101 Renegade Sewing and QuiltingTips

101 Renegade Sewing and QuiltingTips

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I’m always on the lookout for new tips such as treating a bee sting or prompting my cactus to bloom. When it comes to sewing & quilting tips, my interest level rises to new heights. Over the years I’ve gathered and discovered unconventional tips to use in the sewing room. Some hints were sent in by viewers, others given to me by co-workers. Regardless of the source, I’m sharing many maverick-type hints with you in today’s program.

Household items such as drawer liners, pipe cleaners, leftover change, a permanent marking pen, and a pedicure supplies all have a purpose when sewing or quilting. Curious? Join me for today’s new TV episode of Sewing With Nancy:  Renegade Sewing & Quilting Tips. While quite a few tips are covered on the show, there are even more in the new book, 101 Renegade Sewing & Quilting Tips, available at Nancy’s Notions.

Novel Notions

Learn how to repurpose saucers and ramekins to create a magnetic pin cushion. It looks attractive and keeps all your pins in one place. Need a thread stand? There’s a trick for that, too. Are you packing for a retreat, workshop, class, or Sewing Weekend, but not taking your entire bobbin box? Don’t worry, you can pack the bobbins you need after your next pedicure.

Does your sewing machine need a little cleaning from time-to-time? Make these handy scrub brushes from items you already own.

We’ll also show how easy it is to use shelf and drawer liners to create a no-slip surface for your sewing machine’s pedal. This cut square of textured foam will help keep the pedal in place as you stitch.

There are so many tips to make sewing easier and smoother. Watch the new episode of Sewing With Nancy, today, for these and many more time-saving ideas.

Quilting Tips

Next, use nontraditional items when quilting. Magnets, a white eraser, an empty mint container, and grapefruit spoon all have staring roles as we make quilting easier with these 101 Renegade Tips.

Use a magnet to easily change your rotary cutting blades and protect your fingers. Also, continue to use the blades marked “P” for paper crafting projects. It may not be sharp enough for crisp fabric cuts, but it still has some life in it.

You’ll have to tune in to 101 Renegade Sewing and Quilting Tips to see how painter’s tape will yield precise cuts and to watch how steel wool can sharpen your hand sewing needles. And, who knew? Grapefruit spoons were fantastic accessories to assist in safety pin basting your next quilt project.

Pressing Tips

Do you have any pressing issues? A night light, a remnant of netting, cardboard from a cereal box, and an outdated magazine may be a solution to one of your dilemmas.

If you happen to appliqué, hem, or tack with fusible web, there’s a chance it may get on your iron. Not too worry! Netting is a great resource for cleaning fusible adhesive off the iron’s surface.

Press seams flat no matter where they may fall on your quilt or garment. Learn how to use magazines and wool felt to create a tailor’s pressing sleeve roll in a snap.

Pattern Cutting Tips

When it comes to cutting out patterns, there are several renegade approaches to incorporate. Washers from the hardware store, painter’s tape, frosted tape, and a picnic cloth can come in handy.

Organizing Tips

Pool noodles, a soap dispenser, school pocket folder, popsicle sticks, and a recycled picture frame are on my list as ways to organize. My hope is that you’re curious to see how and why these nontraditional items made my renegade list.

101 Renegade Sewing & Quilting Tips Book with DVD

Make sewing trouble-free with 101 unconventional hacks. Known for breaking sewing and quilting rules, I show you how to use household items to save time and money in your sewing room, plus novel ways to organize sewing and quilting supplies.
  • Did you realize there are handy devices all around the house that can help streamline your sewing and get great results?
  • Whether you are an accomplished seamstress or a beginner sewer, you’ll find oodles of ingenious and practical tips in this book and DVD combo.
  • The book has organized tips by task area—pattern cutting, pressing, sewing, and more; plus the tips are numbered so you can easily make note of ones you’d like to revisit.
      • Cutting Edge Pattern Cutting Tips
      • Streamlined Sewing Tips
      • Novel Pressing Tips
      • Unconventional Quilting Tips
      • Unexpected Organization Tips
  • The companion DVD highlights over two dozen tips and hints.
    • Simplify the steps to cutting out patterns using commonplace items, like washers from the hardware store, and painter’s tape.
    • Learn how ordinary household items such as pipe cleaners, spare change, and a pedicure supplies have alternative uses for sewing.
    • Eliminate pressing dilemmas with a night light, a remnant of netting, cardboard from a cereal box, and an outdated magazine.
    • Enlist nontraditional items—magnets, a grapefruit spoon, and a pool noodle—to make quilting tasks go more easily and quickly.
    • Organize your sewing room and keep important sewing notions in easy reach with unconventional items, like wooden craft sticks and drinking straws.

