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Thread: Make do tools

  1. #51
    Super Member grammyj's Avatar
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    One thing that is great is the magnetic bowls that you get at Harbor Freight. they are for car parts ( nuts and bolts etc) but they work fine for pins. That's what I use and they come in 4" and 6" I have both sizes, 1 for safety pins and 1 for my big quilt pins.They don't cost very much.

  2. #52
    Senior Member kathome's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miss Mona
    Quote Originally Posted by katier825
    Quote Originally Posted by walen
    Me, too! I guess a trip to the hardware store is in order! I do need a rubber mallet for whacking thick seams, my nice, clean one seemed to disappear about the same time that a dirty one turned up on my husband's bench! Hummmm....
    LOL Maybe you should paint the handle pink & flowery! Would that help keep him from taking it?
    No, my tools have purple and pink flowers on them and they keep turning up on hubbys workbench. He says mine were easier to find. Duh!! If you put things away after you use them they are easier to find. My hammer has red nail polish around the handle, (and is missing) and my tool box is purple. I still can't locate my screw drivers, but he knows nothing.
    Oh, Miss Mona - - are you talking about your DH or mine? I've tried EVERYTHING to keep him away from my tools. HE bought ME my own tool box years ago so that "Now you won't be asking me everytime you need a nail or a screwdriver". Yeah right. Now I have to ask him where MY nails or screwdrivers are!!! Just the other day I texted him the following: WHERE'S MY TAPE MEASURE????? So he phones me and denies all knowledge and tells me to use "something else" to measure. Arrrggg.... like WHAT?

    He knows where to find my stuff because I put it away when I'm finished with it. Why oh why can't he do the same? Another arrrgggg.

    but I do love the guy.....

  3. #53
    Super Member sewmuchmore's Avatar
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    This is awesome, I am so glade that you guys are giving out tips that we all can use.
    here is my tip I put a magnet in a jar lid then I place a few pins in the lid if I knot it off I use the magnet to pick up the pins. Fast and easy.

  4. #54
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    I cut templates out of plexiglass on our band saw and then sand the edges!

  5. #55
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    Is this trait in the DNA of the male????? This sounds very familiar. LOL

  6. #56
    Super Member jbj137's Avatar
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    I picked up 3 small, plastic fishing
    lure boxes at a yard sale for $1.00 each
    and they work great for spools of thread.
    And they are sorted by color -
    you can see the colors well.

  7. #57
    Senior Member kathome's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nana2
    Is this trait in the DNA of the male????? This sounds very familiar. LOL
    Nah - - it's that evil little hormone - - - testosterone.

  8. #58
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    I have another magnet bowl tip.
    I have some oblong ones about 5X8". I also have some grey steel shelves from when I first started Joyce's Workroom.
    So I stick these long ones bottom side to the top shelf edge and keep special needles, tiny shears, thimbles, any thing that I don't want to get lost in the shuffle.
    Now I know where my curved needles will be found. It's good for that little screw, nut or washer, that you don't know yet where they came from.

  9. #59
    Super Member Ilovemydogs's Avatar
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    Don't you just love curved needles? One of those things were you don't use it a whole lot, but when you do, its a great thing to have! :-)
    I love these tips. Keep em coming.

  10. #60
    Miss Mona's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kathome
    Quote Originally Posted by Miss Mona
    Quote Originally Posted by katier825
    Quote Originally Posted by walen
    Me, too! I guess a trip to the hardware store is in order! I do need a rubber mallet for whacking thick seams, my nice, clean one seemed to disappear about the same time that a dirty one turned up on my husband's bench! Hummmm....
    LOL Maybe you should paint the handle pink & flowery! Would that help keep him from taking it?
    No, my tools have purple and pink flowers on them and they keep turning up on hubbys workbench. He says mine were easier to find. Duh!! If you put things away after you use them they are easier to find. My hammer has red nail polish around the handle, (and is missing) and my tool box is purple. I still can't locate my screw drivers, but he knows nothing.
    Oh, Miss Mona - - are you talking about your DH or mine? I've tried EVERYTHING to keep him away from my tools. HE bought ME my own tool box years ago so that "Now you won't be asking me everytime you need a nail or a screwdriver". Yeah right. Now I have to ask him where MY nails or screwdrivers are!!! Just the other day I texted him the following: WHERE'S MY TAPE MEASURE????? So he phones me and denies all knowledge and tells me to use "something else" to measure. Arrrggg.... like WHAT?

