Sunday, July 2, 2017

July Tool Time, A Gripping Tale

A purple shamrock in bloom. Named "Charmed Wine" this little beauty caught my eye in the garden center. It was just getting ready to bloom. Isn't it beautiful?
I like my gadgets and widgets, that is not a secret. From sewing machines to certain pins, I have warm spot for anything that helps me do what a love.

Lets talk about a few simple tools that many sewists use and appreciate.

ADritz Beeswax with Holder standard sewing aid, beeswax is the favorite and original thread conditioner. Available in most fabric shops and online shops, it tames those finicky threads and provides a coated glide to any thread making hand stitching easier. Whether  I am working on a cross stitch piece or hemming a quilt binding by hand I run the thread through the little slots in the plastic wax holder then using a press cloth or even freezer paper, lightly press the thread with a warm iron to tame those fussy little strands. Cost is between $4.50-5.00 US, mine is years old. In fact, the wax is actually dried up and flaking when I use it. Time for a replacement.

Relatively new to the Sewist is the Wonder Clip, by Clover. A take-off on the traditional binder clip, these little spring loaded clips now come in several sizes. My originals were a standard size in the industry. They work so well to hold fabric without pucker, without shift in the fabric from pin insertion and they leave no holes.
These are the Jumbo Clip. Perfect for securing a quilt binding, the spring is strong and can hold multiple layers of fabric without movement. These are 2 inches in length. Love them.
The package contained 24 units, purchased on Amazon.  The mini's also came from Amazon, the standard sized red clip from a local quilt shop. I don't remember how many were in the package, I remember not many. Do not remember cost. 

    The mini-clips came in 5 colors, in their own little box, 50 to the box. While these measure one inch in length, the tip, the part that grips the fabric is only 1/8th inch wide. Just right for hand stitching English Paper Pieced hexie's!
The original clip, the red one in the middle is also about 1 inch in length but the gripper tip is 3/8th of an inch.
I mentioned this rotary cutter before but it deserves mention here. It is pressure loaded and the blade automatically retracts once the pressure on the mat is removed. Totally married to this one.
Another favorite in Sewtopia are the Kai scissors. Big ones, little ones and everything in between. They are well weighted, very sharp and reasonably priced.
  • Every craftsman relies on his tools. The Sewist is not different.
  • The next time you visit a fabric or quilt shop spend some time perusing the notions section. There is always something new and/or new to you.
  • I plan to try some glue basting again. I know several of the pro's and their followers swear by this method. It looks so easy.  I did try it twice. The first time my applicator tip was too thick and the glue line was gloppy. When I went to try it again the darn thing had glued itself shut. I have since picked up the right tip. We will see.


ELMO said...

You learn something new everyday will have to order some of those minis.

celkalee said...

I have been doing some English Paper Piecing for a while and using the regular sized ones. So much easier with the mini's because the clip doesn't get in the way. Also used them for attaching some tiny little embroidered motifs onto the fabric. No pins to sift the whole project.

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