The Finer Things

A couple months back, I decided to try some new thread and the recommended needles.  I had been having trouble with tension in my machine and the obvious lint build up was part of the problem.  I spent a little bit more than I usually do, but I believe the payoff is huge!  My machine has been happier!

And so, here are a few of the finer things I have enjoyed using while sewing lately :)

So Fine Thread &Topstitching Needles by Superior Threads  — The needles seem to stay sharp longer than other brands.
Famore Scissors – the tip is tiny, helps to get threads from the tiniest spaces.
Patchwork Pins – so tiny and fine, no visible holes left in the fabric after pinning.
Selvage Pin Cushion – it stays where I put it while pushing pins in as I sew.

The next thing I need to find is a cone holder/stand.  I love the thread so much I went with a cone, and it’s much to big for my machine – so far I’ve just set it on the table, and let it feed up, but I don’t think that will last too long.

Do you have a favorite notion, or two?

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By | 2017-09-19T12:33:21+00:00 June 24th, 2010|sewing|31 Comments


  1. Terriaw June 24, 2010 at 5:27 am - Reply

    Great tips! I have those scissors and love them. I have to go look at the type of needles I have but I think they are by Superior cuz that label looks familiar. I usually just grab the type I need, without paying attention to the brand. I haven't tried a cone of thread cuz I don't think it would fit on my machine either. My favorite notions are my sewing caddy from AMH's first book, and my seam allowance ruler, which I use a lot to measure and draw shorter lines (since it's only 6 inches).

  2. Shelly June 24, 2010 at 5:32 am - Reply

    I'm with you on the So-Fine thread and the Famore scissors. I have multiples of both of those items (I'm embarrassed to say exactly how many multiples). I also love ThimblePads and the UnderThimbles for hand-stitching and hand quilting. Can't live without them. My favorite pins are Suisse Iris 1 1/4" pins, fine, long and a head like a regular old pin. And the tin they come in is cute! I also like the Clover ball-point marking pen that marks in white and then irons out — it's great for marking on dark fabrics.

  3. "Lois Grebowski" June 24, 2010 at 5:32 am - Reply

    My absolute favorite notion is the "grim reaper seam ripper" (my nickname, it's made by Famore) that I got at I Have A Notion.

    That thing rocks!

    I also like my thread nippers. I keep them on a lanyard and hang them from my neck. That way they're with me when I sew.

    When I purchased my new machine, The store left a spool of good thread in it (Mettler polyester). I love that thread! They told me that good thread makes all the difference.

  4. Clothed in Scarlet June 24, 2010 at 5:35 am - Reply

    I am very new to quilting…hehe like I have not complete a quilted project yet. I'm in the process of piecing blocks at the moment, but I'm determined that I will get it quilted. That being said, thanks for sharing your likes about products you've used. All information is appreciated:0) Sarah

  5. Linda June 24, 2010 at 6:11 am - Reply

    I like the Superior Thread too. It doesn't leave lint. Though, I used it once when sewing a rag quilt . . . big mistake. It's not strong enough when the kids get under that quilt and tug on it, I can hear the threads snapping. But I love it for piecing.
    My current favorite notion is a little pair of scissors made by Westcott, you can find them at Walmart for $5. They are tiny, light weight, and the ends are curved. The blades are made of titanium and the handles are gray and yellow. I may never go back to a traditional seam ripper.

  6. Needled Mom June 24, 2010 at 6:34 am - Reply

    All wonderful items!! Thread makes such a difference, doesn't it?

    I got my cone holder at It is metal and stays where it is suppose to. The plastic ones tend to move around.

  7. Christi June 24, 2010 at 6:37 am - Reply

    my favorite notions are a cup of coffee and chocolate!! everything else falls into place!! hehe.

    christi S

  8. Mrs Moen June 24, 2010 at 6:38 am - Reply

    I used a Deelybob cone holder and it worked very well with an upright spool holder. My new machine does not have that, so I have placed a large (and heavy) glass pitcher on the back of the machine and it works perfectly for my big cones. The thread goes through the spout and into the machine as usual.

  9. Esch House Quilts June 24, 2010 at 6:41 am - Reply

    Thanks for the info – esp about the thread.

    My favorite notion is my Roxanne thimble. I don't do as much handwork as I used to, but I love that thimble!

  10. Nancy June 24, 2010 at 6:43 am - Reply

    wow.. i was going to suggest putting the thread into a large heavy jar, but the glass pitcher with a spout is a wonderful idea…

    my favorite notion is my garage sale steam, just heat, small, no vent holes and it was only $3..

  11. Katie B. June 24, 2010 at 6:57 am - Reply

    I finally got around to following your instructions for cleaning my sewing machine this week. Oh, goodness. It was not pretty in there! My sewing machine seems much happier though. Thanks for the tips!

  12. Just JaiCi's Crafts June 24, 2010 at 7:41 am - Reply

    I might have to try this! My bobbin loves to skip a stitch right at CRUCIAL moments…maybe it's lint buildup….who knows…..

  13. Cheryl Arkison June 24, 2010 at 7:58 am - Reply

    Two tips:

    If you have a cone, but no cone holder, tape a saftey pin to the top of your machine where the thread comes up from the table. Feed the thread through that before threading your machine. Keeps the tension as it should be.

