Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Real Good Ideas

Never hesitate to steal a good idea. 
Al Neuharth

I have been trying to find the time to get this post done.  I had got a little behind in keeping up with things in blogland during Thanksgiving and last week so I was caught off guard with a few things.  There was a couple of things I really wanted to do like the Giveaway in my last post (check it out if you missed it) and joining up with Vicki Welsh over at Field Trips in Fiber for her Real Studio Tour.  It has several parts.

The REAL Studio Tour

This week we were asked to share something in our sewing room that we use that is NOT a regular sewing item, a non-traditional tool.  I didn't have to look far to find a few that fit the description and came up with a few to share.  

Paper Towel and Book Rack
I have this paper towel and book rack hanging in my longarm studio. I am always in need of paper towels to wipe up extra oil from the bobbins or to clean up the longarm tracks.  I use the top book section to hold stencils and design books and other things that I like to have in arm's reach.  I recently added on in my sewing studio too.

Now is the perfect time of year to accumulate a few of the following items too.  If you have a large collection of cutting templates or patterns and books that come with specific tools to use with them sometimes it can be a challenge to keep them all together.  I have been using the vinyl zippered bags that sheets, pillowcases and other items come in to hold them together for years.  Since most of you will be doing some shopping for gifts in the next few weeks take some time to consider the packaging you see things in.  You can buy someone a nice gift, remove it from the package and wrap it nicely.  You then will get to use the package for holding your tools.  Stickers will usually come off with a little Goo Gone.

Pillowcase and Sheet Packaging
One really nice thing about these bags is that they are clear and you can see what is inside them easily.  I don't bother to label them because of this.

New Pattern and Templates with Sharp Corners

Templates are usually sold in Zip Lock types of bags.  The problem is that even the heavier gauge bags will get holes poked in them by the sharp corners of some templates.  If you carry them around much or they get shoved around with other things the bags will get holes in them.  Some of them don't close well or easily either.

Three sets of templates and patterns
stored neatly together.
Sometimes you can find a really nice package that has a handle like this one.  My sweet husband gave me a nice pair of slippers in this one a few years ago.  Since it is so well made I use it to hold my entire collection of Strips and Curves Rulers and I can hang it without fear of the weight tearing through the bag.

This one I really like too because the zipper opens it out flat.  I use it to keep my Quilting Fabric Calculator and the Instruction Manual together.  I have to refer to it when I want to do some figuring on quilts so I don't get mixed up.

Of course you can make your own bags if you want to, just buy heavy gauge vinyl and a zipper.  My question is why go to the bother when they can be had for 'free'?  You can also add a hanging strap if you wish to the 'free' ones.  Just use some grograin ribbon and reinforce the stitching.  Adding a scrap of ribbon or fabric on the inside where you will do the stitching is a good idea to keep it from tearing through the vinyl.  Lengthen you stitch length a bit too.  Too many small tight stitches will just tear the vinyl.

So that's some of my non-traditional tools in my sewing room that help me stay a little better organized.  What do you think?


  1. Thanks for great ideas. Many of us save everything, thinking we'll use it one day and then we don't - now we have ideas for those saved zipper bags.

  2. Very organised Patricia, great recycling too!

  3. I use those plastic bags too - they are wonderful!

  4. I love the paper towels idea, I always having to go to the kitchen for paper towels in my sewing room!

  5. Wonderful ideas. I use the zipper cases from sheets etc.

  6. LOL - we have always saved those bags for linens - never thougth to use them in the studio! Thanks!


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