We can all quilt with just a few straight forward tools, but it’s always fun to try out new and sometimes more efficient ways to get the job done. Every issue of MQU features a “tool box” section where we present some of the latest and greatest tools and materials available. We also have had many fine articles by contributors such as Linda Griepentrog that examine a variety of products while sharing information on their best attributes. In that vein, here are a few products that recently caught my eye either for their cleverness, versatility, or fun factor. Maybe one of them might make a good stocking stuffer for a quilter on your list this holiday season.
Spiral Eye Needle
In a previous blog post I mentioned how great it was to use a self threading needle when burying threads on the back of a quilt. The draw back to the needles I showed, however, is that not every needle in the package works really well, and often they shred the thread somewhat. A lady named Pam Turner invented the spiral eye needle in memory of her mother and the frustrations she faced in threading a needle. Since it has a side opening, the thread does not come out by itself, and also doesn’t have to be forced through a small opening. I bought some myself and am looking forward to trying them out. The needles are available in a variety of sizes. Of note is that they are offered in two versions, made in America and made in China (and called Sench needles). See the ordering page on their website to learn about the differences between the two types.
Thread Cutterz Ring
The Thread Cutterz ring began as a means to help fisherman cut their lines. One day the owner’s wife used it to cut thread, and the rest was history. With a velcro closure these rings can be adjusted to fit anyone. It has a recessed double-sided blade that easily cuts thread. It looks like a convenient way to help you sew on the go.
Sealah “No-Sew” Tape
I think this product would be great for fast holiday decorating projects, like adding trim to a table runner. This double sided tape is not meant to be sewn through, as it will really gum up your needle, but according to the manufacturer it can be washed after the 24 hour curing time. I was shown a sample project that was made twenty years ago, and the tape was still holding strong. They have some cute projects on their site with good instructions. It’s available on their website as well as at a variety of retail outlets online.
Zirkel Magnetic Pin cushion/organizer
Okay, this thing is useful but also very fun. If you drop your pins on it with the points down, it magically arrays them with the heads aligned outward! I couldn’t find the direct website for this product, but it’s readily available in many quilt shops as well as other retail outlets. It does have a very strong magnet, so keep it away from electronics. I think it would be great for making clothing, as the pin heads are so easy to grasp. Click on the image below twice to animate it.
Are there any fun tools you’ve noticed recently? I’d love to learn about them!