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Thread: Unusual quilting tools

  1. #1
    Senior Member Dakota Rose's Avatar
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    Unusual quilting tools

    Several times on this board I have read threads about unusual things that you use in quilting that have nothing to do with sewing or quilting. The list of items and how you use them is so interesting. I would like to use it as a starter discussion on our next quilting group but cannot find the threads. Can you please point me in the right direction to find those? And, feel free to add anything you might like to share. Thanks for your help. Love this Board. So glad I found it.

  2. #2
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    From my kids' set of blocks - (can also be purchased at hobby stores and lumber/home improvement stores)

    A round dowel - great for pressing tube seams and Barbie doll clothes

  3. #3
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    I use my dh 4ft T-Square for marking and cutting batting off the roll.

  4. #4
    Senior Member HouseDragon's Avatar
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    At the moment I'm making a Jelly Roll Race quilt "just for fun" on my 50-year-old Elna while my Husqvarna is being serviced.

    I use two black wire office wastebaskets.

    Strips go into one, shake, sew these into one long strip: as the strip forms, it goes into the second basket. The I sew "out of" the second basket and "into" the first.
    Repeat until the length doesn't need feeding into a basket to keep it off the floor.

    Just make sure no one comes along and throws something away into one of the baskets. DH: "Opps! I guess that isn't trash." Lucky for him, it was a clean piece of paper. When my Quilt Studio is finished I won't have to worry about "invaders" any more!
    If life gives you lemons, make Limoncello!

  5. #5
    Super Member caspharm's Avatar
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    I have made those pressing sticks out of wood trim and I just picked up a porcupine quill to be used as a stiletto. I also bought a Telescopic Magnetic Pick-Up Tool from Home Depot for picking up pins and needles.

    Just do a search on the board for the other threads about tools.

  6. #6
    Super Member Pollytink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray View Post
    From my kids' set of blocks - (can also be purchased at hobby stores and lumber/home improvement stores)
    how do you use these?

  7. #7
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    I bought a six foot and four foot straight edge from Lowe's. It's 2 1/2" wide. Perfect for getting the quilt top straight and for marking across the quilt for crosshatching or straight line quilting. Very inexpensive too.

    http://www.lowes.com/pd_119896-1099-...ght+edge+ruler

    Using a plastic suction bath/shower holder to put on the car window when traveling and sewing.
    I believe giving what I can will never cause me to be in need.
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  8. #8
    Super Member GailG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HouseDragon View Post
    At the moment I'm making a Jelly Roll Race quilt "just for fun" on my 50-year-old Elna while my Husqvarna is being serviced.

    I use two black wire office wastebaskets.

    Strips go into one, shake, sew these into one long strip: as the strip forms, it goes into the second basket. The I sew "out of" the second basket and "into" the first.
    Repeat until the length doesn't need feeding into a basket to keep it off the floor.

    Just make sure no one comes along and throws something away into one of the baskets. DH: "Opps! I guess that isn't trash." Lucky for him, it was a clean piece of paper. When my Quilt Studio is finished I won't have to worry about "invaders" any more!
    I've used baskets, even large bowls, when I'm ironing long strips in half for binding. I also use a "basket purse" from my decoupage days of the 70's for fan-folding so the binding is ready for feeding around the quilt.
    One step at a time, always forward.

  9. #9
    Super Member Krisb's Avatar
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    I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it difficult to plan the day.

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    I use a floss threader found in the dental section to thread my upper and lower loopers of my serger. My fingers have a heard time manipulating thread in this small area.

  11. #11
    Super Member Latrinka's Avatar
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    chap stick for conditioning thread for hand sewing, couldn't find "Thread Heaven" at Joanns
    If a woman's work is never done....why start?

  12. #12
    Power Poster lynnie's Avatar
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    like the chap stick idea, gotta use that one.
    I use chop sticks for a stiletto or turning thngs inside out
    put off till tomorrow what you can do today, and if you procrastinate long enough, you may never have to do it.

  13. #13
    Super Member tesspug's Avatar
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    I use painters tape as a guide for crosshatch quilting. I bought a long nosed locking tweezer at Harbor Freight for turning tubes. It looks like scissors but it has long points. Also a HF I got one of those magnetic bowls for pins
    I promise not to buy any more fabric until I see something I really like. Or it's on sale. Or I think it might match something.

