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30. Coolest Quilting Notions

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Hi there. I’m Nicole Gilbert and you’ve joined the stop scrolling start sewing podcast. Are you new to sewing and wants to start quilting, but have no idea where to begin? Each Wednesday, join me as I share the ins and outs of that quilt life. If you don’t have a sewing machine, I have no idea how much fabric you need, or you’re just trying to figure out where the heck to stick that bobbin. This is the podcast for you. Hey there,

Nicole here. Welcome to episode 30 of the stop scrolling start sewing podcast and welcome to November. Oh my gosh, guys. 2020s almost over. Hello. I am so excited about that. You have no idea. Anyway, back to business. On today’s episode, we are going to talk all about quilting notions and I’m really, really excited because I’m going to do it with a little twist and something, a little different from what you usually hear from me.

But first, a quick reminder, if you want to be featured on an upcoming episode of the stop scrolling start sewing podcast, please head on over to wherever you listen to podcasts and leave me a review five stars for good karma. I read every single one and they mean the world to me. They also allow me to reach more listeners every week. So thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Okay, guys, let’s get sewing.

So quilt notions, for those of you who are not familiar with the term quilt notions are all the little tools and do dads and things that you use to make your quilt journey easier. So your seam ripper, that’s a quilting notion. Um, your needle threader, that’s a quilting notion. Your cutting mat also a quilting notion. So all of the little tools that you use to make your life easier. Now, I have always been a big advocate of only having what you need. I know that quilting can quickly become kind of an expensive hobby, and I really don’t want anybody to think that it is too expensive to do. You totally can do it. It’s just that many of the online educators out there preach that you need to have all of the things. And you really, really don’t. Um, earlier, uh, in an earlier episode, I forget what episode it is.

It might be like episode two. Uh, so you can head over to the show notes for that episode, Um, and in that episode, I go down a list of all the quilting supplies and what ones do you absolutely need in order to start quilting? And it’s not much honestly. And you could like totally get started with quilting for less than a hundred bucks. So keep that in mind. You don’t need a lot, but today. And I think it’s because like I was looking at the calendar and I was like, Oh my gosh, this is going to go live in November. This is post Halloween. It is, you know, I know Turkey is coming and I love Turkey, but it’s like the start of the holiday season. So gifts, gifts, gifts, gifts. And so a lot of these things are wonderful gifts to give to the quilter in your life and to tell your significant other or parents or kids, Hey, I want this thing, great gifts.

Cause some of the things on the list are like legitimately $3. So it’s great gift giving, but I just wanted you guys to know that once you do have everything all set, it’s okay to splurge on yourself every once in a while. And sometimes those things make a huge difference. So let’s dive in, I’m going a wide range of stuff here. So bear with me. It’s got to get fun. Okay. First let’s talk rulers. And I’m probably going to bounce around a little because this is like I was making like crazy notes. Like I’m a crazy person. My desktop looks like Momento right now to be quite honest. So, um, first let’s talk about rulers and I want to talk in particular about square rulers and the first square rulers I want to talk about are the two and a half, four and a half, six and a half and nine and a half inch square rulers.

Usually you can get that in a bundle. Um, I know Omni grid makes a bundle of all four of those together. June Taylor makes a bundle of, or all four of those together. I actually have the June Taylor bundle. And what I love is that, do you need these? Absolutely not. But you will find in your quilting journey that you are going to either have to cut straight up two and a half, four and a half, six and a half or nine and a half inch squares, or you’re going to be creating two and a half, four and a half, six and a half nine and a half inch, half square triangles, quarter square triangles or mini blocks. And having these square rulers really can be a game changer when it comes to squaring up your pieces. So I definitely want you guys to keep that in mind.

Um, it they’re, they’re pretty cool. The June Taylor ones that I have include the quarter inch seam allowance around the edges. They include the 90 degree, 45 degree angles on them, which is great for squaring up half square triangles and quarter square triangles on them. Um, also that nine and a half, sometimes your quilt blocks end up being that size. So it’s great to use that, to square everything up really, really cool. And speaking of squaring up our blocks for our quilt tops, you can also get classic quilt block sized squares. So like 12, 15, 18 inch squares so that you can square up your blocks. So that means your quilt top at the end is like bang on how cool is that super cool. That’s how cool it is. Very cool. Okay. Another really cool ruler is the strip ology ruler. I don’t know if you’ve heard of it or not.

