Saturday, October 8, 2011

Tools, tools, and more tools!

In general, Men have nothing on us when it comes to tools—unless you are just starting out. Words of warning; you sewing/quilting tools can become targets of acquisition to others in your household.

Scissors are the most obvious. I mark utility scissors-for paper and all other non-sewing activities with a sharpie “Utility” or “Paper.” Family members know these are safe for them to use without incurring sewing only wrath. I also keep a pair of marked “paper” scissors in the sewing room to keep myself from doing a dumb thing with a good pair of sewing scissors. I also have a full set of paper crafting scissors for making nice gift cards and such to go with my creations. And no, I could not get them all back into the plastic container they came in…they now live in a Tupperware tabs container.

That buttonhole spacer—well it works very well for spacing nails for many purposes. Rulers and T-squares are often subject to “borrowing.”  If you find them being “borrowed” very often, purchase them their own. You’ll be much happier.

Since I have been sewing, quilting and jewelry making for a long time, I have a lot of tools, as evidenced by today’s pictures (no that is not all of them.) If you are new to this hobby, do not try to buy them all at once. Try before you buy if at all possible. The best place to do this is at your favorite sewing store. Even if they do not have a demo, they will probably still have an opinion. And PLEASE. PLEASE. PLEASE. Do not assume because you don’t see it they don’t like it, don’t have it or won’t/can’t get it. ASK if you do not see something. If you do not support your local store and let them support you; they will end up going out of business and that is bad for both of you.  Having lived in a small town where the nearest sewing/fabric store was more than a three hour drive, mail order was the only option; please do not take your local stores for granted.

Classes are also a great way to try things. Sometimes the instructor will actually be demonstrating new (or new to you) tools and techniques. But the other great source is your fellow classmates. Everyone has their favorites and there is always a good selection of tools. I have NEVER been to a clad where someone would not let you try out their favorite.

My newest tool is an Accuquilt Go cutter  I have not had a chance to really put it through its paces yet, but I am expecting to as soon as I begin making candle mats for holiday gifts. I can’t wait to cut my felt on it instead of having to cut it by hand! And why did I decide I wanted it? Because I tried it several times at my favorite sewing store.

Rulers—I have MANY. But still I have found a set I want to make roman squares without paper piecing, it’s a Flip N Set Tool. My favorite rulers are Nifty Notions rulers. They are fantastic rulers, but they also support Komen for the cure, which is one of the charities I strongly support.

And life being what it sometimes is no real progress has occurred on the Mystery quilt. Hopefully it will get borders tonight and you’ll get to see pictures of the top soon.

What is your favorite sewing/quilting tool?