Monday, October 10, 2016

The Right Tool for the Job

I remember once having a conversation with a friend who wanted a new sewing machine, but her husband didn't understand why she would need another one when she already had one.  ( I think she had her eye on a serger.)  He was around at the time, and I told him that John always says that it's important to have the right tool for the job.  "Stop talking!  You're beginning to make sense!" he said.  
While it's true that some tools serve multiple purposes, and that jobs can be done with those multi-purpose tools, specialized tools can simplify tasks.  

Recently, I typed into Google's search bar: What to do with fat quarters.  (For those who might not know, fat quarters are just little pieces of fabric.)  Among the many results, I found instructions on how to make a 9 x 13 hot pad.  Talk about the right tool for the job! Why is it that hot pads are never as big as they need to be?  I knew right away that I wanted to try this project!  (This is not going to be a tutorial; follow the above link to Aunt Em's Crafts.  She did a fantastic job writing out detailed instructions, and her post is filled with illustrative photos, too.)

Photo:  a 9 x 13 hot pad, made with fat quarters

The thing that caught my attention as I read the tutorial was how out-of-touch I must be with sewing gadgets.  My formal sewing instruction dates back to 4-H in 4th grade, and Home Ec. in 7th grade.  (Even that last sentence sounds old!) Though I've sewn since then, of course, I've not spent much time learning about new techniques.  

Well, I decided to pay attention to the list of supplies needed for this project.  Basting spray?  Disappearing ink?  Wonder clips?  I thought, "Why not?  I'll try her method."  Wow!  Do those items ever make the project a quick one! 

Now, I recognize that some of you right now are shaking your head and wondering how I could not know these tools exist.  (Kind of like how I felt when one of my college roommates asked me what a potato peeler was!) Basting spray and wonder clips eliminate the need for pins--and do a better job of holding the layers of fabric together.  Disappearing ink is easier to use than chalk pencils, and provides a clear mark to sew along.  Were they essential to completing the project?  No.  Were they helpful and appreciated? Definitely!

What tools make your tasks easier?  Have you discovered a new-to-you tool recently?

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Thanks for tools!

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8 comments:

  1. What a great post! I recently commented to someone about all the new (to me) sewing tools. Who knows, it may have been you with whom I was talking. The pad looks like it would be perfect for those larger pans.

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    1. Why didn't I think of making a big pad before? (Like when I was cooking for 7?)

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  2. New tools? Hmm, a neon green, rolling, sewing machine case. Why didn't I spend the money before? I love how it tags along behind me and folds flat when I don't need it.

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    1. Isn't it amazing how wonderful tools can be?

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  3. I don't always use those sewing tools on your list, but I do know about them....have done a lot of sewing in my lifetime. I do more scrapbooking and card-making, so I would say the tools that make those tasks easier are a good paper-cutter and tape-runner. Of course, I have a whole room of tools and supplies that I've been collecting for years that I truly love and use a lot!

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    1. Tools don't have to just be for sewing. I love my paper-cutter, too!

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  4. I had no idea about these new fangled gadgets! I used to sew all the times but I seldom sew anymore - partly because my close up vision isn't good enough with my contacts but I need to check some of these items out. Maybe it will motivate me!

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    1. I used the basting spray again yesterday--so much easier than pinning!

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Thanks for making this a conversation. I love to hear your comments!