Friday, August 20, 2010

Your favorite tools and mine

Well, after the giveaway was over. I found myself with information about your favorite Nancy Halvorson patterns the results of which I will post soon, but for now, lets talk about the tools you love. Be sure that the images you see may not be the brand or color, etc that you actually own, but simply a representation of your choices. The small picture above is of Australian Porcupine quills. It is a recent favorite of mine. The quills have microscopic barbs that do not create fabric runs but they do help with turning corners. Love it!
Now the image above is a favorite of one of you. it is a Diamond Sewing machine. I had to look it up and boy it looks amazing!! It is beautiful and I have a feeling it might even help me cook dinner. Seriously, nice choice.

While I own a wonderful Bernina sewing machine which I won 1994 as a prize for Best In Show at Pacific International Quilt festival for my album quilt. It is my favorite sewing machine, but I own two singer featherweight machines and they are my favorites also. I know, you supposedly can have only one favorite anything by definition, but I can live with my interpretation of favorite things.

The Easy Circle Cut is Marj's favorite tool. I may have to add this to my list as well. Looks like a need to have basic.
Above is representative of surgical scissors, which was Elaine's favorite tool. I know personally many friends who use this tool routinely and recommend them without a doubt. In addition, nine of you weighed in with the opinion that your Gingher scissors were the best tools you own. I cannot blame you as this is my choice as well. I haven't used the surgical scissors so am not choosing one over the other, just simply like what I have.

If you look closely at this ruler you will see a long slot which accommodates the blade of a rotary cutter. This is a Rotary Ruler by Fiskars. Unfortunately, it is no longer made. It looks really good to me and a safe option to using two separate tools.

The above is a Pom Pom Maker. One of you loves this tool.

Two of you mentioned your iron but not the brand. This is mine and I really like it. Dependable steam and I am fond of steam. It heats up so fast, love that. In addition, it is affordable. I have gone back to buying Black and Decker, because it is affordable and long lasting.
One of you mentioned that your favorite is your crochet hook. I love them too and use one very small hook to repair snags in clothing. I found this rainbow of hooks online and thought they were really pretty so am sharing them now. The more I look the more I am tempted. have to rein myself in as I do not need every thing I see. Hmmm, my daughter Kelly crochets and knits, maybe she...... Moving on.

There were several references to seam rippers. One of you called it a "stitch ripper outer" and I like that so much that I think I will add it to own description from now own. It is concise and and more descriptive don't you think? Seriously, though this is something we do not want to do, having a good tool when the dreaded seam ripping is need is I think crucial. Make sure you a seam ripper that is of good quality.

We all know that a variety of marking pencils is a must. Some of you like chalk, I do as well. In addition, I find that sometimes even a permanent marker such as a Pygma pen is the only way to go. There are wonderful mechanical pencils in black, white or colored leads. My advise if wanted is to experiment before committing to anything that will show when you are finished stitching. I will share a sad story. Many years ago, I was teaching an evening class at my local quilt shop. When the phone rang I usually answered because I had young children and would want to know of any emergency . In any case, the woman on the other end of the line was distraught and looking for an answer. She had marked and quilted her first quilt with a pencil labeled as a quilt marker. However, when the quilting was finished, she washed the quilt to remove the markings and nothing happened. Nothing worked and I had no answer for her. This was a time when office supplies were being re purposed and packaged for quilters. So don't be a patsy, it could happen to you as well.

More hooks and some knitting needles this time. You all have the most interesting favorite tools in the sewing rooms you frequent.

Needles are of course a very important part of quilting. Currently, my own favorite are John James brand golden glide needles. I like the Golden glide type in both 11 sharps as well as betweens. I know you all have your own favorite. makes things interesting, don't you think?

I include the porcupine quills again just to compare with the point turner above. I definitely need this one too. it is also a presser.

Rulers. bet you have almost everyone. I confess I do too, but i have my favorite.

When looking for a thimble image for Karen's favorite tool I found this beautiful thimble made in England. Seems to suit Karen, she's a dear friend, in theme and besides it is wonderful. Now, much as I love it, this would probably not work for me as I am a side quilter rather that a top quilter. So, I guess my next question is what kind of a quilter are you???

Freezer paper, my all time favorite medium for template making. I use it for applique images and I use it to make quilting templates so I do not have to mark my quilt tops.

One of you told me that you value your cutting table above all else. It is the right height, width and length. I am also fortunate to have an island style cutting table in my studio. I am sure it is the most used element in the room!

Circle templates. This is an amazing tool. If you like or love to applique circles, you will also love a tool like this.

One of you mentioned your favorite tool is your mothers sewing table. I know this is not the one, but I so love the idea that you have altered your moms table for your own use. I bet you think of her every time you sit down. You must have great memories.

Last but not least is the bias tape maker. This is a real work horse as can be used to simply make bias binding for a quilt, etc, or produce stems. I like a metal bias bar for stems but this method works as well.

I want to thank each and everyone of you for signing in and weighing in on the things in your sewing room, sewing basket, or perhaps you have experienced a sewing room in a Mayflower moving box as I did more than thirty years ago! I cannot say I miss that box, but I do think of it with love......... not!!!!!!!!! Until later.


Anonymous said...

What kind of quilter? I use the pad of my finger, and my Roxanne thimble is one of my favorite tools. Along with my newest TJ Lane thimble from the Vermont Quilt Festival.:)

My other thimbles - almost all of them old - are great for applique.


Sharon Stroud said...

I am a side quilter. Helps prevent carpal tunnel and feels more natural to me. I love my TJ Lane thimble! (Actually I have two--one for home and one for travel!) The good news for those of us who are side quilters? We can still use the antique thimbles with holes in the tops! Hurray!

Anonymous said...

I love my T J Lane thimble too! Couldn't stitch for long times without it. I also have a couple in case I misplace one. And I am really interested in the quill for turning seam allowance. I have not come across Echidna quills here and I live in Australia! Looks like an interesting tool.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I know you - it's Sharon Stroud! Good to see you! I'm doing the Wiawaka wave!

I have two TJ Lane thimbles, too - one for applique and one for quilting. I've actually come to prefer the TJ Lane over the Roxanne for quilting- I think the extra length helps.

My other favorite tool is my lighted magnifier lamp - it makes applique a lot easier to see.

Janet said...

Oh, My! I absolutely love the thimble you picked out for me :-) The top is a little bit too domed for me, but I do love the design around the outside.