Wednesday, 23 March 2011


I thought I would share more handy tools  as part of Heather Bailey's blog feature.
These are sewing related again.  I get asked a lot about the ink I use for printing on fabric and here it is.  Versacraft is designed for fabric and other surfaces, is easily available ( I buy from Ebay) and heat sets with a hot iron.  It washes well and what more can I say- great stuff!
As I have mentioned before, I get arm and hand strain so anything which makes life easier is good- sprung scissors help a lot- these are Soft Touch Spring Action by Fiskars, nice and sharp and reasonably priced.  Without these I am really stuck, I can only use other scissors for a short time.  They are widely available.  The thread snips are invaluable for quilting and patchwork, anything with a multitude of threads.  Mine are Janome,Soft 'n Sharp Professional range, don't go mid or low range with these, I have found that option to be money down the drain.  They need to be super sharp quality blades to cut first time and so are a little more expensive be still reasonable.
I am sorry that there are no great revelations here and you may have seen all this stuff before, but just incase you haven't, my next choice is Fray Check.  Great around raw edge applique, helps you when your seam is too narrow and you worry it will fray, saves the raw edges of linen which is starting to fall apart- a sewing lifesaver
Rotary schmotary, yeah I know we've all seen rotary cutters before.  But, I have found that using a 28mm is a whole lot less strain on arms and hands than a 45mm.  The bigger size is good for cutting long, whole selvedge widths but this smaller one is great for everything else and gives better control.  Mine is an Olfa with an ergonomic retractable handle.
YLI Soft Touch thread is the best I have found for piecing (check out the PDF in that link for thread usage).  This is thinner than the YLI Machine or Sulky that I would use for quilting and strong and smooth for piecing.  It makes my points more accurate, it is finer so it doesn't swallow up the seam like quilting thread.  When a seam is just a quarter inch every bit counts and this has made my piecing a whole lot more accurate.
Any secret gadgets that make your life, sewing or otherwise easier? Do share...
sib blog


  1. Thank you for your great tips. I esp. appreciate the craft ink info... have been wondering what works well.

    I am having issues with my right wrist and elbow, so appreciate your cutting tool suggestions as well. :)

  2. I hope they work for you Liz- little bursts with the cutting, I cannot do a long stretch.

  3. Great tools. I love my rotary cutter too. Couldn't live without it.

  4. Even if it's been shown before it is still Awesome! to see what everyone uses and your shares have been helpful to me. I want to check out that ink...I like! Now the rotary cutter, don't know why but i still want to use scissors :) Maybe I'll give it another try for everyday sewing.
    Thanks, Love your blog!

  5. The olfa cutter! Now I see how you manage to work with very small pieces!

  6. oooh, thanks for the tips on versacraft, Kerry! I'll have to pick some of that up! I don't have one of these yet, but the fabric folding pen by clover is pretty slick!


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