TOOL: I just got this tool before I moved. [Thanks secret pal!] Fons & Porter have one - which means those 40% coupons at JoAnn's can come in handy. I also have one from "Bohn" It's the best marker I've ever used! Yea, yea - I know you've heard that before and ran out and bought ... a piece of crap!!! [We all have!] But seriously! I live on the coast now - humidity is one of the biggest enemies of marking on quilts. This stays on - since I've marked it - a few days at this point - which is at least long enough for me to quilt it! And it's a mechanical pencil - no awkward grips to use it - and it's a THIN line! Try it - you'll like it!
TIP: I was just showing a new friend here the joys of fusible web. AND if you can plan enough ahead ... draw the shape, iron in on the fabric, cut it out and let it sit overnight! The paper comes off like a dream the next day! Okay - so you can't possibly wait that long [GRIN] - take the fused fabric and 'tear' it gently down from a edge. That movement usually tears the paper and doesn't really distort the fabric too much. Then you have an edge to work with.
If you are tearing - see above - make the tear at 7:00 on the applique piece! No - I don't mean 7 pm - I mean at the 7:00 position when you're looking at it. Your eyes normally don't focus on that point. Also a good tip for when you've got a clunker of a block - but have to use it!
Okay, quilters! What great tips and tools do you recommend?