Watch 101 Renegade Sewing and Quilting on Sewing With Nancy online.

For a chance to win a copy of the new book, 101 Renegade Sewing & Quilting Tips Bookfrom Nancy’s Notions, leave a comment sharing your favorite sewing or quilting time-saving tip.

Nancy Zieman's Giveaway Winner

The randomly selected winner of a copy of the new book, Precut Fabrics for Speedy Projects from Nancy’s Notions is Voni Ensley.

Her comment is, “I use Charm Packs and Jelly Rolls. I like to use them together.”

Bye for now,
Nancy Zieman The Blog

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The FTC requires us to tell you that Nancy Zieman has provided products by other companies in the course of her business. The FTC requires us to advise you to take this information into consideration when reading this posting.

 

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137 Comments

  • Denice Korcal
    August 31, 2017

    I like to use tiny children’s pigtail holders around my bobbins to keep them wrapped.

  • Enid
    August 31, 2017

    You can also cover the hardware store washer(s) with a fabric yo-yo. The cardboard from bias tape can be used as a seam guide.

  • Suzanne R
    August 31, 2017

    I bought acid free comic book cardboard inserts to wrap and store fabrics in a bookcase. They are cheaper than the plastic ones, even if you use two together.

  • Laurel DeCastro
    August 31, 2017

    If I want to see how a block will look as a multiple block quilt, I use a child’s kalidescope with a clear lense to view it. The kalidescope shows the one block multiple times and I can judge sashing, borders etc.

  • Ennis A
    August 31, 2017

    I use yoga mats on the tables that my machines are on. Keeps them from moving and cuts down on noise. I also use vinyl shelving to keep items in place. Love the trim separated in the baskets. Great idea. Thanks for a chance to have the book. Great info!!!

  • Sharon Thomsen
    August 31, 2017

    I use a toothbrush holder next to my machine to keep a stiletto, seam ripper and other utensils handy and at the ready near my machine.

  • Marvel D.
    August 31, 2017

    Would love this book!! I use old check book boxes to hold sewing supplies that I use often, such as tape measure, seam ripper, etc. I place them in my sewing drawer in order of usability: most used to least used. Easy to locate, grab, and go (or sew).

  • Brenda Meyer
    August 31, 2017

    The supreme slider is quite expensive so I bought a package of 3 large cutting mats. I cut a hole for the needle and use that when quilting on my home machine. It works like the Supreme Slider to allow the quilt to move easily.

  • Gma Cma
    August 31, 2017

    When lining casual garments I complete the lining seams leaving one side seam open part way. Press all seams well. I then attach the lining to the outer edges by machine and pull the outer garment through the opening in the lining. Then I stitch from outer edges of the lining opening to center as far as possible. Press this seam. Leaves only one small are to be closed by hand stitching. Great timesaver!

  • Debra Williams
    August 31, 2017

    I use a silverware tray next to my sewing machine to hold all the little things I use – nippers, measuring tape, seam ripper, machine screwdriver, etc. I also have a lazy susan with all those ‘gift’ mugs on top holding scissors, marking pencils, chop sticks, cutting tools, etc. – each mug holds a different type of tool or pens/pencils and my pin cushion. Just a spin and what I need is in my hands. I would truly LOVE this book – it looks like it has lots of GREAT ideas!

  • Patti
    August 31, 2017

    Wow, this sounds like a wonderful book. I’m looking forward to seeing organizational tips as I set up my sewing/crafting room/office.

  • Sandra Yosten
    August 31, 2017

    What a great book so far. I’d love to see more.

  • Pandora
    August 31, 2017

    I buy every color of the inexpensive plastic pencil boxes that are on sale during back to school and then store the corresponding shades of thread colors in them (blues in a blue box, red and pinks in red box and so on.)

  • Carla
    August 31, 2017

    I use the end of thread on a spool or that dab of thread on a bobbin when done making an outfit as basting thread for appliqué when I baste under seam allowances or baste on assembled pieces for positioning. The difference in thread color or type makes no difference as I will remove the basted threads before the piece is quilted.

  • Diane Langham
    August 31, 2017

    It’s amazing how many of the ‘hints’ shared by the above commentors are ones I’ve also used. I try to NOT to overthink a problem but after my second hip replacement I realized my seating was the problem. It was a matter of standing up from a regular chair and walking to the ironing board (the exercise we all need – get up and move). So I purchased a 28″ stool with a padded revolving seat. I can now ‘extricate’ myself from under the sewing table with a quarter-turn and easily stand up to walk from a 28″ height. Problem solved.

