GOOD and BAD SEWING TOOL PURCHASE(S)


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Hi!

Sewing can be expensive! Lots of gadgets are marketed and sold to make piecing and quilting tasks much easier and more precise. Everyone probably owns some terrific tools that they would not want to do without. However, they've probably also purchased some stinkers that just aren't worth buying.

I was wondering if anyone would like to share what sewing or piecing tool they'd never purchase again because it didn't meet expectations, had bad directions for easy use, or seemed to be over priced because it was built too shoddy to last very long.

BAD- I recently purchased an ergonomic rotary cutter. The store only stocked the tool in a right-handed model. A left-handed tool was special ordered for me. After waiting for weeks for the tool to arrive, I've discovered that I don't really like it!

I have other brands and sizes of "regular" rotary tools that have never been difficult for me to work with. This one is shaped differently, so maybe it just needs time to get used to. However, it was fairly expensive, and, so far, I don't cut accurately (or ergonomically, effortlessly)with it.:(

GOOD - I carry a small notebook in my back pocket! Ideas pop-up everywhere, and I'm ready to write them down.;)

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Bette, if you don't like the tool(s) you purchased, then by all means, you should return it for a full refund. Most, if not all, businesses provide a return policy for products. You shouldn't be out the money for something you bought that does not work for you or you don't like to use.

This isn't quilting related, but earlier this year, DH bought a new utility sink/cabinet unit for our laundry room from Lowes for like $250. Well, when I first used it, I hated it from the beginning. I felt it was shoddy, cheap construction;;;a piece of junk. After using it for several months, I finally told DH "I've had it with this junk and I'm returning it! Please uninstall it from the plumbing, get the receipt (he keeps all these reciepts) and I will return it. So, I cleaned it up and brought it back and no questions asked...a credit card refund in a matter of one minute. Easy peasy.

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of course my favorite by far is the Circle Lord...that has been the best investment I have ever made, next to my Milie. Then there is my Towa Bobbin Gage...love it...never a problem now!!

The worst...now see...if you say something is the worst tool ever in the world - I hated - wished I hadn't bought it...yada yada....it will offend someone, even though it is a personal opinion....so I'm taking the 5th :D

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The worst purchased that I ever made by far was the "Klutz Glove" that Fons & Porter recomends/endorses. I purchased it for my then 10 year old when she started to learn to quilt over a year ago. Thought it would be good for her and keep her from having any cuts from the slip of a rotary cutter. Well being like any good mom I of course put it to some test when I bought it. Needless to say it failed horribly! Not only did it not stop a rotary cutter but a rotery cutter was able to cut through the glove like it was BUTTER!!! no resistence at all. Talk about false advertisment and a sense of false security! Thank goodness I had enough sense to test it first before my daughter used it.

When looking closely at the package on the front it states "Klutz Glove the cut resistant glove that helps protect your non-cutting hand when you rotary cut" but when you turn the package over there is a warning message which states "glove is cut-resistant, not cut proof, and not puncture resistant. DO NUT USE near moving or serrated blades"

HUH? then what good is it? Talk about false and contradicting information! So I keep this peice of c--- as a reminder that if it sounds too good to be true than chances are it is also to show to others and warn them about this product. You would think that if Fons and Porter reccomended a product than it should be of the best quality and everything but I think they endorsed this product without truely testing it first. It could ruin their reputation in my opinion for product endorsement.

Joann

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Marha,

I love it, because I cannot do that drop bobbin test...ya know the one where if the bobbin drops 6" or whatever it is, then the bobbin has the correct tension?? Well, when I do that the bobbin pops out of the bobbin case and goes rolling across the floor and I'm still holding the end of the thread, so there is about 10 yards or thread unwound. Any way...this is the link....

http://www.kmquiltingsupply.com/Parts/TensionGauge.asp

You can get them many of the longarm supply web sites...Kingsmen is my favorite.

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Martha,

Get the bobbin gauge. Until I went to winding all of my own bobbins I would sometimes have to check the tension from one bobbin to the next, even though they were the same color and from the same package! It's much easier and more accurate than the "drop test".

Things I wish I'd save my money on? Prewound bobbins. My girl doesn't like them. Wish I'd realised that earlier and bought the empty metal ones about a year ago. "The Angler" for sewing 1/2 square triangles. Never used it, free to anyone who wants it, provided I can find it in the sewing room. Picture yours on it's worst day. Multiply by at least 6, and you've got mine. Oh yeah, add the dog and cat hair, and at least one dog too.

Beth

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Oh gosh, where to begin! I bought every possible gadget and only use the rotary cutter, mat and most of my Olfa rulers!! I have used Quilt in A Day rulers, but usually end up microscopically short and then the pieces don't fit right, I don't use them very much.

Lets see, I think the worst LA tool I bought was an acrylic pattern holder for use from the front of the machine to do blocks with. You put your laser on top and follow a block pattern with it like a panto, just on the other side. It sounded really cool, and I can do pantos but I don't seem to be able to get the hang of watching the laser from the front. Maybe I just need more practice.

