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Thread: Household items turned quilting notions?

  1. #1
    Super Member mpeters1200's Avatar
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    I am curious what type of household items you guys have turned into quilting notions.

    I know there is some kind of paper....wax paper, parchment, freezer?? something to do with applique.

    What else do you guys use? I can start off the list.

    I have to sing the praises of liquid bandages. If you are actually cut, scraped, or otherwise injured, don't use it. It's burns like all get out and it doesn't really work as a bandage. What I love about it, is that I can put a layer on my fingertips and it protects them from the needle as I hand quilt. I've been trying to build up callouses for years and I can't get them to start. So, while I don't prick my finger when I quilt, I do feel for the needle to make sure it's gone through all the layers. I end up with a brown fingertip from all the needle marks. I put 2 thin layers of the liquid bandage on and once it dries, I can quilt over an hour straight before I have to look and see if I need to reapply. I love the stuff.

    Ok...your turn.

  2. #2
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    The paper you mentioned is parchment paper and it can be used for anything for which you need an ironingsheet. Because it's non-stick, it's especially good for any fusible applications, - applique as you mentioned is one.

    lots of folks use a spoon, especially a grapefruit spoon as the tool to help put in quilting safety pins...holds the fabric down as you push the pin thru - the serrations on the graprfruit spoon can help keep the pointed end of the pin from moving around when you try to close it.

  3. #3
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    I use chopsticks when I turn things right side out after sewing. They poke the corners out nicely.

  4. #4
    RST
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    Senior Member RST's Avatar
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    Freezer paper is also a staple for applique. You can trace a design through it easily and mark it on the paper side. The plastic side will adhere to fabric when ironed on w/ a cool iron, but easy to remove, and often use again. You can find it in most grocery stores.

    I use old CDs, in both the standard size and the minis as a circle template. The standard fits very nicely on a charm pack square (5").

    I know I've got other clever re-uses, but none springs to my sleep deprived mind at this moment.

    RST

  5. #5
    Junior Member Nanax4's Avatar
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    Ooh, this is kind of fun!

    I use a bamboo skewer as a stiletto. Also works great to completely turn out corners.

    I use a revolving multi-layer pencil holder as a tool holder near the sewing maching.

    I use one a silicone hot pads for an iron rest.

    I use those little plastic trays that Crisco shortening bars come in as sorters in my shallow drawers. They're just the perfect size to sort sewing notions & gadgets.

    Is this a re-use? I use my chest freezer as a cutting table/ironing board.

  6. #6
    Super Member amandasgramma's Avatar
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    I use bamboo skewers as a "stilleto". I cut one in half and taped the cut end. Works great and is CHEAP!

    I use freezer paper for appliqueing

    I have a wire "tray" thing that our flatware came in to hold my rulers.

    I bought old plastic flatware trays at thrift stores to hold my individual pieces.

    I haven't got it finished yet, but I was able to find a 6 foot roller shade at a thrift store for $10.00. I bought some flannel and will glue the flannel to it. VOILA - a designer wall!!!!

  7. #7
    Senior Member CompulsiveQuilter's Avatar
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    These aren't earth-shattering but almost everything in my sewing room is not specifically for sewing. I use a dish-drying rack for a ruler stand. And I'm a container nut. Everything is in a container-within a container - all re-purposed. I covered a liquor box with fabric to use as a scrap basket. I use an old stereo cabinet for a rolling shelf unit, with great shelves! I use front-loading in-out boxes and slip in old candy boxes for seperate marking/cutting tool containers ... beside a silverware tray with lots of compartments. I use a kitchen turntable for all kinds of things, and pizza boxes for blocks-in-progress. Everything is labeled.

  8. #8
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    I have a very large heavy glass beer stein that I throw large cones of thread in that would not fit on my machine. So kind of like a spool holder. then I put it about 1 foot away behind my machine and sew or fill bobbins.