  • Georgia Johnson
    August 31, 2017

    My quilting hack uses Kabob Bamboo Skewers for helper i several areas. The pointed end is a great helper around the sewing machine foot, replaces the expensive tool sold for that purpose. The ahh ha moment came when seeing a $50 set of tools being sold for applique work with freezer paper and such with glue or starch to efficiently turn and press the 1/8″ under before sewing the applique piece in place. I simply took the other end of the Bamboo stick and with a knife cut a slanted flat side on it for the pressing down. With the pointed end and another for the pressing down – walla, works wonderfully! The bamboo kabob sticks are readily available even in Walmart as a package of 25 to 50 at low cost. Share with friends!

  • Cheryl Seipke
    August 31, 2017

    Cutting borders – I do not take 3 measurements with a tape measure, then take the average and measure and cut fabric – I use the fabric fold to measure – put a straight pin at fold of fabric at each “measurement” – cut between the inner most and farthest out pins.

  • Jean N
    August 31, 2017

    I use golf tees to attach my bobbin to its matching spool of thread.

  • Doris Pedersen
    August 31, 2017

    What a nifty book. I use toilet paper rolls to roll my binding around before attaching it to the quilt. It keeps the binding from twisting as you are attaching it.

  • Josie Davis
    August 31, 2017

    I use and old spice container to store broken machine needles. Keeps them safer than dropping into the waste basket. The sifter/shaker top has holes to drop them into the bottle or jar and then they can be use to hang items instead of nails, producing smaller holes in your walls.

  • Avis
    August 31, 2017

    I removed the little trays that come attached to the door of sewing-center tables. ( I think they may be intended to hold small spools of thread). DH mounted a tray for each of my machines (sewing, embroidery and serger) to the front edge of the table the machine sits on. I keep a set of thread snips, seam ripper, needle threader, etc. in each tray – no more hunting for a tool while working on a project. I love to repurpose household items and look forward to Nancy’s new book!

  • April Russell
    August 31, 2017

    The book sounds great 🙂 I use sandpaper with an adhesive side on rulers and weights so they won’t slide. Available at hardware stores.

  • Dorothy Untch
    August 31, 2017

    It’s an oldy but goodie, I try to cut out more than one project at a time; that way I always have something to work on. Love the idea of toe holders for bobbins.

  • Cathryn Harjung
    August 31, 2017

    What a super book!

    One of my favorite tips is to use the “non-skid” shelf liner under my cutting mat, machine pedal, and even sewing machine. It certainly helps prevent unwanted movement when I’m in the zone. 🙂

  • Jill L Elzinga
    August 31, 2017

    I’d love to win this book – thank you for the chance! I have 2 tips: I use a piece of the grippy rubber shelf liner from the dollar store under my sewing foot pedal to keep it from sliding around. I also collect small ceramic planters shaped like cats, and I use several of them to hold sewing supplies like rotary cutters, marking pencils, rulers, etc. That way I get to enjoy my collection in my sewing room, too.

  • Donna Fecteau
    August 31, 2017

    I look forward to the seeing the great tips in this book. I use mason jars to organize small items in my sewing room. Keeps them all in one place and visible.

  • Cyndi
    August 31, 2017

    What a great book. I love ideas that use items in unexpected ways!!

    I use up bobbins or spools of thread to make dog beds for the local shelter. The animals do not care what color the thread is and my shelter is thrilled to get the pillows.

    I use a pool noodle on my knee lift to add some length and make it softer on my knee.

  • Sandra
    August 31, 2017

    A fabric lint roller is great for picking up loose threads from your cutting mat or sewing areas!

  • Linda Nelson
    August 31, 2017

    My machine came with many different foots. I ended up putting them in a embroidery floss container and have them organized and labeled.

  • Denise Clason
    August 31, 2017

    I like to keep my ribbon and lace pieces around a plastic hardened piece that is 6″ x 12″. I then put these strips into a plastic box with a lid. I have a large amount of ribbon and laces.

  • Peggy McGough
    August 31, 2017

    I’ve been sewing for my family and friends for about 55 years, and I’m never too old to learn new tips and tricks. My motto: “use it or loose it.” Yesterday was my birthday and my goal is to celebrate my 99th in 30 years! If I keep sewing and learning new things, I might make it.

  • Judy
    August 31, 2017

    I bought 4 – 2.5 lb barbell weights at Walmart. These discs have lots of sewing project uses such as holding patterns for cutting, press sewing projects, etc.

  • Virginia Shirey
    August 31, 2017

    My handiest tool for so many tedious sewing jobs is a flat-bladed short screwdriver that came with one of my earliest-purchased (I have more than one machine! Ha!) sewing machine. I can hold and maneuver it with my right hand very close to the needle. I use it to position short seams, gathers being stitched into a seam, to keep seam edges together on slippery fabrics as well as on knit fabrics, etc. I would love to have this new book to add to my library of Nancy’s books I already have! It has to be special and a good reference–knowing who authored it!

