Painter’s Tape

Who knew how helpful painter’s tape could be in the embroidery studio?

I’ve enlisted painter’s tape to tackle quite a few chores in the sewing room. I find it especially helpful when I’m positioning embroidery on jacket backs.  I place the vertical beam of PAL2 on the vertical center of the jacket then place a piece of painter’s tape along the horizontal beam.

I use the painter’s tape to help square the garment in the hoop. Once the jacket is hooped, I check the position of the design by selecting the machine’s trace feature and watching the needle as it travels along the tape. If the foot (or needle) doesn’t glide along the edge of the tape in a straight line, I know I have to rotate my design (or heaven forbid, rehoop!).

It’s also perfect for holding things out of the hoop like the ribbed knit t-shirt I shared with you the other day.

But some people like to use it to hold things in the hoop. Monika Tocknell from Oma’s Place applies the tape to the edges of appliqué fabric to hold it in the hoop.

And even on the back of the hoop.

Painter’s tape comes in handy when you want to hold down dimensional embroidery.

Here, Monika tapes the butterfly wings down so she can stitch the body of this adorable butterfly.

This week’s homework assignment

What household tools do you use in your studio?  Post your comment and TWO, that’s right TWO lucky winners will receive a $50 shopping spree to use at Oma’s Place.

The winner of last week’s assignment

Fun stuff, wouldn’t you agree? Aren’t you amazed at the sheer number of embroidery designs available to us? Is there a design you’ve been looking for and have never been able to find? Tell us what you’re searching for and you could win a $25 shopping spree to the Designs in Machine Embroidery website!

And the winner is… Calla!

“The textured designs are really awesome!!  I like butterflies don’t get me wrong, but how many different ways can they be done? lol lol”

 

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113 Comments on Painter’s Tape

  1. Nancy
    October 3, 2012 at 12:48 pm (7 years ago)

    My household tool:

    I go to the Dollar Store and purchase paper tape. Similar to what is used in doctor’s offices. It sticks good and leaves no residue.Same as your use of painters tape.

    Reply
  2. Sandy Kent
    October 3, 2012 at 1:02 pm (7 years ago)

    I put a piece of it on all my hoops, so when Im at class everyone knows which hoops are mine. You can also put your name on the tape. Blue tape is a staple for me, also you can wad it up and use it for all those stray threads.

    Reply
  3. Marsha H
    October 3, 2012 at 1:05 pm (7 years ago)

    Painter’s tape is great when w

    Reply
  4. Terry Colucci
    October 3, 2012 at 1:05 pm (7 years ago)

    I use painter’s tape like crazy! And, because you can often re-use a piece, I have little strips along the front of both my desk and sewing cabinet, so they are ready when I need them. I also use a small paintbrush for dusting out bobbin cases, whisking away little snips when I clean up appliqué edges before I stitch further (BTW, painters tape is good for that, too). I use a chopstick…not really a tool as much as a utensil, I guess, for helping turn nice sharp corners, doll fingers, etc. AND, I keep ginder clips at the ready too…but that’s an office supply, isn’t it? Screwdriver and pliers are obvious…also not a tool, but I use brush picks (you know, fancy toothpicks?) for catching those funny little snips that be under the plate on the machine from time to time. The tiny little brush grabs them, and I don’t have to take off the plate, so it saves time, when I’m in the middle of something.

    Reply
  5. Karen U.
    October 3, 2012 at 1:06 pm (7 years ago)

    I buy lint rollers so when I do applique and trim then I roll the roller over the design and it picks any little fuzzies left behind.

    Reply
    • Terry Colucci
      October 3, 2012 at 1:07 pm (7 years ago)

      Oh, yeah…I do that, too. Good one!

      Reply
      • Liz Fox
        October 15, 2012 at 7:00 am (7 years ago)

        I got the Big Sticky (as seen on tv) and it works wonders. It even picks up all the tiny threads left over from cutting jump threads … and pins on the floor. I use it on my cutting table and also in my scrapbook area.

        Reply
        • Elaine Marty
          October 30, 2012 at 9:15 pm (7 years ago)

          I got that big sticky too, it is sure better than the old one that I have. I love it for getting all the thread and lint off of Varsity Jackets. They have to be the worst for picking up everything. I used to give the kids little sticky tape roller when they bought jackets from me. But I can’t find them anymore.

