Are you taking part in the Instagram Quiltfest? It's been masterminded - and I don't think that's too strong a word - by Amy Ellis of Amy's Creative Side. There's a daily theme for posts throughout March and quilters from all over the world have been sharing pictures with the special hashtag #igquiltfest. One of the prompts was 'Your Favourite Notions' and as I gathered together all the equipment I use regularly I thought it would be a really good topic for a blog post.
Clockwise from above, left:-
1. Apple pincushion from Liberty (which always reminds me of a fun weekend in London).
2. Clover extra-long, glass-head pins, fine enough to use on the most delicate fabric - some pins are so thick they make visible holes - and they don't melt if you accidentally iron over them.
3. Aqua polka dot tiny scissors, for snipping threads - I really need a few more pairs of these, they never seem to be where I thought I'd left them - and Ernest Wright big scissors (a.k.a. dressmaking shears) for cutting large pieces of fabric.
4. Aurifil 50 thread for piecing: deliciously fine and strong, it doesn't shed fibres all over my machine and bung up my bobbin like some threads do.
5. Gutterman quilting thread for hand quilting, which is sort of wiry when you wind it off the spool and doesn't tangle.
6. Water soluble marker pen, which I treat with respect and use sparingly as it left faint marks on one of my quilts. The trick seems to be to soak your work in plain, cold water to make sure it's all been removed.
7. Creative Grids small ruler. I have a few rulers, but this is my favourite and is about the same size as a school ruler.
8. Olfa Splash rotary cutter: light, easy to open/close with a super-simple blade change.
9. Tulip long basting needles, which I use for everything as they're fantastically strong. I find longer needles much easier to use and these are perfect. When I say I use them for everything, I probably wouldn't tackle applique with them (fine milliner's needles would be better) but then I wouldn't tackle applique...
10. Gorgeous, vintage folding ruler - found at Exeter antique market last month - which is really handy for measuring fabric off the bolt.
11. Washi (low tack) tape, which I use for marking rulers, my machine and even fabric.
12. Binding clip...just the one mind...which I use to hold down the binding when I turn a corner. I've also seen them used to 'pin' fabric, although I haven't tried that myself.
13. Lastly - out of shot because it's such an ugly shade of green - an enormous Olfa cutting mat. I also have a small mat that fits on my ironing board an d is great for trimming. I've tried a few brands and Olfa maintains its markings the best. If only it wasn't green...
Another essential - which I forgot to include in my post - is my i-phone, which I use to snap pictures of block layouts, use as a calculator when I'm writing patterns...and cruise IG on when I should be working ;-)