Happy and Healthy New Year to each of you.
I cannot believe another year has passed. I think the speed of time is relative to your
age. When you are 15, you think you will
never get to be able to drive, etc.
However, when you are, well more than 15, you know time flies.
I don't make resolutions any more. Rather, I make promises to myself
like - Gain 20 pounds - believe what politicians say - and my personal favorite
- stay disorganized!
Because I am the most disorganized person I know, I am always looking for
ways to spend less time looking for things. I hear that the average
person wastes approximately a year of his life looking for lost items.
That does not include the time spent waiting for our computers to go on to the
next task! If you embroider, your keys, the remote control and something
to write on are for amateurs, looking for the right stabilizer, your favorite
designs and the little things are the big wasters of our time.
I want to spend my time creating. I
want to spend my time seeing interesting projects come to life. Here are just a few things I have found that
help me. Some save time, some save space
and I hope you find one or two that you can use.
This one won't change your life. I
need my straight pins and my needles as well.
Keeping them at hand but not in the way is difficult. I got a magnetized holder and it does double
I put the needles at the base of the magnet.
Then I use a piece of scrap stabilizer.
I use a piece that is firm so that everything stays separate.
Then, I put my pins on top.
Well, you see the results.
No more looking for a needle in a haystack.
The next one is a personal favorite of mine.
I think there are a lot more of these, I just keep thinking of more uses
and I am sure you will as well.
There are multiple sizes of straws.
These straws are the medium size and the ones at the $1 stores are too
The tips of our tools are very important.
Getting a good pair of scissors or tweezers is a challenge. Protect them, if you don't still have the
original protection sleeve, with a straw. The tweezers you see here are at
least 50 years old but they are the best I have ever used. They belonged to my mother and she sewed in
the 50's and 60's but not since. When
she completed her mission in this world, everyone felt her basket of sewing
supplies were worthless. Some things
were, but many have stood the test of time.
The scissors shown are best for those very small places we have to snip. Since I do words on wedding hankies, those
small places are everywhere. I also use
an ‘Exacto Knife' (it comes with a
good protector) for the really hard to remove clips. The knife will just cut one end of the jump,
so the scissors are needed to complete the clip
Straws are useful for bobbins and spools of thread. My thread used to look like this -
Make no mistake - when thread is laying, banged or otherwise bumped against,
you have damaged thread. If you buy a
thread spool that is obviously has a dent in the thread, that thread is damaged
down many layers. It may be flattened or
have a slit in it and it will cause you trouble at your machine. Even for practice, I don't use this spoiled thread. If I am doing a ‘discovery sew'
to determine my final project, ruined thread won't be useful there either.
I cut straws in half and this is what I got. If you don't have a thread
stand, I recommend having one. BTW, the Conductor 20 and Conductor 10 are both on sale right now. Your
machine is just part of the expense of this craft. Thread is probably the next most costly and
needs to be treated with care.
You can see that no matter what the size (not the really large cones) of the
spool, there is now room for the matching bobbins. These are great for doing free standing lace
(fsl) and I know of one embroiderer who always uses the same bobbin thread as
the top. It really does make a
difference on things like towels. BTW,
did you know that the towel industry says that - almost no one throws away
towels? Towels are used until they are
worn, then they advance to all sorts of chores.
So, if you need a fund raising idea, towels are the best
investment. From cleaning to beaches,
towels are as necessary as the air we breathe.
Here are some ideas for your extra bobbins, clips and ribbons as well. The lowly straw has many uses and I don't think
modern technology will ever replace them!
Those clips are a nuisance to have in a drawer, even in a container. When I put them on a straw, they are much
easier to deal with. I use the clips to
attach the end of my ribbons to the edge of the spool. Ribbons are like thread, they absolutely are
loose and fancy free and need to be tamed.