Quilting Scissors


Quilt shows and quilt shops are great places to look and see what kind of scissors you may want to buy for your various purposes. Quilting Contessa delves into some of them.

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Quilting Scissors

Three booths at Quilt Festival have the word scissors in their name. I thought this would be a good time to purchase some new micro-serrated scissors for wool applique. Easier said than done. Getting close to the booths wasn't easy and asking questions was nearly impossible until the last day. I asked one booth why I should buy their scissors and was handed a business card and asked to check the web page. That's what huge crowds do to vendors!

Quilting Scissors



History tells us that different types of scissors ("spring" and "pivoted") were invented at different times in different places. The most common scissors today are of the pivoted type, but the spring type is still popular in the textile arts for snipping threads. I was fascinated to learn that Fiskars was originally an ironworks in the village of Fiskars in Finland in 1649. The Fiskars trademark began with a new owner in 1830 who manufactured cutlery.


Scissors cross pretty much all cultures and forms of art. Birds and fish have been named "scissor-tailed". We have "rock, paper, scissors" and Edward Scissorhands. Reading the list of superstitions attached to scissors takes some dedicated time but is fascinating reading.


Most of us are familiar with several brand names of scissors and discussions often occur among fiber arts and textile folks about which brands are best. This author doesn't plan to get into that because everyone, including the experts, has their favorites. Some folks even swear that they use their favorites for fabrics AND paper and they never get dull. If true, that would certainly end a lot of great Internet jokes!


Quilt Festival Booth

So, back to the Quilt Festival. At another booth, I was pointed to the type and size I needed, but the scissors were pre-packaged, and I couldn't "try them on". They were also the same type carried by my local quilt shop and I prefer to spend my money locally.


The third booth did have a pair slightly smaller than the size and type I requested. I was able to try them out, but they were not a fit for my hands. Correct fit is the most important criteria. You can't work all day with tools that don't fit.



What To Look For in Scissors?

What else should I look for in new scissors?

  • High grade metal - strong, sharp, and durable with a uniform cut along the lengths of the scissors
  • Weight - lightweight for those with arthritis or other mobility issues
  • Smooth - blades should be at a uniform slant and the inside of the handles should be without nicks
  • Accuracy - precise and they don't slip

I did purchase a pair of scissors as noted above. The deciding factors were reputation and being able to try them them on.

So, please pass the scissors. But if you are my friend, set them down on a surface and allow me to pick them up. We wouldn't want to sever our relationship!



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Attaching individual pieces of fabric to a background to form a design.

Same As: Appliqué

See Also: Freezer Paper Applique, Needleturn Applique, Machine Applique, Reverse Applique, Shadow Applique
Debi Warner
Author and humorist, Debi Warner, retired after many years as a clinical librarian and information specialist. She has her Master’s in Library and Information Science and achieved a Distinguished level in the Medical Library Association’s Association of Health Information Professionals. She has worked on teaching physicians to use computers and electronic resources. She also worked on several grants teaching the public how to use the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus public database and is co-author of several articles on health literacy. She took up quilting after retirement in 2012 and chaired the Rio Grande Valley Quilt Show in 2019. She currently teaches several quilting classes over Zoom and writes for QuiltingHub.
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