          Reply
  6. Terry Colucci
    October 3, 2012 at 1:06 pm (7 years ago)

    eek! BINDER clips, not ginder clips…sometimes my wireless keyboard does its own thing when I type…LOL

    Reply
  7. Marilyn
    October 3, 2012 at 1:07 pm (7 years ago)

    I always have a small screwdriver near by and a coffee mug to hold tools.

    Reply
  8. Kris Garst
    October 3, 2012 at 1:10 pm (7 years ago)

    I use painters tape all of the time- it’s much easier than pinning for me! I also use a magic eraser as a pin cushion.

    Reply
  9. Marsha H
    October 3, 2012 at 1:11 pm (7 years ago)

    Oops! Try again! Painter”s tape works great when working on in the hoop projects. Also, works well picking up cut threads lost on the floor!
    I use tweezers to assist with rip outs of thread or stabilizer when an actual embroidery OOPS happens!!!

    Reply
    • Rusty Weese
      October 4, 2012 at 3:27 pm (7 years ago)

      How do you use painter’s tape to keep fabric from slipping inside the hoop?

      Reply
  10. Gail Sabramsky
    October 3, 2012 at 1:34 pm (7 years ago)

    I use a salad spinner for washing fabric I suspect may run. A little water, a little soap, spin and rinse! great for small appliqué pieces or fat quarters.

    Reply
    • Teresa
      October 3, 2012 at 3:39 pm (7 years ago)

      Haa! And get some fun excercise too. What a good idea.

      Reply
      • Elaine Marty
        October 30, 2012 at 9:18 pm (7 years ago)

        What a great idea! Mine has just been sitting in the cabinet for years, I’m getting it out tomorrow!
        Thanks for the tip!

        Reply
    • Helen Walsh
      November 8, 2012 at 7:34 pm (7 years ago)

      What a great idea! I’m pulling mine out and leaving it in the bathroom next to my sewing room.

      Reply
      • ShellEy
        July 3, 2016 at 1:32 pm (3 years ago)

        Great idea! I love the great tips! You sew it’s are awesome!

        Reply
        • ShellEy
          July 3, 2016 at 1:32 pm (3 years ago)

          I mean sewit’s

          Reply
  11. Rhonda Sanford
    October 3, 2012 at 1:50 pm (7 years ago)

    I use a clipboard to hold my hoop while I am trimming applique designs…and I use hair clips to hold my fabric away from the machine…

    Reply
    • Danie
      October 19, 2012 at 9:15 pm (7 years ago)

      I do that to! Really usefull! Best way to keep that fabric clear from the embroidery area!

      Danie

      Reply
  12. Donna randall
    October 3, 2012 at 1:52 pm (7 years ago)

    I use tape and lint rollers to clean up threads off garments and floor too.

    Reply
  13. Sue Cubberley
    October 3, 2012 at 1:56 pm (7 years ago)

    The tape and the croshair lamp is a great idea.

    Reply
  14. Amy Bohner
    October 3, 2012 at 2:09 pm (7 years ago)

    I also use paper tape from the dollar store. If accidentally stitched over, you cannot see it as easily as you do the blue tape. I also use a multi level skirt hanger {metal with clips} to hold the purse patterns I make on a regular basis. My skirt hanger holds 5 skirts or 10 patterns.

    Reply
  15. rosalee suchsland
    October 3, 2012 at 2:15 pm (7 years ago)

    Love painter’s tape, and vet wrap. I keep a wooden chopstick by my 6 needle to avoid joining that group who have sewn themselves. I also have a little clear glass jar (advertising give away) that I put all my thread trimmings from threading into–pretty. and maybe someday, I will make them into fabric with my water sol scraps!

    Reply
  16. angi harrell
    October 3, 2012 at 2:38 pm (7 years ago)

    thr painter tape is a great idea for holding solvy or fabric for applique.i use bobbin donuts in a small 3 drawer organizer to keep the bobbins dust free. lighter colors in one and DARKER COLORS IN THE OTHER DRAWER.

    Reply
  17. Michelle Hall
    October 3, 2012 at 2:47 pm (7 years ago)

    What great ideas everyone has shared. As a relative newby to embroidery I would have never thought of using painters tape for so many things. I do have an old kitchen utensil spinner that I use to keep small tools together in my sewing room. I also just got a pocket shoe holder on my door for other tools or small packages of stabilizer,etc

    Reply
  18. Sharon Stoehr
    October 3, 2012 at 3:12 pm (7 years ago)

    I have a screwdriver, tweezers, and painter’s tape in my sewing room.

