It's been such an incredibly long time since I've written a Feature Friday that you might have forgotten that that's what I'd originally planned for this day way back in June! This was supposed to be a day that I share about the tools I'm using in the studio or next to my machine to explain what works and what doesn't work for me.
Recently a friend asked me about these posts and said she missed seeing them, so I'm going to make a real effort from now on to always post on Fridays too.
This week let's review the three best quilting tools for free motion quilting: Supreme Sliders, Little Genie Magic Bobbin Washers, and Machingers Quilting Gloves.
You can click here to find all three items in the Ultimate Quilting Kit from the quilt shop.
After teaching at Myrtle Beach Quilt Party, I was reminded of just how little quilters know about these tools or how much they help with free motion quilting.
I literally can't quilt without them - if I take my gloves off, if my bobbin washer goes missing, or if I wash off my slider and forget to put it back, my stitches just don't look as good, and it's also not as fun or easy to free motion quilt.
So let's learn about these tools in this new video:
Just in case you can't watch the video, first I shared a bit about the Supreme Slider.
This is a Teflon sheet that goes over your machine bed and reduces the friction between your quilt and the surface of your machine and table. It makes your quilt easier to move around and create beautiful designs with less strain on your body.
One side of the slider is pink and grippy and will stick to your machine bed without being an actual sticker. You can peel it off and move it all you won't and it doesn't leave any sticky residue.
The slick side of the slider is positioned face up, and you'll want to line up the hole in the center with the hole in your machine. The slider will cover your feed dogs, so if you're like me and you don't drop your feed dogs, the slider will cover those little teeth so your quilt will not come in contact with them.
Now the Supreme Slider is an awesome tool, but it is delicate. If you're not used to using it, it's easy to accidentally stitch through it (which is awful), so I do advise taping down the corners with masking tape the first couple times you use it until you get used to the feel of it under your quilt.
Note: I have been getting many emails about the new Queen Supreme Slider, which is going to be almost double the size of the regular sized slider. I do plan to start carrying these in February and will likely launch them next week with the Day 250 Sale!
The second thing I mention in the video is Little Genie Magic Bobbin Washers. These are little teflon washers that go into your bobbin case and help your bobbin thread glide smoother and more evenly.
For drop down (or top loading) bobbins, just place the washer in the machine, then your bobbin on top and thread your bobbin just like normal. If you have a side loading bobbin, simply place the washer inside, then your bobbin on top, then wind the case just like normal.
I use the washers in ALL my machines and for more than just free motion quilting. I never take them out as I find that they also help with piecing, applique, and general sewing. There's just a lot less annoying thread breaks and tension issues with the washers in, particularly if you're working with some fun or funky threads.
Now the last tool I absolutely love are my Machingers Quilting Gloves. If you've seen even one of the almost 250 filler design videos on this project, you will have noticed that every single one was stitched out wearing gloves.
I had some odd emails at the very beginning of the project - "Is something wrong with your hands? Why are you wearing gloves?!"
Trust me, it's not because I have a strange skin fungus, it's because the gloves really work to help me grip the quilt and move it around precisely. The easier you can move the quilt, the more control you have of it, the better your stitches will look.
I also find that wearing the gloves drastically reduces the amount of strain my hands and shoulders take while quilting. Without them, I would find myself gripping my hands into a fist around the quilt to move it around, which started hurting pretty quickly.
With the gloves on, I can keep my hands flat while moving the quilt and be able to keep quilting much longer because I've reduced the strain on my body.
So that's it! These are the three tools I recommend for free motion quilting because I can't quilt without them.
While I can't say that all three will work for absolutely everyone (some people hate to wear gloves for example), I do believe in trying a variety of tools and methods before finding the ones that work for you.
As James likes to say "Try it, you'll like it, it's GOOD!"
Now I've put the three tools together into an Ultimate Quilting Kit which is available right here in the Leah Day Quilt Shop.
Let's go Quilt,