Five Notions Worth a Splurge by May Chappell

I’m excited to have Lee Monroe here to day to share her favorite must have sewing notions. Lee is a pro sewer, quilter, and teacher with tons of experience. She also has a brand new book – I’ll let her share all of the fun sewing news. Take it away, Lee . . .

Hello! It’s Lee from May Chappell  and thanks to Amy for letting me visit with you over here. I’m going to chat about some notions that are worth a little splurge! My new book Jump into Sewing  from C&T is out July 27 and includes a comprehensive sewing guide with Must Have Notions and Nice to Have Notions. It’s the perfect gift for a budding sewist, but also provides reference for more experienced stitchers. 

I always recommend to shop local, but I have included Amazon affiliate links for reference. These notions are readily available through your local shop.

Five Must Have Quilting Notions

1. Scissors & Snips:

There are so many options for scissors that it can feel overwhelming. Knife edge scissors are best for a clean cut along a pattern. They cut quickly and cleanly, but do require occasional sharpening. I am a fan of Gingher and investing in a quality pair will give you years of quality cutting.

Serrated scissors are perfect for smaller detailed cuts. While the serrated edge offers the ease of gripping the fabric, they are not easily maintained or sharpened. I love this pair from Karen Kay Buckley

Finally, you’ll need some thread snips! This is somewhere that a splurge is not necessary. I like to have lots of snips spread all over my studio and find that the inexpensive pairs still work great. 

2. Rotary Cutters:

There are lots of options in this category as well. Look for a sturdy handle that feels comfortable in your hands. If it seems flimsy, it’s not going to do any favors to your cutting. The 45mm blade is ideal for most sewing and cutting.

If you find you’re cutting large lines, try the 60mm and the 28mm is perfect for tight curves. Rotary cutters are one of the most used cutting tools by sewists, so make sure to try out a few and find your perfect match.  

3. Pins & Clips:

Finding the pins that are best for what you’re stitching is ideal! I use long fine, glass head pin for my quilt piecing; they slide through the fabric like butter. However the thicker shaft on these flower head pins is perfect for fabric that is a bit thicker or has stabilizer on it. I also find Clover Wonderclips  to be an asset in bag making or when working with heartier substrates. 

4. Seam Ripper:

If you don’t remember the last time you replaced your seam ripper, it’s time. Similar to replacing your rotary blade, you’ll immediately notice how the sharpness makes the task faster and easier. While you may have inherited your mother’s machine, don’t inherit her seam ripper! Look for an easy to grip handle and a sharp ripper. This seam ripper from Clover  is a go-to for me; I have several throughout my studio.

5. Turning Tool:

There are a tons of turning tool options! Look for one that feels comfortable in your hands and is sturdy. I love this turning tool from Merchant and Mills. You’re looking for a durable point that will hold up to pressure as you smooth a curve or corner, but also not stab through the fabric. 

I hope you’ll find the perfect notions for you! You can find me on Instagram  and Facebook

xx Lee

Thanks, Lee! I’m in 100% agreement on each of these notions. All classics, basics and useful at all times.

I’m so excited to check out Lee’s new book, Jump Into Sewing, coming out August 1! You can also find the always delightful Lee hosting the weekly episodes of The Quilting Hour.

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  • Reply
    August 7, 2021 at 10:28 pm

    I appreciated the article “5 Notions worth a Splurge.” I bought a pair of Gingher dressmaker scissors when I was in college. I graduated in 1977. I still am using those shears 45 years later! I dropped them blade first and bent them, sent them back to Gingher and for a small fee, they fixed them for me. One of the best sewing investments I’ve ever made.

    • Reply
      August 8, 2021 at 9:55 pm

      Oh that’s so awesome! Don’t you love how quality tools really make a difference. And last! And how cool is that that Gingher fixed your scissors! I love hearing things like that.

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