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Thread: Make do tools

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Reading some of the posts got me to thinking about my workroom.
    I use a carpenter's T-sq, a regular sg, 4' long rulers, quick clamps, hand clamps. Heavy equipment nuts/washers make good weights.
    A rounded off wooden dowel makes a good point turner. I sharpen the dowel in a pencil sharpener, then use sandpaper to soften the point. I like mine about 18", but you can make several sizes if you like.
    You can find wood, hard rubber, hard nylon mallets, take your choice.
    An empty builders snap-line tool with your choice of marking powder also works great. So go exploring in the tool dep't.

  2. #2
    Super Member LAQUITA's Avatar
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    Great suggestios! Besides I would imagine that that MIGHT be some cheaper than being labeled 'QUILT" tools.:)

    THANKS for sharing.
    LaQuita

  3. #3
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    Great ideas! Probably less expensive too! I shop for plastic organizers in the fishing aisle. Cheaper than the craft ones and almost identical by the same manufacturer.

  4. #4
    Super Member NikkiLu's Avatar
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    Fons and Porter had a show on PBS that showed them going to a hardware store to buy "tools" for their quilting projects. I cannot remember what all they bought - except they bought an aluminum oven liner to cut and make templates out of for applique - it is thin and can be cut with old sissors.

  5. #5
    Super Member rwquilts's Avatar
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    I have my own set of tools that DH isn't allowed to use without permission...whatever makes my job easier as a quilter is a good thing!

  6. #6
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    Another suggestion is to check out the cosmetic section for plactic containers. I use a soap dish for my pins. The top closes securely and has saved me from picking pins up off the floor many times.

  7. #7
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    I peruse garage sales, thrift shops, estate sales, etc. for useful "things". Two of my favorite finds were ruler holders. I bought one of the old metal record 'worms' for my big rulers (remember the things we used to put our lp's in?) and a smaller envelope holder one for my small rulers. My envelope one just looks like a spring with feet but some of them were made to look like wiener dogs. They're very handy and I have a total of 75 cents invested in them.

  8. #8
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    I find alot of plastic crayon and pencil boxes at yard sales, also pick up any good size baskets for projects.

  9. #9
    Power Poster cjomomma's Avatar
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    I stay out of my Dad's tool room because I want to snatch some of it and take it home for my quilting. He is always losing things he wouldn't know, would he?

  10. #10
    Super Member Grama Lehr's Avatar
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    I got some clamps from the automotive section that are GREAT for holding bindings!! A whole lop cheaper than clips, they hold good and don't stick your fingers. Look like a cross between clothes pins and binder clips.

  11. #11
    Lady Shivesa's Avatar
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    How neat! I've just started sewing, so I don't have all the typical supplies yet. Yesterday I found I had sewn the wrong blocks together, so I had to take the seam out.

    But I didn't have a seam ripper.

    Luckily, I had one of those little tiny pairs of silver scissors that come with manicure kits - and it worked perfectly!

  12. #12

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    The local computer stores are having back to school sales. My new favorite is the very small rectangular shaped. snap top. clear colored plastic boxes. They are on special for 25 cents. They are perfect for pins, etc. What a find! :thumbup:
    A friend also showed me her plastic pencil box with her quilting supplies inside. Great for travel.

  13. #13
    Super Member oatw13's Avatar
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    Walmart sells great plastic boxes that are meant to hold Hot Wheels cars. They are about $5 in the toy department. They work great to hold thread! They sell a similar box in the fabric department that is smaller for thread that is about $20!

  14. #14
    Super Member b.zang's Avatar
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    My pins are in round containers that twist into each other making a tower with the bottom of one being the top of the next. I have two towers for different types of pins and each container has one type of pin in it.
    But my favourite hardware tool is a 6' metal ruler that fits diagonally across whatever I want to cut.

  15. #15
    Super Member MaryStoaks's Avatar
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    I use cheap 2" paint brushes to clean the lint from my Tin Lizzie. I got tired of searching for the brush with each bobbin change so I put a piece of velcro on each side of Lizzie's frame and on my cleaning brushes. They are always within reach.

  16. #16
    Power Poster littlehud's Avatar
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    Wow, I'm loving this. What great ideas.

  17. #17
    Super Member walen's Avatar
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    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....

  18. #18
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    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?

  19. #19
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    now THAT is what I am talking about! Why NOT use what we HAVE already instead of breaking the bank!! Thanks for starting this thread - I hope it goes on forever!

  20. #20
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    It doesn't hurt to have your own equipped tool box too.
    I head to a Craftsman tool sale for this. I have bought all four daughters their own, filled, toolboxes. They have gone on from there.
    I like to keep my tools clean. No grease on any of my fabrics.

  21. #21
    Super Member wraez's Avatar
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    I have some chopsticks that work great as a stiletto as well as a point turner.

    Recently a friend bought a battery operated 'mustache razor' to use as a seam ripper...wow, now that works fast to take out full seams! But it wasn't cheap.

    I've heard that an eyebrow razor works great as a fast seam ripper too.

    warm quilt hugs, sue in CA

  22. #22
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    I found a magnetic bowl in the tool dept. that i use for my pins. Cheaper than the ones in the fabric stores.

  23. #23
    T-Bones mom's Avatar
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    I am learning so much on this thread. I had already some of the suggestions here, but the other ideas are great. Thank you so much.

  24. #24
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    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.

  25. #25
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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 stuck.

    The pins do not stay nice and neat. But I like that I can toss a pin and it goes right in the bowl.

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