Here are my favored choices for needles, threader, clips, and thread conditioner – tools of the trade for binding. Those Clover Black plated needles were ones I finally found that would pierce that bullet proof batik backing. My needle threader has become indispensable since my need for reading glasses has inevitably grown with age. Those clips that look like hair barrettes really hold the binding well. I iron the binding all outward from the front of the quilt first. Then I sit down away from the ironing board and drape the quilt on my lap. With the back of the quilt facing me, I pull the binding over from the front to the back and put the clips on about 6" apart all around. I found this method easier that alternating between picking up the iron and fiddling with the clips. I bought this tiny notion, called Thread Heaven, at a craft festival. It is a thread conditioner and it really does reduce the tangles and knots you get in thread while hand-sewing and allows gliding through the fabric much better. It is a little cube of wax-like substance that I draw the thread over while holding it in place with my thumb. I had to pull out all the stops to hand stitch this water color frosty appearing batik backing.
That plastic container labeled LOCK-UPS is holding my binding clips. It is the 6 oz size. LOCK-UPS come in four sizes, 12 oz, 8 oz, and 6 oz that are 3.5" diameter and varying heights and a 1.5 oz mini-size of smaller diameter. I find the these containers are great. Since the lids screw off, you do not dump the contents all over the place as often happens when you pop off a plastic lid that is slip fit only. The base of one container interlocks by screwing into the lid of the one stacked beneath it so you get these little columns of convenient storage. I bought these containers to try out from Jo-Anns fabrics, even though initially I thought that they were a bit over priced. I found them to be worth it. When I returned for more of them, I did not see them there any more.
You can get them through Amazon, but you pay more than the item for shipping. I found them, of all places, on the Crate and Barrel website. From pictures on the C&B website I convinced myself that the sides are fully clear and that the misty white area with the emblazoned word LOCK-UPS is really a paper strip inside and not etched on the container itself. This is unclear from pictures on the Amazon web site. They are also available from the Container Store. All three sources are within pennies of each other in price. I plan to pick up some more next time I am in Crate and Barrel or the Container Store to avoid shipping costs. I use mine to hold binding clips, specialty pins, safety pins, pushpins, beads, labels, buttons, etc.
I am of the "Gotta see it to remember I've got it" type. You know those design pictures where everything is neatly labeled in color coordinated baskets that artfully camouflage your clutter? Not for me. I like to have "on display" the color and variety of the "clutter" I need to quilt with!
Well my finger pads got a rest from stitching on that binding while I was typing this blog so I am going to head back to binding Sunny Spring Frost.