    Reply
  19. Teresa Wright
    October 3, 2012 at 4:22 pm (7 years ago)

    I have used painters tape for a long time now in my sewing room. I also like to use Easy Liner (non adhesive grip shelf liner) to keep my hoop from moving around when I am trying to hoop a project.

    Reply
  20. charlene miller
    October 3, 2012 at 4:25 pm (7 years ago)

    I use magnet strips to hold my fabric when doing applique designs

    Reply
  21. Nancy
    October 3, 2012 at 4:41 pm (7 years ago)

    I use grip shelf liner to put under my hoop holder and also under my serger. Makes my serger stay put when I’m speeding along and also quieter. I use an old wooden apple basket as a waste basket at the end of my ironing board ( with a liner) to throw small scraps, threads, etc. without having to lean over.

    Reply
  22. Carolyn H
    October 3, 2012 at 5:26 pm (7 years ago)

    I use painters tape, too. I also use the non-slip rubbery shelf liner under my serger and to keep hoops from slipping.

    Reply
  23. Vicki A
    October 3, 2012 at 5:45 pm (7 years ago)

    I keep a small needle nose pliers in my sewing drawer side of my machine. It helps when a needle gets stuck up inside the holder of the machine, as well as many other uses.

    Reply
  24. Jo
    October 3, 2012 at 6:17 pm (7 years ago)

    I use my husbands vice grips for folding over the magnet tabs, as I have gout in my hands now and can’t get them folded over enough. I also use his metal rules..4 differents sizes..great straight edges…and lengths…

    Reply
  25. Susan Winnie
    October 3, 2012 at 6:58 pm (7 years ago)

    Hammer, small nails, screwdrivers, painters tape, garbage bags, chop sticks are all used in my sewing space. I hang up small projects. Turn things tightened needles up. Oh yea, glad press and seal for machine quilting designs

    Reply
    • Liz Fox
      October 15, 2012 at 7:05 am (7 years ago)

      How do you use press n seal? I love that stuff.

      Reply
  26. Liz Fox
    October 3, 2012 at 7:29 pm (7 years ago)

    I posted the header picture from this page my web web post Does Our Tape Leave Sticky Residue (referring guests back to your site, of course) … but there’s a little twist. I hope you check it out.:-)

    Reply
  27. Kathy
    October 3, 2012 at 8:30 pm (7 years ago)

    I love using chip clips to hold extra fabric out of the way and would be lost without chopsticks. They are great for turning and poking out corners. I have been seeing painter’s tape used and even tried it the other night to keep an applique centered. Great new favorite item to use.

    Reply
  28. Carol Bartlem
    October 3, 2012 at 8:39 pm (7 years ago)

    When my children were growing up all sorts of things would go missing and no one would own up to having taken them. My son is a proffesional painter and one day I was looking for some tape I came across his painter’s tape. Ah perfect sollution to stick down my templates. He was packing up to go on a job and was going off because he couldnt find his tape. After accusing his brothers of taking it and them denying it he was miffed.Upon walking into my sewing room there was his tape Mum he said and I smiled Sweetly and said mothers revenge. I had taken the whole box not just one roll. I also is chopsticks for turning fabric and small amke up brush to clean bobbin cases

    Reply
  29. Tonya R.
    October 3, 2012 at 9:56 pm (7 years ago)

    I also make use of painters tape. It also works great for taping a sandwich bag along the table edge for small scraps and threads when having guild workshops. An added bonus is that it doesn’t mark up the surface! I also use the scrubbies that everyone made from nylon net for cleaning my cutting mat.

    Reply
  30. Mary
    October 3, 2012 at 10:13 pm (7 years ago)

    I use painters tape, masking tape, chop sticks, scotch tape, alcohol, cotton balls, needle nose pliers, clean make up brushes for cleaning the lint out of the bobbin area, vacuum cleaner with smaller brushes also. Plastic meat containers for buttons, and various little items. Many items we never think are household items, we just use them. 🙂

    Reply
  31. Jean
    October 3, 2012 at 10:13 pm (7 years ago)

    I use binder clips, clear packing tape and lint rollers often in my studio. I also use large rubber bands to hold sleeves out of the way when stitching full jacket backs.

    Reply
  32. Linda S
    October 3, 2012 at 10:23 pm (7 years ago)

    I love to use a chop stick to get the corners of collars and cushions square. The blunt end of the chop stick is perfect for ‘poking’ the corner out – much better than scissors that are sharp and can puncture the fabric. I also use old coffee mugs or coffee mugs that have advertising on them and make a fabric cover with pockets on the outside to hold sewing notions and keep them tidy by my machine. The holder helps keep me organized when I am sewing.

