Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday's Must-Haves for a Quilter

My Best Friend, Jack!

Besides the usual trio of rotary cutter, mat and ruler, an essential item and a best friend in a quilter's space is 'Jack'.  I was a bit mystified when I first heard about Jack from one of our modern quilting members on Desi Quilters.

Jack is your seam ripper!  Get it?  Isn't that cute?
Jack the Ripper
I have this and several other variations of the same scattered at every station of my work space.  I need it for the obvious reason, to reverse-sew, and for other purposes such as guiding pieces under the needle of my sewing machine or to poke corners out with the cover intact.

On sale, this particular notion costs $3.99 at present on Nancy's Notions and variations of this tool range from $3.99 to $9.95 for a fancy seam ripper.

I now come to the main reason for this post.  What do you suppose is the purpose of the other end of Jack?  The side with the little red ball at the tip?  My presumption is that the red tip is used when one wants to rip a long seam from the wrong side or back of a piece of sewing.  It guides the blade through the seam without cutting through the fabric (if one is careful) because the sharp point is now on the outside and out of the way.

Please post comments for what you think is the function of this little red ball on a seam ripper.  It would be interesting to hear your take on this!




  1. we take things for granted! I do remember being a bit mystefied the first time I met Jack, but his red ball soon slipped out of my mind once I befriended him :-)

  2. Here's a comment that was posted in Facebook.
    "I would agree that the ball slides along under the seam when ripping long seams especially. As to why it is always red - any Mentalist fans here? Would they know Red John? Friend of Jack the Ripper?"


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