For this month I thought I would share with you some of the tools that I like and find useful in my plush making.
All the crafty people I know, be they bought or found, collect and hoard materials and supplies for their craft. It is the curse of the crafty person being able to see the potential in all these things that eventually clutter our homes…”err hello, fabric hoarders anonymous??”.
Every once in a while I will sort through my fabric stash and donate the pieces I have been holding onto for too long.
Certain tools though, will get used all the time and stay with you for years. If you ever have the mischance to lose such a tool (this happened to me recently) you will find yourself lost and will find yourself replacing said tool, with a backup and a backup for your backup (it just makes good sense to back up your backup).
Pins and needles are run of the mill supplies for anyone who sews but I especially love these glass headed pins. Pins are small and can easily get lost in furry fabrics. The last thing you want is a plush with a hidden pointy surprize sewn in, the large glass heads on these pins make them easily visible.
I have had this huge needle for more than 20 years, I bought it in the UK and it has moved with me to Portugal and France and Canada. I both love it and am terrified of it. I have other large needles but this is by far the biggest, I use it for attaching eyes, making string joints and needle sculpting on larger plushes. I am always afraid of getting impaled on it!!
My most recently acquired handy gadget here is this bobbin holder. I liked it so much I went back and bought a second one a week later. Inside the box is high density foam, the bobbins sit in the bobbin sized cut outs and won’t budge until you pull them out, no more annoying dangling threads to get tangled. Even if you drop this box while open the bobbins will stay in place.
I discovered these paddle punches about 4 years ago, they had already stopped making them at that time. Now I don’t understand why they would stop making them, the design is so simple and there is nothing to go wrong with them, plus they are well made, I’m pretty sure you could drive a truck over these things and they would still be intact. I use them for cutting shapes out of felt, it saves time and also gives a consistent result. You place the felt on a cutting mat and and position the punch on the fabric, give it a wallop with the hammer and presto, you have your perfectly cut shape!
The tool that recently disappeared and had to be replaced (times three) in case of a repeat incident was my awl. I use this for making holes to place safety eyes , the couple of weeks I spent without my awl were pretty unhappy.
The thing about safety eyes is that they a made to be safe ie: impossible to remove. The backs are a tight fit and placing them can hard on your thumb joints luckily I have this handy tool to help attach the backs, an old thread spool can work too though.
Obviously my machine counts for an invaluable tool too, helper is optional. Helper may or may not have had something to do with the disappearance of the awl.
Share in the comments if you have any crafty tools you can’t live without.
Becky Gould is the big kid behind Scrumptious Delight. Working from her home in Vancouver, BC she makes plush toys and soft sculptures that combine a love of food, all things furry and an unnatural appreciation of small appliances.