If you were at tonight’s meeting, you saw these tools of the trade. First I presented the lettuce box. It’s an excellent way to store elastic, buttons, fabric scraps or small projects. They’re strong, stackable and see through. And you already paid for them when you bought the lettuce.
Next we have the needle holster. These have changed my life! (such a statement on my life) They have a sticky backing and you stick it to the front of your sewing machine. When you put a needle in your machine, you stick the case in the holster. Now you always know what you have loaded. This holster includes a pipe cleaner place holder to mark the needle size if you are using a variety package. I always take needles from the left side first and mark the slot with a pen, so I know if it has been used.
Here is a paper spike from Staples. It cost about $3. I use it as an auxiliary thread holder when I have more than 2 threads in use. I also use it to store the heavy washers I got at Princess Auto. I use them to hold paper patterns in place while I am trying out layouts or using my rotary cutter. You can make your washers beautiful by covering them with a fabric yoyo. If you still want them to fit on the paper spike, you will need to put a button hole in the centre of the fabric circle before gathering it for the yoyo.
Now for a lesson on ripping out stitches. I am so good at ripping stitches – especially since I took up quilting. At times I don’t want thread left behind and I don’t want to pull on the fabric. First pull out about 3 cm of stitches the hard way – 1 stitch at a time, without breaking thread. Now you have a handle.
Cut a stitch about 3 cm below the last intact stitch.
Use the thread handle to pull out the stitches.
Now turn the seam over to the other side. Because you pulled out those stitches, you now have a thread handle on this side. Cut as before and pull. Repeat. And repeat. And repeat…. Still time consuming, but much less stressful and ever so tidy.