Hi everyone. This past few weeks have highlighted some really useful studio tools…some I made myself, and some I purchased sometime in my long sewing career.
As I noted on my last article, I discovered that a persistent thread-breaking problem was not, in fact, my machine, my needles, or my bobbin. It was a burr that had developed on my 15 or so year old open toed embroidery foot that I had obtained two sewing machines ago. I could hardly believe it was so old when I added it up.
So today I took out my little Dremel tool that I keep around for special things, and sand-buffed the foot. Then I tested it with multiple thread types and different stitches. It did not break anything! That foot sells for about $56 today. Nice savings. I had done the same thing to another foot last year that had developed a burr. It was an even older one that the one I fixed today! So the Dremel tool has more than paid for itself, and I have used it in other ways over the past decade.
Then there are two reference tools I made myself. One is the decorative stitch library I have been building over the past six months. I am working on a wool applique by machine project that uses some decorative stitches. I have done multiple lines of different stitches in different threads and written the stitch number, any changes I made to the stitch settings, and so forth. I now have about 10 large “pages” of these stitches. I was actually surprised how much I consulted them as I was working through the stitch embellishments to the project. It is very handy to see them stitched out! I am still working on this project and will somehow put them together when I finish.
The second reference tool I used today when I got to the background quilting of my project. I am using a swirl and curl background, as I call it. That consists of stippling and curls randomly used together, which makes a nice background fill for this project. If you look on my YouTube channel, I have a short little video where I show the making of a stippling size reference piece. This is particularly good when you need to try to keep the stippling the same size throughout the piece, so I pulled it out and used it for this project. So handy! Here’s the link.
I think I should make more such reference aids, and I plan to.
Then there is my Clover ball-pointed awl that I used to hold the little wool applique and pointed pieces in place when they weren’t sticking so well while I stitched them down. I use that a lot when I am appliqueing.
The problem with the Bernina foot made me think how much I enjoy using all the different Bernina feet and how much easier they make things or make things come out better. I do love my Berninas and I have no affiliation with the company. I am just a fan. They are all three (B350, B880 plus, Q20 sitdown) wonderful machines (or is that sewing Droids? You might click on that link and see what I mean).
Sew happy everyone! Have fun in your studios and make sure your tools are organized and accessible.