Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday Favorites: Supplies

When I'm sewing, there are a few essential items that I cannot work without. These include music (I have the radio on or use my iPod with speakers) and chocolate. I do really well with building up my chocolate stash right after Halloween and Easter. Thanks kids!

A few other things I wouldn't want to do without:

My olfa rotary cutter~ absolutely invaluable~ but a word to the wise: change your blades when they seem dull! Don't try to make it cut by pressing harder and harder while cutting: it could cause you to slip and slice your finger or hand.
Yes, I'll admit that this happened to me. On Mother's Day! Two years ago (or was it 3?), I had enjoyed a quiet family brunch prepared by my hubby and kids and was still in my PJs when I decided to get some sewing done. Hubby went to Home Depot, kids went to play video games. And then, the SLICE. Being a nurse, I knew as soon as it happened that I'd be needing some stitches. I wrapped my finger in some tissues (I wasn't going to get blood on good fabric!) and went upstairs to round up the kids for a fun Sunday afternoon trip to the Urgent Care Center. Not seeming at all concerned about the bloody wad on my hand, my son (the older of the two kids) whined about having to stop his game to get dressed and go with me. My daughter came willingly, thank goodness; she is usually the more stubborn one of the two. So with one hand held up by my head and one hand on the steering wheel, I drove the three of us into town. Luckily the office wasn't busy and also it seems that bleeding people get through triage more quickly than those with sore throats. The kids (probably around 8 and 5 at the time) got to see the whole experience from flushing the cut with saline, getting injected with the lidocaine, and getting sewn up with ugly black silk sutures. We had left a quick note at home for my husband, so he called my cell phone in a panic when he arrived home from the store. I had my son talk to him while they worked on me and we told him not to come since we'd be done there soon.
In a way I'm glad the kids were there with me because it forced me to act brave and not cry (or curse out loud); I said OUCH a few times and grimaced a bit but I really was trying not to scare them!
Anyway, enough rambling on about it, the finger is fully healed. Just be careful when you use a rotary cutter! Change your blades to keep them sharp, use caution, and you should not have any problems.
A cutting mat~ again, a must-have. Helps with measuring and cutting in a straight line, and of course provides a work surface on which you'd use the above mentioned rotary cutter. Happily for you, I have no stories to accompany this item.

Metal yardstick. Self explanatory. I also use a metal 12" ruler for smaller jobs. That one is pink!

Fray-Check from Dritz is magical. Keeps your ribbon and webbing ends from fraying. Also works well on fabric. I'm not a drug user, but I do kind of enjoy the smell of this stuff in small amounts and only when I'm working with it~ not for fun! But I like the smell of Mod-Podge even more :)

A good fabric glue is another favorite tool of mine. Sometimes just a drop will hold your edges in position for sewing. There are other good ones out there, but this is the bottle I have right now. For things other than fabric such as buttons, metal clips, etc. I use E-6000 adhesive. It is very strong but must be used in a well ventilated area.

If anyone out there has a favorite tool they use for their craft, I'd like to hear about it! Comments are always welcomed here :)