Toby and Speck – Two of the DPPAS dogs

I was very busy last night stitching on my Dog Pound Pals blocks now that I’ve decided to make the switch to batiks.  I love appliquing with batiks – the fabrics behave so nicely and none of those little hairy wisps of threads constantly needing to be tucked under.

Here’s Toby


and here’s Speck.



This afternoon I’ll spend some time taping together patterns and tracing pieces and then the fun part of choosing fabrics.  Of course choosing fabrics is also very messy business – at least if you’re me.  Piles of batiks all over the place I’ve been pawing (bad pun) through.

One of these days I need to do some online shopping  – I can’t get my favorite applique needles locally and need to do a restock.  And just who keeps stealing all my pins??? LOL  I was  going to pin the binding  down on a quilt and I was looking at my sad little pincushion.  I’m very picky about pins and needles now that I found some I really love.  And, I think I see a Amazon order in my not too distant future since I need to restock a couple other sewing room necessities.

Do you have specific things your sewing room shouldn’t be without but they have to be a specific brand.  Whether it’s clothing, food or sewing things – brand does not normally matter to me.  I generally prefer the store brand of many foods; clothes – I hate clothes shopping and designer labels only mean higher prices so I don’t care about them –  there are only a handful of things I buy where it must be a specific brand (and those are mostly food items).

But, there are a few items in m y sewing room where brand matters:  Applique needles – I do use several kinds simply because I have a good stockpile of them before I hit upon the ones I really love.  And the ones I love, I can’t get locally and I keep forgetting to order more.

Jeana Kimball’s Foxglove Cottage Straw Needles   –  these are my favorites (not that you asked  but you know you would have been wondering) 🙂  A friend sent me one of the sample packs of different sizes years ago and I fell in love with these – especially for batik fabrics since they are so thin and move more easily through the densely woven fabric.

Pins — it’s got to be Clover Patchwork – Fine Pins  (aqua and yellow balls on the tops of them).  They are nice and fine and hold applique in place without taking too much of a “bite” out of the fabric which may throw off placement or getting it to lay flat.  The only problem with them – they are nice and thin and sometimes I use them to pin things like multiple layers of freezer paper to cut templates and they bend.  So many of them do end up in the trash due to that, but I love those pins.

Best Press – yes I know you can make your own spray starch and I did for many years but I love Best Press better.

505 Spray and Fix – fabric adhesive spray and the only one I use after much testing against other brands.  If I’m working on wall hangings, table runners or other smaller projects (I don’t use it for large quilts)  I will spray baste layers rather than pinning and this doesn’t have the strong odor that may of the others I tried did and it doesn’t gum up my sewing machine needle ( other brands I tried claimed they wouldn’t gum it up  but did anyway).

Now you know what my favorite sewing room notions are – whether you wanted to or not.   Now to get busy – I’m starving, laundry needs to be tossed in, and there are more pattern pieces to trace and I just might have to start my list of what I need to order at Amazon. 🙂




5 comments on “Toby and Speck – Two of the DPPAS dogs

  1. Denise thank you for the tips on your fav notions. What size straw needle do you use? I have been using John James with my silk thread but am always anxious to try recommendations from other quilters. Not everything works the same for everyone.
    I use the clover extra fine pins with the white heads. My last order I got had red heads. Haven’t tried them yet. Mine are always getting bent as well so need replacing.
    I have some very tiny applique pins…basically no head…these work fine but so small they are hard to pick up and easy to loose. I prefer to use a small dab of Roxannes glue to hold my appliques in place.

    • I use several different sizes of straw needles rather than just one size – it all depends on the type of fabric I’m appliquing and the type of thread I’m using. I think the red and white topped clover pins are their “silk pins”. I’ll have to look next time I’m in a store as to whether they are thinner than the “patchwork fine” clover pins (which are .4 mm wide) which are not to be confused with the “Clover quilting pins” which are wider and longer — I don’t think my Granny would have ever imagined all the different types of pins now available when she was quilting. I haven’t looked at applique pins lately — I had previously had some but they were think and distorted things more than I like for pinning – especially since you need to use more of them to pin a piece in place. I’ve used the Roxanne glue for other things but because I used freezer paper for my appliques – glue doesn’t work for me.

  2. Thank YOU, I have wondered the name of a good spray to hold pieces down. Will also consider thinner pins, hadn’t thought about it till now, so much easier on your hands.

  3. A quilt shop told me to use Best Press with half water/half Best Press. Goes farther that way. Don’t know if it will work well with applique but it does with general quilting. I have one bottle with straight Best Press just in case and the other with the half/half mixture. Buy the big bottles of Best Press and fill my smaller ones as needed. I’m picky about the fagrance–gotta be the Citrus one. LOL!

Comments are closed.