    Reply
  33. Donna N.
    October 3, 2012 at 10:36 pm (7 years ago)

    Shiskabob sticks, painter’s tape, different size hair clips to hold fabrics out of the way of the embroidery, and used foil or plastic wrap boxes for my rolls of stabelizers that I want to tear neatly.

    Reply
  34. Chris
    October 3, 2012 at 10:40 pm (7 years ago)

    I use a pot lid rack to hold hoops, grids, rulers, plus much much more. I have a reusable lint roller that’s great for rolling over fabric and picking up loose threads and such. A piece of foam is great as a pin cushion or for cleaning off threads and such from my Olfa cutting mat

    Reply
  35. Gail Beam
    October 3, 2012 at 10:56 pm (7 years ago)

    I love to use painters tape and scotch magic tape. They can both be used over and over and there is always a row of both hanging off the end of my sewing table. The one thing that is good about the scotch magic tape is that it is easy to pull way if it accidentally ends up being stiched over. I like to use those strips that show sizes that are always on the front of sweats and t shirts. They are great to use when lining up material in the hoop and they hang off the side of my table to use along with painters tape and scotch tape. I keep a sharp knife handy to use if I get a thread nest underneath my embroidery. I have a ruler that has mm and cm on one side and inches on the other next to my sewing machine so I can better judge the size of a design. Chop sticks,a disappearing ink pen, and a pincushion with glass ball pins are other items that I keep next to the machine as well a zip bag full of small scraps of solvy and vilene to cover small areas of a design such as faces. I keep a couple of used needles taped down in front of the machine as the rounded ends are good to use on the bobbin threads of fringe designs. I use magic sizing when ironing the fabric to be embroidered and after the embroidery design has been stitched.
    Gail

    Reply
    • Tammy
      January 19, 2016 at 1:39 pm (4 years ago)

      I have a butter knife to use when working with something hot, alcohol, miter cutting box and hand saw, screw driver, pliers, hammer, needle nose pliers, shish kobob sticks, chop sticks, painters tape, scotch tape, masking tape, wire and tree branch cutters, wax and paper towels, mason jars for storage, plastic storage bags and garage tool storage trays. As you can see, there are a lot of items around the house to keep and use in the sewing and craft room.

      Reply
  36. Jolanda Ingram
    October 3, 2012 at 10:59 pm (7 years ago)

    Hi
    I use my husbands soldiring iron to burn away extra stabilizer or rough edges of embriodery items I have made with voil or organza. It works like a charm and everything looks neatly afterwards.

    Reply
    • Betty
      October 23, 2012 at 10:10 am (7 years ago)

      I use a soldering iron to heat seal cut ends all types of ribbons.

      Reply
  37. Becky
    October 3, 2012 at 11:12 pm (7 years ago)

    I use a stubby, short screw driver for my machine, if needed.
    I use blue painter’s tape as a fabric guide.
    I use plastic cable ties around the inside top of a tote bag or bag for a stable opening.
    I use washers if I have to adapt my bobbin size.
    I use plastic milk crate to store projects to be worked on so they will stay together and be portable.
    Chain links can be used as pattern weights (be sure they are clean).
    A 1/4 inch chisel can be used in purse closures to bend prongs.
    A grommet machine for anything with a grommet.
    Paint brush for dusting.
    Canned air for dusting and blowing off threads.
    Plastic garden or pet wire for tote bags.
    Light bulbs to shape free standing lace ornaments.
    Tape measurer for obvious reasons.
    Needle nose pliers for reaching in serger for threads.
    There are many more.

    Reply
  38. Barbara Rowlan Wong
    October 4, 2012 at 12:15 am (7 years ago)

    I’ve read all of the comment and have learned some new tricks, many I already use as well. About the only thing I can add that isn’t mentioned already is using a small electric screw driver to tighten hoops. I can’t seem to get them tight enough and this works like a charm for me.

    Reply
  39. Paule-Marie
    October 4, 2012 at 12:53 am (7 years ago)

    I have painers tape, chopsticks, empty pill bottle bottle for needles, an empty shaker top cinnamon bottle for needles in my go to class kit (needles don’t fall out and I can still smell the cinnamon). I took a sticky roller refill and put it on a paint roller frame and added a long handle so I don’t have to get out the vacumn for the floor. I also keep a spoon to close safety pins on my quilts and a pastry brush to clean my machine. I have a paintbrush, too. I’m sure there are other things in my room that have come from the hardware, cookware and office supply stores that I just can’t think of.

