There are lots of great tools on the market these days to make quilting easier. Here are my three favorites of 2017.
(As always, please note that I receive no payment or product in exchange for these recommendations, and the links are provided only for your convenience. I do not profit in any way from these opinions.)
Matilda’s Own rotating cutting mat. I’ve actually had this for several years, since trying it at a retreat. It’s great for trimming blocks because you just rotate the mat without having to move the block. The picture here is from Nancy’s Notions, where I found one of the best prices on this admittedly-expensive item.
The Martelli ErgoCutter. I’ve written before about how handy this item is. After I cut off a piece of a finger with an ordinary rotary cutter a couple of years ago, it seemed worth looking for something safer. I was not happy with the cutters that run on a groove along the ruler, so I kept looking until I found this item.
This cutter is, as the name suggests, designed for more ergonomically correct cutting, resulting in less strain on the hand and wrist. And, because it is guided by the index finger over the front of the blade, it is less likely to get away from me. It comes in right- and left-handed versions. My only complaint is that the blade is slightly more difficult to change than in a traditional rotary cutter.
The Tucker Trimmer I. I am not a big fan of buying every ruler on the market, but after seeing a friend using this one, I was sold. It makes construction of accurate half square triangles, combination blocks, and hourglass blocks easy. I use it with the rotating cutting mat to trim down these blocks, and it is a winner.
What are your favorite tools?
Like you I try not to fall into the newest ‘have to have it’ item that comes out only because I don’t have the money to do so. I think the Bloc Loc ruler along with the rotating mat are my favorite tools for all those HST that we are doing right now. Trimming them are a necessity and they make it so much easier.
I tried the bloc Loc and it was pretty slick, but I don’t always want to press the seam to one side. Glad to hear you like it.
I think it would still work by putting the line on the center seam. I will try it the next time I use it.
My tools are pretty basic, I think. I love my rotary cutter, rulers, and mat. But I only have a few special rulers. I have a cheap iron and a mid-$ sewing machine. I love having gel mats underfoot. I try not to buy notions and gadgets that I won’t use a lot, so I tend to make do for the occasional need. Still it’s always interesting to see what other people like to use. 🙂
Hmmm. I think about gel mats from time to time; glad to hear your opinion.
Thank you for your post. These all sound like great tools. I’ve had a few slicing events with my rotary, so the ergo cutter sounds great. I pretty much have just the basic tools. My sewing machine has no bells and whistles. Even though I am tempted to upgrade, I cannot justify the expense when I have something that works.
Honest, most of the bells and whistles on the expensive machines are never used after the first week.
Always wanted a rotating mat…but like you say, they’re a bit pricey. Might treat myself this coming New Year now that I’ve read you use it more often than not (which means it is used and not just a one-off) and with your Nancy’s Notions source recommendation, a good price….still…$60 bucks!
Have a great 2018!
Best wishes for 2018 to you, too. You might find a better price elsewhere; I didn’t do extensive research. Since I trim a lot it’s worth it. There is a cheaper brand, but it is square, so you have to rotate 90 degrees to have something underneath to cut on.
Thanks for your favorite tool review. I like my FISKARS rotating mat. I got it at JoAnn’s years ago and have nearly worn it out. Fiskars brand has such great warranties, I think I will contact them in January for evaluation of it. I like it for trimming those HST too. My favorite “ruler” has been the June Tailor Perfect Half square/quarter square triangle ruler.
I’m glad to hear you like the Fiskars rotating mat. I got the one I have after trying it at a retreat, but it was expensive.
The rotary cutter looks amazing! Great post!
Thanks. I think the rotary cutter is easier on my joints.