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Dog Days of Summer and a Giveaway

20 Jun 2008

Did you know that not only is today the summer solstice but equally momentous is the fact that it's National Take Your Dog to Work Day?

We, at Quilting Arts have truly gone to the dogs. Today we have four of man's best friends here sniffing around desks, barking at the UPS man, and generally harassing all of us for dog cookies.  (Don't worry, the pooches wont wipe their paws on the quilts as we have placed them all on high tables.)

Meet some of our canine guests:


Louis Bolton, Min Pin, age 8. He is the loudest, most disruptive of the bunch. The smallest of the four, he gets into everyone's business and wont leave you alone unless you feed or pet him.


Maggie Bolton, Italian Greyhound, age 6. She hates having her picture taken and nearly jumped off the second-story porch when I took my camera out. Shy but very lovable, Maggie likes to spend her days sleeping underneath the bed covers at home.


Cody Delaney, Black Lab/ Newfoundland Mix, age 7. Laid back and easy going,Cody loves to find the nearest swamp to dive into (much to his mother's dismay).

And last but not least, our resident Quilting Arts dog:


Sophie Bolton, our lovable rescue mutt, age unknown. We got Sophie from Bernie Berlin, and Sophie is dearly loved by all of us at Quilting Arts. She is the gentlest, sweetest of creatures (...not that I'm biased or anything).

Speaking of visitors, last Friday we were very fortunate to have Frances Holliday Alford pop by the office. (She came by to drop off her project for this year's special Quilting Arts Gifts issue.)


As some may know, Frances is currently the cover girl of Quilting Arts. Her smile says it all- Frances possesses a strong joie de vivre  and is such fun to be around.

OK, time for the fabric giveaway!


As mentioned recently I'm a tad obsessed with screen printing, and have found it a wonderfully relaxing activity to help decompress after a long day. I've amassed so much screen-printed and hand-dyed fabric lately, I'd like to give some of it away to you.

Here's how this drawing will work. Please answer the following question in the comments area, and I will randomly choose five winners to receive a plastic baggie of screen-printed fabrics. The drawing will close Monday, June 23 at 6:00 P.M. EDT, and I will announce the five winners on Tuesday on the blog. It is then the responsibility of those five winners to email me their shipping address so I can send the fabrics.

My Burning Question:

What has been your favorite quilting or fiber art gadget/notion/tool that you have used this past year? Why do you love it so much?

