A few years ago, I read about how great fork pins were in Threads magazine, but it was just a name drop with no picture. After scouring the notions aisle of the craft store, I finally asked a sales assistant who kindly directed me to the quilting section. AHA! How I had been unknowingly bypassing this section my whole life, I do not know. Since then, I've picked up a few other notions mostly advertised as quilting aids but are awesome for garment sewing too:
Mary Ellen's Best Press
I stumbled into this stuff at a local quilt shop. I had never used spray starch before, but this non-aerosol starch alternative was intriguing, so I looked up reviews on my phone (yep, I'm that shopper) and was reeled in. Now I'm totally hooked. The sprayer produces a nice fine mist and it makes things crisp. 'Nuff said.
Clover fork pins
These pins are really helpful in matching stripes, plaids and seams. If you're as stripe-obsessed as me, these will come in handy. Slip these in with one prong on either side of the seam/stripe you're matching and it will not shift. I don't have a walking foot (Bernina walking foot = $$$), but this and a few other tools/techniques help to perfect the matching.
4.5" quilting grid
This little guy is really helpful when you need to cut perfect 45 degree angles on your bias tape ends, but don't want to take the whole thing over to the cutting mat. Also handy if you've misplaced your seam gauge for the thousandth time... not that I'm speaking from experience...
Clover Wonder Clips
An alternative to pins. Useful when sewing: bias binding, leather, oil cloth or anything that would scar from being pinned. I'm sure these were just as popular before I got some last year, but now it seems like I'm seeing them everywhere, being used for so many different applications!
Bonus: They're kind of cute and so is their name.
Anyway, I wanted to post about these tools not only to share the goodness, but because I want to know your favorites! Any tips on tools that everyone (or just me) is passing by?