    And for lint and regular (as in eery time you change your bobbin) I cannot recommend this little tool enough:

  14. Cheryl Arkison June 24, 2010 at 7:58 am - Reply

    Two tips:

    If you have a cone, but no cone holder, tape a saftey pin to the top of your machine where the thread comes up from the table. Feed the thread through that before threading your machine. Keeps the tension as it should be.

    And for lint and regular (as in eery time you change your bobbin) I cannot recommend this little tool enough:

  15. syocom June 24, 2010 at 8:16 am - Reply

    Thanks for the tips. I noticed you have a Kenmore machine. ( I could tell form the power switch in the picture) I have one too. I was wondering do you like yours. And has it ever given you major problem?

  16. Allie June 24, 2010 at 8:47 am - Reply

    You can get cone holders at Joann's – I have a black one. But my favorite is the thread rack that came with my machine, it holds a lot of spools. I've also put my cone in a coffee cup, behind my machine, in a pinch.

  17. Natalia from Piece N Quilt June 24, 2010 at 11:06 am - Reply

    YAY for Sew Fine! I'm glad you're liking it! :)

  18. Eileen June 24, 2010 at 12:32 pm - Reply

    ruefully, the super sharp seam ripper that came with my brother machine! :) pink soft handled scissors from tonic. lots of extra bobbins filled with bobbin thread but also lots filled with embroidery thread for just the right color for that little seam embellishment i often like to do. but mostly the adorable little pin cushions my daughter and granddaughter have made me!!

  19. amy smart June 24, 2010 at 2:21 pm - Reply

    I've seen mason jars used as cone holders as well. Love the idea of a safety pin taped to the machine to keep the tension right.

  20. call me crazy June 24, 2010 at 2:29 pm - Reply

    My favorite notion is a little pair of thread nippers. I use them alll the time! ;-)

  21. live a colorful life June 24, 2010 at 2:38 pm - Reply

    Thanks for including the pincushion! Totally made my day.

    I use Masterpiece thread by Superior and my machine seems really happy with it.

  22. Susan Entwistle June 24, 2010 at 2:44 pm - Reply

    I love those pins too, but for another (very bad) reason. I sew over them. I haven't broken a needle yet (knock wood), but I go slow, and they are so thin that the just seem to roll out of the way if they contact the needle.

  23. Sarah Craig June 24, 2010 at 6:36 pm - Reply

    This is kind of weird, but my favorite "notion" is a double-sided pencil box that I use to hold my small scissors, a few pins, some needles, some bobbins, a seam ripper, and my tape measure – it's very handy when I want to take some hand-work upstairs with me when we watch tv at night! Oh, and I can never have enough bobbins – it's so wonderful not to have to empty one so you can add the right color!

  24. Sew Lovins June 24, 2010 at 6:51 pm - Reply

    I am a big fan of my little red pipe cleaner that collects lint like a magnet. I swipe all the visible lint and open my throat plate and main compartment to my machine after a big project. It collects all the lint from all the nooks and crannies very well! I also LOVE my mason jar that is my living room companion when handquilting/sewing on bindings by hand. It keeps my thimble, seam ripper, thread and needles nice and safe and not lost (not to mention safe from my lil one!)!! Also I cant remember what website I got the idea from but I love my little film canister that I velcro to my machine to keep my lil snips and seam ripper handy.

  25. WendyLou June 24, 2010 at 8:18 pm - Reply

    This isn't exactly a 'notion,' but I did follow this tutorial for making a custom quilting table. I can NOT believe the difference it made for me!! I think my total cost was around $20. Here's the link:

  26. Sooz June 24, 2010 at 9:11 pm - Reply

    I'm tempted by the thread, but, tell me, is it "silky"? As in slippery? I like threads with a bit of grip, which is probably why I get lint, but then I just clean it. Cleaning the lint from my machine soothes my OCD…
    I have one of those pincusions! I won it from Sewing on the Edge and it's made with Laurie's Tufted Tweets selvages! I love it!
    I also love my grippy gloves, to use when I am quilting. Does that count as a notion?

  27. IHaveANotion ~ Kelly Jackson June 25, 2010 at 6:53 pm - Reply

    Wooo hooo….I'm so glad you have found those great things. The pins are my absolute favorite ever. I really like the Superior Machine Needles too. Well, you already know how I feel about Famore Scissors…..I can't even think about them without a grin :)

    I'm not sure what my exact favorite notions is….I have to say no matter which one I'm using, I really like them to work like they are supposed to work each and every time. I hate fiddeling with things to get them to work…what a pain.


  28. Ivory Spring June 26, 2010 at 4:00 pm - Reply

    I love those pins! Use them all the time.

  29. Meghan June 26, 2010 at 5:52 pm - Reply

    Oh, lint. I somehow got out of the habit of brushing the lint out of my machine each time I change the bobbin, and it was awful when I realized it. I think the lint bunnies were planning a hostile takeover!

    My favorite notion is the Kwik Klip. It really saves my fingers when basting.

  30. Kathy June 27, 2010 at 5:21 am - Reply

    I have a metal coneflower thread holder and I love it! I bought it from a metal worker who sells thru the net. Everytime I look at it, I smile…

  31. Jolie June 27, 2010 at 3:02 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the tips – I have just ordered some thread and needles to see if I can get any boost in my eternal war against lint and blunt needles!

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