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Deanna wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 3:03 PM
My computer. Most of my friends are not crafty, sly maybe, but not crafty. Art quilts are way beyond their comprehension. They do make nice comments, but can't ever imagine doing something like that. The computer is where I find other people with similar likes. I also use it to play with my photos and try out different ideas for quilts. This year I started a blog to document my textile journey. My Mac sits between two of my sewing machines and when the sewing doesn't require lots of concentration I can pop in a movie. And then there is always shopping for all things textile whenever you like. You don't even have to comb your hair first.
Esther wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 4:03 PM
My sewing machine has to be my favorite tool :) I just got it this year from a thrift store, it sews like a dream, and is solid and reliable. Thanks for entering me in your giveaway!
Linda Smith wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 4:06 PM
My June Taylor shape cut ruler. I have the one that lets you make really straight cuts of fabric in half inch increments. It makes a big difference in my accuracy and is great for cutting multiple layers of fabric.
Diane Howell wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 4:09 PM
My favorite tool has been my 8.5 inch wide 24-inch ruler by Creative Grid. It's just a great size to cut borders and larger block pieces...I've been pairing it up with a new rotary cutter from Fons & Porter, which has an adjustment for light or heavy cutting duty.
Linda wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 4:09 PM
Acrylic paint. With the addition of a bit of textile medium, I can now paint on top of any fabric creating wonderous new fabrics. That is new this year.
Beverly wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 4:13 PM
I'd have to say my Juki sewing machine. I bought it specifically for machine quilting, and it has made a world or difference in my skills- that, and practice, of course. Or, how about my compressor and nail gun? They have made it possible for me to start making my own stretcher bars for fiber art--
mathea wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 4:13 PM
The most recent one is the one that comes to mind: The Easy Circle Cut ruler which I found out about on your show - bought the set of DVDs, and that's another favourite (if you can call that a gadget or notion...) - sooo much inspiration!
Patty VanHuis-Cox wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 4:14 PM
My new sewing machine that allows me to drop the feed dogs and the attachment for the machine (from my friend Christine) that allows me to FMQ! I've been using a regular foot and an old sewing machine for years. This is so much better!!!!!
Giny Dixon wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 4:14 PM
My favorite tool is the stick on thimble dot, the one with the needle dents, just like a real thimble.
Trudi Chamoff Hauptman wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 4:20 PM
What has been your favorite quilting or fiber art gadget/notion/tool that you have used this past year? Why do you love it so much? I love my embossing gun. Every since I read an article in Quilting Arts about "burning fabric" and tried the techinque I have been obsessed with it. I love the unperdictablity of it and it provides me with unimaginable treasures that I have used to depict everything from doorways, to leaves and produce, to Mardi Gras masks. I not only use it in quilts but in embelishing my wearables. This technique has become a signature for me. I am so enthusiastic about the results and you can not imagine the response I get when I am asked what I do and I say "I burn fabric".
Trudi Chamoff Hauptman wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 4:20 PM
What has been your favorite quilting or fiber art gadget/notion/tool that you have used this past year? Why do you love it so much? I love my embossing gun. Every since I read an article in Quilting Arts about "burning fabric" and tried the techinque I have been obsessed with it. I love the unperdictablity of it and it provides me with unimaginable treasures that I have used to depict everything from doorways, to leaves and produce, to Mardi Gras masks. I not only use it in quilts but in embelishing my wearables. This technique has become a signature for me. I am so enthusiastic about the results and you can not imagine the response I get when I am asked what I do and I say "I burn fabric".
Julie Schlueter wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 4:24 PM
Caran d'ache neocolor II watersoluble crayons. I got the 40 box, then had to get the 84 box. Expensive, but oh so worth it. Also, Prismacolor Watercolor pencils. And, just bought a silver fine point paint pen and am having fun with that too! I love marking on fabric or photo transfers on fabric.
Mary Jenkins wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 4:25 PM
i have a baby who just learned to walk. she's in everything so i can't even use my machine. i have been doing it old school. completely hand sewing! my pieces look hand sewn too. but oh well, its better than not sewing. i do love screen printing fabric, but that will have to wait til my baby is older!
Jamie wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 4:33 PM
My favorite item has been 'used' tea bags. I brew the water, make the tea, drink the tea, then leave the bags to dry on the counter. After they are completely dry I carefully open up the bags along the seams and empty out the tea leaves. I am left with a beautiful 'tea-dyed' piece of fiberous paper which is great for all kinds of paper and fiber projects! I also use different herb teas which sometimes produce different shades of color on the tea bags! I'd love to win the giveaway! Jamie V in MT
Gerrie wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 4:39 PM
Great question! As a surface designer, this is hard for me. I will choose screen printing with masking tape on the screen to create the pattern. I especially like screening discharge paste.
robbi wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 4:42 PM
I have an 18x24" light box that I got at a repro shop (where they print blueprints for contractors). It was only $70. It's no longer in production, they probably had them laying around in their warehouse. It has a glass top, so I can use a small iron, like the clover one, on it to position things and then fuse them lightly down. My other favorite tool is my laser printer, it was less than $100, I replace the cartridge about once every two years, so I never worry about wasting ink. I've been running card stock through it to make templates I can trace around for my fused quilts. My other other favorite tool is a small cocktail mixer, the kind you stick in a glass, to mix up my procion dyes. It's battery operated, cost about $3. Robbi
leslie tucker jenison wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 4:43 PM
I have fallen in love with Superior Threads die-cut snippers. They are perfect for snipping threads while machine quilting and they never need sharpening. They are a bargain!
Jo McKnight wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 4:44 PM
I am retired and don't have a lot of money for gadgets or notions anymore. I have a lot of things I bought before, but my very favorite thing to use is my brain. Its quite creative, never shuts down and never runs out of ideas! Jo in Minnesota
robbi wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 4:50 PM
Mary with the baby who just learned to walk: HI Mary, I had two toddlers at once. One time I was in the bathroom and Josh threw a matchbox car through a window. When I got out, he and Samantha were sitting amongst broken glass giggling. Besides not being able to close the bathroom door again for a few years, I also had to do a lot of handwork. I managed to get a wallhanging hand quilted, it was a lot of work because I would unthread the needle and put it away each and every time I stood up, just in case. I remember thinking I should write an article about how to get any quiltmaking done with toddlers around, because I had some good tips. Unfortunately, I can no longer remember them. But, trust me, just like they say, the time really goes fast. Josh graduated from college last month and Sam is going to be a senior. Josh is getting ready for grad school, and Sam is working for the university this summer, so I have an empty house except for my husband and when the kids do come home. Keeo making art, and your kids will respect you for it and love your work. And remember, nap time should NOT be used for housework, that is when you can do your artwork. Good luck! Robbi
robbi wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 4:51 PM
I forgot to say what a cute picture that one of John with the dog is. Also, the one with all you guys and Frances. I adore Frances and all of you too. What a cute picture!!! Robbi
