Traditional irons are heavy and most of the time it is sending a “woman to do a child’s job”. After all, most of quilting is pressing seams that are less than 12″. A smaller, more mobile iron is just the ticket. The lighter weight is a big plus. From Steamfast.
Memory also becomes an issue. These ruler stickers from G.E. Design can be used on mats, rulers, patterns, and fabrics. Keep them EVERYWHERE! Don’t waste time checking measurements for a second or third time….
Last but not least – rotary cutting. The Splash by Olfa offers a quick change blade system that is super simple. You no longer have to take a picture to remember how to put the thing back together – and there are no little parts to deal with!
Although this series is written for aging quilters, young quilters take note! If you use these tools from the very beginning, maybe you won’t develop the issues that we are dealing with now!
Threading needles becomes a problem but there are several solutions. For those who love handwork, try the Tulip self-threading needles. They come in a package of assorted sizes.
Or invest in a quality needle threader such as my favorite – this Clover version. The mechanism is enclosed so breakage is not a problem.
Consider the scissors as well. Some of them look cute but do they really meet your needs? Larger handholds and cushioned grip make everyone’s life easier. Throw in serrated edges that stop the fabric from slipping and you have a winner. Karen Kay Buckley’s scissors are the most popular.
Many of us prefer to hand stitch our bindings. But using your thumb to hold that fabric in place to create a nice, full binding edge can cause aches and pains. Clover Wonder Clips are the perfect solution. Move them as you sew or buy a large package that will hold the edges of an entire quilt.
Have trouble threading your sewing machine? Try Jeans needles. They have a larger eye because jeans threads are thicker and the points are very sharp to penetrate the thicker fabric. These same characteristics are great for all quilters as well.
What is causing you frustration when quilting? Why not ask your shop owner on possible solutions?
Think how much joy we get from quilting. It is not just a hobby. Quilting becomes a way to show friends and family that we love them. Classes, quilt shops and guilds provide a social aspect. And many quilters use it as a way to pay it forward by donating quilts. What can you do as a shop owner? Provide them with the tools that they need to quilt as long as they possibly can!
As we age, hand strength becomes an issue. Many women have mentioned that cutting the entire length of the ruler is an issue. They tend to slip and move away from the edge of the tool as they extend their arm. The perfect solution? The Creative Grids® Stripoology rulers. The weight of this ruler is enough to hold it in place without slipping so those with carpal tunnel issues won’t have to apply pressure to their thumbs to hold the ruler in place. And since the rotary cutter is placed in slots, every strip will be the same width.
Be sure to share the Creative Grids® Stripology Squared ruler as well. It is smaller and may be easier for an aging quilter to manipulate.
An added bonus? Since you don’t have to re position the ruler with each cut, you can cut 75% faster than with a traditional ruler. For those who can only rotary cut for limited periods of time due to arthritis, cutting 15 minutes instead of an hour is huge!
But sometimes, another ruler is required. That is when The Gypsy Quilter Gripper comes into play. The Gypsy Gripper is designed with two suction cups that attach to any smooth ruler surface. The Gripper ensures that even pressure is applied to the cutting surface so you can relax and rest your hand comfortably over the handle. Since no death grip is required, this tool is recommended for anyone with hand issues such as arthritis and carpal tunnel. Your hand is always away from the rotary cutter so your fingers are out of harm’s way.
There are also smaller sizes. Check our website for other options.