Sunday, March 10, 2013

Tools of the trade

After reading Jane’s post on her favorite tools, I began a mental inventory of what I rely on most in my fiber arts projects.  Being primarily a dyer, of course I have  tools to measure, mix  and store my dyes.  But I also do batik, as well as other surface design techniques, and I use my fabrics in art quilts and other fiber arts projects.  So I started to gather the tools I use the most.  Here are some of them:

Starting from the top and going clockwise:  My wax pot, which is a thermostatically controlled deep fryer; my can of dust remover, which I use frequently to remove lint from my bobbin case holder on my sewing machine; spring clamps, which are very helpful in anchoring fabric on a project board for dye painting, batik, stamping, etc.; a good pair of scissors dedicated solely to cutting fabrics; my “purple thang” which I had never heard of until I took a quilting class last year!  It is an immense help keeping fabric ends flat while I am stitching over them; my steel yardstick, which is wonderful for using with (next) my rotary cutter.
Here, I have my Pfaff sewing machine, along with my Sew Steady’ portable plexiglass table.  It fits around my machine neck, and has adjustable feet.  To the right you will see a spool holder… very handy for using cones of thread!

This isn’t a very exciting picture, but I couldn’t leave out my design wall.  I had never heard of such a thing until I took my first basic quilting class around 8 years ago, then saw several bloggers talk about theirs.  I attached a piece of felt to a 1” x 1” strip of wood which I screwed into the wall.  I use clothes pins and straight pins to attach whatever I’m working on, so I can stand back and get a better view.  It’s not very large, but it sure helps!

Shoe boxes and wire cubes help me to keep my stash in some semblance of order.  I have them sorted by colors so it’s easier for me to find what I’m looking for, and much easier to clean up once I’m done with a project!

Finally, my camera.  I bought my digital probably 7 or 8 years ago, and can’t imagine what I would do without it!  It helps me see what I’m working on, gives me a way to share my projects on my blog, and is extremely helpful to me when I am adding new items to my on-line shop.  One of my best investments!


  1. I find this type of post to be VERY interesting. Being a "gadget girl" myself, I'm always interested to see what tools other artists find essential. (And...I might find a tool I don't have!)

  2. Thanks for sharing your treasures, some of them I cherish as well!

  3. Judy, Love this post! I loved seeing what Jane's fav tools were and now it's great to see yours. I see this type of post in my future! Thanks a bunch.


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