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  Do you have an unconventional sewing/craft tip?
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Do you have an unconventional sewing/craft tip? Sign In/Join 
Picture of Twostep
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Everyone knows I'm they Princess of Elmer glue process. http://sandyquilts.blogspot.co...glue-and-quilts.html
 
Posts: 6797 | Location: Bubbleland | Registered: Sep 30, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of paus4quilts
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Let's seee.....

Eye bolt large enough to hold a spool of thread and nut to match.
Enough nylon cording to go around your neck.
Spool of thread.

Put one end of nylon cording through the hole of the eye bolt and knot. Make a loose loop on the other end of the nylon cording to slip over the straight part of the eye bolt.

Slip the spool of thread onto the eye bolt. Slip the loop of the cording onto the eye bolt. Attach the nut far enough down to allow room for the spool to spin.

Slip over your head, around your neck and you'll have easy access to your thread when hand sewing.

KC, the suctioned soap holder reminded me. I made a craft organizer for in the car using a heavy plastic cup and a car cup holder. Used it lots when Gary and I traveled. Everything in one spot and out of the way.

This is a good thread; hope others will continue to update it.

ETA: Forgot to mention with the car caddy, the cup became the 'trash' holder.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: paus4quilts,

 
Posts: 6072 | Registered: Aug 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of paus4quilts
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Cr8tiv: Using the transparency film is also good for placing appliques. You can run it through your printer, it will print on the rough side of the film....give it a couple of minutes to dry. Then when you need to place your appliques, lay it on top of your piece for placements.

You can print your templates on the film, just make sure you are printing on the rough side and give the ink time to dry.

PatriciaAnn: I also use two different color threads when I sew for the exact same reason.

divechime: That toilet bowl brush trick also works for cleaning up pet hair...I've read.

I picked up a magnet on a pole to find/clean up pins on the floor. Bending over and getting *****ed is not one of my favorite things to do.

KC: Like the kid's rake trick.

Oh, read a tip about how to determine how many units of a border block you will need and what size to make them instead of playing around with math.

Going to the adding machine tape. Cut a piece as wide as the quilt, fold in half, fold, fold until until all the piece is folded. That will be the size of your unit.
 
Posts: 6072 | Registered: Aug 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Quilts"R"Fun
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I use baby powder in my pounce. It's cheaper than chalk.

When you mark something using chalk, a piece of batting makes a good "eraser" when you've marked something wrong.
 
Posts: 7916 | Location: In a big heaping pile of awesome fabrics! | Registered: Sep 18, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Annon
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I use left over pieces of batting on my swiffer. It picks up everything..
 
Posts: 3642 | Location: Ohio | Registered: Sep 18, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of lakequilter
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ttt
 
Posts: 716 | Location: upstate New York | Registered: Jun 24, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of katiemedarlin
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I've been doing a lot of applique lately so my tips have to do with that.

1. Sort of on the lines of the Fray Check tip - I use the Roxann's fabric glue to hold my applique pieces in place and that long tip gets clogged every single time. So I use a long pin that I've sprayed with just a smidge of pam and it keeps the tip open. The first little squirt I just put on a scrap then off I go.

2. I'm sure everyone knows this one, but I didn't. I have a turkey doohickey (you use it to tie the turkey shut) with some pretty beads glued to the top and it is the perfect stiletto to hold fabrics while ironing or shoving through the machine.



There are seven days in a week and Someday isn't one of them.

GO RAVENS!!!
 
Posts: 4105 | Location: Maryland | Registered: Sep 26, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of KC_1930
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Here's one I mentioned to fellow strippers...

Dig out those old clothing drying racks when making string or log cabin quilts.

I make stacks of each color of strings and place them over the holders. It's a nice, neat way to store your strings when sewing, especially nice if you need to keep them organized for placement sewing.

The best part is if you are cramped for space you can fold it up part way and place behind a door for storage until you next sewing session.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: KC_1930,


http://hexagonswap.blogspot.com/

Formally known as KC1930
Original beginning date of February 9, 2008 with a total of 9,224 posts


 
Posts: 189 | Registered: Mar 28, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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love the drying rack tip. I have one of those so I will be trying that.
 
Posts: 397 | Registered: Nov 13, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of KC_1930
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Loving all the tips! I hope to keep this going and TTT for more suggestions (and photos). Smile


http://hexagonswap.blogspot.com/

Formally known as KC1930
Original beginning date of February 9, 2008 with a total of 9,224 posts
 
Posts: 189 | Registered: Mar 28, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of paus4quilts
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I just learned this one last week.

