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Category:  Hobbies

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Quilting Gadgets Simplify the Process

By Penny Halgren

Today's quilting is not the same as your grandmother's quilting. Quilting gadgets and supply options have raised the bar for quilters everywhere. Rotary cutters simplified fabric cutting and make it more accurate than the scissors your grandmother had to rely on. In addition to ease and accuracy, the rotary cutter eliminated the blisters scissors can create on the thumb and finger! Something so simple has proven to be a revolutionary quilting gadget.

Speaking of revolutionary, today's quilting has really benefited from computers. Computerized sewing machines are a big change for today's quilter. The inch presser foot and a walking foot have become standard quilting gadgets on many sewing machines.

Once upon a time, machine quilting as reserved for use at an industrial level. While it's a much bigger "quilting gadget," home quilting machines are another useful and attainable tool for quilters.

The Internet is another useful quilting gadget. Quilters now have a world of threads, fabrics and other supplies at their fingertips. The Internet also is a great search tool, great at helping professionals and hobbyists find unique and helpful quilting gadgets.

Quilters can also find a wide array of free quilting patterns online. The Internet offers quilters the chance to perform a general search for quilt patterns or search for a specific pattern.

The Internet is also a helpful quilting tool because it affords quilters the opportunity to join quilting forums, subscribe to quilting newsletters, and to learn from frequently asked question pages. Quilters may use the Internet to join online chats with other quilters. Quilters may utilize other websites, like YouTube, to view instructional videos about quilting and special problems quilters may encounter.

The Internet is also a great place to shop for fabrics. Many quilters do not live near fabric shops and some retail chains are discontinuing their fabric departments. The Internet fills that gap for quilters.

Fabric has come a long way over the years, too. With increased manufacturing knowledge, today's fabrics could conceivably last hundreds of years. Fabric manufacturers, in addition to giving quilters better quality, are also delivering more variety. Available styles and colors have diversified. If you like Japanese fabric and your local shop doesn't carry any, look online for sources. You will see how different, yet how similar, fabrics from another culture are to your own.

The Internet is a useful quilting gadget for professional quilters who sell their works. Many quilters sell their quilts or quilting services online through Internet auctions such as eBay or through their own websites and advertising on other quilting websites.

With your handy quilting gadgets, your fabric and a design in mind, you are ready to start quilting. But, if you want to truly customize your design, there are several quilting gadgets that will help. Custom cut acrylic templates can help cut even the most challenging patches. Fabric pencils and colored chalks provide quilters the supplies needed to temporarily mark fabrics.

The ultimate quilting gadget is computer software that helps you custom design your own quilt and quilt blocks. A little computer literacy is all that's required. Such software will let you take a traditional quilt pattern that is pre-loaded into the program, and alter lines to create your very own creation.

Each quilter has his or her own favorite quilting gadget. Maybe your favorite is a light weight quilt frame, your old rotary cutter, or something as simple and standard as a seam ripper. No matter what your choice, there's no denying that the world is full of useful and affordable quilting gadgets that make quilting more enjoyable.

Penny Halgren is a quilter of 27 years who enjoys sharing her knowledge of quilting with those who would like to learn how to quilt. Sign up for free weekly quilting tips and more at


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