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Ruler Hack

In my obsession with organizing my happy space, I recently organized my quilting rulers.

The large rulers hang on the wall near my cutting mat. Medium rulers now hang in the inside of a door on my tall cabinet. Command hooks work great. I like the ones with the narrow metal hooks best. They fit easily through the ruler hang holes.

And…. drumroll please. (I wish I had a before picture, but I don’t, and there is no use going backwards!)

All of my small rulers used to reside piled in a single drawer of a cabinet. Now, they hang on S hooks behind my cutting table.

The beauty of this solution is that it is hung with command tape. Theoretically, if I decide to relocate it, it will come right off.

Command Towel Bar – Ruler Hack

How do you rule?

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Spray it with Flair

PROBLEM:   Traditional spray bottles tend to dispense either too much, or non-uniform spray patterns.  When using them to starch or spray fabric, it can leave wet spots, and require more spray than would have been necessary.

Over the last couple of years,  a spray bottle made by a company called Flairosol has become popular in the quilting community.  I think that the bottle was originally popular in beauty salons.  The spray nozzle is remarkable, delivering a finer mist than any nozzles I have used in the past.  It also requires less pump action, as it is a continuous spray.  This is a great feature for people who have hand and joint challenges.

All of the bottles that I have found so far were the tall version (shown in a previous post), so what I am showing you here is a shorter version.  I picked it up for travel and to keep more scents at-hand.  Hint:  Check out US Plastics if you are interested in buying them in-bulk!

“Mischief Managed”
I hope you enjoy this trick! I should be able to pull more tricks from my hat between now and November 3rd.
Be sure to comment on my blog about which ones you like best and share some of your own quilting and sewing magic tricks.  I will draw one name from the comments randomly November 9, 2019 and follow-up with the lucky winner to send one of these special tricks!
Please, share with your friends.

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Stash ‘n Store

PROBLEM:  How do you keep you marking tools, mini scissors, and stylus close without rolling round on your sewing table?

The “it’s sew emma”, Stash ‘n Store tool does the trick.  I had seen the longer ones in my local quilting shop, but recently came across the mini version and decided that would fit the bill.  It is stable enough to hold most of my tools upright.  However,  if you have a tendency to knock things off (or have a cat that help you!),  some Velcro attachment on the bottom might do the trick.

“Mischief Managed”
I hope you enjoy this trick! I should be able to pull more tricks from my hat between now and November 3rd.
Be sure to comment on my blog about which ones you like best and share some of your own quilting and sewing magic tricks.  I will draw one name from the comments randomly November 9, 2019 and follow-up with the lucky winner to send one of these special tricks!
Please, share with your friends.

 

 

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For the Iron Maiden

PROBLEM:   I like to use different fabric sprays on my fabrics to reduce wrinkles and make my seams lie flatter.  I usually have two or three different ones in use.  The problem is that the spray bottles also take up room on my ironing board.

I love a good storage and organization hack.

I found these folding cup holders that can be mounted just about anywhere using screws or command hook tape. I used two pieces of command Velcro. They work perfect for my ironing station. They even come in 5 different colors.

Camco Cup Adjustable Cup Holder

Some of you may have seen this hack earlier, but I wanted to re-post it in this series.  I hope you don’t mind!

“Mischief Managed”
I hope you enjoy this trick! I should be able to pull more tricks from my hat between now and November 3rd.
Be sure to comment on my blog about which ones you like best and share some of your own quilting and sewing magic tricks.  I will draw one name from the comments randomly November 9, 2019 and follow-up with the lucky winner to send one of these special tricks!
Please, share with your friends.

 

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Choosing a Wand

PROBLEM:   When making half square and quarter square triangles from layered squares, it is critical to mark two lines 1/4 seam allowance away from center and sew accurately.   How can we mark the lines?

Ruler, of course, work fine for this.  However,  remember that “The wand chooses the wizard”.    I really like The Quilter’s Magic Wand, one of the Deb Tucker’s Studio 180 Design rulers. It’s just my style, and again, comes in many colors!  It is an accurate 1/2″ ruler with an etched line in the center, perfect to line up with the corners of your fabrics.  Check it out at the Studio 180 Design website to learn more.

“Mischief Managed”
I hope you enjoy this trick! I should be able to pull more tricks from my hat between now and November 3rd.
Be sure to comment on my blog about which ones you like best and share some of your own quilting and sewing magic tricks.  I will draw one name from the comments randomly November 9, 2019 and follow-up with the lucky winner to send one of these special tricks!
Please, share with your friends.

 

 

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Le Needle Bird

PROBLEM:  Those pesky needles can be difficult to thread.   It is no wonder that threading the needle has been used in so many in so many metaphors and aphorisms over time.

There are plenty of tools on the market that can help thread needles.  I personally like le needle bird.  It is cute and comes in three colors.  The needle hook (beak) is protected during storage with a flip up cover.  The hook is small enough to accommodate most of my needle eyes.  What is your favorite needle threading technique.