You know the little Clover clips for holding fabrics together? I used the end of one as a screwdriver to remove the screw from my presser foot when changing to my walking foot.

Absolutely just the right size to fit the notch in the screw, and the right length to get into that awkward space which provided me with enough torque to get the danged thing out/in. Just wish it was magnetic. lolllll
 
Posts: 6072 | Registered: Aug 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of City/Sandie
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...genius ...


I cannot change 'things', but I can change how I feel about them. Me.

Wounded Warrior Project
www.woundedwarriorproject.org

 
Posts: 9146 | Location: Inland Empire, CA | Registered: Mar 03, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of nancyc20
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"I cut a little piece of Band-Aid to do the same thing as the liquid bandage"


oh I like these ideas!!! I've been using little pieces of scotch tape...I'll have to try this. Hubbs little bottle of nu-skin has probably solidified into a big blob, so I'll have to get a new one.

These are all keepers! Whoohoo!!!!

This message has been edited. Last edited by: nancyc20,


"It's bad to supress laughter. It goes back down and spreads to your hips."
 
Posts: 9040 | Location: California | Registered: Sep 02, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Rho*
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Recently I needed to square up an entire T-Shirt quilt; 60" X 47". Not having a cutting mat long enough I laid the quilt on my front hall floor. The ceramic tiles were perfect square grids to line up the quilt on.
 
Posts: 550 | Location: Chicagoland | Registered: Feb 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Nancy, you need to make sure these are some sort of special white/clear "plastic-y" THICK Band-Aids, not just the usual stick-on fabric Band-Aid. They used to come in a silver box & were called Advanced Healing.

Band-Aid has played with their product line since I last bought those, so you'll have to look around the Band-Aid aisle for what looks the most thick & "high-tech" plastic. I don't know if the "sports" foam Band-Aids have dense enough plastic to work as finger protectors, but I can vouch for the older Advanced Healing.

Then I cut just a little dot from the thickest adhesive plastic part & put it at the point on my finger most likely to encounter a needle. I find I can sew comfortably with it. Cannot sew with a metal thimble on! I become all thumbs.

I got lazy the other night & skipped putting the Band-Aid on. Managed to stick the eye end of the needle into my finger. OUCH! Man, was that sore the next day. Frown

The Band-Aid won't totally prevent the penetration of a needle or needle eye IF you're bent on jabbing yourself & press REALLY hard, but they sure cushion your fingertips enough for normal sewing not to hurt.
 
Posts: 6140 | Location: About 28,000 Light Years From Galactic Center | Registered: Jul 23, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of StarrySky
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Thought of another one... I have been working with zippers left & right (ha ha - little zipper sewing joke). I've put almost 30 zippers into stuff recently. That's a lot of zipping.

Instead of pinning, I've been using Scotch Tape to hold the non-sewn side of the zipper in place, when I'm ready to sew the first pass with the zipper foot.

Place one side of the zipper tape on the raw edge of the fabric, and then tape down the OTHER side of the zipper, where you WON'T be sewing. Then go back & fiddle with keeping your layers together where you WILL be sewing. The tape will hold the other side steady while you do that. The side where I'm going to sew, I use pins or Wonder Clips.

When you're sewing along & you get to the where the chunky zipper pull is, stop with needle down and raise the presser foot. Take something pointy & sharp like a stiletto or a seam ripper & hook it thru the zipper pull. Use that to move the zipper pull past the presser foot, out of the way. I can't reach my fingers under the presser foot to do that, but a pointy tool can move that zipper pull out of the way in no time flat! Then continue sewing, with the zipper pull behind your presser foot.

I have not had one zipper in those nearly 30 that needed to be ripped out or re-done since I've started using these little help methods. Stitching & spacing have been perfect. For someone who avoided zippers most of her sewing life, that's a miracle. Cool
 
Posts: 6140 | Location: About 28,000 Light Years From Galactic Center | Registered: Jul 23, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of KC_1930
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I used to baste in my zippers, but I will certainly give your tip a try!


http://hexagonswap.blogspot.com/

Formally known as KC1930
Original beginning date of February 9, 2008 with a total of 9,224 posts
 
Posts: 189 | Registered: Mar 28, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of StarrySky
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I'm not doing the zippers in clothes -- you may want to continue basting in clothes -- these are for pouches & things like that with zips. The tape is working beautifully for them.
 
