I discovered a lot of fun products this year — some were recommendations from friends, some were things I happened upon, and some were purchased out of necessity! Although it’s hard to pick only 10 favorites, these are some of the items from 2019 that I couldn’t live without! (Not all are quilting related, but they did greatly contribute to my happiness and productivity, so I could spent more time sewing!)
Clever Fox Planner: I love a good planner! It has been a few years since I’ve had one that really worked with my life. I finally settled on the Clever Fox Planner, which focuses on yearly goals and what you can do monthly, weekly, and daily to achieve those goals. It has both fill-in-the-day monthly and daily calendars that help you set to-do lists and priorities, while also leaving room to take notes, reflect on accomplishments, and track goals. I could go on and on about this planner, because it has honestly changed my life, so you should check out all it has to offer if you’re looking for a new one!
Vitamin C Serum: I’m always jumping on the bandwagon of new skin care techniques. In years past, I’ve starting using a jade roller, retinol cream, and even microneedling (all of which I recommend!). There’s a lot of research about how Vitamin C serum brightens skin and pumps up collagen production. I’ve spent a little too much time in the sun in the past, and have definitely noticed the serum helping with some of my darker spots. I use it each morning and notice my skin is smoother and looks brighter.
Wool Pressing Mat: Wool pressing mats are all the rage in the quilting world. I finally tried a few and they definitely live up to the hype! Because heat can pass through the wool, it helps press the fabric or blocks from both sides. I’ve noticed my fabric is smoother, my seams lay flatter, and I spend less time ironing. This all leads to more accurate sewing, and I can’t believe I’ve lived without one for so long! The one I have is made with wool from New Zealand, which promises to smell less when it gets wet, and I have to agree that the smell is much less strong than others I’ve tried.
Terial Magic: My secret weapon for any T-shirt quilt is Terial Magic — a stiffening starch. You spray it on fabrics that are difficult to work with like knits and it turns them into a stiff material that’s easy to cut and sew. It acts like a stabilizer and washes out. After using this, I’ll never use an interfacing for a quilt again!
Add-a-Quarter Inch Ruler: If you do any sort of foundation piecing, you’ll want this ruler. I went for years without it, because it didn’t seem like something I needed (couldn’t my regular rulers do the same job?). But I promise, this ruler makes trimming seams SO much easier and has helped me get crisp and less bulky seams while foundation piecing.
Qapital App: Qapital is an app that allows you to make savings goals, create rules to automatically save the money from your bank account, then use that money for your planned purchases. It makes it easier to save for special purchases (like a new cutting table, a quilting cruise, or an iron). Many times quilting expenses fall to the wayside, so this app ensures I still have money for my hobby! (Read my complete review of the app here.)
Sign up for Qapital with this link or use my referral code sz32a2e6 to get money toward one of your goals.
Outdoor Umbrella: After a big storm dragged our patio table across the lawn and destroyed the attached umbrella, we needed a new one. We settled on this basic one that comes in a variety of colors, has the easiest crank to open it, and even tilts to block sun when it’s not straight above. It’s one of our favorite outdoor purchases and provides a large area of shade!
EPP On-the-Go Carrier: English paper piecing is my favorite sewing project to take on vacation. It’s so relaxing to sit in the passenger seat of the car or on a plane and work with your hands. To stay organized, I’ve been using a portion-control lunch box to separate supplies and keep them safe. Read more about this storage idea here.
Face Sheet Masks: I love to treat myself! Once a week, I sit down with a glass of wine, a good book, and a face mask. It’s the perfect end to the weekend. After buying these sheet masks for a gift, I had to had them myself, too. I love that you get 12 different masks in each pack, so you can choose one for what your face needs (I’m saving the Aloe Vera one for summer in case I get burned.)
Libby App: I got through 74 books in 2019. Early in the year, our public library got the Libby App, which is a free app that allows you to check out digital books and audiobooks from your library. I still love reading physical books, but when I’m sewing, I choose an audiobook. There are too many books I want to read and not enough time, so this app allows me to still listen to them while making progress on my projects!
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Thanks for joining me for “happy hour,”
What were your favorite finds from 2019? I’m always on the lookout for new products to try!