My Quilter Favorites!

This is a wonderful activity sponsored by a great designer – Geta’s Quilting Studio. I think it’s a great idea! You can click the photo to see lots of other bloggers answers to the questions she asks. These are mine.

List a few of your favorite quilting notions.
I have a few that I continuously use on nearly every project.

That Purple Thang – this very simple idea comes in handy for so many things. I think it’s saved my fingers more than once since I can stick it near the needle and keep my fingers safe. It also has a very useful 1/4 marker on the other end that I’ve used quite a few times when putting on my binding so I know I can get exactly 1/4″ away from the edge. I’ve also used it when doing mitered borders. I have two just in case I inevitably lose one.

Cuticle Scissors – Quilting notions are expensive and sometimes I wonder if they jack the price up just because it’s sitting in a quilt shop. I save a few bucks and get cuticle scissors to use for trimming threads for machine embroidery, trimming applique fabrics, snipping corners and much more. They’re sharp and get in close when you need it to. The curved edge really helps for machine applique.

Fiskars Comfort Grip 60mm Rotary Cutter – I ditched my small rotary cutter and haven’t looked back. I love the fact that I can cut multiple layers of fabric without having to press down really hard. The large blade lasts quite a while. It automatically retracts when I’m done cutting so I don’t have to worry about dropping it on my foot or my dogs if it gets knocked off the cutting table. You can also keep it open with a little button if you want but I rarely use it.

Any advice for a successful color scheme of a quilt?

I shared this tip on my Bargello Quilt Along. Value is what you want to look for with most patterns. It can be hard to assess value just by looking at your fabric as it is.

I have an app on my phone that lets me turn any photo I take into grayscale so I can instantly see the values when I lay out my fabrics. Find a photo app and use it or use the black and white setting on your point and shoot camera. Do it in the fabric store! They don’t care if you’re laying bolts out to decide what to buy.

If a pattern looks good in grayscale you won’t have a hard time choosing fabrics to go into it.

Some thoughts about thread and needles, batting, fabrics ?

Threads for quilting and piecing: I’m an Aurifil addict! I get my Aurifil thread from The Quilt Bear (buy 3 get 1 free plus get 10% off with coupon code PODCAST). I piece all my quilt blocks using 50 wt Aurifil thread color 2021. For quilting I’ve used all sorts of different colors and sizes, from 28 wt all the way up to 50 wt. I love their variegated threads.

Thread for machine applique: If I want it to be invisible I use Aurifil monofiliment thread. That stuff is amazing, completely heat resistant (you can put an iron on top and it won’t melt), my machine runs it like it’s regular thread and it lasts a very long time.


  • Piecing: 75/11 Schmetz Quilting Needle
  • Quilting: 75/11 or a 90/14 Schmetz quilting needle depending on my thread
  • Machine Applique: 60/8 Microtex needle when using a monofiliment. It makes a very small hole so it can barely be seen. For regular threads I use a 75/11 Quilting Needle.

Tips for easy piecing

Nest your seams! If you have two intersecting seams you can get them to nest and properly come together by pressing the seams in opposing directions.

Other tips related to quilting

Foot pedal moving around on you? Is it never where you think it should be when you go to sew? Tape a piece of shelf liner to the bottom.


Do you have free tutorials on your blog? Share the link.

I have several free tutorials available!

The sewing machine – share a few things you love at your sewing machine; what makes it special? What features do you think are the most important to a sewing machine used for quilting?

I have four different sewing machines and you can read all about them here. My main machine is a Pfaff Creative 2.0. I purchased it used last December to replace my terrible Viking Topaz 20 and it has been a complete joy to use.

Features I couldn’t live without:

  • Needle up/down with hover capability which is useful for machine applique
  • Large throat area (mine is 10″ to the right of the needle)
  • Automatic Thread cutter
  • Tie off/on
  • IDT Foot (this is Pfaff’s built in walking foot and it really makes a difference)

What about modern quilting tools? Quilt software, die cutting systems, other tools? Why do you like them ?

I have an Accuquilt Go! system that I love. I mainly use it to cut strips and squares for scrap quilting. It is a time saver. There is some waste involved but I’m okay with that. The company has fantastic customer service if a die isn’t cutting correctly they’ll replace it for you.

Artograph Light Tracing Box – this thing is awesome! I use it all the time for my machine applique adventures – especially the ones involving melted crayon applique. It just makes tracing the shapes onto your fusible web easy to do since it’s backlit. You don’t have to strain your eyes to see the lines to trace.

Tips for organizing the sewing tools, the fabrics, the sewing studio?

