Tool Time…

What is it about our tools… even if we already have a dozen pairs of scissors and snips, it’s easy to be distracted when you see them in a pretty color.  Or four pretty colors.

These are 4″ Thread Snips.  While I am not really a “snipper”, that orange has me reconsidering.  (It’s the open tip… I do better with scissors I can close while not in use.)

I never thought of myself as a “gadget girl” and then smartphones were invented.  And folks created apps that can do everything I can possibly think I might need doing… except for laundry.  But I am always interested when there is a new tool, ruler or gadget in the warehouse because trying new things is how I found some of my current favorites.  It’s not that I can’t live without them but seriously… if something makes getting better results easier, I’m there!

Since you don’t get to the warehouse much, I’m going to share some of the goodies that caught my eye the other day.  Hey… Christmas is coming eventually and you will need a “wish list” for the Santa in your life.

Lori Holt’s Spelling Bee.

One-hundred-ninety-two pages of adorable, cute, I-think-I-need-to-make-that projects.  Even if you don’t have kids or grandkids, there is enough in this book to keep you busy for months.  If you’ve got kids and grandkids, they’ll be out of college by the time you run out of ideas on what to make from this book.  It’s that good.


Pauline Rogers has created a super easy to use tool for making bias strips – that can be made with bias or not.  They can be used for joining quilt-as-you-go sections, quilt binding, appliqué strips and strings, decorative embellishments, Celtic quilting and probably fifty-seven other things that I can’t think of.

Sashers come in four different sets – each makes different sizes of finished binding – or as Pauline calls it, trim.  There is also a ruler for easily trimming the required strips.  I was curious to try the 1/8″ and 1/4″ sizes for a project I’ve been working on and I’m now a fan.

We’ve had fingers crossed for a while that we’d soon have Deb Tucker’s Studio 180 rulers and products, and they finally arrived.

While all of her rulers are terrific, these three caught my attention first.  The Square 2 ruler is for making square-in-a-square units, and it can be used for connector corners.  The Corner Beam and “V”Block Trimmer are tricky units to make using regular cutting and piecing – being able to trim them to size is a huge benefit.  There are other rulers that make these units but Studio 180’s is the only one that uses a single ruler to make multiple sizes.

Test-driving these rulers also gave us the chance to try Traction Tape, a product that is designed to minimize slipping of rulers.  It’s by the folks at Bloc-Loc and when the tape is removed, any leftover residue is easily removed with warm water.

Ruler related… there are days – and lighting conditions – where a little edge to bump up against the fabric to help with accurate cutting is very much appreciated.

Cutting Edge are vinyl ruler stops that act like a cling – they are easily removed and leave no residue.  They’re thin enough that they don’t interfere with cutting, cut just thick enough that they will nicely abut the edge of the fabric.

Do you use magnetic pinbowls?

As much as I love making pincushions, I use magnetic pinbowls if for no other reason than they make it easy to pick up the pins I frequently drop on the table and floor.  What makes this Mini Itty Bowl a little different is that it’s so teeny – 3″ across!  Now if it only came in red…

The first time I ever saw or heard of Machingers was in a machine-quilting class.  Loved them – bought them – used them – still love them!

But I kept seeing folks in pictures with purple gloves… now I know they’re GrabaRoos!  (A good friend just got a pair and she loves them.)

I’ve been doing quite a bit of machine-quilting for small projects lately and Tammy recommended the Stitcher’s Rubber Grips.  You can use as many or as few as you like, and they work for holding needles while stitching, as well as for providing a little grip while machine-quilting and attaching binding.  (That’s when I find I appreciate the gloves the most.)

Okay, so these aren’t technically a stitching or sewing tool.  But they are.  Indirectly.  If your glasses or readers break and you can’t see, you can’t stitch.  So these help you stitch.  Ergo, these are a sewing tool.  The Handy Dandy Eyeglass Repair Kit – the little case measures approximately 2″ x 3-1/2″” x 1/2″, making it easy to stash one in your sewing kit, going to retreat bag, car and travel bag.  Besides, who doesn’t need a couple of tiny pink screwdrivers in their life?