    Reply
    • Paule-Marie
      October 4, 2012 at 12:54 am (7 years ago)

      I also use an empty coffee can for my scraps.

      Reply
  40. Debbie Reaves
    October 4, 2012 at 5:35 am (7 years ago)

    It looks like a lot of us use similar items. I use painters tape, skewers, cheap paint brushes, chalk (from Dollar Store) use a lint roller sheet curled around and placed to the right of my sewing machine so I can toss my thread scraps as I sew. I’m left handed so I have to make myself toss stuff to the right. It sure helps with the little fabric scraps too.
    I use a couple of antique sad irons to hold down patterns/fabric to cut. They come in different weights, mine are 6 and 7 pounds. It will hold down my 6×24 ruler without me using my hand to hold it so I can cut fabric. It’s the best thing I’ve thought up in a long time. You also get a mini work out due to lifting the irons. I keep a fan blowing on me in the summer so I also use them to hold down my cut pieces of fabric.
    I use hook and loop pieces to hold things in place, like my stylus for my machine. It keeps me from losing it.

    Oh goodness, this is fun.

    Take care,

    Debbie

    Reply
    • Donna F
      October 4, 2012 at 10:29 am (7 years ago)

      I love that iron idea! Sometimes it hurts my left wrist to push down on the ruler while cutting and I have one of those old irons collecting dust in my kitchen. Thanks!

      Reply
  41. karen
    October 4, 2012 at 6:12 am (7 years ago)

    Tweezers are a must for getting small threads and pushing out corners.

    Reply
  42. Marjorie Paul
    October 4, 2012 at 7:01 am (7 years ago)

    While doing applique for hand stitching, I use a paintbrush to brush starch 1/4 inch around the edge. The starch is in a 1/3 cup measuring cup with a handle on it, making it easy to hold. Also have three different screw drivers that are treated like gold! And, the painter’s tape.

    Reply
  43. Elisabeth Schaider
    October 4, 2012 at 7:03 am (7 years ago)

    I use toilet paper rolls (the inside thingy) to store the various cords from different machines. I label them with machine name and cord purpose. That way I know which cord belongs where. And when the roll wears out , there are always more, and they are free!

    Reply
  44. Darlene Jacolik
    October 4, 2012 at 7:17 am (7 years ago)

    I’ve also used painter’s tape for a long time. I’ve read all of the comments and found lots of new ideas. I have a stubby screwdriver that is easier to grip then the ones included with our machines. Plastic coated wire works to pull elastic through casings.

    Reply
  45. Sandi Cunningham
    October 4, 2012 at 8:04 am (7 years ago)

    I use many of the above items, but I also use my nursing supplies: hemostats – to pull needles and grasp things tightly, surgical blades – to cut bird’s nests, etc., magnetic needle holders – opens to hold about 10 threaded needles and can be closed up (also good for cross stitch), suture removal scissors – has a little C on one blade to pick up stitches and cut closely, retractable ID badge – holds my embroidery scissors or snips to my shirt so I’m not searching and “iris” scissors that have the tiniest fine blades. Some are “disposable” sterile items–once opened cannot be used for surgery. Some big conventions have surgical tools for sale, look online too!

    Reply
  46. Dee
    October 4, 2012 at 8:38 am (7 years ago)

    Love to read about household items we can use in our embroidery! I use surgical tape for my embroidery – like you use painters tape. Also, I use chopsticks for pushing out corners, a plastic potscraper to clean my cutting mat after cutting fleece, fusible batting, etc.

    Reply
  47. Rosalyn
    October 4, 2012 at 9:43 am (7 years ago)

    I have a baby monitor by my machine. When a design will be stitching for awhile, I can take the other monitor with me as I do other things around the house. I can hear what is going on with the machine. I have found this very felpful when stitching free standing lace.

    Reply
    • Donna F
      October 4, 2012 at 10:30 am (7 years ago)

      What a great idea! I will have to get my granddaughters out of the garage sale box and put it to use.

