My favorite things about visiting different quilt guilds is meeting really interesting quilters, and also learning about gadgets I've never seen before. I am not a "gadget person", but I do appreciate good tools.
This spring I visited Quilt Essentials in Auburn, ME. Betsy, the shop owner, didn't have to work too hard to convince me to buy a Wooly Felted Ironing Mat. The mat holds heat while you iron, so it's almost like ironing both sides of your fabric at once. It can also be used as a portable ironing board. Since purchasing mine, I've seen quilters using other brands and sizes at workshops, so I guess it's a *thing* and I was behind the curve.
Last week at a workshop with the Thimble Pleasures Quilt Guild in Mendon, MA someone had a fine mist sprayer designed for hair stylists. She filled her bottle with Best Press to use while ironing her fabric (on her wool mat!). I ordered a couple of bottles and can't wait to give them an extended test. I plan to put water in one, and Best Press in the other.
Another quilter in Mendon used a magnetic bingo wand to hold her pins. It was even strong enough to hold her thread snips. I didn't know that bingo chips were made of metal, let alone that there would be a special tool for collecting them, but guess what my sew mates are getting for their birthdays this year...
One of my favorite tips of all time came from my friend Nancy. (Hi Nancy!) She uses a metal lunchbox to hold her appliqué supplies. It's a good size and is easily portable. I had gotten away from using mine, and decided it was time to re-implement the lunchbox protocol. Imagine how excited I was to find my lunchbox full of completed appliquéd circles. As you can see from the design wall photo above, I have integrated them with circles I was already working on. Bonus!
I would love to hear about your favorite gadget/tool recommendations. If you would like to comment here, I'll compile a list and list them in my next post.