Favourite quilting things

“Raindrops on roses, And whiskers on kittens, Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens, Brown paper packages tied up with strings, These are a few of my favorite things …”

My favourite quilting things can’t compete with the magical images in that well-known song from The Sound of Music.  “Brown pizza boxes, tied up with strings, etc.” … No, it doesn’t quite work, does it?

Nevertheless, these are a few of my favourite quilting things – simple, inexpensive, and very helpful.  Thanks to fellow quilters who shared these ideas online and in person at presentations, workshops, and wherever quilters gather.  Tell me about some of your favourite quilting things for a future post.

Sticky Shelf Liner

A strip of sticky shelf liner placed underneath your quilting ruler will keep the ruler from sliding when you are cutting fabric with a rotary cutter.


A square of sticky shelf liner underneath your foot pedal will help keep your foot pedal from sliding around on a hard floor.


Skewers & Thread Patches

Bamboo skewers can help guide your fabric accurately through your machine and keep the patches aligned when you are piecing.

Starting your stitching on a “thread patch” helps prevent thread from tangling.


Pizza Boxes

Large cardboard pizza boxes are handy for storing leftover blocks, strips, bits and pieces, and they stack well, too.  The Little Caesars employee who kindly gave me the boxes had a somewhat bemused look on his face during our conversation, as I recall.



A piece of batting near your sewing machine makes a great place to put thread trimmings before they attach themselves to anything in the vicinity.

A piece of batting also works well for picking up lint on hard surfaces in your sewing room.


Stick-on Thimble Pads

My newest favourite quilting thing is the stick-on thimble pad.

I have tried lots of thimbles, but somehow they slip off my finger and bounce away, no matter how much I try to get the right fit.  Stick-on thimble pads have solved the problem of the runaway thimble for me.

It takes just a wee bit of time to find the right place on your finger to stick the pad and to remember to line up the pad with the end of your needle when you push it into the fabric.  Go gentle with the needle at first till you master the technique, but stick with it and you will be on your way.  Thimble pads are light but tough.  They stay on your finger but will come off easily too, and they are re-usable for quite a while.  Thank you to Poppin’s Quilt Parlour in Penticton for showing me this product.



5 thoughts on “Favourite quilting things

  1. Thanks – just dug around my pantry and dug out shelf liner! I put a strip of Ikea STOPP anti-slip underlayment for rugs alongside my machine to stop the quilt top pulling and sliding off when it starts getting bigger (http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/catalog/products/80227877/). Ugly, and yes, a much bigger table would be better, but hey, the STOPP only costs a few dollars a roll 🙂

  2. The shelf liner under the ruler is a fantastic idea, my ruler always slips as I progress cutting to the top, using the liner prevents that slippage. I had resorted to a dumbell to hold the ruler, but the liner is even better!

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