Jo in Chelan wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 4:54 PM
I'd have to say my trusty Bernina 1130 sewing machine. It sews like a dream. I love to do LOTS of quilting on my pieces and this machine makes it SO easy. I also love my copper batik stamp I bought in Bali. If I had to wish for a special gadget or gizmo, I'd wish for a tool that would cut perfect circles in fabric; up to 4" wide!
Ann in Georgia wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 4:55 PM
I love my Babylock Embellisher. It's so much fun and things get done quickly....almost the best part. However, I must not forget my Pfaff Creative 2170 Sewing Machine.
Elaine Millar wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 4:55 PM
My favorite "new to use in quilting" is my PC. I love designing in Photoshop and more easily grabbing ahold of what layered things will look like. I also like manipulating images and them either printing or screenprinting on fabric. Thanks for asking...
Ann Pugh wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 4:57 PM
New little toy? A litttle roller to press seems at the sewing machine. No hot iron needed. Mine is set in a beautiful turned wood handel.Useful, beautiful, ecolocicaly friendly!
Paula Hewitt wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 5:06 PM
Shiva paintstiks and rubbing plates, and my new embellisher machine, and and and many things i like and still want!
KLRK wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 5:12 PM
What I use the most, this last year (and actually my whole life) is pretty "low-tech". My favorite gadgets are my imagination and sense of humor. The best notion is my creativity, which helps me to bring my imagined ideas into reality. But both would be challenging if I did not have my handiest tools - my hands! (Yes, pun intended!) And the best part is, we all have them; no matter how rich or poor or how old or young we are. An artist lives in us all - just some of us are still figuring out how to use those gadgets, notions and tools... :0)
Diane D. wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 5:14 PM
I bought a Bendable Bright Light (from Dream World) at Houston last fall. Since I quilt on an ancient Bernina 1130 the extra light is wonderful!
Brooke wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 5:28 PM
3. My yard-sale Bernina. 2. My soldering iron. 1. My needle-felting machine, because it allows me to embellish almost as fast as I can think! Also, since I have already had 2 wrist surgeries, I think this will extend my productive years. As I look around myself at guild meetings and see so many people cut back or give up doing what means so much to us, I wonder what other tips and products can help us stay creative.
Debbie L wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 5:31 PM
My new stand alone bobbin winder! I LOVE this gadget!! It makes me happy everytime I use it. My mom got it for me as a birthday present & it just makes winding bobbins so easy.
Carol Palmer wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 5:40 PM
I don't know if Misty Fuse counts as a tool, notion, or gadget, but I sure love that stuff! It fuses without ruining the hand of the fabric.
Ann wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 5:45 PM
My new Black & Decker D2030 iron because I finally replaced my old leaky iron.
Anne Marie Desaulniers wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 5:47 PM
That would be three. My trusty Bernina 1530, my heat gun and acrylic paints. With these three, I can make magic!
Brigitte Haydel wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 5:49 PM
I would have to say it is my computer. I have taken so many online classes this year to learn so many new techniques and also purchased many technique DVD's. I don't know what I would do without my computer and the internet.
Catherine wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 6:02 PM
I would have to say both Liquid Thread and the fusible thread by Superior. I've been having a blast with both these products. I use these instead of fusible in many situations.
Suzanne Riggio wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 6:09 PM
My needle point tweezers! For a frantic few days last week I lost it. My son found it. It had fallen onto the shelf below the machine. I use those tweezers to pick out paper bits from sewing through tracing paper, to undo a bad seam, to hold an errant thread so I can clip it, and myriad other jobs.
Gloria wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 6:35 PM
The Bendable Bright Light. I love it. It is attached to my sewing machine, and is bent downwards so that the the bright, full white lighting is shining directly onto my sewing area. It's better than any light I've used in the past. Best bucks that I've spent in some time.
Kat Bryan wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 6:43 PM
I don't quilt too often and when I do it's usually strip quilts so I like my rotary cutter. It certainly makes things go faster and more accurately.
Sharon Neth wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 6:46 PM
My favorite tool for my Fiber Art has to be my spinning wheel, since for my last big project, I used all of my cotton fiber to spin all the singles, to weave the fabric, to make my tea pot for the Cloth Paper Scissor's "Tea Party" contest. My other favorite tool that I am hooked on this year has been, my used dryer sheets that I get out of my dryer and how well they make my colors just gleem on my projects! I also love the ability to use the dryer sheets to make my images on fabric seem to look like they are ghostly or bold depending on the paint that I use! The best part about used dryer sheets is that they fit into my tight budget and that makes me grin from ear to ear!
Jillian from North Dakota wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 6:53 PM
I'm in love with the Elmer's Washable School Glue--glue basting seams before sewing (or attaching by whichever means) has changed my world!
Juanita Olson wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 7:31 PM
My new favorite tool is the discovery of water color pencils. I use them on fabric; paper; when stenciling and to enhance mat board when framing pieces of fabric art. They are just like paints but less messy!
Cory wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 7:36 PM
My favorite quilting gadget for quite a while has been the circle thread cutter. I do a lot of chain piecing and the thread cutter allows me to quickly cut the thread chains apart without accidentaly cutting fabric. Thank you for offering these wonderful fabrics. Take care and God bless, Cory
Judy Rys wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 7:41 PM
I've been having lots of fun with UTEE and my heat gun.
Stevii wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 7:53 PM
I love the new Bohin fine line chalk mechanical pencil. It marks with a fine line that always stays fine..a line strong enough to stay when I want it, but not so strong that I have to live with it forever. Lots of colors to load into the pencils so I can always find a color that shows up.
Cathy wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 8:09 PM
My Shiva paintsticks. I already need to replace some. And especally love the iridescents. Fabulous effects.
debby wolff wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 8:20 PM
far and away it is my embellishing machine. it is so fun to play with, i love wool, and all fabric (lets be honest here), punching into other fabrics to create special effects is so liberating and fun, i mean FUN, FUN, FUN!!!
Wendy L Starn wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 8:21 PM
I got my very first digital camera a little over a month ago, and it's currently my favorite gadget. I can take pictures of a small drawing and enlarge them on my computer. I can take progress photos and see my whole piece from a "distance." I can take a picture of fabric, and turn it into black & white to check value. I can take inspiring nature pics in my back yard. I can post on my new blog and Etsy shop. And I can maybe even take decent photos of my pieces to enter shows. Least favorite, but often used gadget: the trusty seam ripper, of course!
Jamie Fingal wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 8:35 PM
Something very simple, but it has made my life easier - a "doll embroidery needle" - for embroidery thread. How else can you secure all those heavy and unusual objects on your art quilts? It is extra long, and you can get a good grip on it when sewing. I never leave home or my studio without it.
Christine wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 8:50 PM
I think my favorite tool/technique I learned this year was how to carve my own rubber stamp out of an eraser at Lyric Kinard's Surface Design Sampler Platter workshop. Very cool!!
Rooth wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 9:16 PM
