The Quilter's Gift Guide

1. Creative Grids Rulers

Creative grids rulers

Their non-slip back actually works and their markings are clear and smart--just what you always wanted and couldn't find in rotary rulers. I swear you won't realize how shitty rulers are until you try Creative Grids, and then wonder why you suffered with others for so long.

6.5"x24.5" General-Purpose Ruler. Full inches are marked in white numbers from one corner and half inches (e.g. 1.5", 2.5") are marked in black from the other corner, so you'll always know which end you're measuring from. Never accidentally measure from the wrong end and be 1/2" off!

8.5x8.5" Square-Up Ruler for trimming final pieces to size. It has the same white vs black numbers, and a 45 degree line across the diagonal, with "L" corner markings along that diagonal every 1/4". The "L" markings are really useful for lining up fabric for perfect cuts.

3.5x12.5" Quick Trim Ruler for smaller trimming and the best half-square triangle (HST) experience you'll have! It cuts HSTs as a trapezoid that has the seam allowance built-in, so you have no fabric waste, you get exact final dimensions without trimming, and it literally takes 1/4 the time. Ingenious! Check out this video.

2. Kai Professional Scissors

kai 7000 series scissors

Butter. Everything feels like butter. Kai's Professional 7000 series is stainless steel hardened with molybdenum and vanadium to a Rockwell hardness of 60, as compared to Gingher and Kai's 5000 line that have a hardness of 56. It may not sound like a lot, but that's the typical difference between consumer kitchen knives and professional chef knives. Kai's 7000 series are also incredibly light and have a very comfortable grip, unlike the heavy Ginghers.

For quilting, 4" thread snippers, 6" shears mostly for applique cutting, 9" shears.

3. The Pin Place / Scissor Spot

pin place scissor spot

I always keep 2 things at my sewing machine: small thread scissors and a seam ripper. The problem is that they go missing all the time. This gizmo has a suction on one side and a magnet on the other, so you can suction-magnet your scissor, seam ripper, pins to your sewing machine!

4. My Comfort Rotary Cutter

My comfort rotary ruler Finally, an ergonomic rotary cutter so that you can press straight down--you're more stable and your wrist won't burn. All other rotary cutters are in a straight line, so you awkwardly push down at a 45 degree angle with your wrist. You beloved Olfa blades will still work in it!

5. Magic Blue-Tipped Needles

janome blue tip needles I don't quilt with anything but these magic needles. They're Janome #11 needles, but they're standard size so they'll work in any machine. Ever get skipped stitches and re-thread your bobbin, re-thread your main spool, change thread brands, change stitch length, turn your machine on and off, clean your machine, re-attach your foot, drop and raise your feed dogs, to no avail?

These magic needles are a godsend. Janome states they have a "pierce point plus a slightly long than normal scarf to cure skipped stitches." It's true.

6. Sewline Ceramic Pencils

Sewline ceramic pencils Sewline ceramic pencils draw beautifully, stay on when you want, and erase when you want. Chalk pencils come either too thick to be precise or too thin and break, or the chalk just blows off, or colored chalk stains the 267th piece in your gorgeous quilt. These ceramic pencils are amazing though pricey, but I use them from quilting to applique to embroidery. The green color is the most versatile.

7. Newsprint Paper for Paper Piecing

newsprint paper piecing

Newsprint is CHEAP, tears off easily, and feeds through an inkjet printer. Don't hate yourself when tearing off 20lb white paper from paper piecing projects.

8. Grabaroos Gloves

grabaroos gloves quilting I have short fingers and every other free-motion quilting glove has too long fingers, or the material's too thin or is too thick. I used Machingers for years until I found Grabaroos. The amount of rubber balls on the fingers is perfect and grips heavy quilts better than Machingers.

9. Clover wonder clips

clover wonder clips quilting Perfect for binding. Clover Wonder Clips have ruler markings on the back so you can pin binding without a ruler. And you'll start using them for much more than just binding, often replacing pins.