How did we live without these grippers? The Papa fits the bigger rulers, the Mama fits most of the square rulers and the Baby fits on those itty bitty templates - I use these a lot!! I seem to have more control with them stuck to my rulers! And, they are a real aid when cutting on a rotating mat. Just a word of advice - if they don't cling to your rulers, clean the heads and the rulers - sometimes a little spec of dust or fingerprints is all there is between suction and no suction. Another thing I have learned is that you cannot get any suction if the gripper is over a hole on your ruler or template!! If you haven't already, give them a try!
Note from Schatze: attached is a photo of the 3 grippers
Review submitted by Mollie Wilson
[see others' comments at the end]
I have this brand of cutter that is used by many teachers. What is the difference in them? Well, this one has a rubber handle for ease in holding. It also has a retractable blade, when you press down to cut the blade extends, when you stop pressing the blade retracts. Therefore, there is no way of having it fall off the table and cutting you or somebody else. You also don't have to worry about closing it, it is always closed unless you are cutting. It also has a lever on the back that lets you adjust it from "light" to "heavy" so if you want to cut just a few layers or many layers or heavy fabric you can adjust it. There is also a blade lock switch on the back, so the blade will not extend at all by accident. When I got mine 'many' years ago it wasn't too expensive but now I believe they run around $25. If anyone would like more info I would be glad to answer any questions.
ADD From me: Here’s a photo and more info: http://www.createforless.com/Dritz+Kai+Rotary+Cutter+45+mm/pid12700...
From Dale Kathryn Battison:
I have a Kai Cutter that is probably about 25 years old. I really like the retractable blade and "light to heavy" features, but find the replacement blades are more difficult to get than the Olfa blades.
From Mollie Wilson: I use the Olfa blades in mine, they are the same size and work just fine. What can I say, I'm cheap 8>)
I'm sure we have all used the 1/4" wide tape to mark our quilting lines and it does work great. But if you need to be able to mark a wider line check out painter's tape. It is made to put on the wall or items so that when you paint this keeps certain areas clean but the best part for us is that it is easy to remove. When you place it on fabric and then remove it, there is no residue plus it can be repositioned. So you can use it several times and there is no 'sticky' left there. It is very inexpensive and can be purchased at the local discount store. It is also great to place on your ruler at your certain size you need so it is easier to see on your fabric. You will find many uses for it. I purchase bright blue because it is easy for me to see but there are other colors.
One of my favourite gadgets is the multiple-spool thread holder that fits on my Bernina Artista 200. Granted, it is an added on accessory that I purchased separately, but can we ever have enough accessories for our toys?
Anyway, since I enjoy free-motion sewing and artsy doodles, I can choose different colours and/or types of threads and keep them together on the holder. I keep several pre-wound bobbins stacked on one of the thread holder pins and a couple of empty bobbins on another pin so I can access them easily.
By Karen (VP of CT)
[comments of others are at the end]
My new favorite tool is the Gingher Rotary Cutter. We don't carry it at CT, partially because I think it's just too darned expensive - $70 retail! I had no intention of spending that much money on it, until I tried it. A kind lqs shop owner let me try hers and I LOVED it. It's a little heavy, but that helps it with balance. I have used it extensively for a couple of weeks and still love it. Now for the good part. I brought it to work and everyone tried it and loved it. But agreed it was too expensive (I had a 40% off coupon to get mine). But 2 gals found it on Ebay for $15 - $24! The $24 one including shipping and a spare blade!.
By Joana Simmers
Karen--I recommend using a different vocabulary for purchases like this--you don't buy it. You invest in it. I learned this from my DH and son--one invests in camera equipment and movies, the other in video games. Never, ever, ever do they buy anything. I consider it a moral obligation to make investments too. Therefore, I'm checking out both the Kai and the Gingher. Oh--my daughter has decided to start investing in clothes. Is this how all the problems on Wall Street started?!?
I just love these rulers!! They have very clear markings including 1/16th and are very easy on the eyes with green and pink lines. I am known locally as the "Gadet Queen" so you know I have them all! The rulers come in sizes 7"X24". 7"x14" , 4" x 14", 14" sq, 7" sq, 4" sq. In addition, there are half rectangle, half square triangle, quarter square, bias triangle, 45 degree kaleidoscope, 22.5 degree wedge and a side set triangle ruler. Kaye England uses these rulers exclusively in her pattern directions. I find that I use the HST and QT a lot!! You cut a strip of fabric the width of the finished size( plus 1/2") of the HST - so a strip cut 3 1/2" will get you 3" finished HST - place your strips WST and flip-flop the ruler to cut your sections and take to the machine to chain piece - the bunny ears are already cut off so all you have to do is press - you get perfect HST everytime!! OR, to make perfect flying geese units instead, also from the same 3 1/2" strip, use the Quarter Triangle, place on the strip and flip-flop to cut your pieces. Then from the same 3 1/2" strip cut your 3 1/2" squares - all you need now is a 6 1/2" square of fabric for the center and you've got a star block, similar the the one on the left in my photo. What a time saver these rulers are - I highly recommend them!!
Review submitted by Schatze
[comments by others at the end]
One thing that has helped me manage sore hands and wrists is using needlework gloves. They have stretchy fabric that "massages" your hands, sort of like Isotoner gloves. There aren't any fingers in them, so you still have a lot of control in handling your project. They come in sizes small, medium and large (the package has a chart to help you decide which you'll need.) They're washable, and not very expensive. I got mine at Joanne's but you can find them all over the Internet and at a lot of shops that sell quilting-needleworking-craft supplies.
Here's a webpage that will show you what they look like. Mine are tan, rather than white. If you want to get them over the Internet, visit a couple of different sewing or craft supply websites because you may be able to get them cheaper than at Joann's. http://www.joann.com/joann/catalog.jsp?CATID=cat2928&PRODID=prd....
Has anyone else used these? Did you find them helpful?
Reply by Mollie Wilson
When I left the hospital the physical therapist suggested I get a pair for my hands. So I sent my poor husband to look for them and he got them at Hobby Lobby and used the 40% off coupon. That turned out great. Anyway, I love mine, it helps with keeping them warm and also helps hold down the swelling. So that's my thoughts on them.
I like mine a lot. They feel bulky at first but you get use to them and they are worth the effort.
One of my favorite tools is also one of the cheapest. I love my Needle-grabbers--they're like a very small rubber jar opener. I use them all the time to grab a stubborn needle and pull it through. They really save a lot of wear and tear on the joints in my thumb and forefinger. I'm a handquilter, so they are invaluable, but I also use them when I'm sewing on buttons and for other tasks like that. The only thing I would change is the color--they're sort of a beige which makes them hard to see on my carpet. I keep thinking bright red or intense purple would be really great.
I ran across this thimble on sale at a LQS and decided to try it. It is a rather unique looking thimble, but It fits really well, is made from a soft plastic and has wide angled tip that adds to handling comfort. Size ranges from xx-small to x-large, so if you have a problem finding a good fit, this might be just what you are looking for.