I have this incredible clear heavyweight 18" ruler I got from a trade show recently. I think it's from a constructuion company. It's heavy enough to hold everything jussssst so. I also would be remiss if I did not mention my 1960's Singer school model. I have hmmm 6 or so and love them! Rooth or the other Pokey named after the Pokey lil Puppy
Jenny wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 9:33 PM
One of my favorite tools is the slap bracelet that I bought from another quilter. She covered it with funky fabric and added a pin cushion to the top. I love that it actually fits my wrist and is so comfortable that I often forget I have it on and can be found wearing it when I'm doing things like the after school car pool! Thanks for entering me in your drawing.
Debbie wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 9:55 PM
My favorite toy in the past year has been using fabric paints of all kinds. I love playing with color and shape!
Karen Malcolm wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 10:03 PM
My husband has his entire wood shop organized with partitioned, flip top plastic boxes. He has about 100 all labeled with the contents. I do crazy quilting and had various vintage buttons and trims stored in containers with no rhyme or reason all over my sewing room. After watching me spend valuable sewing time searching for a button or charm I knew I had but couldn't find he gave me a few spare boxes from his shop. It was well worth the time it took to sort and label everything as now I can find exactly what I need in seconds. As my collection grows I sneak to the shop and steal another box.
Sequana wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 10:31 PM
I bought a beautiful handmade wrist pincushion on Etsy that I just LOVE. I chose the fabric from the buyer before she made it. It's just perfect; I don't know why I've never had one before.
Lynne in VT wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 11:17 PM
Decorative threads and yarns. I've had great fun finishing the edges of quilts and postcards by couching them along the edge to hide the batting of a raw edge finish.
liz Kettle wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 11:21 PM
Water soluble stabilizers! LOVE the stuff. It seems there is no end to it's uses. Thanks for sharing the puppy photos. Liz
carol denning wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 12:11 AM
My favorite new tool is my husband's Janome 6600.I haven't told him I use it...but "cruise control" is definately a pleasant feature. (My machine is portable {a New Home} and great for classes.)I like the ability to experiment via both machines!! PS Shelter dogs ARE the best!
Monika Hollie wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 2:47 AM
After really hurting my left (working !) hand with a standard hole punch I ordered the Big Bite Crop A Dial II and now I can attach eyelets, brads, grommets and, and, and without even having to hold the tool in my hands ! And it has a very long handle so I can work in the middle of the mostly smaller items I am doing. What a great gadget and time saver. I like adding little metally things to my art quilts, paper collages etc. and now I have even more fun doing it ! Love both of your magazines. I drop everything else when they come in the mail. Always saves my day ! Greetings from Germany - Monika
Karen South wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 3:13 AM
This is an easy question! My Clover desktop needle threader. It has taken the frustration out of threading needles!
Christine Bell wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 4:02 AM
My favourite this past year has been pelmet weight vilene, I love using this as part of an art quilt 'sandwich'. It provides a wonderful and stable base for quilting and embroidery, with batting placed on top of the vilene the work still quilts beautifully. Embroidery is a joy and no hoop is required.
Doreen Grey wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 7:12 AM
I would have to say that my favourite thing for the last 12 months is my Embellisher and the second most favoutite thing is my heat gun. If I can't punch it with the needlefelt machine then I can burn it with my heat gun-nothing is safe anymore.
Caron Mosey wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 7:26 AM
I've been working on a Dear Jane quilt this year, so it would have to be my plastic templates. Don't know how I'd get this thing "squared up" without them.
Maggie wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 7:47 AM
Hmmm. what to pick. I think it must be Aurifil thread - the 50 weight cotton for piecing. Made in Italy from Egyptian cotton. no lint in the machine, super fine & strong, lots of colours, & you get literally miles on a spool Maggie
Connie Haack wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 7:49 AM
My "new" favorite gadget is my Huskystar felting machine. I enjoy the textures and fun looks I create with it. The new ideas I think of are endless. My mind is always creating! I want one of every thing!!!
Sue B. wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 7:49 AM
As a beginning quilter, I have to say the internet. It not only has a wealth of information, but I also research items and read reviews before I buy. Then I purchase what I need on line and have it delivered right to my front door. It also gives me access to materials not available locally, and communication with other quilters and artists.
Lenna Andrews wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 8:19 AM
-What has been your favorite quilting or fiber art gadget/notion/tool that you have used this past year? Why do you love it so much? It has to be my new Brother 60-stitch computerized sewing machine. It's purfect for making quilties, journal quilts, ATCs and sewing on paper, which I do a lot. I never had a machine with such stitch variety before and I love what it adds to my fiber work! Thanks for asking -I do love following the Quilting ARts blog and hope to submit something to the magazine soon! : ) lenna
MichelleJ wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 8:22 AM
Oh, the felting attachment for my Bernina - it is so much fun. Making felt, punching and texturizing fabric, creating "new" fabrics with scraps. Every project is a surprise since you cannot predict exactly what will happen.
Jane LaFazio wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 8:38 AM
ayk. so much choices. I guess my fave, most practical is the Floss-Away thread storage thingy. (little plastic bags attached to a large metal ring.) I've been hand stitching since I was 16, and for the first time in my life, my embroidery threads are organized, neat, and arranged by color. All this for only $7!
Alice wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 8:39 AM
My favorite tool this past year has been Sewers Aid. When my thread is just not cooperating, either in my sewing machine or in my hand this stuff makes it behave and flow smoothly. I can't count the number of times I was ready to throw in the towel on a project when Sewers Aid has come to the rescue. Decorative and difficult thread ... Take That!
Belinda Spiwak wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 8:47 AM
I recently discovered quilting/fiber arts and love the inspiration that Quilting Arts gives me. I love to use the Shiva paintstiks and the Prima flowers on fabric. My most fave thing to do is to dye muslin with the Adirondack Color Washes with a spritz of the Luminarte Radiant Rain. I love the doggie pictures. My burning question now is - which person looks and acts the most like each dog? Thanks for the givea-away. Belinda
Doreen Kinkade wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 9:11 AM
My Janome embellisher. I love playing with all the rovings, yarn and funky fabrics. Love the article in the latest CPS by Kelli Perkins on ATC's. What a whole new experience for me.
Angela Grasse wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 9:18 AM
Great question! I love my computer and my Epson printer. The printer uses permanent ink so I can print on fabric. It's great fun! My digital camera and scanner also have to be included in my favorite things. They allow me to create with my own images.
Sandy Jandik wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 9:19 AM
My favorite tool at the moment is the embellisher. It's fun and helps me be more creative. Your fabrics are wonderful Love the dogs. I couldn't work without mine. He sees to it that I take breaks and play/love.
Diane Petersmarck wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 9:37 AM
Tim Holz Grungeboard is wonderful stuff. It's not fabric and it's not paper, but it's way cool and very versatile and fun!
Shari Adkisson aka NM Creatrix wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 9:47 AM
How can I limit it to only one tool? That would have to be my sewing machine, as I use it for so many things. Just a $100 Kenmore, but it works like a charm. I am saving my pennies for a thermofax machine, which would immediately move to my all time favorite
Lynn K. wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 9:51 AM