Posts: 6140 | Location: About 28,000 Light Years From Galactic Center | Registered: Jul 23, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Missmommy
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I have used Teflon washers (the automotive type) as "perfect circle" templates. They are cheap, heat resistant and come in lots of sizes.
 
Posts: 3383 | Location: Soon to be NC | Registered: Aug 30, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of StarrySky
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I'm going to have to take a closer look at washers in the hardware store!

Here's a tip I'm using tonight...

I have a bunch of buttons to hand sew on, but you will be able to see the back of the fabric, behind the button, when I'm done. So everything has to be as neat as possible back there. A regular "twist the thread in your fingers" knot, or any knot that sticks up, would not be attractive. Plus there would be 2 of them, one when I started & one when I stopped. Not good, with nowhere to hide any messy knot.

Instead, I am starting to sew the button on without any knot in the thread at all. I'm leaving a 2-3" thread tail. I've sewn thru the button holes 3 times, then on the back, knotted the first thread tail with the second one. I'm tying two simple overhand knots, then clipping the thread tails very short.

The finished look on the back is very clean, flat, and you can't really see where I started or stopped.

Should have thought of this method many years & many messy knots ago... Roll Eyes

(These are decorative buttons, not "load-bearing" ones.)


Forgot to mention that I'm using blue painter's tape to hold the buttons in place, once I measure where they need to be. What would we do without blue tape?!

.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: StarrySky,
 
Posts: 6140 | Location: About 28,000 Light Years From Galactic Center | Registered: Jul 23, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Just thought of a tip after reading your post Starry. All buttons no matter the size...1" 1/2" or whatever, all have the same size spacing between the holes. If you have a save stitch on your machine you can set up to sew on a button and then just use that stitch when needed. Of course you can set it each time....doesn't take that long. Faster than sewing by hand. No knot and all look very neat. Of course this does not apply to shank button. I never sew on button by hand anymore. Wink


If life hands you scraps make quilts
 
Posts: 3082 | Location: Southern BC, Canada | Registered: Sep 30, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of StarrySky
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Unfortunately, I couldn't get this area into the sewing machine -- buttons were in a very small space. Frown

Just got done sewing all sorts of hand stuff that needed to be done on a few different projects. Burning midnight oil for sure! Told DH he's on morning cat feeding duty & to close the bedroom door so I can (I hope) sleep in! Shhh
 
Posts: 6140 | Location: About 28,000 Light Years From Galactic Center | Registered: Jul 23, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of CindyJ168
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Starry, another idea for a clean back when sewing on buttons would be to put your knot on the front side, underneath the button. Then sew your button on and finish with a knot at the base of the button. Your knots will be covered by the button and the back side will be smooth & knot-free.
 
Posts: 385 | Location: Southeastern PA | Registered: Oct 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of paus4quilts
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More, lotsa good stuff on here. Really like this thread.

Starry, if you use the cross stichers' knot to start your button sewing with and the quilters' or surgeons' knot to end it there shouldn't be a problem with hiding your start and finish.

Cross stitchers' knot - fold your thread in half and insert both loose strands into needle eye. (I use a threader) Insert needle/thread into fabric and button; do not pull thread completely through. The loop formed will be hanging loose. When you go back down, just put your needle through the loop and tighten. I use this all the time with any of my hand sewing.

Surgeon, quilters' or French knot - hold the thread taut after completing your last stitch, at the last stitch. Wrap your thread around the needle two times, pull the needle through the loops, knot made. Now hide it by putting it through some part of the piece near where you're sewing and out some distance from the sewn area. When the knot hits the fabric it will stop, give it a little tug and the knot will go into the fabric. You'll feel it happen. Snip the thread where you brought it out of the fabric. Knot all gone. This is the same knot used most frequently when hand quilting.

 
Posts: 6072 | Registered: Aug 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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When storage yardage, I make a slip with yardage and date and place of purchase (if known) and staple or pin it on the end of the piece towards me.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: KC_1930,


http://hexagonswap.blogspot.com/

Formally known as KC1930
Original beginning date of February 9, 2008 with a total of 9,224 posts


 
Posts: 189 | Registered: Mar 28, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It makes easy work to find a piece for backing or a particular quilt project. You can go one step further and make an index card with a swatch of the fabric to keep for future reference.


http://hexagonswap.blogspot.com/

Formally known as KC1930
Original beginning date of February 9, 2008 with a total of 9,224 posts


 
Posts: 189 | Registered: Mar 28, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of bjeannes
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When hand sewing the binding down, I quit using straight pins (always jabbing myself in legs, etc). Now I use bobby pins! You can buy a lot of them for a little, they slip on and off the binding easily and don't poke you anywhere!