  9. #9
    Super Member sewcrafty's Avatar
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    I also use a bamboo skewer as a stilleto.

    I take a sheet of 220 grit sandpaper and wrap it around a small piece of cardboard and duct tape to the back for holding blocks in place for either signing (siggie) or drawing lines from cornor to cornor.

    I stole my dh's 48" t-square for cutting larger pieces of fabric.

    I use cornstarch to make my own spray starch, instead of buying, a HUGE savings.

    I use an old ceramic cookie jar for all my fabric pens and markers.

  10. #10
    Super Member C.Cal Quilt Girl's Avatar
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    Rolling microwave table shortened to roll under the table, can use for spools extra storage, and more portable flat storage, also corner unit to hold printer and TV W/drawer for paper, of course on clearance really cheap !

  11. #11
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    Dryer sheet for running my thread through when hand sewing.Love this topic!Will keep watching.

  12. #12
    Junior Member Suzan Larrimore's Avatar
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    I broke a springed clothes pin in half, use the flat part to open and hand press seams the way I want them to go. It keeps my finger from getting burned.

  13. #13
    newquilter2009's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suzan Larrimore
    I broke a springed clothes pin in half, use the flat part to open and hand press seams the way I want them to go. It keeps my finger from getting burned.
    Excellent idea! I will have to dig out my old clothespins to do that. I am always singeing the tips of my fingers.

  14. #14
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    I use Painter's blue tape to secure back of small quilts to table. Holds good but doesn't stick enough to damage anything. No wrinkles when I pin together.

  15. #15
    Super Member BKrenning's Avatar
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    I have freezer paper in my sewing room to use for paper piecing--the method that you don't sew through the paper.

    I have the tissue paper used for wrapping gifts in gift bags to trace quilting designs on which I then tape to a quilt on the frame and quilt through it. Much cheaper than vellum or the special paper sold to longarmers.

    I claimed a 36" square kitchen island after our remodel to use as my cutting table. Rotary cutters, blades & templates are stored in the drawers & scraps, UFO's, & orphan blocks are stored in the bottom.

    I use blue painters tape to tape the tissue paper onto quilts & it holds the leaders on the poles of my frame.

    Hairspray to keep chalked quilting designs from rubbing off.

    Silicone spray to keep the rails on the frame slick and the bed of the sewing machine.

    I used to have a roll of Press 'n' Seal in my room for quilting but I didn't like the little bits of plastic left in. Others still swear by it.

    I steal hubby's big carpenter's square when I need to square up a large quilt before binding it. And he occasionally has to come into my sewing room to find his level if I've been adjusting my frame.

    I have a small, rolling tv/microwave cart that fits under the frame. Usually my embroidery machine, stabilizers & threads live on it but I take the machine off to put my laptop that controls the PC Quilter on when I'm using it to quilt.

    I have one of the rolling plastic storage drawer things advertised for scrap bookers that I keep all my thread & needles in. It just fits under the sewing cabinet when it's opened up so I can just reach down, open a drawer & pull out needles, thread, or bobbins when I need them.

    I use a coffee mug to keep my little Clover iron in & I use it to put troublesome thread in when it lashes too much on the normal thread holder spindle on the machine.

    I like to use used fabric softener sheets to sew my applique shapes onto so I can turn the seam allowance under before stitching them down to the background fabric. It really helps to keep those little pokies under the piece. It doesn't add bulk so I don't have to cut it out from the back side like those who use paper do.

    I'm sure there are lots of other re-purposed & purloined items in there, also--LOL!

  16. #16
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    i use lage cone holders to wrap my binding on i cut binding before project then fold in half and wind on cone ready when i need it

  17. #17
    Super Member CraftsByRobin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sewcrafty
    I also use a bamboo skewer as a stilleto.

    I take a sheet of 220 grit sandpaper and wrap it around a small piece of cardboard and duct tape to the back for holding blocks in place for either signing (siggie) or drawing lines from cornor to cornor.

