The Tool Belt Box Thing

Tools. First thinking of the saws and screwdrivers and that big thing that takes the shower head off. Plus those cool leather belts or the one pocket-thing that goes on the 5-gallon bucket. I have no need for a tool belt, but they just look fun and cool and then I could walk around the house with all the screwdrivers and wouldn’t that be…um…well clanky and probably heavy and unnecessary for the shit I do here. Then how when you are a teacher, they are always talking about putting things in your Tool Box (of tricks and skillz and all that shit you have that makes you a better juggler of teacher things).

But NO! As a quilter/sewist/art quilter/fiber artist/geez, what am I anyway, these monthly posts are always asking what my favorite tools are, and hell, they haven’t changed much over the years. For a while, my mom would always be buying me the newest thing, to see if it would help me sew this way or that way or faster or more efficiently or just better serve me…and some stuck. I still use Machingers gloves…I buy a pair a year. I even wash them, because I use them enough that they get dirty. When the sticky stuff wears off, I buy a new pair, because they’re comfortable, they do the job, and they’re not hot. Sure, there’s 17 new types of fancy machine-quilting hand covers since Machingers came out, but they work, so WHY on Earth would I need to get something different? I don’t.

I’m not the one the quilt shops and designers market to. I’m the one who will find what works and buy it over and over and over. Until I can’t. And then I’ll find a replacement.

So my favorite tools? Number 1 (and 2)? A nice big sketchbook (prefer 14×17″) and a black pen, Sharpie, or my new favorite for full-size pattern drawing, the Lumocolor by Staedler. Probably there are nicer pens, but they might be harder to get or more expensive, and until these don’t work for me, I’m good. I did once buy a bunch of different types of fine black pens, and tried all of them, and kept using the Sharpie. Ultra Fine. The pen, y’all, not me.

Scissors…again, I have some generics, some Fiskars, and some other fancy ones my mom got me. I use them all. I think there are probably 50 pairs of scissors in this house, maybe more. I use these spring-action ones for cutting fabrics. I’m lazy and never get them sharpened, because it’s always days and times I don’t even know about when you can drop them off. I wish I could just bag them up and leave them on the porch, and the traveling scissor sharpener fairy would come by and sharpen them all and leave me their Venmo handle, and that would be the end of it. I’d pay them and put that little scissor emoji in there and be so happy. So yeah, they all are dull. Because no fairy.

Wonder Under…is what I use to fuse my quilts together. I’ve been through many iterations of the Wonder Under formula, and it’s pretty stable at the moment. Easy to get, relatively cheap, has the paper I need for my process, works for what I need. Totes happy about that.

I think that cutting matt is the first one I ever bought, which would make it probably 25 or 30 years old. Does that seem possible? I bought a new one, but I still pull out the old one, because I don’t want to ruin the new one. That’s my grandmother, the one who reused her tinfoil and saved all the rubber bands (um. I still do the rubber band thing.). Sure, there’s other tools I use: an iron and ironing board (so fancy), plastic shoe bins for sorting stuff, a giant light table, a mechanical pencil, tape, some plastic rulers for trimming stuff and cutting binding, some really big Teflon sheets for ironing. That’s really it. I came out of the quilting world a bog standard quilter, except for what I put on the front of them, eh?

OK. More of this 31 days of blogging…I see a few topics that will challenge me because um, yeah, no. But it is making me write. So there.

School? My art students finished their stuffed animals today. Mine will never get finished. The advanced class is still doing self portraits, working on the creative part. I decided I didn’t want to draw hair. So I’m not. And both classes are doing monster zendoodles…which is more my roll. Science is deep into tsunamis for now.

I’m so exhausted. School. Wildfire. Family stuff. Exhausted.

Gaming tonight. It wasn’t really with cats. Long story. It’s Star Trek gaming. That still doesn’t explain it.

It’s late. I want to iron fabric to Wonder Under a little bit tonight though, because it’s been nothing for two nights (thank you, job) and it starts to drive me more than a little bonkers to not make art. Too right.

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