Monday, July 2, 2018

Good tools are important

There should be NO question about this statement. If you're going to quilt, you need good tools. PERIOD!

I get it that there are new quilters who have no idea what's available. I'm OK with that. My first quilt fabrics were purchased from a chain store because I had no idea that quilt stores existed. But for those that have been around for a while - you need good tools. And good habits.

I've been teaching some new quilters/sewists in the last couple of weeks and tried to instill in them that they need good tools. Small snips for clipping thread and USE THEM ALL THE TIME. It drives me crazy when I see a project with tons of threads hanging off of it. Looks messy and who wants to spend all that time at the end clipping threads? NO ONE. So make sure you get a pair of snips and snip, snip, snip!!

The other tool that is essential is the seam ripper. I know - as much as I'd like to say I never need one, I use it every day. Well, at least every time I sew. I used to be a big fan of the Clover seam ripper. But I got the use of this one the other day and I'm LOVING it. Surprisingly, this one is from Unique. What do I love about it? It's large so it fits easily into my hand. Let's face it, as we get older, our hands just don't work the same way they used to. Second, all that blue is a sort of rubber material which means that the darn thing won't roll off the table. Another important thing so you're not scrambling under the table trying to pick it up. And there's nothing like a NEW SHARP seam ripper for ripping out seams. That thing just rips through stitches like they were butter.

UNIQUE seam ripper
I'm not sure where you can buy this, but if you see one, I'd snag it. I love it. And I might just be retiring the Clover ones that I have.

The other mistake made by MANY new sewists is their NEED to sew with crazy fabrics. I had a student the other day who was trying to make a cushion cover out of three different fabrics - one had a nap (so the fibres are like waves and shift when you sew), one was a loose weave, so it also shifted and frayed, and the third one was a Japanese print - frayed like crazy and slippery as an eel. No idea how her sewing machine worked or how the bobbin went in. That took me a few minutes to figure out - no manual.

M is going to start and do some sewing. ACK - I want to be close, but at the same time, it might be a good thing I'm not. Here's her little stash of tools that I sent with the sewing machine.

M's set up for sewing
I have a toolbox for all that stuff and I'll be sending her a care package along with some more goodies once I'm back from the retreat!!!!  I can't wait to put it together.

I had a crazy day yesterday. I don't think I've ever appliqued so much in one day. The good news - the project is finished - the applique that is. Now to get it quilted. If I wouldn't have been in such a rush, I may have done it differently. I really MUST set myself a false deadline for some of these projects. I'll share it with you later on this summer. It's OK for a rush job. Not a prize winner by any means, but an experiment so therefore it was successful.

Here's something else that I got done yesterday. One more customer quilt - DONE and ready for delivery today.

Customer quilt - DONE

 The last of the magazine submissions went out the door very early this morning. Technically it was due yesterday, but they won't even be in the office yet so I'm sure it's going to be OK. I really like this design and if they don't take it, I'm still going to make it.  There are NO MORE outstanding submissions, but there's still a couple of quilts in me. I'm going to continue designing and submitting and maybe one or two of those will get picked up. If not, I should design and write the patterns for sale. And I really should design a sew along, but there are so many out there already. Who needs another sew along?  I do NOT part take of them as I have no time. Even if I did, I've done my time with this kind of project, but people seem to LOVE them. I'm over them.

After I got the applique done, I decided to fix my magnetic pincushion. Those are pretty powerful magnets, but after a bit of study, I figured out how the magnets fit (there are two magnets and one metal plate in the pincushion) so that the two parts snap back in place. So while it's together, there's a big crack in the side.

The magnetic pincushion is back together

Can you see? Right in front - there's a big crack. That means, it'll never snap back as tight as it did originally. That must have been from the fall the first time. I've got time to wait for a sale or if I'm out and about this summer, that item can be on my shopping list.

On that note, I'm off to Monday sewing. It's weird to not have to do anything but grab that bag and go. I prepped it last Monday when I got home. And when I say prepped, it's prepped. If I could only get that way with all my projects. I'm getting there - things like my book list and my Monday bag. Super organized. The rest will come. I just have a few more urgent things on my plate before I leave for the sewing retreat this week. So some of that stuff will have to wait. I may have to take one urgent thing with me to the retreat and ship it from there. Otherwise, I think I'm good and that means when I'm back, I can focus on paperwork in the morning and sewing in the afternoon which will be very welcome!!!!

Have a super day!!!!



  1. About that magnetic pincushion. Until you find a new one use superglue or Gorilla glue and a skinny strip of duct tape.

    1. AH -- good idea. I might have to try the duct tape, don't think I've got superglue! Thanks.