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!