Tag Archives: quilting

Wonder Clips

Featured Tool: Wonder Clips by Clover

What are these typically used for?

These tools can be used in place of pins to hold several layers of fabric together.

What was your first impression of Wonder Clips?

I was skeptical at first about how useful they’d actually be.

What was your experience with them like?

The first time I used them was for binding. They really helped keep the fabric in place so I wasn’t constantly wrestling with it. Next I used them to hold layers together when I was sewing in a zipper. I also tried them in place of pins when I was making bags with vinyl. They worked well in all situations. With binding they helped press the binding down so once I took them off the fabric still held that shape and my binding went even faster! They also work really well in place of pins, especially with the vinyl since they didn’t make holes in it. I could see them working well with thicker fabric that might bend pins.

How long did it take you to learn how to use it?


What did you like best?

They are cute, multi functional, and have less potential to draw blood than pins. Plus they come in all sorts of colors – personally, I love the rainbow pack.

What did you like least?

They aren’t as easily stored in a pincushion. However they do fit nicely in my glass jars so it’s not all bad.

Could you see another potential use?

They would probably work well for organizing and keeping groups of fabrics together when cutting multiple shapes or sizes out. You could write the letter or Fabric 1 on a paper then use a wonder clip to clip the paper to the fabrics. They would probably work with English Paper Piecing as well to hold the shapes together as you whip stitch them.

Why do you NEED it?

I keep thinking of new ways to use them! They seem to be endlessly useful. Wonder Clips are like potato chips–you can’t have just one!

Who would appreciate Wonder Clips most?

These are perfect for:

  • Beginner, intermediate, and expert quilters
  • Anyone acquiring the essential quilting/sewing tools

Clover Hot Ruler

Featured Tool: Hot Ruler by Clover, Item #82301

Hot Ruler by Clover

What is this typically used for?

This tool is used to accurately press hems for anything! You can use it for anything that has a straight edge and is turned up–just press and sew.

What was your first impression of the hot ruler?

I used to use something like this for sewing clothes. Can this be used for quilting?? (Spoiler:  YES!!)

What was your experience with them like?

Perfect! I used it to turn up a 1/4″ hem and then a 1/2″ hem on a tea towel that was looking pretty wonky before I used this. Next, I used it to turn up the seam I was going to sew on a pillowcase, first 1/4″ and then 1″. I didn’t even have to use pins! No more wavy, uneven edges and I didn’t burn my fingers trying to hold the area I wanted to turn up and press.

How long did it take you to learn how to use it?

Maybe five seconds.

What did you like best?

I like that the ruler itself doesn’t get hot. The old metal rulers for turning up hems tend to sweat, slip, and get too hot to touch.

Could you see another potential use?

The hot ruler could be used for any type of sewing–strips, straps, handles on bags, pillowcases, large mitered corners, hems on clothes, curtains…anything you want to turn up that has a straight edge.

Who would appreciate a hot ruler the most?

These are perfect for:

  • Beginner, intermediate, and expert quilters
  • Anyone acquiring the essential quilting tools

Clover Patchwork Pins

Featured Tool: Patchwork Pins by Clover, Item #82201

Patchwork Pins

What are they typically used for?

These are used for pinning fabrics before sewing–pins keep fabric in place. I use the .4mm regularly for pinning cotton fabric before piecing and sewing. The .5mm needles work better for multiple or thicker layers (like making bags, etc.). 

What was your first impression of the pins?

I liked how thin they are (the .4mm size in particular) and the glass heads.

What was your experience with them like?

These pins work great! They worked well from the start. I did learn to use the thicker pins with heavier fabric or additional layers to minimize any bending of the pins. They’re so thin and sharp that they glide easily through the fabric.

What did you like best?

These pins worked great for precision piecing–these pins distort the fabric less. In addition, glass heads mean the iron won’t melt them! The thin pins glide through the fabric well and the .4mm pins bend instead of breaking sewing machine needles if you miss pulling a pin out in time.

Were there any negatives we should know about?

They bend a little easier than thicker pins, but this didn’t matter to me because the benefits of use far outweigh having to straighten out a few crooked pins.

