Tips And Tools Tuesday – Get A Grip

As I shared last week, I am machine-quilting once again.

I began with a small baby quilt and have moved on to a queen-size for my dear friend, Monica.

Her mother-in-law, Bea, an avid quilter, passed away several months ago at the age of 99. She had hand-appliqued twenty Southern Belle blocks, but died before completing the quilt.  Yep, 99 years old and still making quilts. Amazing!

Monica asked if I would make the blocks into a quilt. I am honored to do so.

 

When I machine-quilted the baby quilt, I used the gloves that I had bought 15 years ago. The kind they recommended back then. With the grippy dots. They worked okay, because the quilt was small. Not much weight to it.

 

However…

 

 

now that I’m working with a much larger and heavier quilt, these caused a strain. My hands slipped inside the gloves, and when it came time to snipping threads, attempting to grasp a pair of scissors was a joke. It was like trying to pick up scissors with sock puppets on my hands!

See what’s wrong with this picture?

Yep. The glove is waaaaaaay too big for me.

So, what did I do when I needed gloves that grip? Went to our local home improvement store.

We live in a small town, and the nearest quilt shop is ninety miles away. I could have shopped online for quilting gloves, but I wanted to try them on before I bought them. Plus, I wanted to quilt THAT day, not wait for a delivery!

 

 

Most of the quilting gloves I found online, either had grippy dots, or just the fingertips had a gripping coating on them.  That’s a strain on my fingers that I don’t need.

I found these in the garden department with the work gloves. There were various styles. Some were nitrile (a synthetic rubber) dipped, had good grip and were form-fitting, but they, too, moved around my fingers. I did not want to fight to keep my gloves straight!

 

Then, I found these. they were only $9.98.

They were just what I’d been looking for.

Comfortable, form-fitting, and…

 

 

 

 

 

the palms are coated entirely with grippy rubber. Not just coated, but the rubber is in the form of a hand. It’s firm, yet flexible. Sounds like a contradiction, but I don’t know any other way to describe it.

I brought them home, put them on, and have been quilting like crazy ever since!

These things are marvelous!

 

I don’t strain my hands by trying to maneuver the quilt with my fingertips. I can just rest my hands on either side of the presser foot and move the quilt easily. YAY! And, my hands don’t perspire in them either! YAY, again!

There is one draw-back to using these gloves, and that is picking up and using scissors.

 

At first, I was using my small scissors.  I could still pick them up with these gloves, but sometimes it took a bit of maneuvering to get my fingers into the holes and sometimes a bit more to get them out!

 

This brings me to another tip/tool to use while machine quilting.

 

 

 

Snips.

 

 

They have large openings for your fingers and a short cutting surface, perfect for snipping.

 

I can pick them up, use them, and put them down again with ease.

 

 

 

 

   

Oh, and one more thing…

 

 

 

I use letter beads to make name tags for my hand tools. That way, when I take them to a class, I know I’m bringing my own tools home.

 

Wow, once I got started on this subject, I couldn’t just stop at one tip/tool. They really go hand-in-hand. (No pun intended.) (Well, maybe just a little.)

What kind of gloves do you use for machine quilting?

Do you have any tools that help you? What are they? How do they help?

Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

I hope these ideas help you get more quilting done!

Diane

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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