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Question of the Week -- March 5, 2017


Good morning!
Welcome to the start of a new week!

I've been spending time up in the studio working on clients' quilts trying to meet a few deadlines. I spent some time tidying up last evening putting away cones of thread, bobbins, etc. getting ready for another week. Which brings me to this week's question for all of you...

How do you store some of your smaller notions (bobbins, thread snips, seam rippers, etc.)?

Please take a moment to share your answers with us in the forum and have a great week.
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22 Comments

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Helen Baczynski
Mar 05 2017 11:53 AM
Things I need to hand every time I quilt, such as thread snips, are in the pockets of the apron I wear. Everything else is either sitting at one end of my machine table when I need them for the quilt I'm working on, or in my Craftsman tool chest.
I have my mother's sewing box next to my regular sewing machine. The top tray holds all my immediate needs.
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A dear sweet granddaughter gifted me with a hand made/ hand painted bowl, which I keep next to my domestic sewing machine.  It holds all the things I use frequently, like snips, tweezers, squat crew driver for removing the cover plate to clean inside & an occasional bobbin.

 

I have a larger, red tool tray that I found in Home Depot for storing my extra needles, Fray Block, chalk marker, bodkin, glue stick, pipe cleaners, paint brush for cleaning out fuzz,  bigger scissors, like duck billed ones for applique (even my bandage scissors from nursing!)

 

Near my longarm machine, I have a rubber silverware drawer tray with all the compartments for knives & forks & spoons filled with my screwdrivers, brushes for cleaning, marking tools, scissors, pen &  post-it notes for jotting down measurements.  I like having stuff organized into those little slots. 

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I keep my small scissors on a retractable cord fastened to my apron while I'm quilting.  The other things I use for quilting are behind me in a 5-drawer roll-around cart against the wall.  All I have to do is turn around and open the appropriate drawer when I need another tool.  I keep the things I use most in the top two drawers.  For general sewing, I have a pottery bowl that holds sewing tools on the table next to my cutting table.  I also have a turntable with tools in it right behind my sewing machine.

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I have a three-drawer rolling cart near my machine with bobbins, needles, oiler, etc., in it, but across the rollers of my machine itself, I have tool trays I made to both hold up the straps for my clamps and keep items handy.  I bought curtain rods and extended them the right length to straddle the rollers, drilled holes in them and the liners used for cutlery in kitchen drawers, then bolted them together, so I have a tray on each end of the machine.  I keep seam rippers, thread picks, screw drivers, extra bobbins of the color I'm currently using, small rulers, etc., in them as I'm working.  I keep my snips on a retractable leash that clips to my shirt.

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Helen Baczynski
Mar 05 2017 04:35 PM
What a good idea to use cutlery trays. I might have to add one to my Gammill table top.
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I do everything on my domestic, so I keep snips, oil, etc in the silverware basket from my old dishwasher. It sits on the low windowsill that is on my right as I sew, My sewing cabinet extends to the middle of the window, so it holds the silverware basket in place.

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I have an old dresser, on my left as I stand at the machine.  Top drawer has lint brush, silicon scraper, bobbins, snips, stop watch and so on....other drawers hold thread (with those IKEA drawer boxes). 

 

Behind me, there is an IKEA bookshelf, with drawers for more thread, and fabric boxes that hold my templates.  Open cubicles in the shelf hold books.  One drawer has marking tools,  One drawer has magnifying glasses (I need those more and more now).

 

And, often, my ironing board is open in front of that bookshelf, and so all the 'in use' templates and marking tools get set there.

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I have an old dresser, on my left as I stand at the machine. Top drawer has lint brush, silicon scraper, bobbins, snips, stop watch and so on...
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So Michelle "stop watch" can I ask what that's for!😳🤔
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QuiltingwithGrace
Mar 06 2017 08:56 AM

I think Linda should post a picture of what she's made!  I've tried the curtain rods to keep my clamps out of the way ... unsuccessfully I might add.  I'm assuming that I'm doing something incorrectly.

 

Helen, could you post a picture of your apron also?  I've tried several different aprons ... all winded up being rejects for some reason or another.  I've almost come to the conclusion that I'm going to have to design and make my own.

