Monday, January 21, 2008


Good tools make your project a success in my book. I have a bad habit of going too long on a blade, needle or using my pins til they're bent and dull. So today I threw away all my old bent pins and put out a fresh pack, slipped a new needle in for some piecing and changed out my dull blade. You can't beat these pins for piecing or a Microtex sharp needle for the machine. And why do I continue to cut on a dull blade? Sometimes I'm just not using my head.
So what tools do you love? Can't live without?


Blogger atet said...

All three of the ones you listed are among my favorites. Thanks for the reminder that I need to change my blade, and my needle, and that it's time to pull the bent pins. Eeekkk!

Other than that -- my iron. Love my iron. Love using steam. I just had to replace my old one after 5 years -- but, oh boy do I use it!

12:51 AM  
Anonymous Megan said...

I just love my gingher snips....they stay right by the machine, unlike the scissors, which sometimes like to take a walk.

2:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I constantly have to remind myself to throw away my pins when they dull. I'm good with needles--I'm constantly tossing them after every project or two.

My favorite tool is my electric rotary cutter (similar to the manual one)...thankfully I don't need to change the blade as often as my manual one...

With friendship,

5:31 AM  
Anonymous Carrie S. said...

I am notorious for leaving the rotary blade in too long, and then I wonder why I have to press down so hard to cut something.

When I finally do replace it, I always want to slap myself because it totally changes the way I work. Same thing for the sewing machine needle...I'm such a dolt.

7:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love, love, love my fork pins and the Hobbico seaming iron for applique!

10:02 AM  
Blogger SugarShop (Dena Rooney-Berg) said...

I do the same thing with the darn blades. When it doesn't make good cuts I just swear at it like it's the blades fault I haven't changed it. LOL! Thank you for your sweet comments on my bags! Coming from you a compliment means a lot!!!

10:50 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Well, it's not a "tool", but I love having a friend who does applique for me--can't live without her!

12:23 PM  
Blogger Catherine Slye said...

same, same, same...My Rowenta iron, Olfa rotary cutter, cutting mat, plastic straight edge ruler...I'm a fanatic about everything being new for the next project I change out the needle immediately for the next project and routinely sharpen my scissors (keeping multiples keeps them from walking off - one at the ironing board, the other at the sewing machine) and I toss pins as soon as the get bent...but I'm terrible about changing out the Olfa blade, even though I have a new one handy - I want to get the most out of it before it goes in the trash! gah! Dull blades make for difficult cutting!!! ...silly me.

1:00 PM  
Blogger Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

All the obvious things, sharp scissors, good iron but my unpicker is probably one of my best friends. If its not right, I take it out. And I've learned not to mind it. I'd rather unpick than look at it and be regretful that I didn't take the time to do it right. I love all my different rulers and squares but I use my 14" x 4" ruler and 2 1/2" square the very most.

1:37 PM  
Blogger Jackie said...

I use the same pins for my quilting and also can't live without them. I also use a blunt tip scissors, when trimming threads on a customer's quilt. This avoids the point of the scissors piercing the quilt top while it is on the Gammill. It is great!! I also wear an apron with pockets, I store my scissors, seam ripper, and chalk-co-liner. This way they are always at hand

2:27 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

The Clover Hera marker is amazing. It's a hard plastic tool that you use to "draw" a line to sew or cut on. It really makes a sharp crease even through four or five layers of fabric. No ink or chalk, washes out absolutely and quick to use. Get one!

3:52 PM  
Blogger Anne Sutton said...

I LOVE the Mircrotex needles. They are the only ones I use on my machine. I'll have to try the Clover Hera marker that Kathy mentioned above...sound interesting!

6:13 PM  
Anonymous Vicki at Hollyhocks said...

Great post idea! I have been meaning to do a top ten of sewing tools...glad you actually did it. I LOVE my Gingher scissors. What a difference good scissors make!

6:13 PM  
Blogger Camille said...

Thanks for the reminder! I absolutely couldn't live without my olfa and am off to change the blade RIGHT now!

7:03 PM  
Blogger julieQ said...

I changed my rotary cutting blade and what a huge difference it made in my cutting and the ease of doing it. Just a great thing! I like to ask for new blades for presnets.


7:08 PM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

Love those pins also, and my favorite ruler is the Creative Grid
4 1/2 X 12 1/2....don't ask me why but I love that one especially with all the bindings I do. Also love my Rowenta travel iron that I use on a wooden TV tray next to my

7:11 PM  
Blogger Lisa D. said...

I really like the Creative Grid rulers, both because they are an extra 1/2" (6-1/2 x 12-1/2) and because they have no-slip grippers on the back side. I also really like the Fiskars snips next to my sewing machine to clip threads - can't live without those!

8:05 AM  
Anonymous tammy said...

Hey Pam! Just have to "chime in" on the rotary cutting blades. An employee of mine told me when the blade gets dull, just take the blade out and flip it over. I've tried this and it really does work. It's not as good as a brand new blade, but unless there is some good reason why you SHOULDN'T do this (I can't think of any), it does get you a little more cutting time out of the blade.

I didn't see any comments about this, so maybe all quilter's already do this, but it just seemed like such a simple idea, thought I would share it.

Talk to ya soon!

9:59 AM  
Anonymous happy zombie said...

Ditto your pins and blades - but for needles I use Klasse brand. It's amazing what a difference it is from the Schmetz. Like sewing into butter.

I'm with Kathy up there on the Hera marker. I love that thing! And with lisa d. on the Creative Grids. Gawd I love those rulers. I also love my Darlene Zimmerman/Wrights EZ rulers. Love em, love em, love em!

11:18 AM  
Anonymous happy zombie said...

And Cheryl too!

11:21 AM  
Blogger Natalie said...

Wow. Like finding treasure! My new and favorite tool: Reading this Blog and others like it... what great help. Thank you!

7:28 AM  
Anonymous cheryl said...

I absoultely love my half square ruler! So many optons for using it are overlooked.

8:36 AM  
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