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I have a notion...

I have a notion...

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More than one.  Truth be told, I have a lot of notions.  The "opinion, view, or belief" kind, the "a fanciful or foolish idea; whim" and the "ingenious article or device" kind.  Mostly I have a lot of the sewing-quilting kind of notions.  


This picture is of the Notions Department - Sewing Supplies - of the Ben Snyder department store in Kentucky, circa 1949.

Did you know that Moda Fabrics/United Notions started as a notions distributor?  True story.  There is still an entire warehouse devoted to notions - threads, rulers, zippers, batting, scissors and rotary cutters, needles and pins, etc.  If you sew, you use notions.  If you really love to stitch, you probably have a couple of drawers full of tools, gadgets... notions.  You probably also have your favorites, I know I do.

So I got curious.  If we had our favorites, what did the Moda designers use?  In addition to being interested, finding out what others use can sometimes lead to my finding a new favorite tool.

Rotary Cutters.  Is there a preferred size?  Brand?  What do they use the most?

Big surprise - even though they have their favorite, almost everybody owned up to having "several" rotary cutters.

The 45mm Olfa was the most commonly mentioned - the "old-fashioned" one, the Splash - more have the Aqua (including Sherri McConnell) than the Purple - the ergonomic model and the Quick-Change cutter.  But Lynne Hagmeier, Corey Yoder, Laurie Simpson, Barbara Groves of Me & My Sister and Debbie Maddy all swear by their 60mm Olfas.

Janet Clare loves her Fiskars 45mm and Shannon Orr uses the Omnigrid.

The hand-piecers, appliqué-stitchers and English-paper-piecers also love the 18mm and 28mm size cutters - Jen Kingwell, Jane Davidson and Laurie all mentioned using those frequently.

What about you?  Do you have more than one?  And do you have a favorite size and brand?

Me?  I have multiples - if I cut in that spot, there is a rotary cutter there.  I love the Olfa Quick-Change cutter because of the shape of the handle - it's comfortable for my hand.  I also prefer the 45mm - the 60mm has always felt HUGE to me... like a pizza cutter.  I do have and use a 28mm cutter and for that, I really like the Fiskars stick cutter.  If I could change one thing about my rotary cutters it would be that they came in red.  With polka dots - white or black.

Seam Rippers.  Yes, I also asked about seam rippers.  I know, they never used them but on the off chance that they might possibly someday need one, did they have one?

Everybody has multiples.  Kathy Schmitz said she keeps seam rippers around the way she keeps readers - on every flat surface in her home.  (I can so relate to that!). Only Jen Kingwell doesn't have or use seam rippers.  It's a hand-piecing thing.

For seam rippers, the designers either have a specific preference or "any kind will do... whatever is handy."

Lynne, Corey, Janet and Chelsi Stratton have multiples and they'll use whatever is handy.  Amy Ellis loves her Seam Fix but will use the Clover when she can't find it.  Shannon Orr likes the small Dritz model - "in triplicate... because I misplace them."  Barbara - Me & My Sister - has several seam rippers but prefers to use the tips of her embroidery scissors because they're so sharp.

Misplacing seam rippers is a common theme.  I think it's because they rarely, if ever, get used.

The most frequently mentioned is the white Clover seam ripper - Betsy Chutchian, Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill DesignsSherri, Pat Sloan, Jane Davidson - of Franny & Jane, and Debbie Maddy.  (I'm in this group, I buy them in boxes of three.)

I was kind of hoping that someone would mention using their rotary cutter the way Eleanor Burns does but nobody would admit to it.  If you've not seen it, Eleanor can hold the pieces being separated in one hand and flick the edge of a rotary cutter on the stitches as she pulls the two pieces apart.  It's a very cool and nifty trick... and no, I've never tried it.  I lack the dexterity and coordination.  (And I don't own enough bandaids.)

On those rare occasions when you need a seam ripper, do you have a favorite or use whatever you can find first?

There will be more in the coming weeks and months - thread, rotary rulers, pins, etc. - but that's it for today's Tuesday Tool Time.

For United Notions latest and greatest notions - Winter 2017 Catalog.

Two last things to share today... two of the designers mentioned have new collections showing to shops right now.  Creekside by Sherri & Chelsi for A Quilting Life and Tuppence by Shannon Orr.

Every time I see either one, I start thinking about getting out my rotary cutter and making something.

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