I want to give you some tips that I have found actually make my work faster. I’m not going to give you advice that tells you to prewind bobbins or “organize your workspace”. I love to do those things, too, but these tips are actually going to speed up your work. Really. This post is about tools that I have found to be actual time savers in my work and make a real difference. If you are new to quilting, maybe you don’t even know about these tools. There is no way I could be as efficient in my work without using these. They really have been time savers and I want to share them with you and have included a couple of videos which might help you.
Use a Stripology Ruler
When you have a lot of strips to cut for a project a Stripology Ruler will make your work SO much faster. This is one of the best things ever. With my Stripology ruler, I can cut multiple strips quickly and without having to move my ruler. This tool has cutting slots in it for your rotary cutter. Let me show you:
I even use it to do my subcuts sometimes. Just lay your strip sets underneath and make multiple cuts without moving the ruler! It’s pretty awesome:
A Stripology Ruler is a bit of an investment, but you will use it all the time to cut strips, once you try it!
Ditch the Pins
Are you still using pins? If you haven’t discovered Wonder Clips, you don’t know what you’re missing. This could be the single tool that speeds up my work the most. Placing pins into seams takes two motions – one to insert the pin down into the work and another to pop the pin back up to the top of the work. Sounds like a miniscule motion, but when you add it up to the hundreds of times you insert a pin, it takes time. If you use clips instead of pins, you save time – clipping takes one motion and that’s it.
They are also so much better on heavier seams than pins. No need to try to insert pins into heavier seams – that can also distort your accuracy – the Wonder Clips hold firmly and without shifting. Clover even makes Jumbo sized Wonder Clips.
This little project would have been very hard to manage with pins. But with Wonder Clips, they held the binding so easily and securely:
Then when it comes time to sew your seams, I find removing clips is a little faster than removing pins – sometimes pins can stick a little (and clips don’t poke you!).
Use Dedicated Sized Grid Rulers
When cutting squares or trimming blocks, it is a time-saving investment to buy square grid rulers in sizes you use the most. I have square grid rulers in just about every size from 2.5″ up to 6.5″. This range covers the size blocks I make the most. When subcutting squares or trimming blocks, I don’t have to worry about lining up grid lines and making sure my measurement is correct. I just cut along the ruler and that’s it. Saves SO much time. Try trimming 100 blocks that need to be 5″ with a 6.5″ grid ruler. It takes forever. Try trimming 100 blocks that need to be 5″ with a 5″ ruler. You’ll be finished in no time.
Making 5.5″ blocks with a 5.5″ ruler is much faster
Use Bloc-Loc rulers.
If you are a fan of Half Square Triangles like me, Bloc Loc rulers will be a revelation to you. They also make rulers for Half Square Rectangles and Flying Geese. I like to make my blocks oversized and then trim them to size. Why are these so great? They have a groove cut into the ruler from one corner to the opposite corner that hugs your seam line and allows you to trim HSTs (or whatever) into perfect, uniform blocks without any slipping. Let me show you how this works and how fast it is:
It really does make a huge difference in your time trimming.
Get a Quarter Inch Presser Foot
Most seams in quilting are a quarter inch. You can certainly line up a quarter inch with your presser foot and just keep your stitching line on that point, but a dedicated quarter inch presser foot makes your sewing faster. It has a guide on the side, to keep your fabric on the right line. It really does speed up the work and I use mine all the time.
I hope this post is helpful to you! If you try even one or two of these tools and it speeds up your work time, it will have been worth it.
Thanks for dropping by,