 

Nancy, I'm not sure why Michelle uses her stopwatch, but I use the stopwatch on my phone to get a rough idea of how long it will take me to complete a quilt either piecing or quilting it on my longarm.  When I made ds and ddil's wedding quilt (which turned into a 3 year anniversary quilt) one step was so laborious that I timed how long it took to do that particular step.  Then I was able to "psych" myself with the encouraging thought ... only x more minutes hours.

 

What I want to know about is Michelle's magnifying glasses.  Is this something you wear or hold in your hand for closer inspection?

 

I have slowly learned that I am not a "big purse" kinda gal.  You know ... a great big bin that things go in, settle to the bottom, never to be found again.  I'm slowly converting over to shallow drawers where each kind of things lives with its own family.

 

Long arm tools I use frequently go in these little drawers.  They used to be in a toolbox at the end of the room which meant I had to walk over there to get them every time I needed them.

 

Attached File  Longarm quick tools.jpg   74.46KB   0 downloads

 

If it marks, it gets its own drawer in these.  Chalk things in one, frixion in another, permanent in another, ceramic in another ... you get the idea.

 

Attached File  marking tools.jpg   68.42KB   0 downloads

 

I have very little horizontal real estate around my domestic sewing machine.  This tower to the left holds any tool I use.  One for sewing machine gadgets, one for glue/tape, one for free motion gadgets, you get the picture.

 

Attached File  left of domestic.jpg   97.06KB   0 downloads

 

This is the tower to the right of my domestic.  Three drawers hold scrap leaders/enders in various stages (loose fabric, two patches, four patches).  The rest hold intentional leaders/enders (usually the start of another quilt.  And of course the top holds bunnies/bears needing surgery.

 

Attached File  right of domestic.jpg   81.06KB   0 downloads

 

I have a similar tower near my desk which is just a folding table so no drawers.  It holds "office" type stuff.

 

 

 

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Proud Military Mom
Mar 06 2017 09:24 AM
My threads snips are kept on the longarm. On top of the machine there is a small rounded bar that has no use so it is perfect to hold the thread snip. My burial threads needles are kept on front of the machine on a small velcro circle that was glued onto the machine.

I have a three drawer cabinet on wheels right by my longarm where I keep writing pads, pens (to take notes when I use the CQ), longarm needles, marking pens/markers/chalk, alcohol, oil, s app fabric sandwiches to test tension, and so on. The extras are kept inside a cabinet in my studio.

Behind me I have a large cutting table and on one of the sides I keep a tray with marking/rotary cutter rulers, rotary cutters, markers, plexiglass to play with quilting ideas, lint brushes, seam rippers and other notions I may need.

My longarm rulers, when I am not using them, are kept on a tray and inside baskets which are kept on cabinet shelves close to the longarm.
My empty bobbins are kept inside a small container right by the bobbin winder. The bobbins with left over threads are kept on a bobbin donut also close to the bobbin winder.
Measuring tapes are hanged on the longarm table at both ends.
My quilting stencils are hanged on the sides of the bookcases and inside the drawers of a small dresser I have in the studio.
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I'm afraid I'm not very organized and have stuff scattered all over.  I do keep my thread snips and a pin cushion hanging on my quilt machine.  I have a compartmented tool box on my cutting table for needles, ripper, markers, etc. and a small plastic box for bobbins.  

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I have several rolling carts (a la Robin) by the longarm with everything I need (when it's put away!)  Drawers are labeled with likes together. I have magnets on the upper handles of my machine for snips and burying needle. But, in back of me, there is a counter/shelf that runs the full width of the machine under the big windows and it seems to collect everything. I tried Linda's method with the curtain rods and the divider tray, but it didn't work well for me because I use red snappers and instead of just sitting there it bump, bump, bumped when I turned the rollers.  So that tray now sits on one of the cabinets with the lint brush. oil, tweezers, magnifying glass, flashlight, etc. 

 

My favorite is a small goose neck LED light (from Joanns) that I have attached to the carriage.  It's great for both locating lint in the bobbin area and inspecting stitches on the back.

 

I like the apron idea - place for my cell phone in case I ever sew myself to the quilt!  Only one close call, but it got me to thinking about it.  That and someone's post here a few months ago.

 

Yvonne

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I use a magnifying glass to zero in on stitching. Sometimes the threads blend and I want to make sure those "bumps" of bobbin thread are showing.  That was the single most important thing the gal who sold/set-up my machine told me.  If you can see the bumps on top (barely) then your tension is good on the back.

 

I don't wear it Robin, just have it close-by to grab when needed.

