A Few of My Favorite Things

There are so many “favorite” tools in my longarm arsenal. Some have been rarely used and others I can’t work without. These are some of the ones I use regularly along with what I’ve done with them. If I know where I purchased them, that information is also included.

I use these tools while quilting with my Handi-Quilter machine and don’t do a lot of quilting on my domestic machines. You might be able to use them there, but I can’t imagine using them on a domestic machine without a stitch regulator. Maybe you can, but I am not sure you could control the template and manage the bulk of the quilt at the same time. (Let me know if you try and if you are successful.)

Handi-Quilter Templates

Straight Edge

First and foremost is a large straight-edged ruler. My Handi-Quilter came with one that has been used so often that the 1/4” lines (two along each edge) have just about worn away. They have since improved the ruler by etching the markings so they won’t wear away like mine have.

This is a picture of the new ones with etched lines. This and others mentioned as Handi-Quilter tools can be found at http://www.handiquilter.com/category/handi-gadgets/hq-rulers/.

Versa Tool

Handi-Quilter has a tool that is fast becoming a “go to” template. The Handi Versa Tool is great for sewing straight lines in small spaces, for accurate 90 degree designs, clamshells and small arcs and there are two cut-outs that make outlining applique shapes a breeze.



The 2” and 4” clamshell template from Handi-Quilter has registration lines so there’s no guesswork about where to place the template and how to line up the next row to produce the perfect clamshell shapes. Or, use it in a border by placing arcs along the border, then flip the template and run the arcs the other direction.

The white squares in the image are actually nearly-clear gritty stickers to grip the fabric to stabilize the ruler.


Quilters Rule

Recently, I bought another straight-edge that has 1/4” lines marked along the entire length. Love this one because it gives me the flexibility to do stitch-in-the-ditch, 1/4”, 1/2”, 3/4”, etc. gridwork.

The picture isn’t good, but you can see the 1/4” lines and the various angles that can be used for aligning the ruler using sashing lines or blocks.

This ruler is from www.quiltersrule.com.


Off-The-Edge Templates

Before I bought the Versa Tool, my “go to” ruler for small areas was The Key. Originally purchased from the Gadget Girls at Off-The-Edge Quilting, but they have unfortunately gone out of business. You might be able to find some of their rulers/templates elsewhere on the web, but only until all product is sold out.


Also from the Gadget Girls is another ruler with a straight edge and a gentle curve which is good for small areas and the curve can work for doing continuous “outlining” on small blocks.


Triple Play Templates

The Triple Play templates are very versatile and have been used to create flower shapes, arcs, and other designs. The web site used to have (may still have) a tutorial describing how they can be used.

The Large template has arcs for 5”, 6” and 7”. The Medium has 2.5”, 3” and 4” arcs. The Small has 1.5”, 2” and 2.5”.

They have the “gripper” stickers for stability.

Available from Lakeside Quilt Company at www.LoveToQuilt.com.


Deloa Jones Templates

These rulers were purchased at one of the national quilt shows and make great curved cross-hatching. I love that the lines are etched every 1/4” and have registration markings to help with alignment. Available from www.deloasquiltshop.com.


Circle Templates

I can’t honestly say where I got these circle templates. This set came with 3”, 4”, 5”, 6” and 7” templates. I added the cross-hair marks to help with alignment. I’ve since seen a similar set at Handi-Quilter that have etched markings that would be nicer and perhaps easier to use.

I’ve done a number of things with these including creating the center spines for feathered wreaths and Baptist fan motifs.


I have a lot of other rulers and templates, but I have found these to be the most useful. Contact me if you have any questions.

Until next time, take at least 15 minutes a day and do something quilt-y!

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