Tools

Indispensible for Applique and Making HSTs: Quilter's Sandboard

It’s Tuesday and it’s time to talk about one of my favorite tools…a quilter’s sandboard. A quilter’s sandboard is exactly what you might think---a board covered in sandpaper. Although you can make your own, I prefer to leave it to the professionals.

I got my quilter’s sandboard from Piece O Cake Designs, and I love it! It’s the perfect tool for marking applique pieces because it holds your fabric nice and firm while you trace around your pattern.

In a recent post, I showed you some fabric flowers I’m making for my Guild’s birthday party next month. The sandboard came in real handy let me tell you, when tracing the fabric circles I needed for some of the flowers.

I also use my sandboard when making HSTs. I typically use the “Two at a Time” method, and that method requires you to mark sewing lines on the wrong side of a fabric square. I use my sandboard to keep my fabric square from wiggling so I can mark my sewing lines nice and straight.

After marking, I place the marked square on top of another fabric square right sides together, sew and cut. Voila! Two HSTs!

If you like my review, please share it online using the image below.

Do you own a sandboard? What do you use it for?

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Put a Pin in It: Easy to Make Custom Straight Pins

I recently made some fancy pins to give to my friends. They feature each friend’s first and last initials, and they are meant to be decorative but useful. Aren’t they cute?

I got the idea for these pins from Fancy Nancy, and her directions are terrific. To make my pins, I bought alphabet beads, corsage pins, glue, and some fancy beads from JoAnne’s. I slipped the first bead on, hit the pin with a dab of glue, put the next bead on and glued it, and so on until I was done. I don’t know if I needed to glue each bead, but I wanted them to stay so that’s what I did. After adding the beads to each pin, I gently scraped off the excess glue my fingernail and then left the pins to dry overnight.

I made myself some alphabet pins from the leftover materials. I’ll use this pins to mark the column a block belongs to in a finished quilt, so I can sew my blocks together correctly. I think the pins will also be helpful for organizing those tiny scraps needed for foundation piecing. My plan is to buy number beads so I can make matching row markers as well, to help label each row after laying out a quilt on a design wall.

The pins were not difficult to make, nor did they take much time. They would make a special gift for a quilting friend!

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If You Sew, You'll Love the Scrap-Ma-Bob!

Today is Tuesday, and I thought I’d review one of my favorite quilting tools. Today’s tool is not a tool per se, but I definitely consider it a life-saver. The tool is called Scrap-Ma-Bob, and it’s a cup holder and trash bag in one. I don’t know about you, but if you’re like me, you’ll love how this little gadget eliminates the need to be cautious with your drink while you’re quilting.

The Scrap-Ma-Bob is designed to clamp onto a table with a screw clap that measures 5/8 inch in diameter. Attached to the clamp is a cup holder that measures 4 inches in diameter. My very clever friend Susie bought a plastic cup at our local Meier store that just happens to fit the cup holder exactly. Notice that the cup has a lid and a plastic built-in straw. Clever Susie!

The cup holder has a slot that’s 1 inch wide so a cup handle can easily stick through. The only caution here is that because of the position of the slot, using a cup with a handle is easier if you’re right-handed.

The cup holder has a removable fabric trash bag that I love! However, threads tend to stick to the sides of the scrap bag like glue, so I recommend that you line the scrap bag with a removable plastic bag in order to make the process of emptying the trash bag easier.

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