Monday, April 13, 2009

I have been inspired!

I have a HUGE list of blogs I visit at least once a week. One of which is this one.
Karen has a wonderful feature each week on Tuesday called 'Tool Time Tuesday'. Karen finds things in various places that quilters can use in their sewing rooms. She has come up with some excellent items. Last year I use to write articles along the same line for an online Quilting Newsletter called Nine patch News. This was a newsletter group with Yahoo Groups. My articles were on items that you could use in your sewing room that came from Home Improvement Stores. At the time I worked at the Big Orange Box (I was recently fired, I talk about that on my other blog) and had a wealth of info for the readers. Due to family obligations, the Editor of the New patch News had stopped the online publication. There is talk among the old staff about bring it back. If they do I will be writing for it again with a different twist. I went digging thru my old files to bring up some of the old articles, I found a few but my pictures are long gone. I hope to repost them here from time to time. I had some great info and they were very well recieved.
this is just an example of what I use to write:

Hello! My name is Liz and I am a Quiltaholic…..This weeks article is on Quilter's Toolbox Basics. When I talk of toolboxes, I mean the container that you can store your sewing supplies. The toolbox doesn't have to be a real toolbox, although it is a nice way to organize your sewing items. It can be a shoe box (plastic or paper), small bucket, zippered bag, sewing box or whatever container is handy. I have to admit that my toolbox consists of three units. One is a tiny metal box that I keep the smaller items, bigger items are in a small plastic tote and the larger items are in an empty plastic ice cream tub. After doing the research for this article, I will be getting a regular toolbox. Of course you can purchase a toolbox at your local Home Improvement Store (cheesy grin) HIS. Toolboxes come in assorted sizes, colors and materials. Toolboxes are nice because they have all your sewing supplies in one place that you can grab and use. In this article there is a list of Toolbox Basic that Quilters of all levels should have.Sewing Machine Oil ~ this is a must have. You want to keep your sewing machine running smoothly. Nothing is worse that a dry sounding machine clanking along. The oil recommended by your sewing machine manufacturer should be the only oil in your toolbox. There is a difference in grades of sewing machine oil! Remember; clean out the dust bunnies first! Oil in the parts that the owner's manual shows. Scissors ~ several pairs, several sizes. I have 12 pairs of scissors and each one has its own purpose. I get mine sharpened at the local grocery store in the meat department. They offer this service for FREE! Call your local store and see if they have this service. Measuring Tape ~ you really need a Quilters Measuring Tape that is 120 inches long. A small retractable, 60 inches long on a key chain is another one to have. There are lots of novelty ones out there that would look adorable in your toolbox! Another handy measuring item is a small ruler, one inch by six inches.Quilt Tools - FabriCalc, Binding Miter, Block Tool, Kwick Klip, Tack Basting Tool and others EMT Sale and Clearance Corner Calculator ~ Large or small, this item will help you calculate backing measurements and bindings. Formula for binding is as follows: height and length X 2 plus 16 inches divided by 42 = the number of strips needed to cut for the binding. Ex. Lap quilt, 60 x 60 60 x 60 x 2 = 240 240 + 16 = 256256 divided by 42 = 6.09 strips, round up to 7 Clear as mud for ya?Stitch Ripper ~ you can never have enough of these! As soon as you find one, you lose one! As soon as you lose one, buy another to replace it, you find the original one! Kind of like the sock in the washing machine theory.Get several of each, small and large, in case the ripper fairy steals one……Needles ~ you need a small stash of needles for your sewing machine and hand sewing. For sewing machines I recommend Size 11 and 14 for piecing. Size 16 and 18 for machine quilting. For hand sewing and quilting, It what ever you are comfortable with. I personally like size 12 sharps. Pin Cushions ~ whatever you are comfy with. I have a finger ring pincushion made with a soda bottle cap, mini pincushion on top of a golf tee (great to slide in the top of a spool of thread) and an old-fashioned tomato pincushion with a strawberry attached. I prefer using the extra long quilters pins with the large beaded heads. They are a lot easier to handle with my aging fingers. Pens and Pencils ~ Say it with me…..mechanical pencils are our friends! They are cheap and easy to find in the stores. Keep plenty in your toolbox. High Lighters for your quilt instructions. Fine point black ball-point pens to write side notes on instructions. Glue Stick ~ this little item is a wonder in the toolbox. Good for fabric and paper. Great for people who love to appliqué!®. that was easy®. Miscellaneous Items:Bees wax~ great on needles and pinsWD40 pen~ lubricate scissors and small partsExtra Bobbins~ minimum 12, loaded with thread and ready to use Plastic bags~ many, many usesBlue Painters Tape~ great for picking up stray threads and won't leave a residue.Paper Clips~ to keep papers together, coupons, to do list, magazines pages, etc.Scotch Tape~ to repair patterns and pages in magazinesLong handle, small headed Paint Brushes~ to get the dust bunnies out!Scraps of Fabrics~ 2 x 4 pieces to test drive your machine after you clean out the dust bunnies and oiled it. Helps remove excess oil. Stiletto~ helps to push the fabric over the feed dogsRubberized Gloves~ knit gloves dipped in neoprene, these are great for the machine Quilter. Grips the fabric wellSmall set of Screwdrivers~ everyone needs a set in their toolboxMini Clamps~ will hold many layers of fabric togetherI hope this gives you a good idea what all Quilter's really need to have in their toolboxes. I know I have left a few items off. Do you have anything unusual in your tool/sewing box?
Keep on Stitchin' On!(mauh) Liz


soggybottomflats said...

Hey Liz, heard anything on the job yet? I'm thinking of ya. On the toolbox, I have a couple things I may have re-appropriated from the little man. I have a cute little collapsing stick with a power magnet on the end...lots easier then bending over to pick up pins. I also have the cutest little pair of vise grips you ever saw! I'm not sure why I have them but I know they will come in handy since my arthritic trigger fingers lock up constantly. Thanks for the great article. Oh, and I dropped your name on my blog since my dil and I made oven door dresses yesterday, thanks bunches, Elaine. (I do have a pic of one of them on my blog!)

Sew Many Ways... said...

Hi Liz,
Just getting back to blogging since our vacation. Thanks so much for the link to my blog. Your newsletter is great. Working for the big box must have given you a bunch of ideas. Hope the job situation is better.