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RileyBigshoes
Mar 06 2017 03:00 PM

Someone mentioned aprons.  I've never been able to adapt to a quilting apron.  I don't know why.  I wear an apron when cooking so I don't understand why I dislike them so when quilting.  At a show one year, one of the teachers wore a vest to which pockets had been added.  :Idea:  :Idea:  :Idea:  Although I've not actually done one for myself, I think it's an idea that would work for me.

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Helen Baczynski
Mar 06 2017 04:35 PM
I started to wear an apron when quilting because I caught my tops on the pins, and I found that I leant against the bar at the front and was getting a wear line across my front.

Since the typical aprons that just hang round your neck and tie at the back waist always made me feel as if I'm being strangled (yes, even though the neck band is at the back of my neck and nowhere near the front) I first made myself this type of apron - very easy - just slips over your head and ties at each side. Two big pockets at the front. I made them out of remnants of curtaining or upholstery fabric. They gradually wore out across the front and then I made a new one.
Attached File  apron 03.JPG   120.77KB   0 downloads

A few years ago I saw this pattern and bought it.
Attached File  apron 02.JPG   149.23KB   0 downloads

I now have 2 in this style but I didn't make either one. The first was given to me by the pattern designer's sister (she lives in Las Vegas) when we serviced her machine. The second was given to me by another friend. Again, it just slips over my head. The green one is a bigger size and I've caught the pockets and open sides on the ends of the bars on my Gammill a couple of times. These are made of quilting cotton and wash well. I see from the photo that the green one has the typical wear mark across the front and so probably won't last much longer.
Attached File  apron 01.JPG   280.96KB   0 downloads
Attached File  apron 04.JPG   237.31KB   0 downloads


I've got so used to reaching into the pockets for snips etc. that I do that automatically even when I'm at someone else's machine.
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QuiltingwithGrace
Mar 06 2017 04:57 PM

Thanks, Helen!  The tie around my neck is just one of the reasons aprons have never worked for me.  No matter how loosely I tie it, it feels like the tie is pressing against the back of my neck.  The second reason aprons have not worked is I want a "pants pocket" I can just slip my hand into, not try contort my wrist/arm around.  Since my wrist was bolted together after a break, I cannot bend it.  The third reason is I want shallower pockets than the aprons have tried.  I tried the tool belt style and did not like the pressure around my waist.

 

Gonna look into making one like your first one!

 

Thanks again!

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I do have an apron that I made from an old pattern. It just ties around the waist and has big pockets- it was for clothespins.
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Lemon Tree Tami
Mar 10 2017 01:39 AM

Next to my longarm is a tall skinny dresser with mostly skinny drawers and a few taller ones that used to belong to my grandmother. She used it for her craft supplies and it was made by my grandfather which I didn't discover until I got it home and saw his signature carved in the back of it. The top drawer houses my needles, bobbins, oil and a few screwdrivers. The second and third skinny ones are for all of my thread cones. The rest of them are for miscellaneous longarm supplies (rulers, ruler base etc.)

 

In my sewing studio all my regular sewing supplies (marking pens, pins, needles, scissors etc) are in the drawers of the sewing machine table. I try to be organized but I keep getting messy. LOL

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QuiltingwithGrace
Mar 10 2017 09:20 PM

... it was made by my grandfather which I didn't discover until I got it home and saw his signature carved in the back of it. 

 

What a special treasure to have!

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I use cutlery trays on either end of my table and on my sewing machine table too.

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Next to my longarm is a tall skinny dresser with mostly skinny drawers and a few taller ones that used to belong to my grandmother. She used it for her craft supplies and it was made by my grandfather which I didn't discover until I got it home and saw his signature carved in the back of it. The top drawer houses my needles, bobbins, oil and a few screwdrivers. The second and third skinny ones are for all of my thread cones. The rest of them are for miscellaneous longarm supplies (rulers, ruler base etc.)
 
In my sewing studio all my regular sewing supplies (marking pens, pins, needles, scissors etc) are in the drawers of the sewing machine table. I try to be organized but I keep getting messy. LOL


Can we have a picture?
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Lemon Tree Tami
Mar 12 2017 01:23 AM

Here's a link to the pics on Instagram .. not sure where the actual pics are stored. :-)

https://www.instagra...y=lemontreetami

 

https://www.instagra...y=lemontreetami

 

https://www.instagra...y=lemontreetami

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