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?
Thanks for tools!