posted on 11 Apr 2013

Fabric Tube Turner

Hey Everyone, welcome back to Cool Tool Thursday.

Well, with the winter storm warning here in Southern Ontario I am back into Santa Sac production. Yes, really I am making a Santa Sac but only one for my mother-in-law’s friend who needs a baby shower gift. I have certainly given a fair few over the years as baby gifts. [Editor's note: If you've been thinking about a Santa Sac this year, the 2012 pricing ends at the end of May, so order now if you want to secure your place in the 2013 production plan at last year's prices. Check out all the details in the catalog here.]

What does the Santa Sac have to do with Cool Tool Thursday you ask? Well, to make the casings for the draw strings on the sacs I need to use a tube turner to turn the fabric right side out. For the first couple of years of production I turned them by hand just pushing and pulling the fabric back through on itself until the tube was right side out. A very time consuming method of tube turning not to mention hard on the fingers. I even tried using chop sticks to assist in the process, not an ideal tool for the job.

I picked up this tube turner at a Vikki Pignatelli workshop I was at a couple of years ago. It works like a dream and I thought, “oh boy why didn’t I get one of these years ago?” The official name of the tool is the Fasturn Fabric Tube Turner.  Vikki does stock them but they do not show on her website, if interested just e-mail Vikki for more info re cost and shipping.

What Is The Fasturn Fabric Tube Turner?

It is a metal tube with a separate guide wire that runs down the inside of the tube.

Brass tube with separate guide wire to hook fabric

Brass tube with separate guide wire to hook fabric

The guide wire has a little plastic handle on one end.

Plastic end on guide wire

Plastic end on guide wire

And a corkscrew type hook on the other end.

Cork screw end of guide wire

Cork screw end of guide wire

These tube turners come in different sizes and the guide wire handle of course is colour coded for each size. Some are even small enough to do a spaghetti dress strap!

How Does the Fasturn Fabric Tube Turner Work?

Once again, I have enlisted the services of my husband’s photography business to create an instructional film to supplement the written instructions. We’re getting better and quicker at making these films, so hopefully you’ll be seeing them much more often here at Quilts by Jen. Here’s the instruction film on how to use the Fasturn Fabric Tube Turner with the written description following it. (For some reason we haven’t figured out, sometimes the video doesn’t show up the first time this page loads. If there is a big space right below this sentence, just hit refresh on your browser and it should appear. And, if anyone knows what causes this, please let me know!)


Put the tube turner into the fabric tube.

Put the brass tube into the fabric tube

Put the brass tube into the fabric tube

Poke the corkscrew hook through the end of the tube about a ½″ in from the edge of the tube. Do this by turning the plastic end of the guide wire.

Poke the cork screw end through the fabric

Poke the cork screw end through the fabric

Pull the guide wire back out of the tube towards you bringing the fabric down through the inside of the metal tube.

Pull the guide wire with the fabric through the tube

Pull the guide wire with the fabric through the tube

It may need a little bit of help to get the final bit through the top of the tube as it tends to bunch up and needs to be straightened out.

Remove the guide wire from the fabric.

Press the tube flat.

Press the tube flat

Press the tube flat

Another great tool for the quilter’s tool box.

Coolness Factor – Quilts by Jen rates it 9 out of 10.

Usefulness Factor – Quilts by Jen rates it 10 out of 10.

Happy Quilting!

Jen Transparent Signature

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