Thursday, January 26, 2012

Notion alert! TJ's quilting spoon

OK, here we go with another review! I love to have a direct contact between my left index finger and thumb and my needle. I use nothing on the underhand and work hard to get some callus as a natural thimble. Because of a mean little cut in my left index finger top I could experiment with some gadgets for the underhand, which is for 92% of the people the left hand. I have three gadgets I never used before and tried to work with all of them. I'll give you my honest opinion (read opinion, not the truth!) on all three. This week the first, the TJ's quilting spoon, and in the upcoming weeks you will read about the Marian's Magic Quilting Thimble and the Aunt Becky.
But first TJ's quilting spoon. I heard some good stories about the TJ's Quilting spoon. My teacher, Ted Storm, works with a normal spoon. For me, that was a bit big. And a teaspoon was too small. I felt like Goldilocks and the three Bears!
So I had to try out this spoon that was discussed in the hand quilting/hand applique Yahoo group. Janet, from Quiltsalott, wrote about it on Celebrate Handquilting. I found it available at Jinny Beyer, and at TJ's own website.

First of all it's bend, which makes it a more comfortable spoon than a regular spoon. Secondly, the top is straight, not pointy, so I didn't have to search for the top, but have a complete ridge to use. For thirds, the grip is a soft plastic in a triangular shape. The spoon does not turn in the plastic because of the hexagonal shape of the handle of the spoon. So no turning in the grip, and the grip is great to fit in my hand. And finally the spoon is short and small enough to offer as much direct influence on my quilting stitch as possible.
Don't think the top end is damaged because it is not flat and neat on the back side. Would it be nice and shiny, your needle would slip off in no time, making unsteady stitches.

I also ordered the DVD with the spoon. Although the DVD is more expensive than the spoon, I thought it would be a smart choice and expected an extensive lesson. Well yes and no. The spoon was well explained, movies and all, but in reality, what's there to tell about a quilting spoon? When the use is explained, and all advantages are mentioned, that's it, more movies are unnecessary. Just exercise with it and the rest will follow. So the DVD helped me, but 20$ was a bit much for what I got.
On the other hand, could I have done without the DVD? I preferred having it. It's good to see how the spoon is held, and how the stitch is made. And without the DVD it might have been another gadget in the drawer.

I worked with the spoon for a while, and actually, I liked it! Check out also the YouTube video from QNN. The ridge is sharp and clear, I have quite a direct contact with my needle and after an hour of exercise I could make 14 stitches on inch, upside counted, at a regular distance. For me that's good enough to pass!

Then there is the thing that I work with a thumb quilt ring and also work the other way around. The bend in the spoon is for working towards you. However, because of the grip, I could hold the spoon a bit more diagonal way and work with my needle to form an even stitch. I got used to the spoon quickly, although working without a gadget on my underhand still feels best.

Everything taken in account, I am happy with the TJ's quilting spoon, or the TJ's Quick Quilter as it is officially called. I work with it now when I cut the top of my left index finger (fortunately healed now!) and I notice to grab it just because my finger gets sore.

I love to hear what you think of the TJ's quilting spoon!

Have fun quilting!


  1. I happened to come across this quilting-spoon because of a little
    trailer on YouTube. I am so glad you
    tried it! Personally I have the very
    same problems as you, with a normal
    spoon, a.i. the seize and the tendency to turn in your hand. I dis-
    cussed this with Ted and she told it
    couldn't be used with thumbquilting.
    Reading your review, I will certainly
    try this spoon, when I have the oppor-
    tunity to purchase it. Thanks for all this really useful information!
    Greetings from Ageeth

  2. Hi Ageeth, I couldn't find your email address, but if you would like to test it, you're welcome to pick it up and try! Just let me know.
    Have fun quilting!

  3. Annemart, I love your reviews! You do such a great job of explaining the hows and whys. I may have to purchase one of these and try it for myself. I currently use the Aunt Becky's Finger Protector for my under hand when I my fingertips get sore.

  4. Hi Annemart,
    I use the quilting spoon for quite a while now, and I can't do without it any more. Before I used the aunt Becky, but with the spoon my stitches ar much smaller and more even. I tried to purchase it in the Netherlands after I read about it on Janet's blog (Quiltsalot), but no-one seemed to know about it, so I ordered it through the internet. In my opinion the CD is a waste of money, because on YouTube you can see well enough how to use it.

  5. Hello,
    This spoon has me interested! Currently I'm using an Aunt Becky, but only for the first stitch,I can't seem to get an equally small second, third, fourth stitch with the Aunt Becky.. . You make me think the ridge of the spoon is sharper.

    Thank you for your blogpost on this subject! I'm looking forward to the next ones.


  6. Love this review. I too have the TJs Quick Quilter and I also bought the DVD. I would have to agree that the price of that was a bit high. But I am also glad I got it. I think the spoon is great and it really didn't take quite as long getting used to as I thought it would.

  7. I love this spoon. I joined a quiltclass in 2008 in Alphen a/d Rijn were the teacher was using one for a very long time. I tried a teaspoon at first, but bought a quilting spoon at the quiltshop as soon as they came in again.

  8. My DH cut off the tip of a spoon so I could try it. The issue I had was my underhand, holding the spoon, became fatigued from hanging on to it. Have you had this problem with the fatter handle?

  9. Dear Annemart--
    I just found your website and the review of my product, T.J.'s Quick Quilter. I am very happy that you did like it and I hope you keep on using it. Thank you so much for your kind words and endorsement.


Thanks for your reaction, I love to read it!