    He knows where to find my stuff because I put it away when I'm finished with it. Why oh why can't he do the same? Another arrrgggg.

    but I do love the guy.....
    I've had mine over 40 years and nothing has changed. What I have done is bought an extra 25' tape measurer, and extra needle nose pliers and have hidden them in my things. These are the ones I use the most. My extra hammer and screw drivers are missing. I used them and he saw me and borrowed them right away. Now they are missing. Now when he asks where something is I say in my tool box. Last time, he said it wasn't there. I said "Gee, someone must have used it and not put it back. I haven't touched my tool box for ages. My tool box is so empty you wouldn't know it was a tool box.

  11. #61
    Junior Member lynn7448's Avatar
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    Do you use your rotary cutter with the metal t-square? If so, doesn't it dull your blade at all?

  12. #62
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    I personally do not like to use my rotary cutters with metal. I have, but it is with a blade I have marked with a Sharpie as to it's use. I mainly use metal tools for marking.
    Over the years I have accquired numerous types of tools because of the different types of jobs I have taken on.
    I believe strongly in taking good care of my tools.
    With rotary blades, I start out cutting just good fabrics, as they become duller they are used for different purposes, like for paper or plastics.
    I cut a lot of paperback book bindings off so I can coil-bind my own books. It irritates me when an instruction book won't lay flat on the table. I even do quilt mags.
    I'm covering more than just your question but we quilters do an awful lot of different things. I would add... We are Women hear us Roar, but Billy might take offense :-D

  13. #63
    Super Member wraez's Avatar
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    Have you heard of the carpet cutter blades from Harbor Freight hardware store? In another group, they are all abuzz about using them for rotary blades cuz they are so inexpensive. 2 blades are only $1.49 and the actual cutter that comes with 3 blades is only $3.99.

    But the cutter doesn't look like it would work for cutting fabric beside a ruler for cutting guide. Can't help but wonder if the blades are more durable since they are for cutting 'tough' carpet. The blades do not have the 'notch' in them that most of our rotary cutting blades have.

    http://www.harborfreight.com/catalog...carpet+cutter+

    guess the best thing to do is to go see if they'll work, they aren't expensive. I hear that that are now on back order online...wonder if it is cuz so many quilters have ordered them, LOL.

    I'll see if hubby wants to go to one of his favorite hardware stores :D

    warm quilt hugs, sue in CA

  14. #64
    Super Member leiladylei54's Avatar
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    I buy as many metal rulers (like an L shaped one) from the hardware section or a straight metal ruler from the office supply store. Helps when I straight cut fabrics. I line up the ruler and the lines on my cutting mat to make sure everything is all even and so easy to just run my to rotary cutter along the metal ruler. Also, have purchased from Wal-Mart, in the ktichen plastic area, a 9X13" type plastic cake carrying pan. It has blue handles on top of it and my sister says it's the most wonderful thing to place her finished quilting blocks in so that they don't get wrinkled. She swears by it.

  15. #65
    Super Member plainpat's Avatar
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    Remember when everyone had bread slicer stands...to use with bread made by machine? I use the wooden slicer to hold rulers. You can find them in thrift stores.Can also use old record holder for rulers.
    I use a quilt stand for strips when making scrappy quilts. Set beside me,it has to open rows of wood for quilts & holds the strips...easy to see the color/size needed.
    Harbor Freight gets $6.98 for ruler handles that a LQS charges $20 for.Pat Ce

  16. #66
    Junior Member Cathleen Colson's Avatar
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    OK, I'll chime in. I went to the auto parts store (Kragen) and bought a telescoping magnetic wand to pick up pins off the floor without getting down on my hands and knees. It came with an adjustable mirror on an extension handle that I use to check the back of my quilt when quilting on a frame. Total cost $3.99! I have a drywall T-square ruler, 4 feet long, metal, for cutting along long stretches of fabric. Came from Home Depot. I clip my rulers to a metal shoe rack hanging on the back of the sewing room door. The clips are plastic "chip" clips and clothespins from the Dollar store. I found 5 round plastic containers ($1.00) at the same store and use one under each corner of my acrylic extension table when I go to quilt classes. That way I can use the same table that fills in the hole around my machine when it is dropped into my sewing table.

