First up - Clover Wonder Clips. They come in packages of 10 or 50, and are one of my favorite things ever.
While I have more pins in my cushions than...someone with a lot of something has of that something, sometimes they just don't cut it. For piecing most fabrics I use either glass-head pins or flat-head pins (with a longer shaft). But sometimes, especially if it's a layer-licious handbag, pins distort the layers and then I must wield the mighty seam ripper, and I hate wielding that thing. But these clips hold everything nice and snug, keep everything from shifting, and are easy to clip/unclip. Some people use binder clips for the same purpose, but sometimes those are tough little buggers to open.
They're also marvelous for holding bias tape in place when binding a quilt. I am very meticulous when pinning the binding on a quilt, but when I remove the pins, things wiggle juuuuuuuuust enough to goof things up. These keep things in place. OH! And if you sew with oilcloth, vinyl, leather, or other fabrics you don't want pinholes in, these are the doohickeys for the job. You definitely want these.
Next up is something I've extolled the virtues of before--the hera marker. It's a thin piece of plastic that ever so subtly marks a temporary line on your quilt, thereby eliminating the need to use disappearing inks, chalk pencils, or quilter's masking tape (and then trying to make the ink disappear, clean off the chalk, or pick the tape residue out of your stitches--all things that have made me utter unladylike phrases).
When I do simple whole-cloth quilting, I can mark several lines at a time and just zip them under my needle. It takes me maybe a tenth of the time as it used to now that I have one of these. Some quilters may be aghast at my lickety-split approach to quilting, but I don't quilt often, I don't make heirloom quilts, and I'm too jumpy to get to the next project--I want tools that make certain things easier. This is definitely one of those things.
I've also mentioned this next item before--a tailor's awl.
I use mine awl the time. Hahahahaha--get it? Awl? All? I changed the words for the....they sound alike...but when you spell it...whatever. It's awesome. I try to not sew over my pins, but sometimes you need a little pin action right up until the last second. This helps with that. It also helps when trying to press open seams--your fingers are kept out of the way of your vicious iron. I think you're probably supposed to use it for making holes or whatever, and I'm sure it works for that, too.
I've found these items on Amazon, as well as on the Clover website. Clover has bunches of other goodies you might be interested--poke around when you've got a few.
Anything you'd add to the list? Any gadgets you're madly in love with? Let us know! I'd greatly appreciate you telling me what I might want for Christmas :)