Friday, September 23, 2022

Gadgets galore!

Thanks to Carol for organizing all our Gadget appeal and for including me in the mix. 

 What quilter does not have and assortment of thingamabobs to help us in quilting. Such rulers, pointers, turners, and more to make our lives easier as a quilter.  

I have drawers full of things, some from when I first started sewing back 45/50 years ago.  I took the required home economics in middle school, but selected a class my senior year. I had already sewn my first dress with arm and neck facings as well as a zipper when I was 10. So I was well familiar with the sewing machine. However, it introduced me into tailoring where I made my first wool suit. 

And over many decades I have transitioned through sewing for my kids especially smocking dresses for my daughter. And I made baby quilts and accessories.  That blossomed into quilting where I continue to new and varied techniques each requiring new gadgets. 

Some needed gadgets are expensive like a good set of Gingher scissors. The large one I have had for decades. The smaller one is awesome and has serrated edges and perfectly cuts fine lines and inside points.

Some gadgets are very inexpensive like freezer paper and other dollar store items for storage.

But my favorite gadgets are 

1) my wool pressing mat.  I only have a 12 square as when they first came out they were pricey. But I pin  a layer of  muslin to protect it from various stiffening sprays which then can be removed, washed and repinned. ( I left the stains on it so you could see them, but then changed it. ) 

I really find this helps my seams to be flatter and less misshapen. Although I do use a spray stiffener. I am not partial to any one brand, but do love the misting spray bottle. 

2) my seam rippers and I have many for those times where mistakes happen.

These are inexpensive ( TJ Max) facial hair trimmers. Really!

(Sorry, my attempt at a video failed.  You open the seam and push it on the threads.  It cuts it without hurting the fabric.  I have also seen it pushed in between the 2 pieces of fabric to cut all the threads.  this is similar to a seam ripper with a ball on one of the points. 

I also love my normal Clover ones.  I keep misplacing them. 

3) frixion pens.  I just love these to mark fabrics. They have a wonderful fine line and come in a variety of colors. And they erase when ironed. Yeah!   I like the ones with the lids not the clicker ones. They are only about 3 dollars or such. 

4) Lastly my clear rulers. I use these at the ready to mark my diagonal lines for half square triangles. But additionally It is at my side to measure small fabric lengths and check seam allowances. These are usually next to my machine, unless they have wandered to another location. 


5) Another notion I can not due without is my magnetic pin bowl. They were all the rage and beautifully painted.  But I purchased mine at Harbor Freight for a fraction of the cost.  This is so good to keep pins where they should be.  I find it so easy to drop the pin in the vicinity and it just goes there. It will attract pins, stick to your ironing board, and not spill when it is dropped.  

6)  An unusual notion is some pipe cleaners or chenille stems.  I really like these to help clean my sewing machine.  The fuzziness attracts the lint and holds it.  The wire in the middle is great for poking in cracks. 


7) Lastly, I love, love, love my thread cutter for chain piecing.  It was given as a gift as I would not have bought it for myself. And now, I can't sew without it. There are many brands and I think they all use a rotary blade you can spin or replace if it gets dull. My tiny screw driver is on the  bottom. 


Hope you learned something from the list and the photos.  Gadgets are ever evolving and we all want short cuts. 


  1. Great gadgets! I use pipe stem cleaners in my machine too. The dust sticks right to them. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I was given one of those facial trimmers to use as a ripper, but I never tried it and now I need to find where I put it! Too many gadgets and I forget where things are, lol!!!!

  3. Lots of fun gadgets. Love that you use pipe cleaners to clean your machine. I'm gonna try it.

  4. I love learning for my blogging buddies. I never thought about protecting my wool pressing mat. A piece of muslin is so easy too. Thanks for that tip. And the facial hair trimmers. Heck I could use it both for me and my machine. LOL!! Rulers, cutter, pipe cleaners...they are all necessities in today's quilting world.

    1. Make that learn from... I need to learn to spellcheck!

  5. We use a lot of the same gadgets! I, too, love pipe cleaners for cleaning my machine! Thanks for sharing all your favourites!

  6. All great gadgets! I always forget about the pipe cleaners. I need to put that on my list. Isn’t it great that we have so many great tools available to us in this modern age of sewing!

  7. had never thought to get pipe cleaners for cleaning the sewing machine!

  8. thanks for sharing. I love my mister also, got it from my hair dresser. I love your thread cutter, and its PURPLE lol I found a cosmetic brush holder at walmart and it holds all kinds of things by my machine. and my daughter got a suction cup handle from a hardware store for me to put on my rulers. It is wonderful.

  9. You shared some great ideas for gadgets, like covering the wool mat. I always worry about it getting ruined. The pipe cleaners are super thinking, too! Thank you for sharing your wonderful gadgets!

  10. So many wonderful gadgets and tips! Thank you! I have several Frixion pens, but have never tried using them for sewing projects. I will give it a try.

  11. I never even thought to use facial hair trimmers as seam rippers - great idea!

  12. I love all your gadgets! I use pipe cleaners too~ so good for those tiny spots!

  13. Love your gadgets, have never heard of using the facial hair trimmers. Seeing how I always rip a hole in my fabric with a seam ripper I am adding this to my shopping list, thank you for the tip. When it works and probably will I hope I remember your site so I can give credit.

  14. I never think to use frixon pens.. I think I need a thread cutter

  15. Super gadgets and many I use, too. I must check out the magnetic pincushion and the thread cutter, too.

  16. Great gadgets! Thanks for sharing. I added that thread cutter to my wish list. :o)

  17. What a great group of gadgets! Using facial hair trimmers as seam rippers is genius!

  18. Wow, those are all great gadgets! Thanks for sharing them with us! xx

  19. Wow, I don't have that many gadgets for my knitting and crocheting, but you're right as you do new things you often need a new gadget to help get the job done.
    Sandy's Space