A TECHNIQUE DRIVEN Blog dedicated to mastery of surface design techniques. First we dye, overdye, paint, stitch, resist, tie, fold, silk screen, stamp, thermofax, batik, bejewel, stretch, shrink, sprinkle, Smooch, fuse, slice, dice, AND then we set it on fire using a variety of heat tools.

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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