Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thingies and a Giveaway!

Giveaway!  Giveaway!  Thank you, all, for the terrific and creative things you've come up with.  But really, don't you think Linda, with all those ideas for the lowly clothespin (14 or so!!) really deserves recognition?  Yes, I do!  So I've emailed her, and will be sending her a little somethin' this week.  Happy 4th of July!

Thanks, all y'all, for the compliments on my Design Ironing Board last time!  It was a happy accident.  I really, really needed to re-cover my ironing board, it was majorly grungy.  So I dragged out a piece of flannel covered with sewing notions, pretty appropriate, no?  It has turned out to be the best cover!  I don't have to chase blocks or pieces thereof around the board, they stick.  The only thing I'd do different is have the flannel a lighter color, and maybe just a tone on tone.  But do try flannel on your next ironing board re-do!

Since we're on a domestic kick here, thought I'd share a couple of handy gadgets I love.  My fingers and wrists aren't what they once were -- maybe being a typist and steno for decades had something to do with them wearing out, ya think?  So, if Mr. Happiness isn't around, I really struggle with opening jars and bottle tops.  He bought me a "Lids Off" by Black and Decker a couple of years ago, and it is a wondrous invention, indeed! But for those lids and small jars, pictured above is another great thingie (and you know I love my thingies!).  It grabs hold of the top or lid or cap and doesn't slip, and adds some "oomph" to the twisting so you don't have to.  And that little doo-hickey on top lifts tab tops without any effort!  I know, I know, I should've been an engineer -- I know all those technical terms!

And I love my funnel, never thought I'd use a funnel in the kitchen as much as I do!  But the small part at the end is sometimes too small for pouring stuff, and it clogs or slows down.   You see the funnel on the right, the white one?   It works even better, and it's bigger on the end so it doesn't back up.  Know what it is?  An empty thread cone :-)  

I've had these hot pads!   Use them all the time.  Do you realize what a cool quilting design they have!?!  Now I'm on a quest to look more closely at all my stuff to see what else they can be used for, what kinds of quilting designs they have, if they can pull double-duty!  

What kind of tool/technique/design inspiration is your favorite?  A really cool contraption?  A double-duty handy-dandy neat-o mosquito discovery you'd like to share?  I'm going to pick one of your comments, maybe at random, maybe one that made me laugh the most, or the best IMHO idea, and send you a little something of some kind  :-)  Since we have a long weekend, I'll let y'all party and celebrate and put on your thinking caps and I'll pull a comment out of the hat on Monday evening.

Happy Birthday, USA!!!  Be safe out there!


  1. Love the empty thread spool/funnel! Who'd have thunk it?! :) I save all different sizes of lids for their circles. And the mini valentine candy boxes are great for hearts. And of course, bowls, plates, and mugs nearly always end up in the sewing room as templates too!


  2. One of my favorite workroom tools is actually from the hardware store! It is a 48 inch metal ruler -- cannot warp, and is wonderful for measuring and also to provide a long edge to draw markings (for cutting!) on fabric. Do you have one? Super inexpensive, and abundantly useful. I actually got the idea from my dad, who was not a quilter.

  3. I love the spring type clothespins! I have a bunch in my kitchen drawer to close bags with. I have them in the motor home to clip up outside lights, hand wet bathing suits, pull curtains out of the way, etc. I've even used a clothespin to mark pages in a magazine. I've glued a pin cushion to one so I can clip it to my collar. I've made name tags out of them by writing names on them. You can glue one to the back of a stiff card and it will act as a support to hold it up. Magnets glued to one allow you to clip your child's artwork to the refrigerator. If I need to remember something, I use a clothespin to clip a note to the blinds covering my back door. When I go out, I see my note and remember. A clothespin is also a great little exercise machine for weak fingers or children needing improvement in motor skills. I've used clothespins to hang my grandmother's aprons across the 6 foot window in my sewing room. They are my window topper. I clip small stacks of cut fabric together with a clothespin. I clip mail together with one. Shall I go on? I could add more!

  4. I have a cool LED adjustable lamp I bought at IKEA for $10 that I use for my treadle machine. If the power is out, I can use a battery operated book light clamped to the treadle for light. Gotta see what I'm sewing. I use almost anything with a good edge on it as quilting templates. I hold patterns I've printed off in old binders. Just put the patterns in page protectors inside. You can decorate the binders in lots of ways. Works for machine manuals that have been printed off, too (like for my vintage machines). I have one for each machine. Also, on this post at the bottom is a thread stand. I have the parts to make one for myself, I just have to get it done.

  5. I use a recycled metal file rack to store my quilting magazines that are open and folded back to a page showing a quilt project I'm going to make someday. Right now it is stuffed to capacity so I need to either start some projects or eliminate a few.

    I really love the thread cone funnel. Great idea.

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  7. Okay - I just have to say I am sorry that you got some weird spam comment. What an idiot.

    And I really should opt out of your giveaway since you just sent me THE MOST AWESOME PAY IT FORWARD GIFT EVER! (blogged it today)

    I am a total gadget addict, so I have many cool little gizmos around - right now we are using the cherry pitter a lot. I like improvising and reusing things too (like my monitor stand made from an extra ikea shelf plus 4 door stoppers for legs) - your thread spool funnel is genius! But honestly, the first decadent kitchen appliance I ever got was my Kitchenaid stand mixer about 12 years ago - and I still get happy every time I use it (helps that it usually involves baking something yummy!)

  8. thank you so much for such a fun giveaway!!