I love to hunt around to see how other quilters utilize everyday household items in their sewing room. Some of them seem crazy, but when you try it, it actually works! I’ve also come up with some unusual uses on my own. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention! I’m sharing some of the ones I use the most here.
There is a lot of information about ergonomics while sewing to reduce back and neck strain. My sewing table does not allow my machine to be sunk in, so one of the tips I have employed is using door stops to elevate the back of my sewing machine to tip it forward. These door stops can be found at any hardware store.
I chose 1 1/2″ high ( at the highest point) door stops since I thought any higher would make the machine unstable. Simply slide them under your machine in the back to tilt it forward. Make sure everything is stable by trying to move the machine after inserting the stops. If the machine seems like it’s slipping, pull out the stops a bit so it is not tilted as much.
Notice it’s not a severe tilt, but it is enough to eliminate my need to bend too far forward to see how my fabric is feeding under the presser foot.
Use a mason/canning jar to hold a large spool of thread if your machine does not have a spindle for the large spools. Use the cover that comes with the canning jar to help keep the spool from jumping out of the jar while you’re stitching.
If your jar cover does not have a hole in it like mine, carefully punch a hole to feed the thread through. Be sure to smooth down any sharp edges with a metal file so those edges do not cut your thread. If you do not have a cover, you can fashion one from a piece of cardboard.
The cardboard “top” can be taped on two sides to hold it down while you’re stitching.
Use an extra long ball chain to make a necklace for your scissors!
Think of the convenience! You will never be searching for your scissors again when you are hand stitching or even as you are sitting at your machine. This type of chain can be found at your local craft store. There are a variety of lengths so you can find one that fits you perfectly.
Hold a piece of bright colored paper behind your sewing machine needle to help you to thread it if your machine does not have an automatic needle threader.
Notice in the above photo how you can barely make out the eye of the needle. And this is with the machine on and lights shining in the area! Now look what happens when you have a piece of colored paper behind the needle.
Now you can see the eye and easily thread the needle! I used a post-it note in a neon color. I keep the piece of paper in a drawer by my machine to use over and over.
Apply blue painter’s tape or washi tape to mark the line on your ruler if you are cutting a lot of strips of the same measurement. This will save you a bit of time and help with accuracy.
When you are done, simply peel away the tape. It leaves no residue on your ruler!
So those are my tips for this week. Tune in next week for some more fun tips and hacks! Comment below on some of the things you use in the sewing room that may not be conventional. You will be entered into a drawing for a my pattern Seaside Cottage!
The drawing entry will be over the next two weeks since it’s holiday time. You can enter this week or next. I will draw for the winner on Monday, January 6th in the new year! **We have a winner! Congrats, Lynne!**