Favorite Notions

Welcome to all the quilters coming over from the Moda blog today!

I am part of a notions blog hop over at Moda’s Cutting Table Blog.  The theme:  what three notions would you take with if you were stranded on a quilting island for two weeks.    It has been fun to follow along and see what everyone is bringing – both practical and funny.

I thought I would elaborate a little on what I am bringing and add a few things beyond the 3 that we were allowed to bring.

#1 – 1.  My preferred thread for doing machine appliqué:  Heavy by Dual Duty.


There are several reasons why I like this thread:

1 – It comes in several different colors – though I usually use black or dark brown. (If this thread doesn’t come in the color you want, you can just use two strands of regular weight thread)

2 – It’s heavier than regular thread so you applique looks like it’s been done by hand.

DSC_7664 appl

3 – The thickness of the thread makes it more forgiving.  I find that when I applique with a lighter weight thread I have to be so careful not to get little Vs in my stitching – as shown in the photo below.  The thicker thread just seems to fill them in.


Notion #2 – My favorite scissors. 

I don’t go quilting anywhere without this scissors.  It’s made by Elan (and sold by Moda).  The short blade makes for easy maneuvering when cutting appliqué shapes or threads.


 It has large holes for your hands, so it’s nice and comfortable.  Also – the handle is squishy, which makes it even more comfortable.


Notion # 3.  Hobbs Polydown quilt batting. 

Not only does it show off your quilting nicely, but it also entertains your 9 month old while you sew.



The last item we couldn’t live without while sewing:   Snacks.  In my case, coffee and double chocolate cookies.  You know that all is right with the world when your cookies are nice and dark chocolately and your coffee is nice and creamy. 


Click here to download the recipe for my current favorite cookie (which is subject to change with any new cravings)

As I mentioned, I’d like to share a few other favorite notions, as 3 just isn’t quite enough!  Here are a few more that I just can’t live without:

My favorite iron:  The Rowenta Pro Precision (the number on the box is DG 8430)


There are several reasons why I love this iron.    The main reason is that you do NOT have to shut it off to refill the steam tank.  With my old Rowenta steam iron you had to let it cool down before you could refill it.  That meant at least 30 minutes of down time.

I also love how quick this iron heats up – it only takes 3 minutes.  My old Rowenta took 9 minutes.  That was usually too long during the Sunday morning rush, which meant I always had a second iron handy that would heat up quickly.  Now I only have this one.

This iron has lots of great steam and it doesn’t spit up (as long as you use the right water.  If you use soft water, it will spit).  It’s light and has a smooth sole plate that glides easily over quilt blocks.

Rotary Cutters:  As quilters, we can’t live without rotary cutters.  I have several sizes.  My favorite is not the larger size that I usually see everyone using.  I mostly cut with the middle one in the photo – the 28 MM.  It is so much easier to manuever than those large cutters.  It is also easier to see around when cutting.DSC_4019

I use the smallest cutter in the photo when I do machine applique.  It saves me so much time!  I like to cut the center area out of my fusible product, as shown in the photo below (this helps reduce bulk and stiffness so it feels more like it’s been hand appliqued).  The small cutter whips in and out of those curves so much faster than a scissors!


My tools for doing binding quicker:  Hand Quilting Thread and Straw needles.  I am totally addicted to straw needles.  They glide in and out of the fabric so nice and the long length makes them easier to manuever.  My preferred brand is by Fox Glove Cottage and my prefered size is an 8.


Click here to see my tutorial on quickly hand-stitching binding using these tools.

That’s all for now.  I also have an older post that I did with a few favorite notions.   If you have time to read it, click here. 

(Just keep in mind that this post is older now, so a few things have changed, like my quilting machine and my iron.)

About Heather Peterson

Quilt pattern designer
This entry was posted in Machine Quilting, Quilting and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Favorite Notions

  1. Karen says:

    I love your way of thinking – how can we sew/quilt without coffee and cookies! Enjoyed reading your post and see what you use.

