My name is Charlotte, sometimes known as Ms Lottie, occasionally as The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady. This is my blog, where you'll find me writing a lot about my quilting and textile arts and a little about my family's life in a small seaside town in New Zealand. Haere mai!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Mathea and Charlotte's Favourite Things - The NZ Quilt Show Episode 44

Mathea Daunheimer of Esparta Fiber Arts is my guest today and we have a conversation about her new long arm machine - so exciting! - and then we get into our lists of favourite studio tools or things that we just couldn't do without.

Mathea and I (in front of our respective quilts) at Auckland Festival of Quilts

*This is not a sponsored post - we are recommending these things because we use and love them, not because we are getting paid!*

We recommend:

Karen Kay Buckley scissors.  I have two pairs of the blue handled 6" ones for appliqué and Mathea has a favourite pair of red handled curved blades snips.  They have micro serrations, sharp slim points and soft flexible handles - brilliant!

picture borrowed from Karen Kay Buckley
Machinger quilting gloves by Quilters Touch when we are quilting on a sit-down domestic machine.  They fit well, have rubberised fingertips, breath ok and are invaluable for easing hand strain by improving your grip and control of your quilt top when quilting.

photo borrowed from Quilters Touch website
We talk about the necessity of having good quality, non-slip rulers.  Mathea likes the Olfa brand with the frosted bottom.  You can still see the lines clearly, but they are less likely to slip.

photo borrowed from
I recommend taking the time to make a large pressing surface.  I made mine from a small trestle table and layers of cotton batting and I love the added space it gives me.  You can read more about mine in this blog post I wrote about it.

We both like Clover self-threading needles for burying threads into our quilt tops.  But we do recommend you use the correct size for the thread you are burying or they can shred your thread.

photo from
I recommend Sew Mate bobbin boxes for storing bobbins.  They have closed cell foam lining so it grabs the bobbin when you push it in.  This means no unravelling in the case, no falling out of the case and the case itself is softer plastic with round corners meaning it doesn't shatter when you drop it.

Mathea recommends Superior Threads for pre-wound bobbins and lots of information about thread and needles etc.

I recommend Sewline ceramic marking pens for marking my quilt tops before quilting.  The mark goes on, stays on while you need it and then comes off when you want it to!  They have different coloured leads for different coloured fabrics and I tend to just use the white and the green.

photo from

And we both recommend a sharp rotary cutting blade - go on, try changing your blade and enjoy the sensation!

Mathea's best contact, if you are interested in contracting her for long-arm services, is either her Facebook page or her email:

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Download this episode (right click and save)


  1. Lovely post. Nice to hear the casual banter. I also like some of the products you like too.

  2. Great post Charlotte! I'm interested in the Karen Kay Buckley scissors, did you buy on-line or from a store here?

  3. You use many of the tools and notions that I use as well. I love LOVE Love the Karen Kay Buckley scissors.

  4. Use the gloves all the time. I've cut off thr finger tips. Easier managing rulers and I don't need to remove the gloves to handle threads etc. I enjoy your podcasts heaps and am looking into the bobbin case!


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