I have a thingamajig…

I’ve already used “I have a notion…” as the title for a blog post and of all the words listed as synonyms for “notion”, this is the one I liked best.  I know.  You’re shocked by that.

This was the United Notions booth at Spring Market in St. Louis.  It was a kitchen with a refrigerator and a stove!  As it probably is for some quilters, both were filled with quilty-stuff.  (Any candy and snacks were stashed elsewhere.)

As you already know, one of the perks of being here at Moda is getting to see and play with some of the new notions that United Notions carries.  The idea is that by using them, we know what works and what doesn’t, what we like and what we think is really awesome – those things that you simply must know about!  It doesn’t hurt that most of us do like thingamajigs, especially those that make some aspect of making quilts easier or more enjoyable.

Like binding.  I love hand-stitching down bindings.  I can’t speak for everyone but I am picky about my needles.  Very picky.  So when I heard that Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings was coming out with a line of needles, I was interested… but pretty sure I wouldn’t be swayed.

I was wrong.  (It’s not uncommon territory.) . These are Lisa’s Binding Needles – they’re about the length of a straw needle, have just a wee bit of bend and are probably somewhere around a Size 9.  In other words, they’re perfect for binding.  Easy to thread, very sharp and just the right length – they worked beautifully for both double-fold and single-fold binding.

I’m not entirely sure what the basting needles are for… but if I ever need one, I’ll get some of Lisa’s.

I do know what the big-stitch quilting needles are for and since a small big-stitch quilting project is on my to do list…

I suppose there are some who really do need a dozen different sizes of needles but I’m not one of them.  These are perfect.  Thank you Lisa!

Speaking of binding, that age-thing means that more, better lighting is increasingly important.  I’ve tried a variety of lighting options and have yet to find the a solution that really works when I’m sitting in my favorite chair stitching.  So I was very interested to see this new hands-free lights.  Have you ever tried one?  This is the one that caught my attention – the Beam n Read.

I like the idea of it but I’m not sure about the idea of wearing this around my neck while trying to stitch.  Are they easy to use?  I do like that this one comes with filters to block “blue light”, and has multiple settings for brightness.  But does it get in the way – that’s what I’m really trying to figure out.  What do you think?

Do you use magnetic pincushions or pinbowls?  I confess to having and using both.  And I don’t just use them in my sewing room, I have two on my desk right now, one with paperclips and the other t-pins for the bulletin board.  So I grabbed these new Mini Grabbits when I saw them!

And guess what?  They’ve already disappeared.  Someone grabbed my Grabbits!

I’ve been waiting for a couple of new rulers to arrive – more on them when they do – but it occurred to me that I never shared with you what some of the Moda designers use.  A few months back, I asked them what their favorite ruler was – size and type-brand, if they had a preference.  Here is what each replied:

Me?  I love my Olfa Frosted rulers, I have at least one in every size.  I use the 6.5″ x 6.5″ and 4.5″ x 4.5″ the most, followed closely by the 6″ x 12″.

Do you have a favorite – one that is always out on the cutting table… one that you probably have more than one… including a “just in case” spare?

Do you see that bottle on top of the refrigerator – to the right of the CHEF sign?

It’s really cool – I love that it’s red.  Sweet Theresa brought one over to me and :::poof::: it’s disappeared.  So I’m issuing a BOLO for this Stainless Steel Quilter’s Water bottle –

Or I’ll just wait until there are more in the warehouse.

That’s it for today – Friday.  It’s a very rainy morning here in Dallas so it might be a good day to stay inside and bind a quilt work.  I have Cake Mix recipes to finish – more about the new Cake Mixes and Cupcakes soon.

Have a good weekend!

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24 thoughts on “I have a thingamajig…

  1. LOL on the light. Any of us, um, more generously endowed ladies would have a hard time seeing around the light to stitch. (some of us may occasionally have issues seeing around the “girls” themselves, depending on where we are sitting, lol). A cute headlamp would be more practical.

  2. I love the frosted Olfa rulers. I also use the 4 1/2 and 61/2 square rulers the most. They grab the fabric and let you see the marking so clearly. No big huge black dots in the way. Enjoy your blog.

  3. I love my Omnigrip 8.5″ x 12″ ruler it’s just perfect for everything. I’m not picky about my needles just grab what’s in my pincushion. And I love my aqua magnetic pin bowl. Have a fun weekend and enjoy binding your quilt/work.