It’s by creative grids. It’s amazing if you haven’t heard of it, like seriously Google it. It’s all one word strip ology. Um, and it actually, the ruler is like a giant square or rectangle, depending on what size you get, because it does come in multiple sizes, but the inch marking tab like lines, those hatches actually are slots for your rotary cutter. So you could place this ruler down on your flat fabric and slide up all of the applicable, um, inch marks. You know, if you’re making two inch strips, five inch shrimps, whatever, and like bang out strip sets in seconds, like literally in seconds, which is pretty amazing. Also, if you just heard a little ding-dong in the background, I forgot to put a, do not disturb on my notifications. So I apologize about that. Roll with me. People. I am multitasking. Like you would not believe right now.

My son is playing hockey. I’ve got, I mean, you name it. I’ve got to go in on. Alright. So the strip ology ruler is cool. Like just straight up. It’s cool. Um, it’s very quick. So you can line up this ruler on your folded yardage and slice slice slice. So awesome. Now that I’ve been talking to you about all the cool new rulers. Oh the so easy companion ruler, companion angle, ruler. Love that ruler. Oh my gosh. For trimming half square triangles. Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. I love that thing. It’s one of my favorites and it’s just for that, it’s straight up for tripping high square triangles. You use it before you press the, the triangle open. Beautiful comes out beautiful every time. Again, not something that you need, but it makes your life a lot easier. Okay. Now that I’ve been talking about rulers, I told you I’d be a little crazy here.

Let’s talk about a ruler rack because you’re going to start to have a lot of acrylic rulers hanging around by myself. Um, I used to have a ruler rack. I don’t have a ruler rack anymore, but that is because I am moving towards creating an in-home quilting studio so that I can make videos for you guys and talk to my students in the modern quilters Academy and have kind of everything at my fingertips. So my husband made me this amazing pegboard, like eight feet by four feet pegboard that he put a frame on and mounted it to my wall. And so I’ve got all of my rulers out. So I’ve got multiple triangles, multiple squares, um, six by 18 six by 24. I’ve got a lot of rulers just hanging so that I can grab them as I’m going, as I’m thinking about it, it’s a super quick switch in and out.

But for those of you that don’t have quite as big of a setup, a ruler rack is an amazing thing to do so again, you don’t need this. You could put them in a drawer, you could put them under your bed. You can put them in a closet, not a huge thing, but ruler racks will free up your workspace. And they will also keep your rulers from getting scratched, which I know doesn’t sound like that big of a deal, but, um, as they get worn and that paint starts to chip that paint is your inch lines. That’s like what you’re measuring with. So you kind of want to do a little bit of diligence to keeping them in better shape. And of course, because we are still on the topic of rulers, let’s talk about the rule of gripper. I’ve got two different real grippers that I want to talk to you about first.

Let’s talk about true grips. True grips are little. They’re not even dime-sized, I don’t think they’re little discs and they’re tacky and you put them on the underside of your ruler. And then when you put your ruler down on your fabric and you’re cutting, there’s zero wiggle of your ruler. And so you can into your finger all the way up that ruler and that ruler’s not going to wiggle. Now the only downside to them. And they’re really, non-descriptive, they’re super smooth. The only downsides to them is that like, I like to slide my ruler out of the way, when I’m like flipping fabric, folding fabric, doing all that kind of stuff, I just kind of like batted out of the way. And that thing don’t slide like it grips. And so that’s a little bit of a downsize, but like really, if we’re really talking about stuff, not an issue, a different kind of ruler grip, and I’ve heard this called a million different things.

I’m just going to refer to it as the ruler. Gripper. Honestly, you don’t even need to get a quilt shop, one of these, but it looks like a giant phone hints, handset. And it’s got like clips on either end and giant suction cups, like where the ear and mouthpiece would go, like on an old school phone, it looks like that. And you suction cup it right onto your ruler and you hold onto that handle. And it also helps you keep your ruler from, from moving. And you don’t have to inch your hand up the ruler because you’re holding on, on that handle. And the pressure is evenly distributed through that phone shape thingy. Um, literally this is how scientific I’m getting. I’m going to refer to it as the rule of gripper. Now I have been to bed bath and beyond and seen it in the shower section in like a silver color.

And it’s like a handicap persons grip bar. I have seen it in like I Kia in like a blue color for like children’s rooms to assist them with getting up and off of the potty. Um, and then I’ve seen the purple ones that are sold at quilt shops for the rulers. And there’s a price disparity through them. I can’t remember what I paid for mine. Cause I legitimately bought mine like 10 years ago. You should never pay more than like 20 bucks for it. So for sure don’t do that. But I want to say like one of them is like 10 bucks. So look around because they’re all the exact same thing they’re just marketed for different uses. Um, I think it’s, I really do think there’s even an info commercial infomercial out there for them. Um, so you could probably find them at like the mall in the mall, like during Christmas season that as seen on TV store, like pops out of nowhere, they’re usually in there as well.

