Quilting is fun when you have the right supplies on hand isn't it. In this blog, l will share some of my favourite quilting tools that helps improve some of my quilting processes as well as making it easier and faster. You can read this blog post here where l share the basic starting quilting essentials for beginners. This post builds on these essential quilting tools to add more to your quilting toolbox.
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1. Slotted Ruler
Slotted rulers makes cutting fabric strips for your quilt a breeze. A slotted ruler has cutting slits that will help to ensure you're cutting the strips to the exact same size. No need to lift and reposition your ruler after every cut as you can get a few strips in one go. It's got good grip on your fabric whilst you cut helping to avoid slipping or miscuts. l've never been more in love with the cutting process than l have been since using this ruler. I use the Stripology ruler and have the XL size as shown in pictures below. They come in three sizes XL (which is what l've got), Square and mini.
Short video of a slotted ruler being used.
2. Double Suction Cup Ruler Grip
I must admit, this is one of those quilting tools l thought l didn't need because l will always be careful when using my rotary cutter and keep my fingers safe. However after hearing too many cautionary tales of quilters cutting the fingers, l couldn't shake the little voice that kept telling me to get one. I finally balked and have not regretted it one bit. This suction cup now lives permanently on my ruler. An added bonus of not cutting my fingers is how gentle it is on the wrists by reducing the pressure of holding and pressing your ruler in place with your hand to letting the suction cup do the job. Your fingers and writs will thank you for this, l know mine are.
3. Wool Pressing Mat
Wool pressing mats are amazing essential quilting tools to add to your quilt tool box. They make pressing your quilt blocks even more satisfying when you see the end result of those beautiful flat seams. The best parts of using a wool pressing mats are;
- They press your pieces on both sides at the same time thereby cutting down on pressing time. How is it possible to press your quilt blocks on both sides at the same time you ask? Wool is an amazing absorber of heat which it reflects back onto your piece from the bottom whilst you add heat from the top aka pressing on both sides at the same time.
- The wool texture help to grip your quilt piece in place as you are pressing which will help not to distort your block as you press.
A downside to using a wool pressing mat is;
- They do have a funky sheepy smell especially when steam is used. Luckily the smell does not stink up the whole house neither does it linger long. I personally do not mind the smell as it brings back lovely memories of my holidays spent at the farm when growing up.
If you do decide to get one for yourself, make sure you're getting the one that says 100% wool. You can get my wool pressing mat here. It's a 13 1/2" x 17" or you can get a bigger one for your ironing board here.
Picture of a wool pressing mat.
Picture of a wool pressing mat showing thickness of the mat.
Top left piece pressed on my normal ironing board whilst bottom right piece was pressed on a wool pressing mat.
4. Fold Away Cutting and Pressing Mat
This fold away cutting and pressing mat came into my possession by mistake as l what l thought l bought is not what l received...ha! I have used it everyday since to cut my fabric pieces, trim quilt blocks and to press on. With my little ones wanting mom all the time, l move my sewing machine to my dining table. That way, we can all be in the same space and more importantly, the kids have a bigger space to play instead of my poky little sewing room. I no longer move my big cutting mat and ironing board with me, instead, this easy to move fold away cutting and pressing mat comes to the dining table. I find it's a really handy quilting helper being compact and easy to move around. If you're the traveller type quilter that needs to carry their equipment with them, this would be perfect as it's nice and compact. My cutting and pressing mat is a 12" x 18" in size. I do place my wool pressing mat on top of the fold aways' pressing mat as l prefer pressing on that instead.
Photo of a fold away cutting and pressing mat
5. Half Square Triangle Slotted Trimmer
Every now and then l catch the bug to sew half square triangles (HSTs). When it comes time to trim the dog ears, that's where l'm always reminded why l do not always sew them. That is until l got my hands on the HST Clearly Perfect Slotted Trimmer. The beauty of these Slotted Trimmers is that you do all your trimming before pressing and once that's done, you press and move onto the next step in making your quilt. These HST Slotted trimmers will transform your HST trimming experience and a bonus is that you'll be done in no time.
Photo of HST Slotted Trimmers
Photo of HSTs used in my Flourishing Quilt
I hope you've enjoyed reading this list of my best quilting tools that help to make the quilting process a much more enjoyable experience. Do you have any quilting tools you love that elevates your quilting process? Do share in the comments below.