  2. Sunnybec says:

    I can’t believe I never thought about cutting out the middle for applique! I hate how stiff it can make the fabric. Wish I had known before I finished a wall hanging for a friend….:-( I will definitely be giving that a go on my next one. Chocolate is a necessity for concentration – at least that’s what I tell myself 🙂 Linda x

  3. Sequana says:

    I’ve mentioned to you before that I ONLY do my binding using your great method. It has completely changed my quilting life. 🙂 The more my needle bends as I stitch, the better it is in my opinion.

  4. Tina in Nevada says:

    Hmmm…I will need to check out those scissors! And I can’t believe how CUTE your baby is!! He should be a baby model! What an absolute angel – his pictures really made me smile and is a good start to my day!!!

  5. Brenda says:

    I recently started quilting, and I am hooked! Love the blog, I am learningall kinds of new things. I also love the quilt that you featured…beautiful!

  6. Tammie Smith says:

    I love your posts. and the pictures of your beautiful baby!

  7. Marsha Nelson says:

    I’m so glad to hear about the straw needles. They sound so easy to use. I would take my Rowenta iron, great sewing machine, some wonderful fabric, thread and rotary cutter. Can’t forget the chocolate cookies with lots of nuts. It would be perfect. Of course the thread and rotary cutter would be in the machine tool box so they don’t count. Oh, and I would borrow what else I needed. Sneaky hummmm? I only have 3 items. Cookies don’t count cause they aren’t a notion. (I’m making your recipe today. )See how we quilters can rationalize. Especially when we think we need more fabric.

  8. Mary Ann says:

    Thanks for the tip on the heavy duty thread for applique. I do a satin stich on my machine for applique so would this thread work for that too? I usually use Gutermann thread. I like the new photo and of course Carter is getting cuter every day.

  9. I never thought of using a heavier thread to avoid the V’s~ thank you! You just made my day! 🙂

  10. Denny Aleckson says:

    Thanks Heather! I am going to try the Heavy thread too, next time….thanks for sharing…love reading your blog!

  11. Judith Heinen says:

    Thanks so much for the great tips! I am wondering about the heavy duty thread for machine stitching. What size sewing machine needle do you use and what kind of thread do you use in the boggin? I too have the ‘v’ problem so I can hardly wait to try it your way.

  12. Jean Ruter says:

    If this the cookie I had recently at your house, every chocolate lover needs to make a copy and then a batch!

  13. Catherine L. says:

    Great list! They use your iron at the quilt shop I go to do make pillow cases for charity. Your scissors have me intrigued. I am glad to see I’m not the only one who loves to have snacks when I’m quilting. I am saving your recipe. And uses the same threads as me. I started out using their “Dual Duty” for piecing and their quilting thread for quilting. When I couldn’t get the piecing thread anymore (I think that’s when they changed the spools) I went to Signature cotton wrapped cone. I use a poly batting for the cost and the lightness. Your little guy is just as cute as can be! Always look forward to seeing pictures of him. I’m off to check out your links!

  14. Giggles says:

    I’m preparing to do some machine appliqué on a baby quilt. I hadn’t thought to use thicker thread but it’s definitely something I’ll keep in mind now.

  15. Marcia Willey says:

    There is so much I need to learn yet! Thanks for all the tips! You are the BEST!


  16. Candie says:

    Exciting to know that I am in good company in the notiions I use. Have not seen the scissors though, but sure would like to try them! Thanks for the suggestion.

  17. Kerry Connolly says:

    A quilty island sounds great right now. And I’m glad I’m not the only quilter who admits to snacking. My bee-mates all denied it. Sometimes that dish of peanut butter M&Ms is the only thing that gets me sewing.

  18. Laura Williams says:

    Love your blog. The tips are so helpful. What thread and bobbin thread do you prefer when you’re machine quilting? And do you use the same machine thread on your longarm as you do on your domestic machine?

  19. Tammie says:

    After reading your post, and a friend mentioned the straw needles, I tried them and don’t know how I got along without them! They keep me from constantly poking my finger trying to push it through the fabric. Love them. Also love the DMC #50 cotton thread.

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