      Reply
  48. Lorel Maple
    October 4, 2012 at 9:53 am (7 years ago)

    I use a rubber sorting finger to easily tighten my embroidery hoops. It gives me all the leverage I need to successfully hoop my projects. I also use an inexpensive mobile phone sticky tray, meant to toss on a dashboard in your car. They catch the pins I remove and toss aside while I’m sewing, without ever taking my eyes off my line of stitching. In addition, I use an old, handmade rolling pin which has lost one handle as a sleeve roll. Covered with several layers of an old blanket, it reminds me of my past generations when I reach for it and that I should probably go upstairs and make a dessert for my dear sweetheart!

    Reply
  49. Donna F
    October 4, 2012 at 10:24 am (7 years ago)

    I have several! I use and old ice pick as a stiletto when sewing. I have a magnetic extension tool that I use to pick up pins and needles that have fallen into hard to reach areas. I have a roll of painters tape, a small piece of sandpaper. And several sets of needle nose pliers. But please don’t tell my husband about any of this! LOL

    Reply
  50. VickiT
    October 4, 2012 at 6:09 pm (7 years ago)

    Yes, painters tape is amazing. I’ve been using that for about 5 yrs or more now. Love it.

    I also use dental floss to clean out my tension disks on my machine at times.

    Artists paintbrush – works great to get down into the bobbin case to clean out all the lint.

    Hubby’s computer kit I bought him a number of years ago has a little vaccuum cleaner in the kit so that I also use in the bobbin case.

    Lint brush – after clipping all the jump threads I roll them over the back to pick up the loose threads so I don’t have to pick each one off one at a time.

    Reply
  51. Peggy
    October 4, 2012 at 6:11 pm (7 years ago)

    I use q-tips to clean out the bobbin space. I use a hammer to flatten seams on jeans. Also those hair things to hold fabric back when embroidering. Chop sticks for corners. The yellow stuff on boxes to stiffen purse handles. Shoe laces for handles on small purses.

    Reply
  52. Katie
    October 5, 2012 at 1:22 am (7 years ago)

    I use the stretchy hair bands from the $ store to put around thread spools that would otherwise leave long tails all over the drawer as there is no place on the spool to attach the thread.

    Flower nets [that come over some flowers at the grocery store] work on the large spools of thread to keep them from unwinding.

    Reply
  53. Nancy
    October 5, 2012 at 7:42 am (7 years ago)

    I too use painters tape, but the two other household items I use are 1. Coban – That is the self-stick stuff that they put around your arm after they draw your blood and you can get it in the bandage department at Walgreens, Walmart etc. I have one strip placed around each edge of my “inner” embroidery hoop. It holds the hoops tighter and really prevents slippage of fabric that can cause puckers when embroidering. 2. Glad Press and Seal – I have a spot on my machine (the bobbin tension disk) that occasionally the thread accidentally loops over and catches on while sewing causing a disaster. I create a shield on my machine using a small piece of the press and seal that prevents it from happening. The press and seal leaves no residue on my machine and is easily removed and reused.

    Reply
  54. Gerry Barrett
    October 5, 2012 at 4:17 pm (7 years ago)

    I have a pair of those scissor looking things (hemistats?) from the hardware store I use to help pull things out of small spaces! Also use a good quality, sable fairly small paint brush to clean my bobbin case area. If you just touch a piece of lint with the brush, it will pick it up & is small enough to get around the area.

    Reply
  55. Cheryl Wrighgt
    October 5, 2012 at 5:40 pm (7 years ago)

    I use bamboo skewers as a stiletto for guiding fabric under the machine needle. It also works for picking out basting stitches. I use Glad press and seal in small strips to wrap around embroidery thread spools. It sticks to itself. I also use an old wooden magazine rack/stand to hold the embroidery hoops for my machine. A wooden letter file holds little odds and ends like templates, extra magnets and small packets. I love all the other tips, will use them.

    Reply
  56. Doreen
    October 6, 2012 at 11:11 am (7 years ago)

    I use a wheeled tooled tool box from the hardware store to tote my supplies to classes and it can be moved around the sewing area to different machines.
    I also use office supplies – binder clips for seams instead of pinning, metal dividers & book ends, magazine holders for books, magazines, hoops & templates. Office carousels for scissors, chalk, seam rippers, tape measure for different work stations.
    Mugs for pens, pencils and scissors.
    Small metal bin with little plastic drawers for storage of smaller items buttons/needles.
    Magic eraser for cleaning goo off hoops.
    Peg board with hooks and shelves for supplies.
    Assorted tins and pill containers for safe disposal of used or broken needles, pins & rotary blades. (Note please remember to safely dispose of these items. Clearly mark and seal these containers so no one gets hurt.)