So keep that in mind, but they’re really, really cool. One thing also that I like about that handle, for those of you who have arthritis in your hands or in your wrist, or you have carpal tunnel, it helps you hold the ruler in a more ergonomically correct fashion. So it takes some stress off of your hand drinks, especially when, you know, when I have my fingertips spread and I’m pushing really hard down on the ruler, I can feel the tension and the pressure in each of my fingers. And that’s not an issue when I’m using the roller gripper. So I love it. Love it, love it, love it. Also side note. It will also keep you from nicking your fingers every once in a while that rotary cutter, I go, uh, you know, like you skip the ruler, your fingers, nowhere near it. So you don’t have to worry about it.

Um, I know that sounds crazy, but it happens. It just happens when you’re cutting the same thing over and over and over again, you cannot help, but have your attention be split. So a little safety tip for you as well. Okay. Next up wool pressing match. I am going to full transparent honesty here. I do not have a wool pressing that. Also honest moment. I want a wool pressing mat so badly. I hope my husband is listening to this so that he can put one under the Christmas tree for me. I want one. So the wool keeps heat in so that when you are pressing it like warms the fabric from the other side and gets you the best, crisp it, crisp, crisp lines and seams that you’ve ever seen. And it’s, they’re amazing. And they’re relatively inexpensive. Now I use a chairside ironing board that I made out of a TV tray, like an old school wooden TV tray that I wrapped in batting and wrapping fabric. And I teach all of my students to do it as well. Cause it is the cheapest most convenient way to do a chairside ironing board. And it like is so easy and you can fold it up and put it out of the way. It’s great.

But in fact, wool pressing mats come in like 18 by 24, which is the standard top size of those little TD trees. Again, it was made, it was meant to be, I need to have one of these things. I don’t know why I don’t yet, but I really, really want one. And I want to say, they’re like, depending on the one you get some have better reviews than others. When you go to like Amazon and stuff, I’m going to link to all of these items in the show notes, modern culture, So don’t worry. I will have links for all of these things, but, um, it’s one of the pricier items on this list, but still like 30 or 40 bucks, not a game changer usually. So keep that in mind. I really want to we’ll present that. Okay. Moving on the rotating self-healing mat, I’m just going to let that sink in for a second.

This is how extra I think some of these items are. Um, I genuinely don’t think anybody needs a rotating self feeling mat. I love my rotating self healing that I know. So I don’t use it all the time, but I’ll tell you one thing I am doing right now, the North star quilt, uh, by Emily, Dennis from over on CU at Quilty love. If you’re not familiar with her, go check her out. She’s awesome. Really beautiful clean line quilt patterns that are beginner friendly while still being slightly challenging and all have like an impressive final product look. So if you’re not familiar with her, go check her out. Anyway, I’m doing that. And there are quarter square triangles. And so I’m using my four and a half inch square ruler that C C makes that easy. And I’m using my rotating self healing mat and it’s small.

My rotating self healing mat is an 18 inch square. So it’s pretty small, but what’s great is that it’s like a lazy Susan. So I put my quarter inch square on top in the middle of, of this self healing mat. I put my ruler, my square ruler on top and I cut two sides. Now in most videos you’ll watch, they will then like cross their arm over the hand. That’s holding the ruler in place and slice in that other direction. And then they’ll either reposition or they will put in a cut on the wrong side of the ruler, which is terrible. Cause you’re going to make mistakes with a rotating self healing mat. It just spins. And so you’re able to make those cuts in the appropriate manner for safety sake, for straight line sake and for ease. And user-friendliness love it. That being said, I had done three quilts prior to it and never had to use it. So it’s not something I use all the time, but when I do use it, I’m reminded about how much I love it. You know? So there’s that. Okay. We’re we’re down to the final two things on malist. Okay. And the next one is like, what in the Amish quilter, are you talking about lady? It’s a wooden clapper.

I know if you’re not sure what a wooden clapper is. It is about, uh, depending on the size that you get. It could be anywhere from six inches to like 12 inches. You rarely see the bigger than 12 inches long and they are probably four to six inches wide. Um, and then they’re like four, three or four inches thick. And then they’re literally like a stylized block of wood, all burnished and smooth, but unfinished. So raw wood. And they’re just like a little block and they’re rounded on the edges. Some of them have like little handles on them, but what a one in clapper does when you press a SIEM, especially if you’re using steam, okay, keep this in mind. If you’re somebody who uses steam, keep this in mind. But when you press a seam, we don’t want to leave the iron on there for too long because we can scorch the fabric. We can distort the fabric. So we kind of press and release, press and release, press and release with a clapper. When you release on that last time you put the clapper down and it’s heavy. Cause it’s like a block of wood and the wood holds the heat in that steam, in that seam. When you take that clapper off, Whoa, Nelly, that is a good seam. It’s a good scene.

