10 Household Tools for the Machine Embroiderer Part 2
We received such a positive response from my recent blog: 12 Household Tools for the Machine Embroiderer that I decided to revisit this subject.
- JoAnn Connolly of Garden of Daisies Embroidery thinks craft foam and a cardboard carton are great reusable items to keep your hoops clean when using temporary spray adhesive. To get a custom fit, use your inner hoop as a template. Trace around the inside edge and cut the foam ¼” smaller than the traced line. Leave the foam “whole” so that it will cover the entire hoop when spraying.
Place the hoop in the bottom of a deep carton. Place the foam over it before spraying. Pull the carton’s “flaps” in a bit, if possible when spraying, to contain the overspray. Make one for each hoop.
- Toilet brush – What’s a toilet brush doing in your sewing room? Scooping up threads from carpeting. When a pristine toilet brush is swept across the carpeting, the bristles easily grab all threads and even pins. Stash it under your sewing desk so a family member doesn’t use it for its original job
- Rubber mallet - A rubber mallet lets you apply force to grommets, snaps, rivets and the like without damaging the metal parts. Keep it handy in your sewing room.
- Needle nose and flat jaw welding pliers. Needle nose pliers are great for turning small items. I used them all the time when turning tabs for one of my Designer Handbags.
Welding pliers have a 3 ½” wide flat jaw that firmly grasps the corner of a stiffly-interfaced handbag. I don’t have to worry about damaging the fabric by stressing a small area like the needle nose pliers.
- Toothpick. A toothpick is ideal for sewing on buttons by machine. Just place the button over the toothpick to create a ‘thread shank’ when using the button foot and the zigzag stitch with no stitch length.
- Lisa Archer from Pickle Pie Designs loves to use Scotch tape for their In the Hoop designs. It’s great for holding fabrics to your stabilizer while your machine stitches each step of the design.
- Rubber mat for hooping and placing under your machine. I like to use the lines on a cutting mat as reference points when hooping but the hoop slips all over the place on the sleek mat. To avoid this, I cut a hole in a rubberized mat so I can view the cutting mat behind it. Make one for each of your hoops – you’ll be glad you did.
- Nylon cord: a cone of nylon cord is handy when creating ruffles. I like to zigzag (or couch) over the cord when creating long ruffled strips. Just make sure you don’t stitch on the cord. The nylon glides through the stitches when the cord is pulled on one end.
- Baker’s Cooling Rack: after stitching lace on water soluble stabilizer, I rinse the lace and place it on a baker’s cooling rack. The air circulates around the lace and speeds the drying process.
- Starch – the original stabilizer. Don’t overlook the power of starch when preparing fabrics for embroidery. Soft, supple cottons and linens benefit from a generous spray of starch before adding additional stabilizers for hooping.
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