Friday, December 16, 2016

Christmas Wish List Items for Your New Year's FMQ Resolution

So you plan to do more free motion quilting in 2017?  Here are some items that make it much easier, just in time for that last minute shopping list.

1.  Gidget table

Yes an inset table for your machine is a must if you are serious about fmq.  You can go out and buy a big fancy setup.  But this little table is sturdy and easy to move around.  I find myself rearranging my sewing room quite often.  This little table can fit in small alcoves, in front of the window, and even be toted to your next retreat.  I love this table.  I bought my first one fifteen years ago.  I bought another recently with wheels which brought up the cost a little.  And frankly, the wheels aren't that convenient. So if price is an issue, forget the wheels.  The Gidget table can be found here with free shipping.  Just a note, the price does not include the insert which has to be custom made for each machine.
   I only got proficient with fmq after I got an inset table.  I had one of those acrylic extension tables, but the drag of a medium to large quilt quickly got tiring. Then I made excuses not to quilt.  With the ease of quilting on an inset machine, it was fun and I practiced more.  Get one, you'll see.
     I also have a SewEZ table for retreats and workshops.    I keep my SewEZ table in the trunk of my car.  It is very nice, but I personally wouldn't use it as my every day table.  The Gidget is just a little sturdier for the sewing room.

2.   Magna-Glide pre-wound bobbins!  These are so easy and foolproof.  I never have tension problems with these little gems.  I buy them from Bobbin Central. The thread is 60 wt. and leaves very little lint and rarely breaks.  I love it so much I bought many colors.  I even bought the little ones for my Bernina. They are a little full for my Bernina bobbin case, so I just unwind it a little so it fits.  A little waste, but hell, I'm the type of person who buys pre-wound bobbins, so you can tell I'm not that frugal.

I bought them in white, ecru, black, cloud blue, light green, light purple and gold.  This covers most of my colors I use to quilt with.  

3.  Saddle stool - ooh a great find.  I saw Andrea Brokenshire quilting at a show on a sitdown machine with her saddle stool.  She recommended using one so I bought one and love it.  Believe it or not, I can sew for hours without pain on this chair!!  I was using an office chair with pillows and back supports for achy back.  Now, I sit upright with the saddle stool.  It makes me keep my posture, but not in a bad way.  I feel badass sitting astride my saddle, yeehaw.  

 I bought it for my longarm (it goes up and down), but I love using it for both sitdown and longarm quilting.  Just a warning, my shorter friends are not liking it for the longarm, since they can't reach the floor when it is up high.  

4.  silicone mat for the machine - like Supreme Slider or Sew Slip.  It makes it so easy to slide your quilt around the bed making little pebbles, grids, and feathers...  I have one of each of these.  And yes, one of the first generation sliders didn't stick as well as the newer ones and I ended up sewing through it several times.  I gave up on them for a while because of that, but tried them again a few years ago and can't fmq without one now.  

And now for stocking stuffers

Thread snips - you gotta have these, they make it so easy to snip those threads right down to the fabric without cutting the fabric.  These curvy snips are the ones I'm talking about.  I have a pair for every machine. 

Blue Line Eraser - especially this tool.  

It's small and can erase small portions of erasable blue marking pens without saturating the whole quilt (and possibly causing bleeding).  Caution, the cap screws on the wrong way (so weird).  Instead of righty tighty, it's righty loosy...  I buy the big bottle and fill this little pen up with that.  

Superior Titanium top stitch needles - read about them here.  They really are excellent long-lasting needles.  I love them and bet if Santa puts them in your stocking, you will too.  

I hope Santa is good to you and when January rolls around, you will be ready to fmq with your handy dandy new tools.  Karen

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