The reason why I pointed out, especially the use of steam is that sometimes the moisture from the steam can also distort our seams. So we press a beautiful seam and then slowly the steam kind of undoes your work a little. Now I know it’s like, counter-intuitive it does the work and then undoes the work a little. But if you use a clapper, not only do you get that super awesome steam, hot crisp seam, but also the clapper, since it’s raw wood, it absorbs that bit of steam. All that moisture comes out of the fabric and it’s in the clapper. So cool. Right. And I know, I know it’s like, so Amish, like when you look at these things, you’re like, that’s a block of wood. That’s like, that’s like a really nicely sanded block of wood and it is, but it’s so good guys. It’s so good.

And again, it’s not expensive. Um, I don’t know why. So my husband, I asked for a clapper and I remember when I asked for a clapper, he was like, can I just cut a line of wood in the garage? Cause my husband has kind of like, is like a very hands-on carpentry builds all of the things he he’s amazing. Um, and so we just had like a wood heap in our garage where those people, and so he’s like, can I just do it? And I don’t know why, but I’m like, no, you can’t. I need like an official clapper. And I don’t know why. I’m sure there’s people out there. Actually, if you’re a person out there who has like a homemade clapper, can you tell me about it? Because I kind of like, poo-pooed all over my husband, but in reality, when I look at a clapper, I’m like, yeah, I mean, it is just kind of like a piece of wood.

So let me know. There might be something even more special about store-bought clappers. So let me know either way. There’s something that’s super basic, but super cool. Okay. Onto my last, um, gift that also could be a gift set, kind of a deal or cool notion w w work with me here. It’s a Hara marker. And just in case, you’re wondering how you spell that. It’s H E R a and a Hara marker looks kind of like a cake icing tool. It’s a flat butter, knifey kind of a tool that has kind of a wider, flat edge with a point on it. Um, it’s really hard to explain, but again, I will link to one in the show notes. If you’re curious about it, I will do that for you guys. And what a Hara marker does is its edge is so distinct that you can actually create creases on your fabric with it without ever actually marking your fabric.

So this is especially good if you’re like a machine quilter, um, you can Mark lines in your fabric top and so straight into the markings that the Hara marker makes without ever having to put a marker line on your fabric. So for those of you who are super hesitant about using like a friction pen or a disappearing ink pen, a Hara marker might be exactly what you’re looking for. Now, a gift set option. If you go on Etsy and I’m doing this as a secret number, because I think everybody out there who is a quilter has a seam ripper. If you have a sewing machine and you bought it new, it came with a seam ripper. Everyone’s got a seam ripper, but there are some beautiful hand turned seam rippers out there. Um, my husband got me this gorgeous marble handled like eight inch long, super sharp, gorgeous, gorgeous seam ripper.

Now they also make these in a set of a seam ripper and the Hara marker. And there is just something so nice about using beautiful tools. Like just so nice. So I would say this is probably like my number one, go-to for a gift set. If you have a friend who is a sower or who a quilter and you can’t really think of something, it’s one of those nice little touches that you’re just like, Ooh, you just up-leveled my sewing space. And I love it. And you feel a little bit fancy and it’s pretty cool. So just keep that in mind. Okay guys. And like I said, you can go ahead and visit the modern quilter four links to all of these items. Um, in my show notes. Also, if you’re curious about that list, I referenced earlier where I talked about like the bare bones items that you need for quilting head over to the modern quilters And I will get that to you ASAP. You’ll be able to find it there. It’s awesome. Okay guys, you have just finished another episode of the stop scrolling start sewing podcast. Thank you so much for hanging out with me to catch up on today’s episode and all past episodes, head over to the modern quilter Make sure you never miss an episode by hitting subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts. Now stop scrolling and start sewing.

Quilt Love

Noelani T.

I worked with Nicole in a one on one environment on a large quilt. I have limited sewing experience and...

Noelani T.

The Modern Quilters Circle

Noelani T.

I worked with Nicole in a one on one environment on a large quilt. I have limited sewing experience and Nicole’s expertise was invaluable for this large project. Nicole is very patient and explained the different steps and their purposes clearly. She improved my original idea to better accomplish my overall goal. I highly recommend Nicole as an instructor and would personally have another session in a heartbeat!

Michelle L.

I seriously didn’t even know the names of parts of my sewing machine before I worked with Nicole. She walked...

Michelle L.

The Modern Quilters Circle

Michelle L.

I seriously didn’t even know the names of parts of my sewing machine before I worked with Nicole. She walked me through everything step by step. And it was amazing. She taught me the ins and outs of my machine and how to add each basic concept together. It was invaluable, because now I can figure things out and get creative without fearing the dreaded unravel!
The Modern Quilters Circle