I have several posts devoted to organization. Here are some of my favorite organizing tools:

My Clip it Up Organizing System – so great to organize fat quarters or smaller cuts of fabric that won’t fit on a comic book board.

Thread and Ruler Organization – I got frustrated last year and decided to convert to a pegboard system. You can read about my adventure and what materials I used.  Painting the pegboards wasn’t difficult and it’s now one of my favorite things in my sewing space.  I think for the pegboard, hooks, and paint I spent less than $100 for everything.

Could you recommend a book to someone who just started quilting ? A quilting bible ?

I like this one a lot. It’s hard to pick just one book. I’ve also used Quilting for Dummies when I was first starting out. I recommend going to your local library and checking out several beginner quilting books since each one words things a bit differently.

Books can be addictive and you’ll find that with some books you only want to use one or two patterns. It’s cheaper to just check the book out, learn the technique or do the pattern and turn it back in.

List one or two of your favorite quilting techniques and a tutorial/pattern/book where you learned about them ?

My absolute favorite book of the moment is Creative Quilts from Your Crayon Box. I love this technique so much I started teaching classes on it at my local quilt shop so I could get other people addicted to it too. The book has beautiful patterns inside it and step-by-step instructions on how to color your applique shapes. It can be applied to so many other things. I think it’s a useful technique to have in your machine applique arsenal.

I’ve done the small practice sample and then I jumped all over my favorite pattern in the book and completed the large Iris quilt. Right now it’s living at the quilt shop where I teach.

Do you have a favorite quilt designer ?

Kimberly Einmo! I love all of her designs and I’m so happy to have had the pleasure to take several of her classes in person.

Do you have a favorite quilt blogger?

That’s like asking me to choose my favorite corgi… it can’t be done!

Would you like to share one of your favorite quilts, made by you ?

Rainbow Insomnia Wallhanging

Do you have a favorite online quilt shops ? What makes it special ?

Fat Quarter Shop – For stash building I purchase their 12 Pound Fabric Grab Bag here. They typically also carry the latest fabric collections and you can get notifications when future collections are released. – I love to purchase my background fabrics here. It’s easy to find neutrals that you can add to your stash because they have a neat color selector tool. Most of the background fabrics I’ve found are under $5 per yard for quilt shop quality fabrics.  They feel wonderful! She has a nice selection of wide-back fabrics and batiks that are reasonably priced.

Missouri Star Quilt Company – they have great prices on daily deals and in general for precuts. Sign up for their daily deal newsletter and you’ll find out what deal they have each day on a precut! The jelly roll and layer cake deals are worth it since shipping is usually $5+ on top of your order.  Still, you can figure on saving $10 for a jelly roll or layer cake from MSQC.

The Quilt Bear– This is a great online shop where I purchase my Aurifil fabric.  They have FREE SHIPPING on all U S orders. I mainly go here for white and black Aurifil thread. Mary Jo can get any color or weight you want in usually the next business day since she’s very close to an Aurifil distributor, just e-mail her to ask for it.  Every Friday they have happy hour from 4-6PM EST and you can get 15% off your order!

Use coupon code PODCAST to save 10% on your entire order at The Quilt Bear!

What would be the perfect gift for your best quilting friend?

A gift card to a local or online quilt shop (whatever their favorite place is!)

Don’t Do Like Me!

I think my biggest mistake so far is not fully researching a dealer before buying my first big sewing machine. I had a pretty horrible experience with a Husqvarna Viking dealer and corporate office. I’ll never buy another one. You can read all about my Husqvarna Viking saga here.  I got rid of my Viking machine in January and will never purchase or walk into a Viking dealer ever again.

Part 1: Why I Will Never Again Purchase or Recommend Husqvarna Viking Sewing Machines

Part 2: Final Thoughts on Husqvarna Viking

Part 3: Viking Dealer BBB Complaint Response


  1. Thank you very much for answering all the questions of Quilter’s Favorites, Katie. I appreciate the time you put in writing your post and all the things you shared – thank you!
    I love your Rainbow Insomnia quilt- the black highlights the rainbow colors and the quilting is fantastic.

  2. Thanks for the tips–I’ll be checking out the Quilt Bear!

  3. What a great post! Love my purple thang and I have yet to try a 60mm cutter. Gotta do that. And def want to get that crayon box book and give it a try.

    • It’s worth the money! I love mine. I use a coupon to get a 5 pack of the blades so I can get them on sale or I buy them when they’re 50% off.

  4. Thanks for so many tips. I’m glad find foot pedal tip and organization of the quilt studio.

  5. Loved all of your tips, especially researching sewing machines. I bought a Baby Lock and am happy with it but the quilt shop from where I purchased it is not very supportive. Oh well! Love your pups.