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
 
Posts: 1808 | Location: West Virginia | Registered: Feb 19, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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When I first started stash building, I cut little square fabric samples & put them in plastic page protectors made for (photographic) slides or baseball cards. Kept those in a 3-ring binder, which I could take shopping with me.

But then I got "too much" stash (as if there's ever such a thing...) for that system. I switched to writing, on the selvage, where/when I bought the fabric, using a fabric pen. If I need to cut that part of the selvage off when using the fabric, I transfer that info to whatever selvage is left.

I also try to keep maker's name + pattern name & number on the selvage, even if that means cutting the fabric off above it & leaving that long piece of selvage "tail" still attached to the rest of the fabric.

If I'm at a store & get 1/4 or 1/2 yard that doesn't happen to have maker info, I keep a fabric pen in my purse & copy that info onto the selvage while the bolt's still in front of me.

If you live in a humid climate, be careful of leaving pins or staples in your fabrics, if you attach anywhere but the selvage. Over the years, you can get some rust, unless you know the pins are rustproof. I've also seen rust from a pin in one fabric transfer to a second fabric stacked on top.

And BTW, I need to look at that yellow fabric next time I'm in JoAnn's! My never-ending elusive yellow blender fabric hunt! Big Grin
 
Posts: 6140 | Location: About 28,000 Light Years From Galactic Center | Registered: Jul 23, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Sending this back to the top for more tips! Big Grin


http://hexagonswap.blogspot.com/

Formally known as KC1930
Original beginning date of February 9, 2008 with a total of 9,224 posts
 
Posts: 189 | Registered: Mar 28, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Oh! I have another one!

Back when DH told me that he would be retiring in a couple of years, I started buying "quilts." I would take my pattern and my 50% coupon to Joann's or Hancock Fabrics and buy what I needed for that particular quilt. Sometimes it would take a couple of trips to get enough fabric using the coupon.

I folded the fabrics "rolling" them all together and tied the bundle with a strip of fabric to keep everything together and tuck the pattern page under the tie on top of the fabric.

DH retired in Spring 2003, I quit in the fall, we sold out there, moved here. I think I have only one quilt left to make. But something really weird happened. My stash is a lot bigger than it was when we moved. Oh well. I just thought I wouldn't have enough money to go around for fabric. Big Grin
 
Posts: 17383 | Location: Daingerfield, TX | Registered: Feb 07, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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KYIS: you had an excellent idea. I did the same with my 'crafts' in general before I retired. Now I have craft supplies up the whazooooooo, and I'm never going to use them up. lolllllll

But you just gave an excellent way to acquire all the fabrics we need for our quilts. Wait for coupons and keep all the materials and the pattern together until you have all you need. Don't leave the fabrics out in the open where you'll be tempted to use them for something else. Kudos!!!!!
 
Posts: 6072 | Registered: Aug 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of KC_1930
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Let's keep this to the top for more suggestions/tips!


http://hexagonswap.blogspot.com/

Formally known as KC1930
Original beginning date of February 9, 2008 with a total of 9,224 posts
 
Posts: 189 | Registered: Mar 28, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of KeepYouInStitches
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quote:
Originally posted by paus4quilts:
Don't leave the fabrics out in the open where you'll be tempted to use them for something else. Kudos!!!!!


I have more than I need too. Big Grin

If I hadn't tied the fabrics together with the pattern, I know that I would have wondered, "Now what did I buy this for?" Then not remembered until I cut it up for something else. Frown

Some of the patterns were in books so I wrote down book name and page number for easy reference.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: KeepYouInStitches,
 
Posts: 17383 | Location: Daingerfield, TX | Registered: Feb 07, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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TTT for more suggestions!


http://hexagonswap.blogspot.com/

Formally known as KC1930
Original beginning date of February 9, 2008 with a total of 9,224 posts
 
Posts: 189 | Registered: Mar 28, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Ever paper piece or sew a heavy fabric that dulls your newly-changed sewing needle? For a quick sharpening, try sewing through sand paper with an unthreaded needle.

