Recently I was reminded of some of the great tools tailors use. I have many of them since I used to do couture tailoring as part of my own business and family clothes making decades ago. I was watching the amazing fashion historian Bernadette Banner’s YouTube where she had master tailor Barbara of Royal Black as a guest to demonstrate how important ironing is in tailoring. It made me want to tailor something and maybe I will, but I’m here to tell you that it is equally as important in the quilting world and some of the tools they use can help a lot too. So I purchased a new 100% silk pressing cloth and a new wood clapper. I used these two things a lot in the making of the Thanksgiving table runner that you will be able to see soon on my YouTube channel. I even managed to easily press out a slight wave the border had developed with a little seam and the clapper. It’s now nice and flat.
Over the quilting part of my career I have used multiple tailoring and fashion sewing tools I had accumulated, and some of them are so old that they are worn and need replacing. These include things like Nancy Zieman’s Sliding Sewing Gauge that not only is a helpful measuring device, but also provides a circle marker for up to a 10 inch circle. I am thinking of replacing the expanding button placement guide thingy I used to have but no longer do. It would be very helpful in placement of quilting designs in a border, for instance as well as button placement and other evenly spaced items…no math!…Always a good thing. LOL.
In making my Kingfisher pillow project, I used the pointy edge tracing wheel from the above set to make a freezer paper stencil for use with a Pounce marker to help me mark the design placement. To make this work, I iron two layers of freezer paper together (one shiny side to one paper side), print the design on the paper, and while it is on a wool ironing pad, run the marking wheel that is designed for leather work along the design. This punches a line of holes in the stencil. Then iron on the freezer paper stencil in place and pounce mark the design, remove the stencil and place it in the next position and iron it there. It is normally reusable enough times to have a quilting design go around a small quilt’s border. You may need to make a second one for a larger quilt. This is handy DIY stencil making.
Sew what from the building world, you ask? I use my late father’s T-square and a laser square to square up some of my quilts, especially the larger ones. And even occasionally, when I remember how, I use my father’s slide rule for a quick bit of math. LOL
Sew look around and see what you may have or may want to buy to help you in your studio. Have fun in your studio everyone!
NOTE: Some of you may be waiting for my Thanksgiving project to show up on my YouTube Channel, and indeed it is late but is on the way very soon. I have completed the making of the project which I captured in videos along the way and my video editor (a talented family member) is working on the videos as we speak. There is a short bit of intro video to do and that will be accomplished today. I think you will enjoy seeing the videos and purchasing the pattern that will come complete with embroidery and digital cutting files as well as things to help if you don’t have a digital cutter.
2 thoughts on “Tools from Tailoring and Building World for Quilt Artists”
I hadn’t thought of using my tracing wheel as a way to make a stencil to pounce. . .you have the best ideas! Thanks for sharing!
Thanks Terry. Cheers
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