Thursday, April 1, 2010

Favorite Things - Part 3

Continuing on with my "favorite things" blog posts here are a few more.  This Bendable Bright Light  from BENDABLEBRIGHTLIGHT.COM is the best for increasing the light where ever you position it.  I have been known to position it over seams that I am to rip as well as over my presser foot.  It is amazing how much more light you can get from this little light.

I have drawer in my sewing table that I keep a lot of tools that I use often.  I keep my bobbins in boxes like the one below that I ordered years ago from Clotilde.  I like that it has a clear lid so the dust stays off the bobbins but I can see what is in each box.  The bobbins don't come unwound either.  Have two boxes but need to get a couple more to keep the different threads separate as sometimes I have to think a bit to figure out what thread is on which bobbin.

 This Bohin mechanical chalk pencil is really a nice marking tool.  The mark is narrow so you can be very precise and the chalk comes in green, yellow, white and gray colored chalk.  The chalk comes off the quilt nicely too.

Another similar marker is the Clover mechanical pencil that comes in yellow, pink and gray.  I have the gray and it pretty well brushes off with the brush on the end.  It too makes a small thin line.

When I first saw this notion a few years ago I wondered why anyone would want one.  Now that I have one I understand.  This is called a Quilt Dome by Clover.  You thread your needles and insert them one at a time into the 10 numbered slots.  After each needle is inserted you twirl the blue section clockwise and it wraps the un-knotted thread around the inside.  The needles can be pulled out in any order and the thread follows and never tangles.  This is invaluable when I am doing hand applique or quilting.  I can thread up different colors of thread for applique or 10 threaded needles of my hand quilting thread ready to go.  It works great for take along projects too.

Thread - so many choices and so many good threads.  I have a couple of real favorites from Superior Threads though.  I use Bottom Line in the bobbin all the time when machine quilting and have used it on the top as well.  I have used a heavier thread on top and the Bottom Line in the bobbin and have used silk thread in the top and Bottom Line in the bobbin and haven't had tension problems...I can always adjust it if necessary.  The second Superior Threads product that I use all the time now is Masterpiece Thread for piecing my quilts.  It is 100% cotton so much finer than most of the "regular" threads I have used and stitches so nicely.  When I go to Paducah in a few weeks I plan to buy cones of these threads in the colors I use most of.  I will get a tan/beige colored cone of Bottom Line and gray, black, white and tan/beige.  I am always running out of the Masterpiece thread so the cones will give me more of those basic colors.

These are photos of my favorite thread storage boxes.  I purchased the ones I have now in the toy department where they sell Matchbook cars.  These boxes were made to hold the small toy cars but work great for storing thread - lots of thread in each box.  They are double sided with hinged lids and really hold a lot of thread.  Sorry to say you can not buy them anymore around here anyway.  Luckily I got enough back when I could buy them.

Today was another beautiful warm spring day with the temperature not quite getting to 80 F (26.6 C).  The only drawback to the weather is the wind - it was blowing pretty strong all day.  That is one thing about Nebraska we do get lots of wind.  You do get used to it but the occasional calm day is wonderful!

Our cows are really having their calves this week keeping John busy tagging the babies.  On Tuesday we had 8 calves and have had a couple each day since.  Think we are a little over 1/3 done with calving so if they keep it up we will be finished in a few weeks.  Of course there is always a cow or two that don't have their calf until we have hauled the rest of them to the pastures in May.  We don't like the late ones as then the calf is little when taken to the pasture and also the cow will sometimes breed late again and it gets to be a pattern for some cows to always calve late.  They will get sold if they do it more than a couple of years in a row if they live here.  Another reason to bunch up the calving is that the calves are closer to the same size when we sell them.  Larger groups of same size calves sell better than the one or two small ones.

Hope it doesn't rain much or any tomorrow as I have a neighbor boy or two coming to help me clean out my flower beds.  My sinus Dr. doesn't want me out in the dirt any more than I have to.  Then I have to wear a dust mask and those are really uncomfortable and get so hot.  I need to cut off the iris leaves from last year as they didn't freeze off and die last winter like they usually do.  (Snow must have insulated them.)  Anyway I figure I can sit and cut leaves off on one side of the house while the debris can be cleaned up on the other, thus keeping me out of most of the dust.  Will still wear the dust mask but won't be moving around so much so maybe it won't get so irritating to wear.  Will be glad to get it done as I have tulips and jonquils blooming already!

Until Later,


SewCalGal said...

Great insights. thanks for sharing.


Elaine Adair said...

We quilters must be ridiculous! LOL - just LOOKING at your photos makes me want to buy them ALL! The bobbin box looks particularly appealing, and I've been lusting over the pencil for a long time! Thanks for great photos and review.

Just to let you know, it's snowing here in western Nebraska, and maybe coming your way. 8-))


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