My favorite new tool is my Viking needle felting machine. It lets me do some really organic work with wool roving and lets me combine knitting into art quilts - its a great way to combine the two types of fiber art! :) By the way, my westie is almost as shy as your Maggie. He trots away as soon as he sees me grab the camera. The pictures I do have of him are because someone is waving food at him behind me or he has just woken from a nap. Love all the poochies!!!
Miss Snips wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 9:51 AM
my first and always favourite quilting tool is my rotary cutter. I have a "thing" for triangles and in 1985 discovered the rotary cutter, mat and ruler -- how much easier it has been to cut those triangles and they are always accurate
Fulvia wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 9:53 AM
My very large, white cutting mat.
Peggy Dlugos wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 9:55 AM
I would have to say it is my hands, for without them, my creativity goes no where. It is with my hands that what's inside my head and my heart is made visible. When I look at my hands I see my mother and my grandmother. It is through their hands that their creative spirit was taught and passed on to me. I love that my hands look like their hands. When I sit and sew, all I have to do is look at my hands and I feel them at my side encouraging me to bring forth my soul.
Marie Johansen wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 9:56 AM
I bought some "Little Genie Magic Bobbin Washers" on a whim to use with my Free Motion Slider. I could not believe that they would do much - they are so small! Now, I keep them in the bobbin case all of the time. A great little item!
Angie Platten wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 10:09 AM
I actually have two small little gadgets that have made my sewing easier. I purchased a package of Bobbin Buddies and wow, do they ever make a difference when taking out a wound bobbin from the stash! No more unwinding ever bobbin in the box to remove one due to thread tangles! My other favorite is a Bamboo Stiletto. It is so wonderful for easing seams, especially uneven ones I have doing mixed media work. It is like an extension of my finger. I keep it right by my machine and have actually gone and purchased a back-up "just in case"! I'm not usually into gadgets and keeping up with the latest and greatest but these two items are gems I don't ever want to be without!
Dany S. wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 10:09 AM
I think I have every quilting gadget ever made, but the one that I appreciate every single time I use it is a cheapie (maybe $4) item--a little thread cutter button that self-sticks onto the side of my sewing machine and allows me to cut sewing threads easily. No more fumbling for the thread snips, which were always hiding under something. I hadn't realized what I was missing until I got used to sewing on a Janome with a built-in thread cutter. After that, I was lost sewing on any other (cutter-less) machine till I found those stick-on buttons. Now every one of my sewing machines has one.
Dorothy Cochran wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 10:20 AM
I have fallen in love with Misty Fuse. I love the fact that I can just keep on adding layers. I still have new things that I want to try.
Joyce wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 10:23 AM
My favorite tool to use has been my printer and computer. I love to print pictures and images onto fabric to use on mini quilts or tags.
Lisa wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 10:32 AM
Lately, it's been my dollar-store spray bottle! I recently pored through all my past issues of "Cloth Paper Scissors" to get inspired (my muse had gone on vacation) and was intrigued by an article by Lesley Riley in which she dyed muslin by painting the top edge with acrylic paint, hanging it up, scrunching the bottom of the fabric and spraying the painted top edge with water. The paint runs down the fabric, meandering in and out of the wrinkles and the color gradually fades from dark to light along its length. It's a cool effect and tons of fun; you never know what it's going to look like until you're done. I took a fabric book class from Lesley a few years ago and always find her work inspiring. The fabrics you've been making are beautiful, and it sounds like that technique just as much fun. Perhaps if you were to ask this same question again next year, several people would answer, "my screen printer!"
Veronica Richmond wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 10:52 AM
My favourite new toy is my Huskystar needlefelting machine. It's fantastic for reusing and recycling - I've taken incredibly ugly fabrics and felted them onto leftover scraps of batting from other project, played with overlays of shiny fibres and organzas, then used the resulting fabri as the basis for hand embellishing projects. Ugly fabrics and batting bits used up, and a unique surface to create on! I'm having a blast with it!
Carol Wiebe wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 10:54 AM
I'm with Julie on the Caran d'ache watersoluble crayons. I had never used them until I went to a Fran Skiles workshop at Nancy Crow's wonderful Timber Frame Barn. I went to *** Blick and bought them before coming back to Canada! I don't know, now, how I ever did without them!
Judi Goolsby wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 10:55 AM
Boar Bristle Brushes! I am an artist with no formal training until I took a Beginning Painting class using acrylics last Fall. I have done surface design for years and art quilts but to "paint" a painting, never. But...I am painting on canvas and stitching over it by hand and I am having the most wonderful time and opening up lots of new doors!
Nancy Ward wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 10:56 AM
My all time favorite tool would have to be rotary cutters, rulers and cutting mat (tool in this case is a group!). I am a paper crafter as well as a paper cutters for me, thanks to my rotaries. I can cut every type of paper from wrapping tissue to foam board with ease. When a wheel becomes dull and skips when cutting fabric, it goes over to the craft side of the table. In addition to papers, I've used a rotary to cut just about every type of craft supply, including polymer clay, metal sheeting, craft foam, wire to ribbon. Even though I use dozens of my quilting supplies and tools with paper, my rotaries are #1.
Robin G wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 11:28 AM
My Crop-a-dile hole punch. I have been making journals and this can punch through the fabric covers in a snap and through many interior pages in a breeze! Love the photos of your dogs--they are adorable. Also, I have been inspired by your June 11 post about the thermofax machine--wish I could find one reasonably priced!! Robin G
Shirley wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 11:43 AM
I have been playing with color crayons and Water Soluble oil pastels by Portfolio..whats of applications on fabric and paper, and shading is magic!.
Nicole (ikkinlala) wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 12:07 PM
My scissors, because I use them for just about everything I do.
Leslie Anderson wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 12:30 PM
I just recently got a new sewing machine with all the fancy quilting stiches. Can't wait to find the time to really explore all the things it will do!
Cyndee wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 12:48 PM
Where to start and how to choose a favorite is very difficult. I looked at my stash and somehow decided that I could use my Hera marker to help my in last minute fix-ups in choosing where to add Tsukineko Ink as I don't care to start over.
Rosi wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 1:07 PM
My favourite was my Janome Xpression, because you can create wonderful backgrounds for stitching in a short time.
waterrose wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 1:11 PM
The old rotary cutter. Every time I really think about it I am so relieved that it was invented. When I first began quilting there was the making the templates, marking the fabric, and then cutting with scissors all of those pieces! I'm sure my hands would have been worn out by now if we were still left to our scissors!
Linda Rael wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 1:16 PM
Hi Pokey, First of all I have been meaning to write and tell you we all love your awesome new kitty- he is HUGE. I do cat and dog rescue here in SAn Antonio- I foster ready to be euthanized animals rescued from the pound- we are working with the city to be a no-kill shelter by 2012! Anyway, I show everyone your pic of you and kitty. My favorite new playthings this year are my embellisher, gelatin printing,making funky thread baskets and containers. I also recently bought an old Elna fancy sewing machine (it's computerized!)and I'm having fun using all the decorative stitches. Anyone need a row of camels on their pillowcases? Hugs, Linda
