Home Beth Said Sew Is Your Favorite Notion The Same As Mine?

Is Your Favorite Notion The Same As Mine?

by Beth Cooper

We all have a favorite. I’m not talking about kids, I’m talking about notions! In my weekly email last week I discussed my favorite notion. (If you’re not subscribed, you’re missing out! Click here to sign up.) I said that I bet that my favorite notion was not the same as yours. Guess what it is? It is… (Oh, the suspense!!!)

(More suspense…)

It is a crockpot!! Yes, it’s not a typical sewing notion, but I consider it one. You’re asking “but, how can that be?” Simple: it allows me to sew all day and not have to take a break to cook supper for my husband and three hungry kiddos. I throw together my meal in the morning. Set it to cook on low all day and voila! Mama sews until time to eat! So yes, I consider it a notion. If it helps you sew, by golly, it IS a notion! I’ll even share one of my family’s favorite crockpot recipes at the bottom. 🙂

In response to my email, I received lots of feedback on other quilters’ and sewists’ favorite notions. I’ll share a couple of those with you.

Donna Kennedy, owner of Las Vegas Sewing Instructor, writes that her favorite notion is a stiletto awl. She says that it lives next to her sewing machine and has a multitude of uses. For example:

  1. Giving fabric a nudge under the presser foot when fabric get hung up and doesn’t want to move forward.
  2. Pointing at the sewing foot when teaching others how to use a new foot to show them specifically what to do.
  3. Smoothing fabric that is bunching up while it goes under a food. Raise the foot and use the awl. Great for pesky seam allowances or gathers that are cooperating.
  4. Freeing up fabric that gets stuck in the throat plate. Especially helpful with knits and other very soft fabric.
  5. Punching an extra hole in a belt. Very handy!
  6. And Donna’s favorite use: When turning fabric tubes right-side-out (apron strings, straps, collars, etc), use the awl from the outside of the tube to pick the corner out to the desired right angle shape.

Thank you, Donna, for all the great tips for an awl. I am going to up my stiletto awl game now!

This stiletto awl is called the Magic Awl. Find it and other awls here.
Belinda Barham of Glen Ellen, Virginia, writes that her favorite notions are her great-grandmother's bobbins.  She says, "My favorite notions are the bobbins in my great-grandmother's beautiful sewing machine drawer.  I am still fascinated with these silver bobbins with simple colored threads from a lifetime past.  The small rectangular knob on the drawer tips out to reveal a treasure chest of items, perfect for wide eyes and small hands to revel over and over with delight.  The smell of old wood fills my senses every time I peek in the drawer of the finely crafted, very functional furniture.  Afraid of losing any of the sacred objects inside, I shifted the shiny silver bobbins, straight pins and needles around without removing them, or getting pricked.  The matching stool to the sewing machine has a removable seat cushion that is covered by a paisley designed thick fabric by my Mom.  Turning the cushion over reveals the light pink cotton fabric my Mom's Mom chose to cover the cushion underneath, two layers of loving choices.  The seat space beneath the cushion is filled with small scraps of thin cotton fabrics, untouched for two lifetimes.  The sewing machine still works.  A lifeline of Mother to daughters for me now.  I am not alone.  The strong women before me live in the treasures like the bobbins, the memories of my heart."

What a beautiful description of her favorite notions!  Thank you Belinda for sharing that with us.

As promised, here is my family's favorite crockpot meal.  I call it Beth's 3-2-1 Chicken 'n Noodles.
  • 3 cans of chicken broth (or one big box)
  • 2 cans of cream of chicken soup
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 bag of dried Amish noodles (any width)
  • Add first four ingredients to your crockpot and cook on low for six hours or high for four hours. Shred the chicken and add back to the crockpot. Add in the Amish noodles about 45 minutes before you are ready to eat. Salt and pepper to taste. They will taste like you spent all day rolling out homemade noodles and you will have done next to no work. Ha! It will be a hit! I promise.

So, what’s your favorite notion? Or do you have more than one? We would love to hear more in the comments below. Tell us what it is and why. How do you use it? We want all of the details!

‘Til next time,


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Barb Pawlowski
Barb Pawlowski
1 year ago

My favorite notion would have to be a roll of painters tape. I can be sure of sewing a straight line when in areas that the foot can’t help with. I can label pattern pieces or quilt pieces and also mark right side of fabric. I can stick it to my machine to mark either seam allowance or use it to mark placement of the buttonhole foot. If you are worried about a seam allowance getting folded over while seaming, use painters tape just make sure to place it away from the stitch line, it will gum up your needle if you sew through it. The tape is reusable and I have never found residue left behind. I could go on and on but I will list one more, after ripping out stitching or cutting jump stitches on embroidery use a piece to pick up all those tiny threads.

Kathleen Erhard
Kathleen Erhard
1 year ago
Reply to  Barb Pawlowski

All about the many uses of Painters Tape in my sewing room!!!!

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