  17. #67
    Super Member RugosaB's Avatar
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    I haven't read the whole thread yet, but wanted to add I too think these ideas are great!
    I'll add, after seeing a post about a mallet disappearig, when I paint the handles of my 'tools' a bright, almost flourescent,
    pink, they seem to stay around longer. For some reason my husband and pink handled tools do not mix

  18. #68
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    ROFLMAF
    Finally a person after my own heart! Before I even started sewing, I was an industrial mechanic so I have always use my tools on my sewing projects or any other project for that matter. People would think I was nuts but now I see there are more nuts out there that are just like me.
    Thanks for sharing! You made my day!

  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynn7448
    Do you use your rotary cutter with the metal t-square? If so, doesn't it dull your blade at all?
    I use it all the time with a metal ruler and NO it doesn't make it dull faster. You are not cutting the metal, the metal is just a guide.

  20. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramona Byrd
    My hunny bought me a piece of plexiglass at the Auto parts store and used a utility knife to cut it into templates for me.
    -------------------------------------
    With some care, you can cut OUT the shapes needed for
    Fussy Cuts, and still be able to see the surrounding area.
    Dremel tools are good for this.
    Plexiglass is easy to cut with a band saw as well. Once you have your shape cut, use a fine piece of sandpaper to smooth the edges. Works great!
    I almost forgot, you can also use a wood burning tool to etch designs onto the plexiglass as well.

  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by ksea
    What a wonderful thread, I was just reading some of it to my DH and he said I had better stay out of his garage, but he offered to take me to Home Depot or the Bass Pro Shop, imagine that!!
    and you'r still here???? LOL Can I go too!

  22. #72
    Super Member IBQUILTIN's Avatar
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    Cool tip Mary I think I will velcro one to the back of my machine

  23. #73
    Senior Member sosewcrazy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo
    Quote Originally Posted by blueeyez
    I found a magnetic bowl in the tool dept. that i use for my pins. Cheaper than the ones in the fabric stores.
    Do these bowls keep the pins lined up like the good magnetic pin holders? I bought some cheap magnetic pin holders and the pins stay in a big piled up mess. I bought the Clover magnetic pin holder and the pins stay nice and neat and so easy to reach and get a pin without getting pricked.

    I like using other tools but I have found most tools made for quilting actually do the job I want them to do much better.
    Bought one at our local Auto Zone, and the pins line up around the side of the bowl. And it was cheap, with a strong magnet.

  24. #74
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    My friend's husband borrowed her tools. When she found them all dirty and grimy, she was mad. To solve this, she put them all in the dishwasher, added soap, and then they looked brand new again. I must tell her to paint the handles pink! To add to this thread, I have always used a halfmoon piece of foam, with added glue strip on the bottom, aside my sewing machine to stick my large needles, my ripper with a lost top, maybe a small screwdriver, anything that I needed close to my machine. The floral thing comes from a florist and it has the glue strip on it, probably can be found now at the hobby shops. Love this thread!!

  25. #75
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    I've also notice a lot of you talk about stretching your quilts out on the floor to sandwich them together. So I thought I'd let you know how I do it. I bought 2 of the cardboard fold up cutting mats years ago at one of the fabric stores. They measure 72" by 36". I place them side by side across my king size bed and use extra long straight pins to keep them from moving around. Then I can stretch the backing across them using straight pins stuck through the cardboard and into the bedding. I do the same with the batting and top. Then I can use safety pin to baste with. Once they are all together like this I just remove all the straight pins and roll up my sandwich until I'm ready to quilt it. I have done some really large quilts this way by basting what I could then moving it around to do what hung over the sides.

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