After sewing up and down a couple of rows, you will see a difference in your needle's sharpness.


http://hexagonswap.blogspot.com/

Formally known as KC1930
Original beginning date of February 9, 2008 with a total of 9,224 posts


 
Posts: 189 | Registered: Mar 28, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Florida Farm Girl
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I was just reading somewhere about a needle sharpening pad used exactly the same way. Would be very nice.

Have you actually done this with the sand paper? What size sandpaper?


www.floridafarmgirlsworld.blogspot.com


Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.
 
Posts: 6828 | Location: north Georgia mountains  | Registered: Dec 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I think emory cloth would work well too.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: sewnso,


If life hands you scraps make quilts
 
Posts: 3082 | Location: Southern BC, Canada | Registered: Sep 30, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Emery cloth or a fine grain paper works well.


http://hexagonswap.blogspot.com/

Formally known as KC1930
Original beginning date of February 9, 2008 with a total of 9,224 posts
 
Posts: 189 | Registered: Mar 28, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of nancyc20
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I can't think of a sewing tip right now, but I do have a muffin one. Big Grin

Made muffins today and left one muffin tin open (put the batter in the other muffins). I'm always sticking my hot padded fingers into and smashing a muffin, so I left a nice big area to grab the pan with. Worked great.


"It's bad to supress laughter. It goes back down and spreads to your hips."
 
Posts: 9040 | Location: California | Registered: Sep 02, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Sewing is hungry work! Wink

This message has been edited. Last edited by: KC_1930,


http://hexagonswap.blogspot.com/

Formally known as KC1930
Original beginning date of February 9, 2008 with a total of 9,224 posts
 
Posts: 189 | Registered: Mar 28, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Smile Any more???


http://hexagonswap.blogspot.com/

Formally known as KC1930
Original beginning date of February 9, 2008 with a total of 9,224 posts
 
Posts: 189 | Registered: Mar 28, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of KC_1930
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Let's keep this towards to the top for more of your suggestions! Smile


http://hexagonswap.blogspot.com/

Formally known as KC1930
Original beginning date of February 9, 2008 with a total of 9,224 posts
 
Posts: 189 | Registered: Mar 28, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I bought this plastic tackle box from Walmart & labeled sections for my sewing machine parts & pieces (feet, needles, etc). It has worked out great for keeping my things somewhat organized & all in one place.


Nicki





 
Posts: 8509 | Location: Texas / Zone 9 | Registered: Sep 18, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have the same sort of set-up for my Bernina feet. I used tackle boxes (from a sporting goods store) that have movable dividers, so I could customize the size of each compartment. I made labels with my label maker.

Love this sort of storage because you can quickly spot which foot is out of its compartment & buried under the tons of stuff on your sewing table! Big Grin
 
Posts: 6140 | Location: About 28,000 Light Years From Galactic Center | Registered: Jul 23, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Just catching up with this topic & reading the older posts.

Re sewing thru sandpaper -- are you worried that you could scrape the underside of your presser foot? I was just reading somewhere that nicks & burrs on presser feet, feed dogs, or throat plates can throw off your stitches or contribute to thread breaking.

What about "free-mo'ing" the needle through the sandpaper instead (without a foot), so you don't risk scratching the underside of your presser foot? Confused
 
Posts: 6140 | Location: About 28,000 Light Years From Galactic Center | Registered: Jul 23, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Bozie
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quote:
For a quick sharpening, try sewing through sand paper with an unthreaded needle.


Eek I'd worry about getting grit in the bobbin case????


Martha

 
Posts: 7191 | Location: Montana | Registered: Mar 25, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of KeepYouInStitches
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I've done the sandpaper thing with machine needles too when I realized that I didn't have a replacement needle.

DM told me that her DM sanded burrs off her needles all the time. I mentioned it to DH who basically told me how foolish that was. I told him nope...when you had to make those needles last until the next time the tinker came through peddling his wares you'd do anything to make your goods last...and that I bet his DM did the same thing only being a boy he didn't realize it. He was outside helping his DD with the farming and mending tools, saddle, and other leather goods. Did his DD buy new every time something broke? Nope.
 
Posts: 17383 | Location: Daingerfield, TX | Registered: Feb 07, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My hint is taking the cap from a Bic pen, tape it to the front of my machine to hold my seam ripper! I have several seam rippers,and I lose so many! Those smaller ones are so handy!
 
Posts: 2803 | Location:  | Registered: May 01, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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