I am going to do the Martha Stewart thing and post a few of my favorite (machine quilting) things. I’ve been machine quilting (home machine, longarm & midarm) for 13 yrs and have been teaching for about 10 yrs. I’ve used a lot of products over the years and I have developed some specific preferences. I am preparing to teach tomorrow and that brought this list to mind:
I love Warm & Natural batting for MQ – it’s flat and slightly stiff and that keeps it from bunching up when I’m trying to quilt. When washed it makes a nice soft quilt. I only use Sulky clear polyester for SID. The most important tool to keep nearby is a tiny screwdriver to change bobbin tension with and the cheapest one you can buy comes in an eyeglass repair kit. I love my Machingers Quilting Gloves – they are light, they let my skin breathe and the grippy tips are superb.
A flat surface is a must and you can build an area around your machine with many things. I’ve used heavy cardboard boxes with glossy surfaces and now I have my home-made dream desk and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. (How to build it here). Good lighting is a must and it’s cheap too. I buy 4′ long florescent hanging fixtures (shop lights) and I put daylight rated bulbs in them. I have 2 of these hanging over my sewing area. You can see them in this pic.