I have a "new to me" tool to share with you today.
I'm not sure I really consider it an "essential" but it is quite handy. And if you do a lot of intricate applique work, then it would definitely be essential.
It's the Mini Iron.
I've had this for some time now and finally broke it out of the package for some softies I was working on. In my opinion, it's most useful for projects involving applique with textured and/or synthetic fabrics like minky.
I found it especially helpful when making the Monster Mash Nap Mat, since the face was appliqued on a "hairy" fabric that would have melted all over my regular iron had I tried to use it.
It made all the difference getting these pieces ironed in place and creating an adorable applique face for my monster.
So whether or not it is "essential" would really depend on the projects you most commonly work on. I would definitely consider is helpful though!
For more items I consider very useful in my sewing room, just search "sewing essentials" in the tab on the sidebar.