  14. #14
    Super Member juneayerza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prekteacher View Post
    I use a floss threader found in the dental section to thread my upper and lower loopers of my serger. My fingers have a heard time manipulating thread in this small area.
    Thanks for this tip; I'm just learning how to use a serger and this might help me.
    June

  15. #15
    Junior Member Vicki1212's Avatar
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    I use a wooden clothes peg for opening and closing my safety pins when basting. I removed the spring, took one half and cut a notch in the end. Works perfectly and if I lose or misplace it, it's super quick and cheap to make another one
    Rainy days heal the heart so that sunny days can make us smile!

  16. #16
    shy
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    I use a long a long tweeter to get get thread that just gets through the needle..but ur fingers are too big to grab..also it is great for picking up lint in the bobbin case if u are using cotton thread..and don't want to take it all apart while quilting to clean it..I also use a small basting brush on my Viking..it has a top loading bobbin..when I clean it I run the brush into the side holes when I turn the casing..it pulls bunches of lint out ..that would settle in the bottom of the machine case..I do it very gentle ..so as not to force..also..I took a long one piece ball point pen apart..use the shaft on the thread holder for big and tall thread spools..use plastic wrap to draw a quilt design on over the quilt to see if I like it before I begin to sew..bags with zippers for sheets and pillow cases..etc..put cut pieces in them..use plastic from packages for temples..use note books with plastic insert sheets for all loose patterns..like ones I cope from the net..I can go on..lol..but won't..

  17. #17
    Senior Member Dakota Rose's Avatar
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    Thanks everybody. Love all your tips. Will make sure you get credit for the help.

  18. #18
    Super Member MaggieLou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prekteacher View Post
    I use a floss threader found in the dental section to thread my upper and lower loopers of my serger. My fingers have a heard time manipulating thread in this small area.
    Now that's a great idea. I'll have to try that. My Brother has an auto threader but my vintage Kenmore doesn't.
    Margaret

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  19. #19
    Super Member amandasgramma's Avatar
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    I use a table top paper towel holder my step father made to hold my binding. It doesn't have that extra piece on it that prevents the towels from rolling out......but it allows the binding to unwind as I need it. PERFECT!!!

    I use a pair of long tweezers...with a bent end to thread my serger. DH had them for rockhounding (haven't figured that out yet)....and a doctor I worked for used them for surgeries...... Long handled, and small at the tweeze end. Makes threading a LOT easier.
    Dee


    "A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing." by George Bernard Shaw

  20. #20
    Super Member luvstoquilt's Avatar
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    I used the big letters from the rubber ones that go on the floor. Works like a charm. On the quilt I am working on now I am using a round cake plate to draw the big circles and a yard stick to mark the squares. Almost anything works as a tool.
    "You must do the thing you think you cannot do"....E. Roosevelt

    Sharon
    Yorkville, IL

  21. #21
    Super Member madamekelly's Avatar
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    I bought a package of "proxa brushes" (in the toothbrush aisle) to use for getting into little areas of the bobbin race to remove lint. They work great and do not "shed" like the smaller paint brushes I was using.
    If you always do, what you have always done, The results never change. Change is the wings you give yourself.

  22. #22
    Super Member madamekelly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vicki1212 View Post
    I use a wooden clothes peg for opening and closing my safety pins when basting. I removed the spring, took one half and cut a notch in the end. Works perfectly and if I lose or misplace it, it's super quick and cheap to make another one
    I just use the back of an antique silver tablespoon. Works great.
    If you always do, what you have always done, The results never change. Change is the wings you give yourself.

  23. #23
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    This is the one that most people comment on when they step into my studio:

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    It's a pot holder rack meant for the kitchen. No room in my house has ceilings high enough for it, but it works well over the cutting table because I don't have to walk under it. It's a little sword of damocles-ish though when I leave a rotary cutter open and hung up there.

  24. #24
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    I use cinder blocks under each leg to raise my folding table to a comfortable cutting height.

  25. #25
    Super Member SueSew's Avatar
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    Years ago I gave my son a big long magnet with a sturdy plastic handle, for some science project. I now use it to scoop pins off the floor and the table.
    SueSew
    "If it's messy, eat it over the sink!" Mom

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