Who would appreciate these pins the most?

These are perfect for:

  • Beginner, intermediate, and expert quilters
  • General sewists
  • Paper-piecers
  • Anyone acquiring the essential quilting tools

Vintage Quilt Mending, Part 1
I swear I'm only 5'2"

I swear I’m only 5’2″

The sewists and quilters in my family have always been practical women: The mentality of “Make things you can use or wear, or don’t make them at all!” is pretty close to the mantra they all held and hold…one I also carry with me.

This quilt my great grandma made was and still is no exception to that mentality! It’s actually unclear when exactly she made it, but I do know my dad received it from her when he was quite young and I inherited it this year. I also know it’s much older than me by at least 10 years and I’m 29. I can remember countless moments growing up when I would lug it out of the closet to wrap up in or pulling it off my parents’ bed in the wintertime.


Our schnauzer Riley likes to be involved!

 As you can see, it’s a scrappy log cabin quilt tied to finish made with all sorts of different fabrics in true scrappy fashion, with a fair amount of hand stitching.


Herringbone embroidery and a sailboat!

The backing is the most luxurious blue velvet, I can’t believe how soft it still is after at least 40 years. Due to the fabrics used, it has an amazing weight to it that you can’t help but want to cozy up with.

I just adore so many of the fabric choices found in the panels:








But all the cozying and wallowing is bound to take its toll on any sewn item, let alone a supple queen sized quilt.





Since most of the disrepair is panels themselves getting threadbare, I have more options than if entire panels just came off (which actually is the case with another even older quilt from when my dad was a child.)

I could replace the panels with new fabrics, probably with some nice hand-stitching… deciding the fabrics would be quite daunting in and of itself!

But, I could also mock up some era-appropriate embroidery to simultaneously mend and embellish this quilt.

I could also do a combination of both concepts with or without appliqué.

So many choices!

Stay tuned for my next installment where I discuss the designs and decisions I will have made by then.

20 Years: Looking Back and Thinking Forward

In honor of our 20 year anniversary, we recently sat down with Matt Petkun, Connecting Threads’ president and CEO

When you were watching your parents form Connecting Threads, did you expect you would be running it 20 years later? (If not, what were your plans back then and what convinced you to change them?)

20 years ago I was just beginning college, and I certainly had no intentions of working with my parents at that point in time. I was passionate about my studies, and knew that focusing on them could lead to a variety of opportunities and careers, but I never thought that I would ultimately end up working with them.

It has always been very important to me to keep family first in our relationship, and I worried that working together could distract from family.   I had a 12 year career in business before working with CT, and was happily engaged in that when my parents started discussing retirement.

 At that same time, I was looking for ways that I could take my skills and experience in the business world and use those to focus on a market that connected more closely with people and things that they are passionate about. The timing worked out, so that we have (mostly) been able to eliminate the challenges of a family business while at the same time continuing to support the crafting markets and customers that mean so much to our family.

What do you think has changed the most within the company from then to now?

Within the company, very little has changed. We were founded to provide the very best products to quilters and the most affordable prices possible. In many ways that mission hasn’t changed.

The world around us has, and that’s where one can find differences. Probably the biggest changes have come in the digital world. 20 years ago books were one of our biggest product categories, and catalogs were the only way we could reach out to quilters.

Today, the internet has made wonderful patterns and projects so much more accessible. This is great for existing quilters, and also allowed quilting to open up to a whole new generation. I am excited that we can be a part of sharing the traditions and joys of quilting with so many new people.


What are your favorite achievements CT has accomplished?

We measure our achievements only by the products we provide. Products always take work, and tweaking. The quality and hand of the fabric is equal to the best quilting fabrics in the market, the collections are diverse and exciting, and the price is unmatched. The feedback we get from customers is great, and I am really proud of our team for all the work it has taken to make this happen.


What is your hope for CT’s next 20 years?

The next 20 years is about spreading the word. We want to share our amazing products with every quilter, and we want to be part of sharing the joys of quilting and fabric arts with as many new people as possible.