    I stole my dh's 48" t-square for cutting larger pieces of fabric.

    I use cornstarch to make my own spray starch, instead of buying, a HUGE savings.

    I use an old ceramic cookie jar for all my fabric pens and markers.
    Can you give us the recipe for your cornstarch/spray starch?

  18. #18
    Senior Member PurpleBecca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amandasgramma
    I haven't got it finished yet, but I was able to find a 6 foot roller shade at a thrift store for $10.00. I bought some flannel and will glue the flannel to it. VOILA - a designer wall!!!!
    I saw a similar idea in some or other book recently - they built a nice timber shelf over the roller part and the whole 'design wall' disapeared up behind the timber and you had a handy shelf for stuff above it - I am going to start looking for an old roller blind when Iget back to Ireland!!


    I use saucers for circles - all the time!! And jam jar lids for smaller ones.

    Wooden spoon handles for turning through and chop sticks for poking (as others!!)

  19. #19
    Super Member Ripped on Scotch's Avatar
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    I have a closetmaid cube organizer for my Fat quarters, it lets me separate by colour or theme

    peg board attached to the side of a wardrobe with hooks to hang all my rulers on.

    A magnetic whiteboard to keep a list of UFO's so I look at it before I decide if I want to start a new one. And I post up the pattern there that I'm working on so it's not lost int he shuffle.

    Freezer paper to applique with.

    Thats all I can think of off the top of my head.

  20. #20
    Super Member natalieg's Avatar
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    DH made me pegboard unites to hold my threads and cutting supplies. He also took a six ft bookshelf and stacked the shelves, drilled four holes in them and inserted dowel rods when the shelves were back in their spots. Now my fabric does not fall over! We also took PVC pipe, some corner fittings and one cross fitting and made a six ft portable design wall. I bought the backing flannel from Walmart for $5.94/yd. I think the whole thing was under $25. The shelves and the pegboard stuff was already in the house. I know that these aren't quilting tools, but they help me with quilting!
    I also use the bamboo skewers for stillettos, i just take an emery board to the cut end of it.
    Attached Images Attached Images





  21. #21
    Super Member burnsk's Avatar
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    Toilet paper or paper towel rolls are also good to store binding on until you need it.

    Use an 8x10, L-shape, free standing, clear plastic picture holder to put my working quilt directions in so they are 'standing up', easy to read and find. They don't get lost in the pile of fabric.

  22. #22
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    I use Pant Hangers with the clips to hold my 12.5 inch sqaure.

    use plant pots to hold my cutters,thread,pens

    use a fishing tackle box for travel projects( 3trays is a must)

    use clear fishing tackle trays for buttons,pins,needles etc.

    small laundry baskets for fabric storage

    use paper towel rolls for shipping blocks

    wax,freezer,tissue papers use for patterns

  23. #23
    Senior Member vjengels's Avatar
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    I haven't used the liquid bandage in quilting... but you can use super glue for cuts, it doesn't sting as bad, and it costs less. My husband gets cracks on his finger tips, and uses it all the time.
    Sorry, double click........

  24. #24
    Senior Member vjengels's Avatar
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    I haven't used the liquid bandage in quilting... but you can use super glue for cuts, it doesn't sting as bad, and it costs less. My husband gets cracks on his finger tips, and uses it all the time.

  25. #25
    Super Member MaryAnna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sewcrafty
    I also use a bamboo skewer as a stilleto.

    I take a sheet of 220 grit sandpaper and wrap it around a small piece of cardboard and duct tape to the back for holding blocks in place for either signing (siggie) or drawing lines from cornor to cornor.

    I stole my dh's 48" t-square for cutting larger pieces of fabric.

    I use cornstarch to make my own spray starch, instead of buying, a HUGE savings.

    What a great 'green' idea.... could you share your cornstarch spray recipe?
    Thanks!
    MaryAnna
    I use an old ceramic cookie jar for all my fabric pens and markers.

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