Rosettes.  Tassels.  Cording.

A Rosette Maker.  A Handy Thread Twister.  A Tassel Maker.

I like making “crafty things” and these are perfect for embellishing bags, gifts and packages.  All three of these are by Clover which means the instructions are excellent and the tools actually work.  (Ask me how I know… and where I used the tassels.)

Have you seen Jan Patek’s Blockheads Blocks on her blog?  She often displays her individual blocks on a small metal stand like this one…

(This is not a Blockheads’ block, it is her To Market Mini quilt.)

I’ve always been intrigued by the stands and finally got to play with one… too bad I only had a 6″ block to hang on a 12″ x 14″ stand.

This is by Ackfield.  Next time I’ll try to find one of the 6″ Deco stands.

Finally… while I often wish it were otherwise, my phone is never far from me.  On my desk or sewing table, I use it for pictures, audiobooks and to post pictures for work.  When I saw these colorful, simple and versatile Jumping Jack clips, I thought they’d be a perfect size – and price – to keep in your sewing and retreat bag.  They’re the perfect on-the-go size.

I had to borrow Jamie’s phone – I couldn’t quite figure out how to take a picture of my phone with my phone.

Admit it – now you know why I love going to the warehouse.  And why it seems to take me f.o.r.e.v.e.r. when I head over there.

So before I go today –  what caught your eye?

And what kind of tools, rulers, gadgets and “stitchy stuff” interests you the most?  I might have missed that aisle…

Happy Friday!

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16 thoughts on “Tool Time…

  1. Well, I know I need that Spelling Bee book, the cutting edge cling strips, the rubber grips and gloves and the Jumping Jack clips. I’d love to see Deb Tucker’s rulers in action—maybe y’all can do a video on that?

    1. Deb has a you tube channel with videos for each of her tools. Do a search of Studio 180 designs or Deb Tucker. Both should get you there!

  2. Hello, my name is Sharon and I am a gadget addict….I want all of the above in all the colors and combinations!!!

  3. Wow, all great items, might have to start my Ive been really good Santa letter, thanks for showing all these great things to put a few on my list!

  4. Pins were my go-to for holding binding in place for hand sewing. Then I discovered Clover’s small binder clips. Colorful. Small. Inexpensive if you buy the 20-piece package. Perfect for holding the binding in place. No pins stick me!

  5. I now am starting a gadget list (to go along with my fabric list)! All those gadgets, look great. I do think the rulers may confuse me though – I’d really have to pay attention to all those lines everywhere! Thanks for sharing – Love your posts!

  6. So many cool tools. Love the phone clip. I could set up my phone, watch youtube tutorials and never have to leave my machine 😉 Fun!

  7. The tassel maker. All these little girl boho fashions are extra adorable with the addition of a tassel. I have one of the jumping jack stands. Very convenient, if for nothing else, it help me not totally lose my phone while it is sitting on my desk. Thanks for sharing all this. I am sure I will be seeking a few of these items out in the near future.

  8. Well, Deb Tucker’s rulers are pretty interesting but I’m going to need one of the Jumping Jack Clips! Fun tools 🙂

  9. Gotta get the Jumping Jacks stand in pink for my daughter’s Christmas Stocking!!! Perfect!! I need one for me in red!! Thanks for your fun post!!

  10. Love gadgets…thanks for the introductions of these… Yes, go back and bring us more… Thanks Carrie for all you do!

  11. Love Deb Tucker (studio 180) rulers. She has great instructional videos. I have all of her rulers

  12. Yes, where did you use the tassels? 😉 And the thread snips are fantastic: I have a little magnet on my machine and it is where I put my snips: so great to have right on the machine!

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