I think it was last week that I shared my thoughts on the perfect sewing machine for piecing. Things get a little confusing this time of year–Night is day, and well, there is no night. Here is our deck around one in the morning a couple of weeks ago.
I like this light, but it can confuse things. That and the ongoing litany of picking up dirty socks and empty cereal bowls makes for a endless summer.
My thoughts about the perfect sewing machine for piecing came from crafting the Ultimate Supply List. This supply list is for machine piecers. I have been adding to it off and on for several years and this is the version I most recently finished. I hope all of you will find helpful. If you find I am missing your favorite tool, please let me know.
The Ultimate Supply List
Sewing Machine–the best piecing machine has the needle up/down, a free-hand-system, and a heel tap needle up/down. I talked about all of these things in detail as well as useful sewing machine feet in an older blog post.
Stitching Thread–My favorite is Auril 50wt. Color 2600, but really any light weight, low lint producing thread will do the trick.
Pencils- I don’t have favorite but I never use mechanical pencils–I press down to hard and am chronically breaking them.
Pens- I am very partial to these pens. I kind of can’t leave without them.
Sharpies–Got to have them, because you do
Hi-lighter- I like the old fashion kind.
Pencil Sharpener–These little gold ones that you can find at art supply stores are very good and very portable.
Dressmakers Chalk–I am still searching for my favorite here too. Currently, I like these Singer Dress Chalks mainly because of the neat storage container.
Erasure- This is the one I’m using right now
Awl- I find that this Clover one fits neatly into the palm of my hand.
Seam Ripper- Unsewer, whatever you want to call it. You need one.
Snips- My favorite snips are this little pair that you wear around your neck. I have three of them. I purchased a new pair but was very disappointed to find that they are no longer made in Germany and are no longer nearly as good.
Other Snips– In a perfect world, you’ve got a pair next to your iron and a pair next to your sewing machine.
Quilter’s Chalk or Pencil- I suppose you could get by with just dress maker’s chalk but it is nice to have a pencil too.
Measuring tape– I like to have both the 60” and the 120” versions around.
Value Finder- I used mine ALOT when I first started quilting. While it is not the entire story about color it is a good tool for training your eye. (No image because I forgot to put it in my box!)
Rotary Cutter- I like the Olfa 60mm with the old school handle. I suppose that is more about habit than anything else. I like how it feels in my hand and it provides good visibility for cutting free-hand.
Rotary Cutter Blades–Change them often, you will feel better about yourself if you do.
Paper Scissors- So you are not tempted to do something bad with your good scissors.
Sewing Scissors- KAI everything is the best by me. I thought there was nothing new under the sewing sun, but I was wrong. I just discovered these scissors last year and could not be happier with their performance.
Sewing Machine Needles- I usually just travel with universal needles. But have an assortment in my at home stash.
Camera–Getting into the habit of taking photographs of your work in progress is an excellent thing to do.
Portable Printer- This is great for documenting your work. As you are working, take pictures, then print them out, and glue them into your journal. Cannon has a tiny new one called a Selfie which I have heard is very good.
Glue Stick- The jury is out here. I have not found the ultimate glue–Any suggestions?
Journal– I like a really big journal that can lie perfectly flat.
My journal has all kinds of things in it. I use it to document progress on deadlines, think through particular pieces, and as a store house for information. Straight pins and magnetic pin cushion–I do like these clover pins with blue, white, red, and yellow heads because they are stable enough to use frequently with an assortment of textiles.
I like these thicker pins for pinning on the design wall.
Design Wall–My permanent design walls are covered in white felt, but my portable design wall can be white fabric, white felt, or white batting.
Sticky Notes–I find these things very handy for jotting down measurements and other notes that I need to move around from the design wall, to the cutting mat, to my journal.
Calculator–I suppose most of you use your phones, that is just fine. I am getting there, but in the meantime, I like an old school calculator.
Lip Balm–if you don’t pack it, you will wish you did.
Hand lotion–ditto here. I have been enjoying these hand balms.
Readers– It you are that age, and I am, you will need them.
I think that covers it. Did I miss anything? Please let me know.