The current issue of American Patchwork and Quilting is focused on tips by designers. I am finishing a project and thinking about my most essential quilting tools. I've discovered that I don't use much fancy gear!
1. I love my Gingher shears. I can't live without them. I have smaller Gingher scissors in various sizes but I use the shears a lot.
2. My Olfa Rotary Cutter is so fab. The blade is easy to remove in this model.
3. Fiskars. It really doesn't matter which brand that you buy, but you should have a pair of scissors for snipping fabric/thread ONLY, another for snipping fabric with fusible paper together and a separate pair of scissors with teflon blades for cutting the fusible web.
4. Clover Seam Ripper. I absolutely love this seam ripper. I've had many others but this one is not bulky and is very sharp. Don't ask me how I know how sharp the end is.
5. Reducing Lens. I can't live without this teeny tiny viewer. It gives me great perspective whenever I'm designing.
What do use when quilting?