jill Crowther wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 1:19 PM
I love my embellisher, I can make a new fabric, change an old fabric, cut it up, stitch into it, shape it, bond it, and its all so quick to do.
Joanna Strohn wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 1:43 PM
Greetings to Louis Bolton from Sargeant TopGun, USMPC (United States Miniature Pinscher Corps -- Louis is now a member!) As Sargeant sez, there is nothing better than being the co-owner (with the best buddy cat, Miz Pows) of a quilting studio. As a result, the woman who thinks she is the boss has discovered the best tool possible ... really cheap fabric that can be placed over the cutting/ironing surface to keep our hairs contained. (And you thought a MinPin can't jump to the top of a counter? Just watch!)
Jeannie wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 2:05 PM
The screen printing kit my hubby gave me for Christmas. Housework, gardens, groceries, cooking - who has time for those with my new toy waiting patiently to play! Have a great summer. Love the pups.
Denise Losczyk wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 2:16 PM
My most recent favorite tool is my HP All-in-one Printer, Copier and Scanner. I purchased it a couple of months ago, and now I'm just beginning to use it more. I've used it to enlarge drawings for quilt design, to reduce text from my sewing machine manual to put by my sewing machine (the part on tension adjustment, since I always seem to get it mixed up!), and to print photographs of my quilts. It also scans slides and negatives, and prints from and saves to CD/DVD, and photo cards. My other favorites are: my Husqvarna embellishing machine, and my Pfaff sewing machine.
Amy wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 2:16 PM
My favorite new fiber art tool has been my embellisher. I have used it to felt fabric together, create light and shadow with roving and attach novelty yarns to just about any fabric. The possibilites seem endless.
Michelle Rosborough wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 2:20 PM
My bone folder for making creases
Terri Spock wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 2:41 PM
OK, this is my third attempt at writing this email. My computer doesn't like me today. I want you to know I absolutely adore Quilting Arts as well as all of your other magazines. I have started a new project of turning an old pair of cotton white cover alls into a jumper. While at the book store, I found the summer 2008 Altered Couture magazine, and the projects in it hit the nail right on the head. See I am a virgin when it comes to turning jeans into a skirt. I have no idea as to how to do this so I have been researching the internet as well as all of my back issues of Quilting Arts and other sewing magazines. The only thing now missing from my list of materils is some beautiful hand dyed fabric. I live in Jax FL and we do not have any type of shops that sell hand dyed material or the actual material you need to dye fabric. I have never dyed fabric before so I am a bit skeptical and don't want to risk ruining my jumper. However, I have discovered an old way of getting color into fabric my using every day crayons and an iron. Back in the 1940's-1950's women did not have the type of medi we have today. So they used crayons to fill in pictures on fabric and then hand embroider the remaining things in the art. If only I had some hand dyed fabric as my background. So I have too say my favorite tools right now are my crayons, water color crayons, stamps, stamp pads and endless colors of embroidery thread. Thank you for all of your inspiration and I can't wait to try out some of the projects provided in your magazines.
Carmen wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 3:33 PM
I am really enjoying needle felting! I have used the Janome needle felter and the small Clover hand tool with the brush pad. It is amazing what you can do with those little gadgets. You can felt any type of fabric and get wonderful textures and effects. It's very addictive and the little hand models are easy to bring along for hand work projects. Love the doggie pictures!
Jean DeSavage wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 3:35 PM
My current favorite thing is the "Add A 1/4" ruler that I got from Carol Doak, and the trick she showed us during her class. She showed us that if you tape the add a 1/4 ruler to the edge of a postcard, you can flip it up and down, so that you can trim your fabric to exactly 1/4 inch on paper pieceing projects. This is done by folding the paper back on the line, put the paper to the edge of the postcard and flip the add a 1/4 ruler down and you can then use your rotary cutter to trim the excess fabric to exactly 1/4". This makes the whole paper pieced project so much easier and neater. I also absolutely love my new Babylock Decorator's Choice machine. I especially love the stitch that looks like hand stitching. It really gives a good look when stitching in the ditch, on in straight line quilting. Unfortunately, because the stitch does a backward and forward step, you can't use it in FMQ. I also like the meander stitch that is available.
Shelley wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 4:02 PM
My favorite tool that comes to mind first are the leaves that I collect from trees around my neighborhood. I use them to stamp their image onto fabric after I have painted acrylic paint on them. I love my paints, shiva paintsticks, and my fusible mediums & glues, & gel mediums that help me add whatever I like to the surface I am creating. Lastly, I LOVE my sewing box my husband bought for me. I can take my "stash" with me anywhere and it is the perfect size! Oh, and the Quilting Arts Magazines are the best tools of all!!!
Carol Sloan wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 4:07 PM
mine would be the awesome 4' x 8' table in my studio (that I am currently re doing!). I can work on quilting stuff on one end, paint in the middle and do mixed media art on the other end! I store my knitting/crochet yarn,glass,rusty stuff and beads under it in these fabulous little organizer shelves from IKEA. Thanks for the opportunity to win and keep up the awesome work! Carol
Ticia wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 6:46 PM
My new favorite notion is a pair of tweezers. I use them for pulling up bobbin thread, tying and burying knots when quilting and grabbing all the little threads once I have ripped out a line of sewing.
Jeannie wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 7:08 PM
My $2. Gardening Knee Cushion from "Big Lots" can produce 24 custom stamps. I just burn the design with a wood burning tool. Instant custom stamps at a great savings!!!
Kim Gibson wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 8:22 PM
Gotta be my homemade circle sewing gadget... there are alot of stitches that can be used in a circle... including writing!
Maggie Hunt wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 8:28 PM
hmm well thats hard to narrow down to one but other than my sewing machine i would have to say these super thin glass head pins from clover(clear head) and my LARGE spring handled fiskars...they look like the small snippers but are 7-8" as can be and cut anything easily
Donna Funnell wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 8:59 PM
My favourite tool this year has been my sketch book that I have painted the pages and I have collaged ephmera from events in my life from memories of my dad who passed away in November, my holiday in Florida, my trip to the Canadian quilting conference in Newfoundland this month. It is art I can do anywhere and I can focus on new ideas for future projects.
Whitney wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 10:14 PM
Trash!!! I have been trying to find uses for common throw away items by putting it into my art. My favorite trash has been paper towels, newspaper, fortunes (from fortune cookies) and coffee filters.
susan clayton wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 10:31 PM
I have just discovered fluid acrylics and have been having a great time learning all the ways I can use them. The cyan intimidates me, but all the rest rock.
annie dehgan wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 10:56 PM
My Purple Thang. It keeps my index finger away from the machine needle. I can be a klutz.
Cheryl wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 11:15 PM
What has been your favorite quilting or fiber art gadget/notion/tool that you have used this past year? I would have to say Misty Fuse, which I just discovered earlier this year. Why do you love it so much? It is so light weight that it doesn't change the feel of the fabric at all, even when using several layers, which I like to do. And if used properly, it doesn't show, even when it's on top of the fabric.
Denise Funfsinn wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 11:26 PM
My favorite fiber art tool has been the heat tool. It's been fun drawing and burning into Lutradur and other materials.