“Mischief Managed”
I hope you enjoy this trick! I should be able to pull more tricks from my hat between now and November 3rd.
Be sure to comment on my blog about which ones you like best and share some of your own quilting and sewing magic tricks.  I will draw one name from the comments randomly November 9, 2019 and follow-up with the lucky winner to send one of these special tricks!
Please, share with your friends.

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Beeswax is where it’s at!

PROBLEM:  When hand stitching binding,  some of my thread has a tendency to twist, knot, and have annoying abrasion, catching on the fabric.

To solve this problem in the past, I have tried using some of the synthetic thread conditioners on the market.  While they did the trick, I always wondered if they were good for me, or the thread.  Not all of them are still available.

My mom worked in a tailors shop before she was married.  She told me that she misses the pure beeswax that they used when tailoring men’s suits.  She said it was softer and more maleable than some that I had on hand.  I don’t think that the yellow wafer conditioner that I found in the notions aisle at the store was 100% pure beeswax, nor the piece I found at the state fair. They must have been mixed with some paraffin because they became very flaky, and caused a real mess.

If you are interested in reading more on the subject, I found a great article on the subject;  needlenthread.com .

According to their research, use “Beeswax for strength and protection against abrasion. But not for decorative work!”.

I felt very lucky this fall when I reached out to a local bee farm.  They have asked me not to share a link here, as they don’t sell beeswax in it’s pure form on their site.  However,  they were so friendly and were able to help me out for my retreat.  Some lucky ladies will get some pure beeswax to use on their threads.  I’m hoping it will be the “bee’s knees” for stitching our binding and not just a wee folk tale!  You might reach out to your local bee farm and see if they can help.  A little bit will last a very long time.

“Mischief Managed”
I hope you enjoy this trick! I should be able to pull more tricks from my hat between now and November 3rd.
Be sure to comment on my blog about which ones you like best and share some of your own quilting and sewing magic tricks.  I will draw one name from the comments randomly November 9, 2019 and follow-up with the lucky winner to send one of these special tricks!
Please, share with your friends.

 

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All in a Row

PROBLEM:   Many quilt blocks or patterns require you to keep your pieces and rows in order.

There are tons of ways to to mark your pieces and rows;  marked zip lock bags, sticky notes, pins etc..   At a retreat years ago, a fellow quilter gifted me with a set of custom row markers.  They have been a dream!   My mom has also found that if you have pins with large heads, you can even write letters or number on them.

The row markers shown here were fun to make and placing them in a little wallet helps keep them separate and readily available when needed.  Hint:  These beads are glued to the pinhead.   When letting them dry,  pin them hanging upside down to your ironing board or other soft surface.  This will ensure the beads do not shift during the process.  

“Mischief Managed”
I hope you enjoy this trick! I should be able to pull more tricks from my hat between now and November 3rd.
Be sure to comment on my blog about which ones you like best and share some of your own quilting and sewing magic tricks.  I will draw one name from the comments randomly November 9, 2019 and follow-up with the lucky winner to send one of these special tricks!
Please, share with your friends.

 

 

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Turn those projects – Stat!

PROBLEM:  I don’t know about you, but when I am sewing small projects that require turning,  I always dreaded it.   It always seemed that my fingers were too big to fit in the small openings I left in the fabric.   I figured there had to be a better way.

I turned to our medical specialists and doll / teddy bear makers.  It “Turns” out that a surgical hemostat or locking pliers,  works fantastic for clamping and assisting turning for small fabric projects.  They are not sharp, can reach into the smallest places, and lock on to the fabrics allowing you to easily pull the fabric right side out.  Since the tips are typically rounded, they can also be used to help push out the corners.

“Mischief Managed”
I hope you enjoy this trick! I should be able to pull more tricks from my hat between now and November 3rd.
Be sure to comment on my blog about which ones you like best and share some of your own quilting and sewing magic tricks.  I will draw one name from the comments randomly November 9, 2019 and follow-up with the lucky winner to send one of these special tricks!
Please, share with your friends.

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Mat Trick – For Your Sewing Machine Pedal

Whether you are a player of cards, hockey, or even cricket you might be familiar with the Hat Trick!  This Mat trick might not refer to an accomplishment of three, but you can easily apply this trick to all of your sewing machine pedals for a great win.  (I know I needed three!)

PROBLEM:   When you sew, does your pedal gradually creep forward?  Mine do.

I found these white 5″ x 4″ silicone mats on Amazon through a company called Silicone Alley, 5 for less than $6. If you like colors, check out the Silicone Alley shop.  They are much like the silicone mats that are popular for baking and for wax molding arts.  However, in this case,  they work perfectly to create better traction between your sewing pedal and the floor.  These mats are VERY low profile, easy care, and easy to pack for travelling.  If they get dirty, wash them with soap and water then dry.  They perform as good as new.

“Mischief Managed”
I hope you enjoy this trick! I should be able to pull more tricks from my hat between now and November 3rd.
Be sure to comment on my blog about which ones you like best and share some of your own quilting and sewing magic tricks.  I will draw one name from the comments randomly November 9, 2019 and follow-up with the lucky winner to send one of these special tricks!
Please, share with your friends.