What I Use

I’m often asked about what products I use for my projects.  I’ve created this page to keep an ongoing list of supplies I currently use or have used and would recommend. Some of links to the products I’ve included below are affiliate links. That means if you order something using any of the links below I will earn a small percentage of the sale price. This comes at no additional cost to you. You will still pay the same low Amazon price but it does help support my website and business. I appreciate your support!


Sewing Machines

What I currently use: JUKI EXCEED F600 & JUKI TL-2010Q

I have been using both these machines almost daily for several months now and absolutely love them! I have created video reviews of both for you to check out below. Each machine has it’s purpose and I use them for different things so I recommend watching the video reviews to understand them more and decide which one will be better for your specific needs.



The serger I currently use and love is a JUKI MO-1000. This serger practically threads itself! It’s crazy. If you haven’t heard of air threading technology you need to watch my video review to see exactly how this serger works .

Here are some lower budget sewing machines I have owned for years and recommend: Brother PC420 and Brother SB3129 (only sold at authorized Brother dealerships).

Watch my video review of the Brother SB3129 sewing machine below. (It is the same machine as the Brother PC420 (without the extension table) which can be purchased online HERE.)

For beginners looking for a basic (but a workhorse!) machine check these out. This is the sewing machine I got for my son. We’ve had it for 2+ years and love it! I use it all the time, too.

You can find it in a few different colors. We have a blue one that is no longer manufactured. These are the ones that are currently being made that I could find. A great starter machine but with enough stitch options that any beginner or child can grow with. {For tips on teaching kids to sew watch this video where I filmed one of my son’s lessons. I share tips, ideas to get them started and how to know when your child is ready to use a sewing machine. Watch the video HERE.}


Rotary Cutter + Mat

I probably have about 8 rotary cutters and 5 cutting mats. I have a large worktable so I prefer to tile together the 24″ x 36″ cutting mats. When I’m working on smaller table top I will use an 18″ x 24″ mat. As for the rotary cutters some work better than others. Here are my favorite ones to use.



If you are starting off in the world of craft sewing or quilting here are the rulers I recommend you start off with.  If you are like me you will eventually build a massive ruler collection but these are the sizes I highly recommend for beginners. 

6.5″ x 24″ clear ruler– My go to ruler for every project!  The length of this ruler allows you to cut long strips across the width of the fabric.  This is a task you will surely use in every single quilt you make. Cut strips for patchwork, borders, binding, bias binding, making your own piping, ruffles, etc.

6.5″ x 6.5″ clear ruler- This ruler size is just perfect for any kind of patchwork piecing or small craft project. You can cut small patchwork units, trim up half square triangles (HSTs), flying geese, etc. I use it mostly in small craft projects like cosmetic bags, tote bags, making pockets for things and child size craft projects. 


Fabric Marking Pens

These are the fabric pens you may have seen me use in some of my video tutorials. When you hit the pen mark with a hot iron it disappears! My absolute favorite for marking fabrics. 


Binding Clips 

These are the best little clips for binding any project. But I especially like to use them for binding with bulky fabrics or many layers you can’t pin through. They open wide and hold everything in place. A must-have in my book!


Sewing Pins

I really enjoy using glass head pins for a few different reasons:

1) The balls on the tip of the pins don’t melt when you press things into place or mistakenly swipe the iron past them.

2) They are fine enough even for the lightest fabrics and can go through bulky layers as well.

23 Responses to What I Use

  1. Gail Vanderella July 23, 2016 at 6:43 pm #

    I enjoyed your yoga mat bag tutorial very much. I was wondering which Janome sewing machine you used in that video? My current 1979 Singer needs updated, to say the least, and which one you would recommend? I would be sewing napkins, pillowcases and light curtains, nothing very heavy duty and can’t decide on a computerized or a more basic machine.

    Thanks again for your informative videos:)

  2. Paulette Bergman July 26, 2016 at 11:51 am #

    First of all, you are wonderful! Thank you for all that you share. Your teaching style is precise & incredibly informational. I like it!
    Question: I have recently watched several videos with regard to your upcoming Bag of the Month; you have used Elmer’s School Glue and called it your “basting glue.” Tell me about it.
    Thank you very much! pj stitches!

  3. Sharon Mullins September 2, 2016 at 3:01 pm #

    Hope your doing o,k. with the storm.
    I was wondering about the slide mat you use for free motion quilting.I know it’s not the white one. How do you put the hole in the center? Does it work well and do you use it all the time when your free motion quilting?
    Love your purse you did with Jenny Doan. Hope you do more. Really enjoy your classes.

  4. Veronica A November 13, 2016 at 8:34 am #

    Just signed up for monthly purse class. Can’t wait to get started. Saw sample bag at Flash Sew and Quilt.
    What type and where do I buy the CORK you use for purses?

    • Vanessa Vargas Wilson November 13, 2016 at 11:59 am #

      Hi! Glad to hear it! I buy my cork from my friend Sara, here: http://bit.ly/CORKFABRIC

      • Kandy February 8, 2017 at 7:40 pm #

        Where can I find the foam that has the wonder under on both sides?

      • B Joyce Hamilton February 22, 2017 at 10:08 pm #

        Vanessa, did I read or hear that one can iron the cork fabric?

  5. surani ferdinandes November 17, 2016 at 10:17 am #

    i have been doing some of items those are amazing.. I enjoying sawing them.. thank you sharing them.

  6. Kathy Bruss Tomei November 22, 2016 at 11:34 am #

    What type of rivet set do you use? I have one but don’t know if it will work for the next bag

  7. Jenetta M December 12, 2016 at 12:55 am #

    Where do you buy your handbag zippers/ hardware
    and magnets?

  8. Jayne January 11, 2017 at 1:02 am #

    Hi Vanessa, I received my box..thank you! What are the little objects in the plastic bag??? They look like tiny little cones…very tiny???? I have no idea what they are and what they are used for. Thank you! Jayne

    • Vanessa Vargas Wilson February 8, 2017 at 7:50 pm #

      Hi Jayne. Those are screws that you will need for a future project. Don’t toss them! 🙂

  9. Teresa Bridges February 7, 2017 at 2:24 pm #

    I absolutely love your videos and look forward to learning so much from you.

  10. Kathleen February 24, 2017 at 10:25 pm #

    Can I use thermalon (probably misspelled) fusible foam for the purses or is it too thick? Love your tutorials.

    • Vanessa Vargas Wilson February 27, 2017 at 11:34 am #

      Hi Kathleen. You can use all kinds of different stabilizers for handbags. This is what I like to use: http://amzn.to/2l4QCP2
      Hope that helps.

  11. Julia Decker October 29, 2017 at 5:56 pm #

    Do you use polyester thread or cotton thread for your handbags? What brand?

    Thank you

    • Vanessa Vargas Wilson January 23, 2018 at 1:36 pm #

      I use polyester thread. Several different brands- Sulky, Wonderfil, Gutterman, etc.

  12. Joan E December 6, 2017 at 11:25 am #

    Vanessa, I have used Insulbrite before and didn’t like it because it left tiny metal tags all over the place. What product are you using for your oven mitts and where do you find it? Thanks, great video, again!

  13. Brenda Olmi January 23, 2018 at 1:24 pm #

    some say the pasting spray will catch on fire. Is this true? I use in in my bowl cozy.

    • Vanessa Vargas Wilson January 23, 2018 at 1:35 pm #

      I don’t use the microwave so I can’t confirm from personal experience. I would read the spray bottle you are using to make sure it has no flammable agents in it.

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