awakening Patterns and other products for EPP, such as Block Centre Paper and Starter Packs which remove the frustration and challenges of sewing curves. The Starter Packs are the perfect EPP project for beginners because they are designed to be a fast finish for those looking for a fun and quick project!
When it comes to English Paper Piecing (EPP), I have just got to have my Sewline Glue Pen with Glue Refills. I glue baste all my pieces in EPP, because glue basting is fast and easy to use to get my pieces prepped to sew. The Sewline Glue Pen has a convenient design, and a little bit goes a long way. The glue goes on coloured but dries clear. It is also refillable and we carry refills which I always keep on hand.
This is one of my favourite quilting notions! I literally take my sandboard everywhere I go. It makes the perfect travel desk or portable table that doubles as a design board for EPP - English paper-piecing.
It has three surfaces: a white laminate smooth surface, a felt surface for keeping pieces put and designing, and a textured surface to grip fabrics for marking.
I would love to hear from you!
What are your favourite quilting tools from this past year? Share your thoughts in the comments!
You can find my favourite quilting tools and more on our website, we have everything you need for your next quilting project and ship all over North America.