donna anderson wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 11:46 PM
My Bernina . . . . i neglected her there for a while. Painting & mixed media took over my life. I recently had her overhauled @ my kinda local Mennonite Bernina Sewing dealer in Hinkletown PA. They are great . . . finally found the problem by just sitting & sewing in their barn. Bonnie Bernina is perfect now. It feels like old times . . what can i make next.
Sue wrote
on 22 Jun 2008 12:30 AM
I love my Quilt Pounce. It's a time saver as I don't have to draw each line separately and it brushes off easily, no need to get the quilt wet to erase the lines, excellent product.
Linda wrote
on 22 Jun 2008 12:33 AM
I love my printer. I just had a family reunion and used Bubble set and printed vintage pictures. I put them on tote bags,did some free motion quilting and then did a hand blanket stitch around the edge. The relatives loved them and I had so much fun making them.
Russty wrote
on 22 Jun 2008 12:40 AM
I think my favorite tool is Wonder Under. I fuse most of my work together, so it saves me hours of turning fabric and hand stitching like I use to do.
Marilyn Foreman wrote
on 22 Jun 2008 8:19 AM
My favorite is the quilting gun - the same gun used in retail stores to attach price tags, etc. I was introduced to this during a class I took at the Bernina Cotton store in Asheville, NC. I just love it - prefer it way over the pins, clips, etc. that seem to be quilters favorites. It is so easy to use, especially when arthritis and hand problems arise during aging. The pieces stay together and the devise can be used on several thicknesses.
Karin wrote
on 22 Jun 2008 9:05 AM
It has to be rubber erasers. I carved my first one in a class with Lyric Kinnard in April and I am hooked. I love carving them and them stamping anything I can!!
laura Casey wrote
on 22 Jun 2008 9:59 AM
On my new Bernina 440 BSR Quilting Foot...I'm just a quilting fool coming up with quilting designs and not worry about the actual quilting-the BSR (stitch regulator) does it all! Best thing since a crock pot....
kathy schwabeland wrote
on 22 Jun 2008 10:03 AM
I would have to say my small quilt group has been my favorite resource this year. I love being able to see what others in my group are doing, share ideas, and learn new techniques from them.
Paula Sherman wrote
on 22 Jun 2008 10:53 AM
My new Huskystar embellishing machine (had to have it after seeing on the show). I have had it only one week, but rushed home cut up jeans, felt, yarn. It is so much fun and will add a whole new dimension to create along with my sewing machine.
Marlene Jensch wrote
on 22 Jun 2008 12:16 PM
I've been having so much fun with my EZ Glitzer Applicator Wand. I can apply hot fix crystals, pearls, etc with it. I've applied the crystals to my art quilts, cloth art dolls, clothes and most recently, I'm embelishing my 3 Towers of Snowflakes that I'm making from your Quilting Arts Gifts special issue. I'll send you pix when I'm finished. Thanks for all the wonderful opportunities you give us to be creative!! Marlene (:
Joanne in Gibsons wrote
on 22 Jun 2008 12:44 PM
My favorite "new tool" is a wool threader. I am just starting a new needlework canvas and using wool...and this wool threader is is heavy duty and doesn't break...and saves time and frustration in trying to thread my canvas needle.
Arlaine Furcht wrote
on 22 Jun 2008 1:40 PM
Tiger Tape - I bought the new size 1/2" at a recent quilt show. It's used to make half-square triangles. You put two squares right sides together, put the 1/2" tiger tape down the middle and sew on each side. Then cut apart. No marking!
Chris Schutz wrote
on 22 Jun 2008 4:38 PM
My favorite tool remains my Janome Xpression felting machine. Almost limitless possibilities. A close second is my Camera / Mac / Printer to fabric trio. What a great time to be alive. In the early 50's I thought heaven was the invention of that tool with the hand pump marking hem lines in chalk as you twirled in front of it! Dreaming of a thermofax after years of hand cutting stencils, but I wouldn't trade the Xpression for it. Lovely fabric work Pokey. And a special thanks for bringing Quilting Arts and Cloth, Paper, Scissors publications to us. Wonderful education materials in every issue. Chris in WA
Genevieve wrote
on 22 Jun 2008 4:53 PM
My favorite fibre-arts "tool" of this last year has been matte gel medium. I use it with acrylic paints to bind and paint my work, or as washes - all done before i do my sewing/quilting. I love it because I never have to worry about layers of fabric shifting about, and this "notion" can be used with ANYTHING! Thanks.
Sue Martin wrote
on 22 Jun 2008 5:31 PM
Love all the comments - hmmm -- yet more ideas to try. This year I discovered fusible batting. Love it - no more spraying while looking so cuddly in a gas mask! Also, Dye-na-Flow paints! While I have great fun dyeing fabric, the paints are great when you need that one shade you don't have. They are also great in a spray bottle for kids' to tie dye with.
Sue Turner wrote
on 22 Jun 2008 5:34 PM
Favourites - well it's so hard to choose when there's always something new to try in every issue of QA and CPS! Mixed media has been my big new thing this year and I've loved making fabric paper - there's so many combinations to make and so many ways to use it.
Marina Guard Whigham wrote
on 22 Jun 2008 6:17 PM
My favorite tool lately is the Melt Art Melting Pot. It's great with UTEE and beeswax among other things. I've been trying my water soluble crayons along with the melted UTEE with great results. I love experimenting with melting and burning!
Sandy wrote
on 22 Jun 2008 6:28 PM
Foiling! I just love adding bling! I seem to want to add just a little or lot to each piece. Sandy
Diane Ansel wrote
on 22 Jun 2008 6:29 PM
Tarlatan. As a base for small wall hangings done by hand; it's lightweight, easy to sew through and keeps its shape while still being malleable.
Jackie K. wrote
on 22 Jun 2008 9:02 PM
It has to be the scrap catcher I made recently that is the most enjoyed and used notion/tool/gadget for me this year. 2nd place is the large rotary cutting mat and 3rd place the teflon pressing sheet. But the scrap catcher combines the great memory of creating with my friend in a fast and impromptu manner that resulted in a highly functional item from on hand stash.
Susan Ragan wrote
on 22 Jun 2008 9:04 PM
My personal favorite quilting "toy" or tool that I've used this year is my friend Ginger's Embellisher - needle felting machine. It gives such creative freedom to me, and to my stash of fibers. They can now run amok over garments and quilts!
Debbie wrote
on 22 Jun 2008 9:46 PM
I use the hexagon shape in a lot of things that I make and a year ago I came across a hexagon shaped ruler for rotary cutting hexagons! It has markings for cutting different size hexagons and it's so easy to use! Better than a plain template.
deanna Heitschmidt wrote
on 22 Jun 2008 11:09 PM
I love my machine felter... my husband surprised me with it as a gift! He does pay attention :) I've had a lot of fun with it... I have lots of "experiments" that hopefully one day will make their way into a bag or something else. Right now they are pinned up on my board and serve as inspiration for future projects.
Connie Allen wrote
on 23 Jun 2008 6:38 AM
I have so many favourite things to use it's hard to choose, but I love my sewing machine, and more importantly the variegated embroidery threads I use in it. I also love incorporating other yarns in the work that I do and using up all my scraps - no wastage.
Patty Stone wrote
on 23 Jun 2008 7:02 AM
Freezer Paper. I have been quilting and sewing for a long time, and I probably have every gadget known to man. But one thing I would not be able to do without is freezer paper. I can find so many uses for freezer paper when making art quilts. I really don't know how I ever used to applique without it. Patty
Bone Folder and Embossing Heat Tool wrote
on 23 Jun 2008 7:48 AM
I use these tools all the time. The bone folder creases lines in paper but I can also "draw" a great line down the side of a ruler with the bone folder and use it to "crease" fabric. And the embossing heat tool dries everything -- paper, fabric and if I am careful, my fingernails!
Judy Colpack wrote
on 23 Jun 2008 7:49 AM
I use these tools all the time. The bone folder creases lines in paper but I can also "draw" a great line down the side of a ruler with the bone folder and use it to "crease" fabric. And the embossing heat tool dries everything -- paper, fabric and if I am careful, my fingernails!
Kim Lawonn wrote
on 23 Jun 2008 8:29 AM
My favorite item is my computer. I use it to keep up on some of the latest technology. It helps to spur my creativity. There is so much that can be done with digital photos and techniques. Lots of fun and almost instant results!
Trish C. wrote
on 23 Jun 2008 9:21 AM
My favorite so far are my SetaColor paints. I love painting fabric, scrim and doing sunprints and shibori with them. It is so wonderful to make "custom" fabric.
Sandra Spagnuolo wrote
on 23 Jun 2008 10:45 AM