    Reply
  57. Carolyn Morgan
    October 6, 2012 at 1:09 pm (7 years ago)

    Well, I would say blue painter’s tape, but you already covered that one! However, another use for blue painters tape is for taping water soluable topping on items (like thick towels) that cannot be hooped.
    I use a small fan from the $5 store to blow across my FSL as it dries, a large metal T-square is great for cutting large pieces of fabric, masking tape lint brush is a must, phone books for flattening FSL (sandwiched between paper towels), single-edge razor blades for removing stitches, baby-sized pony tail holders for bobbins, plastic rectangular baby food containers with lids for just about all little things like pre-wound bobbins, and my most prized and treasured item is a prayer rock for when I’m feeling overwhelmed or frustrated by things that aren’t going “as planned” and to start my day in a quiet moment.

    Reply
  58. Mary Haggenmaker
    October 6, 2012 at 1:11 pm (7 years ago)

    Funny, but in my many many years I have never used painters tape. I do use scotch tape, the magic kind to put on the embroidery thread when I am done. I also have a peg board that stretches about 8 ft. across the room and I have thread holders and also use the pegs to hold my hoops. Also use them to hold ribbon spools. I use my big vacuum cleaner on the “hose” setting to do a thorough job on my bobbin area cleaning. Also on the list would be the hammer, pliers, screwdrivers, and oh yes, can’t forget the green nylon scrubby things to clean up my cutting mats.There is an old kitchen table that has a place underneath to store the extension and I use the extension to hold my stabilizers. I have a clothes basket that I use to put my “to be mended” items in. I also have a set of craft knives and a Dreml tool.

    Reply
  59. Judie Renfrow
    October 6, 2012 at 6:45 pm (7 years ago)

    I am always dropping pins on the tile floor. They are hard to see and I sew barefoot – not a good combo. So my DH went to Harbor Freight and bought me a mechanic’s magnet on a stick — works like a charm. I can sit in my chair and wave it around my work area and it is so strong the pins hop to it. Caveat – it cannot be used by someone who has a pacemaker. It’s very strong and I don’t bring it close to my embroidery machine. But cleaning up the floor is so easy now. It’s been great reading about everyone’s tips — most of which I use. Sharing is a wonderful thing.

    Reply
  60. Judie Renfrow
    October 6, 2012 at 6:47 pm (7 years ago)

    Oh, one more thing. I buy the individual pedi toe separators at the beauty supply store – $1.49 for 12 and I use those to put on my bobbins to keep the threads tidy.

    Reply
  61. Karen
    October 6, 2012 at 8:14 pm (7 years ago)

    I use many some I can think of are skewers, pliers, egg cartons, utensil holder, jars, containers, bottles of all kinds, spray bottle, hammer, t-square.

    Reply
  62. Ladybelle
    October 7, 2012 at 6:46 pm (7 years ago)

    Thanks for the tips on painters tape for embroidery. I don’t think anyone mentioned freezer paper for applique and paper piecing.

    Reply
  63. le floch, anne
    October 8, 2012 at 10:01 am (7 years ago)

    I use binder clips to keep fabric out of the way. I prefer using glue sticks to temporary glue for my ITH projects, it sticks better, also I did not like having a messy area near my embroidery machine when using temporary spray adhesive…I also use surgical equipment to recover things that get stuck in tricky places! and a magnet at the end of a long flexible tool, great for saving my back when I drop a metallic object on the floor.Tha

    Reply
  64. le floch, anne
    October 8, 2012 at 10:02 am (7 years ago)

    I use binder clips to keep fabric out of the way. I prefer using glue sticks to temporary glue for my ITH projects, it sticks better, also I did not like having a messy area near my embroidery machine when using temporary spray adhesive…I also use surgical equipment to recover things that get stuck in tricky places! and a magnet at the end of a long flexible tool, great for saving my back when I drop a metallic object on the floor.Thanks fro your useful tips. anne

    Reply
  65. Donna Gauthier
    October 8, 2012 at 4:10 pm (7 years ago)

