Home office tools, computers, and supplies, as well as building or painting supplies are often problem solvers in my studio. I figure they are for you too, dear readers, but it seems a good idea to review them in case some of you haven’t tried them yet.
My printer/scanner is a major problem solver for me in my studio. This was just highlighted to me this week as I was trying to come up with the right quilting plan for the border on my mom’s memory quilt. I figured out how I want to quilt the rest of the quilt and am excited that I am nearly finished with the top so I can sandwich and get to quilting. I had a concept in my head of how I wanted to make the border quilting pattern. I have taken Lisa Calle’s online classes on iquilt, and classes from Bethanne Nemesh, Gina Perkes, and Jamie Wallen at shows. So I can come up with designs, but getting them drawn like I want and in the right size is always a challenge for me.
Yesterday, though, I drew several designs I wanted to consider in a small size on letter sized paper with my pencil, scanned them into my computer, took them into Corel Draw (but you could do this with any drawing package or photo editing software you may have). Then I resized them into the exact size I needed and printed the one I chose and traced the designs on my border. I think it looks promising. Sometimes I draw these digitally and size them correctly, fixing any problems resizing causes. It’s such a help.
Of course, I also occasionally print fabric pieces for some of my wall art quilts, even if I have a background piece printed by Fabric on Demand or Spoonflower. For instance, for PendragonI painted and printed the heads (all bald heads…loL…I added the hair with stitching later), as well as the swords.
I used Scotch Magic tape yesterday to hold some free standing lace motifs in place while I stitched them onto the quilt top with monopoly thread. This tape is a wonderful help in in-the-hoop embroidery work because it will hold things in place while being stitched through and then easily tear off leaving nothing behind. I learned about this from a Sewing with Nancy show and thought I would try it, and found it works very well.
I have reported in my previous blogs about using various pens and pencils, such as Crayola washable markers and gel pens or colored pencils for marking fabrics.
I know all of you by now must have a roll of blue painter’s tape in your studio. It makes a great marker for straight stitching, holds designs in place at the light table for marking with no sticky left behind, holds a super slider mat for that little additional security to keep it in place, and so forth.
For me, one of the hardest things to do is square up my quilts. Last year I bought a laser square, used for tiling in the building industry. It helps a lot getting a square corner. I did find I need to place it on something to match the height of the quilt top to make it work right (magazines or rulers seem to work for me).
I’m sure there are a lot more such items from outside the traditional sewing items to help us problem solve in our studio. I invite you all to add a comment with your favorite item you found to work with in your studio that came from outside the sewing/quilting world.
Sew happy everyone! Have fun in your studio this fall!