ME!!! I am easy to operate, run on coffee and inspiration, adjust to most situations and clean up when the day is done. What more could I ask for! Have an awesome day Pokey.
Ellen Osten wrote
on 23 Jun 2008 10:54 AM
I am a gadetholic. I admit it. Gadets scream my name till I have it and even if I never use it at least I have it! Several items got me this year. The Embellisher, cool, easy and not intimadating at all. Pfaff Creative Vision, WOW! The Tin Lizzie 18, had to pay someone to set it up for me (had to or I would have had to spend time in the looney ben) and can't wait to have new adventures with it. And then, the Butterfly Loom all kinds of potential there. Dye with Kool Aid. And now you bring up the fun you are having and I am starting to hyperventilate!Oh My.
Pamela wrote
on 23 Jun 2008 11:01 AM
My current obsession is felting with my Clover Felting Needle Tool & Mat. I can't stop using it! I use it for needle felting (dry felting) and I use it in combination with wet felted projects - once they are dry. There are so many different ways to use felting - some examples are felted jewelry, flowers, wall hangings, rugs, purses, scarves, shoes, hats, nuno felting and embellishing quilts - it just does not end! It is very addicting! And you can put everything you need in a ziplock baggie & take it with you! It's fun, easy and everything you felt you can use - either for the intended purpose or you can add to it or cut it up and use it in something else. You can find felting books at the library or book store - you do not need very many 'supplies' and they are not expensive and any age or skill level can felt - with fabulous results.
Jean wrote
on 23 Jun 2008 11:27 AM
There are several, but without my rotary cutter, I probably wouldn't do nearly as much quilting. My husband's aunt says that everyone should make one quilt totally by hand to appreciate what our foremothers did, but I can't imagine cutting out so many pieces with scissors.
cindylee monroe wrote
on 23 Jun 2008 12:18 PM
my favourite tool has got to be the "interlibrary loan program" @ my local public library. i live way out in the country, do not have internet access at home, don't always have a lot of money, and cannot go to houston quilt festival every year. just by paying $2 for postage for each book, i have "taken classes" and enjoyed the creative juice of sherrill kahn, littlejohn & beaney, maggie grey, valerie campbell-harding, sandra meech, jane dunnewold, davila, waterston and many others. i keep journals with notes of the things i have learned from the books and jot down ideas for future projects. every time i need a nudge i pick up quilting arts magazine (ah... no brainer!), but sometimes i need more info or more than a nudge. i can sit in my quilt space with a cuppa coffee and turn the pages of those wonderful books (for up to 4 weeks). ya gotta love it!
Polly Bean wrote
on 23 Jun 2008 12:26 PM
It has to be cheesecloth! What else can mimic breaking waves and melon rind at the same time?! You can dye it along with your pfd fabric and have it the same color so it blends; you can use it white to depict ethereal clouds passing the moon. You can draw threads from it to make it irregular or you can use it straight from the packet evenly woven. I'm told it will clean windows but we don't go there, do we. As if this weren't enough, it's only about $3,50 (ish) a packet.
sally miller wrote
on 23 Jun 2008 12:41 PM
My favorite tool must be my sewing machine. Now I have been blessed by a kind husband who gave me a Singer Featherweight for travelining. He is working out of town and for the summer I get to visit. That means, I am in a place with no family, no friends, no car, no house and no kids. whoo! time to sew! Sally Miller
milkcan wrote
on 23 Jun 2008 1:20 PM
My Embellisher! Seriously! I cannot imagine needle felting without it! You can do so much stuff that isn't even felt too!
Heather wrote
on 23 Jun 2008 1:34 PM
My favorite 'discovery' this part year: Angelina Fibers! I LOVE working with them -- they add a little (or a lot) of sparkle to your creations and I love the unexpected nature of it: you never quite know how they will look once you take the heat off. (Of course, the same could be said of me after a hard day at work - heheheh... ;) I also enjoy discovering new ways to use them.
Toia wrote
on 23 Jun 2008 1:56 PM
I am in my pyro phase. My soldering iron, heat gun and burning tool are my new favorite toys in my sewing room.
Leilani Pierson wrote
on 23 Jun 2008 2:13 PM
Okay - this is a hard one... b/c there are so many things that i love and "need" for my art... but for this year... i think i will have to say that Aleene's Tacky Glue has been my favorite and most used necessity. I have been playing around with gluing things on my artquilts and other fiber art pieces... and really love the quick effect of it and how it doesn't kill my fingers to push a needle through several layers of quilted pieces. ;)
Peace wrote
on 23 Jun 2008 3:31 PM
Caran d'ache neocolor II crayons and textile medium. As long as I use the textile medium to spread the crayons, it's permanent. I love the water color effects and it's worked on every fabric I've tried.
Jeanne Garrett wrote
on 23 Jun 2008 4:02 PM
My sewing machine. My husband bought it for me on my birthday. I know he appreciates that I love my gift, but has regrets when he sees our kitchen table has become the sewing station.
Nikki Wheeler wrote
on 23 Jun 2008 6:32 PM
I don't know if I made the deadline -- it's only 3:30 on the West Coast. My favorite tool right now would be a piece of white muslin. I like to wad it up to use for painting frames, shoes, other fabric, or anything I can get my hands on. I also end up with a beautiful piece of fabric to use in my art quilts and mixed media pieces.
otm creations wrote
on 24 Jun 2008 8:49 AM
ok, only one?? that is so very difficult...i am new to this so i feel everything i pick up is my fav, and then i get your magazine, and add new favs....but in looking at what i use the most i have to say, my june taylor ruler that lets you cut in 1/4, 1/2 inch or 1 inch sizes up to 12 inches at once...i have gotten so use to that ruler that i recently tried to use my friends regular ruler and could not figure out how to do it...i was sooo would be my new (stand alone)side winder for my bobbin, love that!! ask me this same question next month and it will be my new mqr! (robotic longarm quilting machine..:) however, without my camera, puter, machines, fabric, software, wonderunder (and the like), paints, pencils, exactos, classes, books, magazines, etc. (and my imagination), none of this would be possible...
Polly Bean wrote
on 24 Jun 2008 10:05 AM
Too late as an entry, and somewhat tongue in cheek: Here's a great idea girls! Get your husband to vacuum in the bathroom for you. Mine did a great job, not realizing you can't vacuum those fluffy mats. I now have yards and yards of fluffy yarn to play with. (Took a while to unwind it from the cleaner and also get rid of the burning smell though!) Polly
Cheryl wrote
on 24 Jun 2008 12:09 PM
My Gocco machine. It's a Japanese screen print maker that is like a Thermofax but much smaller, about 5x7 inches. My DH bought it for me for Christmas and it's the greatest!
Sharon Neth wrote
on 24 Jun 2008 1:51 PM
I was wondering if you have choosen your winners, yet? I am so excieted that I can wait!
Susan D wrote
on 24 Jun 2008 3:44 PM
I'm a beginner to quilting arts, in the past I have been a more traditional quilter and all the tools and notions I've seen recently really get me excited. So far the best thing I've used is the paint sticks. I've stenciled, drawn, shaded and have had a ball so far.
Pam Waller wrote
on 24 Jun 2008 3:45 PM
My most favourite and most used mixed media aid is the range of GOLDEN Mediums, Gels, Gloss, Matte, Soft etc. They are all wonderful and so versitile for gluing, transfering images, paper fusion, sealing and using with dyes and fabric paints. Paint soft Gel medium on painted paper and it will resemble the texture of soft leather and is great for sewing into!
Leanne Williams Shell wrote
on 25 Jul 2008 3:59 PM
My farvorite summer time tool is my Brand New BERNINA AURORA 440 QE. I have only had it a few weeks and I am having the best time taking lessons and learning about the machine and its stitch regulator foot and the embroidery module that I purchased extra! I love Bernina!!! Leanne Williams Shell
annulla wrote
on 3 Sep 2008 3:33 PM
Just curious ... how did Sophie Bolton get her name? I ask because this uncommon name appears in my family tree.
Gwen Goepel wrote
on 3 Jan 2009 1:33 PM
My newest "tool" for the new year is tons of beautifully colored dryer lint from all the laundry that was amassed in my home during the onslaught of college boys and all of their visiting friends these last few weeks! I look forward, starting today, in using as much of it as I can in my confetti style beach scenes documenting for later years how fortunate I have been to live right on the Crystal Coast of North Carolina.
berlin wrote
on 27 Feb 2009 10:50 AM