Creative Spaces… Week 2, Day 1: Favorite Tools

It’s week 2 in our Creative Spaces Blog Hop and today we change themes to talk about our favorite tools.

Over the years, I’ve collected a few gadgets, some have become favorite tools and others, well, they patiently sit in a drawer/closet waiting to be rediscovered! So these are just a few tools I use on a regular basis… they truly help make my happy place even more enjoyable.

 

The Crossover II by Crafter’s Edge is a magnificent tool with many uses! Perfect for cutting applique shapes, I especially love it to cut circles out of wool… and you know how much I love circles!

I’ve had English Paper Piecing on my wish list for a very long time and recently gave it a try… yes, I’m totally in love! Crafte’s Edge open die made it so easy to fussy cut my hexies out of fabric, but not just that, there is a second die to cut the hexagons out of paper! Of course, I’m new to this technique, but you know I’ve been collecting a few EPP supplies and tools and find this tool to be an absolute joy when prepping my little hexies!

But wait, there’s more! As a machine embroiderer, the squares die set is a wonderful way to trim your appliqued blocks down to size. These are some of the blocks in my Holly Jolly pattern that were machine appliqued and trimmed down to a perfect 6 1/2″ square in seconds!

The squares die set includes 12 dies from a 1 1/2″ to a 7″ square, in increments of 1/2″. So many possibilities, right?

I used the 6″ circle in the circles die set to fussy cut the little animals in My Little Sunshine panel…

…this die set includes 11 dies from a 1 1/2″ to a 6 1/2″ circle…

Voila! Perfect for these little pillows.

And another wonderful feature of the Crossover is the ability to use dies from other die cutting systems!

 

I love applique… turned, reversed, raw edge, etc., but I mostly do fusible applique, so you can just imagine how many irons I’ve gone through, but not so much that, but the time it takes to set the fusible onto the fabric, and after searching for a quicker option I decided on this Heat Press.

An oh yes, it was a very good decision! Love the 15″ x 15″ pressing area, the ability to set the temperature and amount of pressing time, and of course, the right color… an important factor, haha!

I set the temperature based on the fusible, but it’s typically around 300 degrees. … yes, hot and easy to burn my little fingers! After mentioning it to a friend, she suggested these little gloves sold at a beauty supply store. Awesome idea!!!

 

Next, is a tool that sat in a drawer for a very long time… no, not the sewing machine, haha! I had a crazy deadline and decided a needed to speed things up, so I pulled out the “knee lift” and after just a little while realized what I had been missing all this time! With just a slight push with your knee, the presser foot can be lifted just enough to allow you to pivot the fabric without taking your hands of your project

Oh yea, it changed everything and now I use my knee lift for not just applique, but almost all sewing.

Do you have one stashed away, waiting to be loved?

 

Scissors… I love my scissors, especially these Kai scissors! They have a serrated edge, perfect for cutting out applique shapes, and I use all three, depending on the size of the shape I’m cutting.

 

The Gypsy Quilter’s Cutting Gizmo… yes, it sat in that drawer until, yup, a deadline, lol! It’s the perfect tool when chain piecing, and now, it has a special place right next to my sewing machine.

 

So one day, while shopping at my local quilt shop I saw this cute little pair of “scissors”… yes, I do have a thing for scissors, and this unusual little thing just called my name! And oh my, what and awesome find!

The angled blade of the Tool Tron Sidehopper snips is perfect for trimming little threads that are hard to cut with regular scissors.

 

Did you know that Schmetz color codes their needles? As a fan, I find their pocket guide very useful when choosing needles for a specific project, and love the Color Code Guide luggage tag with an at-a-glance way to identify the needle in my sewing machine.

 

Love, love free motion quilting, both on my longarm and domestic sewing machines, and gloves help to push all the bulk of a quilt through the small opening of a sewing machine. The gloves by Swan Amity Studios are fabulous! The palms are padded, the wrists are adjustable, providing wonderful support, they breath, and the tips are touch screen friendly, so no need to remove or cut them off to change the settings on your machine!

 

And last but not least is the Zirkel magnetic pin holder! I love it so much, there’s one next to each of my sewing machines. It has a strong magnet and the best thing is how it fans the pins out, making it easy to grab the pins without poking your fingers!

 

So these are just a few favorites and I may share a few others over the next few weeks as we talk more about our creative spaces. I’d love to hear about your favorite tools! Enter below to win some of my baby fabric and Schmetz guides.

Don’t forget to visit Tammy! She’s also sharing her favorite tools with us today.
And if you haven’t already entered our Grand Prize, visit my first post in the Creative Spaces Blog Hop!

Congratulations Nancy B!

You are the winner!

 


Creative Spaces… Week 1, Day 2

Hello! I hope you enjoyed our posts yesterday!

Today, we have two new designers sharing their spaces:

Reeze of Morning Glory Designs and Jessica of Sew Many Creations

 

Yesterday I shared a few pictures of my studio. Did you notice the flamingo on the table and the flower on the floor, next to the basket?

They are beautiful pincushions designed by Kim Borowy!

The first time I saw her pincushions, I fell in love with the flamingo…

…and the pincushions…

…and well, just about everything I saw in the shop where I was teaching in Florida earlier this year. Then I had the pleasure of meeting Kim and was so excited when she wanted to make samples for my booth using my new collections, Front Porch and Words To Live By! Isn’t that wonderful? So, you’ve got to visit Kim’s page to see more of her beautiful quilt artistry, I know you’ll agree with me!

Have you entered our hop’s Grand Prize? If not, visit this post to enter!

Hugs,

Creative Spaces… Week 1, Day 2

Hello! I hope you enjoyed our posts yesterday!

Today, we have two new designers sharing their spaces:

Reeze of Morning Glory Designs and Jessica of Sew Many Creations

 

Yesterday I shared a few pictures of my studio. Did you notice the flamingo on the table and the flower on the floor, next to the basket?

They are beautiful pincushions designed by Kim Borowy!

The first time I saw her pincushions, I fell in love with the flamingo…

…and the pincushions…

…and well, just about everything I saw in the shop where I was teaching in Florida earlier this year. Then I had the pleasure of meeting Kim and was so excited when she wanted to make samples for my booth using my new collections, Front Porch and Words To Live By! Isn’t that wonderful? So, you’ve got to visit Kim’s page to see more of her beautiful quilt artistry, I know you’ll agree with me!

Have you entered our hop’s Grand Prize? If not, visit this post to enter!

Hugs,