Monday, March 03, 2008

March of the Tools

Over on Heather Bailey's website, I saw she started a month of talking about tools! As any of my students and friends will tell you, I love good tools! They make sewing easier and WAY more fun!

So I'm going to be posting information on the tools I use. All of them can be had at your local sewing store, and I'll post more details about the really unique or hard to find ones!

To start with, let's talk about "pincushions". There are so many cute ones available to buy, and so many darling patterns to make your own. But I use none of them. They all make me crazy, because you have to stop sewing, glance at your pincushion and carefully stab the pin in before you can resume sewing. Who has time for that? In the crazy rush that I have for my sewing time, I need to sew at full speed with as few pauses as possible (this might explain the embarrassing topstitching on a baby blanket I just made for a friend. Oops.)

So I use two magnetic "pincushions". One is a Grabbit - and I love it! It is just the right size and weight, the magnet inside is well placed, and while I sew, I can just toss the pins in the general direction of the Grabbit and it sucks them on to the top. The pins all lie straight and flat on top, ready for me to use them for my next pining.

Last year I got the Fons and Porter red heart magnetic pincushion. It was so cute, I couldn't resist. But it's such a drag to actually use because the magnet is poorly placed. This causes pins to stick to the bottom of it (if you set it on the table near some pins) and when you causally toss pins at it, they don't lie flat. They stick up. Straight up. Pointy end up. This is a real drag when you reach for the pincushion without looking at it, thinking you can grab a pin to help feed your fabric through the machine. It's also a drag when you are pinning anything. Imagine a tomato pincushion where half the pins where pointy end up.

So for now, I use the red heart to catch pins next to my machine. I use the Grabbit when I need to actually reach for a pin. And I regularly move the pins from the heart to the Grabbit when I run out of pins. It works. But it makes me want another Grabbit. ;)

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