Tuesday, July 21, 2009

School supplies: Not just for kids!

Hi – I’m Kathy Niemann, technical pattern editor for American Quilter magazine. Buying school supplies is fun for kids AND quilters.
Small portable stapler
Keep this with your sewing tools. It is handy in general, but if you do wool appliqué, you can staple baste the pieces to the background. The wool closes around the staple holes when the staples are removed.
Use it to draw circles for a quilting pattern (fantastic for making the Baptist Fan) or to make any size yo-yo templates.
This may be the ultimate school supply for quilters. Many patterns call for drawing a diagonal line from corner to corner and sewing on either side of the line to make half-square triangles. Sharpies show up well and then you cut the lines away. If you have difficulty keeping track of what order to sew blocks together, number them in a place that will be in a seam allowance. Then sew in order. My favorite Sharpies are the ones with retractable fine points -no caps to keep track of!
Pencil carrier
Have fun selecting one from all the styles, colors, and materials available. They serve as a wonderful centralized place to keep all your marking implements. The zippered ones make a great little portable sewing case for thread, thimble, and scissors. Some are even big enough to store a rotary cutter properly without worrying about the blade cutting something.
Back-to-school is the best excuse for having a big selection of scissors. The round-tipped kind are good to put in a carryall because they don't poke through.
Composition book
These classic black-and-white beauties are inexpensive and come in both book and purse size. I cut out pictures of quilts from magazines or color combinations I like and glue them in the notebook for inspiration. Glue fabric swatches in the smaller size book and keep it in your purse for quilt shopping. You can sew a cover for the notebooks, and remove the books out of the covers as you use them up (excellent gifts).
Glue stick
Archival glue sticks are invaluable for glue basting appliqué pieces in position. I even dab some on binding as I go, to keep it where I want it. Glue fabric over the cover of your composition notebook to personalize and use for journaling.

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