Beth, my house is like your sewing room. I'm afraid the only clean room in my house is the sewing room!! Maybe because of all the LA'ing, I hardly get in there. (And it's not all that clean)

Robin Kinley

Rockin' Robin Quilts

Vista, CA

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Hi Sandra and Robin,

Who the heck wants to clean when there are quilts to quilt or quilts to be made? However, today is the day! It's time to clean the house, get rid of the extra "dogs",i.e. piles of hair on the stairs, and finish up some mending for other people. I love the "festival of finishing projects". Here's hoping I get them all done. If only this work thing didn't get in the way.

Beth

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Originally posted by qwltnldy

...Lets see, I think the worst LA tool I bought was an acrylic pattern holder for use from the front of the machine to do blocks with. You put your laser on top and follow a block pattern with it like a panto, just on the other side. It sounded really cool, and I can do pantos but I don't seem to be able to get the hang of watching the laser from the front. Maybe I just need more practice....

Robin Kinley

Rockin' Robin Quilts

Vista, CA

I had that problem as well, until I bought a machine with hydraulic lifts. The problem seemed to stem from the position of the laser being too high when working on the front. If I lower the table to it's lowest position and I stand up to quilt, I am better able to follow the panto/motif from the front. (However, you can drop in motifs from pantos from the back as well...so I guess the tool really is sort of a waste.:( )

Christine Olson

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If there's a gadget made, I probably bought it. Love my millie and my CL. I also went thru the Viking mega-quilter with inspira frame and a PC Quilter (the price of those together would have gotten me a longarm earlier in my quest to quilt). Which, do I hate, hummm can you say Martelli, Kwik Bind system and a few others they sell. I've tried to use it many times and watch their demos at every show (I've even wore out the CD they gave me, LOL)!!! When I try to use it at home, all I get is frustrated. It's interesting because the only thing that I've bought from them that I love, love, love is their ergo cutters. I have degenerative disks in my neck and arthritis in my hands and the cutters make a world of difference. I will admit that you have to get used to them!!! :(:cool: LOL, Lisa finally got me on the right track with my "Gator" (millie) and all your inputs!!! :D

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Recently ordered from Fons and Porter a pair of "Rag Scissors", rounded points, silicon-like handles. At first, the space in the handles didn't look to be adequate enough for my "big, arthritic fingers;" but after an hour of use, it was as though they were made for me. Also ordered out a Quilter's Waistpack, kinda like a carpenter's belt. I believe the firm from whom I ordered this is called Tomorrow's Heirlooms... their merchandise can be viewed at www.quiltshop.us. Both of these investments have proven to be positive, and I, too, am a real gadget person.

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...Lets see, I think the worst LA tool I bought was an acrylic pattern holder for use from the front of the machine to do blocks with. You put your laser on top and follow a block pattern with it like a panto,

and i've been wanting to buy one of these

does anybody want to sell theirs?:)

kay

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Robin, I'm interested to see you didn't like the pattern holder you use from the front of the machine. It took some practice, but I really grew to like mine. I'm not a panto person and always worked from the front with my Milli, so possibly the need for practice was just to follow a pattern with the laser. It comes in handy when the need for an exact (?) pattern arises and your preference is to be at the front of the machine.

Joann

Now quilting with George

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Bette, been there and done that! My most recent stinker, I bought the Clover needle threader for hand piecing and it stopped working after a month. Nifty gadget until it stopped working (and I lost the receipt!)

Personal Favorite: My natural daylight bulbs. They were only $20 each and popped right into the lamps I already owned, alot cheaper than buying an Ott-Lite and wow, what a pleasure seeing the color in true full spectrum lighting while I quilt.

Things that work but ended up being replaced by products I found that I felt did a much better job which I'm happy to say goodbye to are: Golden Threads quilting paper, King Tut thread, quilting pounce powder, and any monofilament thread except if its made by YLI.

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My all time favorite is the CL giant templates. I have the Baptist Fan, but if I had more money I'd have all of them. They are so incredibly quick and easy.

My worst investment has been, hmmmm... a lot of the books that I just had to have, but can't really find anything I like in them, tons of fabric that I have bough, but haven't used. My goal is to use it all up and start over with new.

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Recently at Quilt Camp in the Pines, I bought a stainless steel pin dish with a magnetic base. It's really handy for standing at the machine and pinning or unpinning. The magnet is very strong and the dish sits firmly on top of the roller bar. I got them from Gina from Cranberry Quiltworks.

I also keep my "friends" Mr. Ripper, Mr. Tweezer, and Mr. Snipper in the dish, just so I will know where there are.

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Cathey, you mean to tell me that the magnetic dish sits right on top of your roller nice and steady and the magnet holds through all of the leader fabric? If so, then I am going to buy one of those babies. I've seen them around at the hardware stores.

The pin cushion I have now falls off my roller and on to the floor all the time and rolls away and I JUST HATE IT WHEN THAT HAPPENS!!!!!! :(

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I bought one of those at the auto supply store and it works great--just don't forget to take it off when you advance the quilt---I did and it tipped over and most of the pins fell on the floor--not sure why--but it did amuse my 16 DS--so that was worth it I suppose!!

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