    Thanks everyone for all your fun ideas.(1) I get 6, 8, 10″ circle stainless steel rings (@ office supply stores) & hang my pkgs of basting tape,stitch witchery,etc. Rings have a screw center so can easily take what I need. My 6″ one holds acrylic see-thru rulers,
    stencils-all shapes, & elastic quilt trace patterns and hangs on peg board.(2)Ceramic stiletto metal ‘lace drape tool’ is most used item in my tool box. It is 6 3/4″ long, needle point 1 1/2″, has grip portion 1 3/4″. Fine, strong needle point pulls out threads from material as well as under sewing machine when threads nest, helps with gathering, safe for guiding material.(3) I also use Large 1″ thick screw bolts, cover with saran wrap or material, make weights for pattern cutting. (4) Bake bean cans (Busch’s tall cans) are coated white inside-help prevent rust, safe for rotary cutters. (5)Crystal Lite,and Ocean Spray drink containers have lids and are just right for storing rotary blades, I use 1 for new & 1 for old blades.(Ha! Painters tape slides right over top of container.6)Just used small strip of P/Tape over bobbin thread & looks like it holds.

    Reply
  66. karen
    October 9, 2012 at 8:44 pm (7 years ago)

    I use those office clips to keep bulky fabric out of the way when embroidering, they work great, I bought a pack that had different sizes in it and now I have sizes for all different thicknesses of fabric. I recently found some really nice ones in really great colors other then black!

    Reply
  67. Irene Fuller
    October 10, 2012 at 6:18 am (7 years ago)

    I love all the neat ideas…many thanks I collect mascara brushes, soak them in hot water and dish soap,rinse well and dry them well and they are perfect for cleaning lint from small places on my sewing/embroidery machines

    Reply
  68. Deb
    October 10, 2012 at 9:25 am (7 years ago)

    I have enjoyed reading the tips & tricks. Always something to learn! I have almost all the above items except the salad spinner, great idea, & I also use wooden skewers for sewing on buttons (to raise the button off the fabric), as a stiletto, for holding bobbis on thread spools (when using multiple threads & bobbins on a project & pointers when teaching classes. I also use the no-slip shelf liner in my thread drawers & drawer organizers.

    Reply
    • Sue Howard
      October 15, 2012 at 12:16 am (7 years ago)

      I like the salad spinner idea also!

      Reply
  69. Sue Howard
    October 15, 2012 at 12:13 am (7 years ago)

    Someone mentioned using dental floss to clean tension discs & it reminded me of how I have used dental floss, but very differently!
    If I need to do some gathering along a skirt edge (or whatever), I lay dental floss along the gathering line & do a zigzag stitch OVER the dental floss—NOT stitching into the floss! The floss then pulls up very easily & I don’t have to worry about gathering threads breaking, as they can when doing the traditional method of gathering.

    Reply
    • Liz Fox
      October 15, 2012 at 6:45 am (7 years ago)

      What a timely suggestion. I will be helping make lots of Tutus for a Christmas patent (still don’t know what for) but this will really help. THank you!

      Reply
  70. Marcia
    October 18, 2012 at 9:12 pm (7 years ago)

    Painters Tape is the best thing to secure parts for in-the -hoop projects. I use very small zip lock bags with the color number to store individual bobbins and sort them by color group into plastic containers.

    Reply
  71. Danie
    October 19, 2012 at 9:19 pm (7 years ago)

    I use the rubbery fabric that we can use to prevent a tablecloth to slip on a table. Some people use it under area rug. I use strip of it in my hoops when the fabric is really light or when I only hoop the stabilizer. It prevent the stabilizer from slipping and there is enough tickness to tighten everything in place so that it doesn’t move!

    Danie

    Reply
    • Debbie Reaves
      October 20, 2012 at 7:12 am (7 years ago)

      What a cool idea. I have so much of that stuff in my craft room, you’d think I owned stock in the company. I have it under everything I think may slip.

      Love this post. Thanks for the great ideas.

      Debbie

      Reply
  72. Judy Houston
    October 30, 2012 at 11:26 pm (7 years ago)

    I use glad press @ seal wrap as a stablizer on the top instead of the wash away stablizer. Works great and much less expensive

    Reply
  73. Helen Walsh
    November 8, 2012 at 7:53 pm (7 years ago)

    I use dishwasher cleaned 6oz. tunafish cans for pins. I place a small magnet inside the can and have several placed at different stations in my sewing room. I can safely throw my pins into the cans wherever I am at the moment. The can will even pick up pins that drop on the floor. I also use a shoe organizer on door for my glue gun, etc. Another one for my stabilizers. I use Lock N Lock storage containers for my threads. They stack nicely on each other and keep my thread dust free. I sort them by color family. Easy to see colors.
    Thanks for some great ideas here.

    Reply
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