quilting Archives - Valerie Wilson Fibre Artist

Tag Archives: quilting

Let there be light! Adding an LED lighting strip to Your Sewing Machine.

The thing that I most wanted for a Christmas present this year was LED lighting for my sewing machine. And, oh joy!, I go it!  The LED light strip, with self-adhesive backing, mounts under the throat of your sewing machine. Once switched on you have lots of light, exactly where you want it!


LED Brightness

This is the light that I get with the LED lighting! This picture looks dark, as my camera registered all that extra glow. A great improvement from my earlier situation, see below:


Janome sewing machineThis was my sewing machine before, with just the usual sewing machine light turned on. A pool of light around the needle.

LED-Lighting strip-on-sewing-machin

Here is how the LED strip looks on my machine. I have tape holding the connector in place, but will replace this with double-sided tape, placed behind the connector.

I added a dimmer switch for those times when I don’t need as much light. You could add a regular switch or plug it into a receptacle. The whole setup cost $44.50, before tax, at Lee Valley Tools

The parts purchased were one foot of LEDs (minimum length you can buy), a lead wire to connect the LED strip to the switch, a dimmer switch and a power supply.

Since I only used half of the light strip on this sewing machine, I have another 6″ to use elsewhere. The cost without the switch was $21.00.

The dimmer switch sits just behind my machine:



And the power supply sits next to the sewing machine.



I am quite pleased with how these lights work! I can now easily see my stitching, but find it especially helpful when I do free motion quilting with light thread on a light background.

Cool Quilting Gadgets – Wonder Clips

A lot of you may know about Clover’s Wonder Clips already, but I just recently tried them out, and I am thrilled. This is one of those cool quilting gadgets!

Close-up of Wonder Clip - cool quilting gadgets

Close-up of a Wonder Clip

These clips work well for holding the binding on the edge of the quilt when you are sewing the binding to the quilt by machine; are great for when you are hand sewing the edge of the binding down, or for holding the edge of the facing in place for sewing.

The back of the clip is flat, and this allows the layers of fabric to move smoothly towards the presser foot, when machine sewing. The rounded top edge allows for all those layers of fabric and batting to lie flat. The  clips are easy to remove as you sew, and do not distort the edge of the quilt, as happens when you use straight pins. The clips have a good firm grip as well.

Wonder Clips -cool quilting gadgets

Wonder Clips holding the binding for machine sewing

I can see a further use for these amazing clips, such as holding the layers of fabric together while I sew a tote, or other bag.

Note that Clover has just recently come out with Jumbo size Wonder clips for those bigger projects.

The smaller clips, reviewed here, come in two different size packages. The small pack contains 10 clips, while the larger pack contains 50 clips. I bought the smaller pack, but quickly realized that the larger pack is a better deal. With more clips, I can clip all along at least 2 sides of a big quilt, so when I am sewing I spend less time moving the clips, and more time on the actual sewing. With a wall hanging, I can clip and go. I keep a small container close by to put the clips in, as I remove them from the project. No more getting poked by straight pins!

At first I thought that they were too pricey, so avoided trying them, but I am so glad that I did! Definitely a product worth the cost.

Have you tried these clips? What did you think of them? Tell us about it here!