  4. Cupcake Mix #1 & #4 are on their way to my doorstep as we speak!!! 😉 Can’t wait to use them!!!

  5. I just discovered Alex Anderson’s rulers and grabbed a 3×12 (perfect for layer cakes) and a 6×24. They don’t slide on the fabric. You can gently tap them in place with no pressure on them, but the slightest pressure keeps them locked right in place, so no oops! sliding as you get towards the end of a cut.

  6. I still use a floor lamp for lighting, but I’m picturing you with a head lamp that mechanics buy. Like a coal miners light, but without the helmet! You’re ok with strapping a small headlight to your forehead, right?

    1. I actually use one of the mini LED head straps for focused lighting. They are great! I think mine has 6 white light bulbs and two red ones. (I never use the red setting) and a bright and less bright setting . It sounds silly but I love mine!

  7. This is so helpful! Thanks for such a great article! Actually, my daughter in law gave me a small led light that is on a headband, for going out to the chicken coop in the dark. It is wonderful, because I have both hands free, but you would need filters to use it anywhere reflective…it is really blinding. Imagine looking up at your husband or child if they asked you a question, and blinding them! Or at a TV screen…not pretty! Ha!

  8. I have a 2 hour commute home from Boston to NH. I use the Beam and Read all the time – LOVE IT!!!

  9. Love the beam n read and the Itty Bitty Eights rulers from Lisa Bonegean. Lisa is actually the one who introduced me to the read n beam. Tools designed by quilters are the best!

  10. I absolutely could not do hand work at night without my Beam and Read. It has an optional very long cord and USB adapter, so batteries are not needed, but can be used if you are travelling. Reasonably priced, too.

  11. I just bought the Alex Anderson 6×12 and love it. It doesn’t slip at all. Another favorite is 3 1/2 x 12 1/2 Creative Grid quick trim ruler. It even has little holes in so you can put a pencil in it, swivel it around and make the perfect circle. It was great when I needed a 20 inch circle for a dog bed.

  12. I live in the St. Louis area and found out about the quilt show/ Moda event AFTER it was over. Does this occur every year in St. Louis or does it alternate cities? How can I get on the email list to know more about it for the future? I would love to experience this level of craftwork/products/fabric.

  13. I must have the Mini Grabbits ! I have two of the regular sized ones, and LOVE THEM.

  14. My 6 x 24 and my 3 x 18 are ALWAYS on my cutting table. Fiskars and Omnigrid respectively. I’ve inherited gobs of other rulers but these two are always my go-to rulers. And I have a Cat’s Cradle ruler that I am dying to use. Also, I do believe I need those binding needles! Just about half way through my first quilt that I am finishing binding by hand. Sounds impressive, right? Not so much…It’s only 28″ by 30″! Hahaha! Totally clicking over to United Notions to order some binding needles. Maybe THAT will help my wonky stitches! Thanks for all the info – always a treat to see what you have cooking!

  15. I was at a quilt guild meeting and a woman was using one of those around yer neck headlights. If she turned in your direction, you were blinded. Unless you live alone, pass on this one…

    I totally detest rulers that measure inches and a half. I screw up my cutting every time. I need to work with even numbers and I adore those rulers with 1/8 inch markings. I have many rulers so if one gets buried, I just grab another. I’m a bit messy

  16. great info today about needles and rulers,I too love hand binding so I will have to get Lisa’s new needles.I love my read and beam and itty bitty rulers,because I enjoy making mini quilts

  17. I had the original, non-LED Beam ‘n Read years ago for stitching in the car at night so as not to disturb DH while he was driving. I switched to the LED version and have not been disappointed. It’s still light and comfortable to wear, the 2 brightness settings let me stitch in the car at night on low but really boost it sitting in front of the TV. I admit that I don’t use the filters or the magnifying glass often – I kinda slouch when stitching so it’s not as comfortable as if I would sit ramrod straight. The magnifying glass (ok, plastic, so still not heavy) in particular is quite large and clunky for my posture, but might work well for others. Thanks for the review of needles – I’m a sucker for new brands that work.

  18. I use basting needles to baste around the perimeter of a quilt sandwich when putting into a large quilt frame for hand quilting.

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