  • Janet Lumetta
    August 31, 2017

    I use a wall magazine holder to store the manuals for my many machines.

  • JoAn GODFREY
    August 31, 2017

    I put my good snipping scissors on a “LEASH.” I sewed a length of ribbon to the handle and pin the other end to my mat under my sewing machine. It keeps them from hitting the floor and being damaged if dropped. The bonus is you just reel them in if you do drop them and don’t have to get them from the floor!

  • Joan Marencik
    August 31, 2017

    Love all these ideas…I use chop sticks for guiding fabric under the foot; also to get into corners of fabric to push out. Use long handled lint rollers to pick up loose threads from floor so vacuum roller doesn’t get tangled; also can spot stray pins on floor (somehow roller seems to pop them out). Gum (tooth) brushs are great to clean hard to get at parts of machines.

  • Peggy MacMaster
    August 31, 2017

    Repurposing old shoe boxes has many uses. I enjoy appliqué so keep scraps of fabric from other projects, sorted in useful colors – red, blue, etc in each shoe box stacked on the bookcase. Nancy, you have been my inspiration for many years. Thank you

  • Jane
    August 31, 2017

    Just went looking for sheet of kitchen cabinet liner to keep my “foot” from wandering while I sew. I recycle margarine containers for loose threads on my sewing table.

  • Karen
    August 31, 2017

    Before starting a project I make sure I have everything I need next to my machine. Fabric precut, stabilizer pre cut, tools at the ready and I clear out everything I will not need to use to make my sewing more efficient.

  • Judy Valentino
    August 31, 2017

    Use a magic eraser to clean the bottom of your iron. I learned this tip from a quilter at an appliqué class. Worked great and you can cut them in half for traveling!

  • Peg G
    August 31, 2017

    I use the adhesive backed foam sheets sold in the craft section cut into 1inch by 3 inch “bumpers” as seam guides for my sewing students. They leave no residue on the machine and once they stop sticking properly a fresh colorful one is always available.

  • PamB
    August 31, 2017

    One simple thing I do is put my scissors on a lanyard around my neck. Then it is readily available to snip whatever as I sew.

  • Sunni
    August 31, 2017

    I use a 3 ring binder with sleeves to store needle packs. Each sleeve has clear individual pockets. On the top of page I mark needle category. I use kids candy containers for used needles. When the candy is gone the small, bright and fun shape of case makes for safe disposal.

  • beth d.
    August 31, 2017

    I use a tin container for some of thread. I got this tin that was with some candy inside, just wash it and it is ready to go. I also use decorative coffee mugs to put marking pens, scissors and seam rippers in on my sewing cabinet. It keeps everything at hand for use.

  • Diane Kaull
    August 31, 2017

    This was a great video! I love recycling and this was right up my wheelhouse! My favorite tip (assuming I can chose just one) was using several strips of painter’s tape stacked up to help align the plastic ruler with the fabric! thanks so much for all these great tips Nancy!

  • Valerie Brending
    August 31, 2017

    I very much clean as I go, especially if My mind gets overloaded w the dailys-refocuses the multitasking mind back to the present purpose 🙂 projects finish, and I am not left w mess- very happy camper thought to share-

  • Liz
    August 31, 2017

    I thread a pipe cleaner through my spool of thread and the corresponding bobbin and then twist the ends together. This way I’m not guessing which shade of bobbin thread matches which spool. I love the tip I just learned here too about adding a piece of pool noodle to my knee lift. That’s going to save me a lot of energy maneuvering my foot from the foot pedal far enough over to make contact with the knee lift. Thanks!

  • Beverly Shepard
    August 31, 2017

    I would love to have this book! I use empty prescription bottles for broken needles, bent pins, etc. They have good lids, and you can see what’s in the bottle. Empty thread cones are useful for wrapping small pieces of ribbon, leftover binding, holding rubber bands,ponytail holders, etc for future use.
    I like the idea of a TV tray as a small ironing surface, but an old wooden cutting board would work, too, and could be right beside your sewing machine.

  • Bonnie Thiem
    August 31, 2017

    If I get fusible webbing on my iron from doing applique I run my iron over a dryer sheet and it comes off. The iron has no traces of the webbing on it. I also us a scissor-type tweezer to remove threads after I have used my seam ripper.

  • Ruth
    August 31, 2017

    I make fabric organizing covers for old coffee cans and use that to store my notions in.

  • Karen R
    August 31, 2017

    I place a small scrap of Batting next to my sewing machine and use it to collect my thread trimmings. When it is full I just throw it into the “Recycle for dog beds” bag and get another.
    The thread sticks to it and I no longer have thread all over the floor under my machine.

  • Karen R
    August 31, 2017

    I place a small piece of quilt batting right by my machine to use for thread trimmings. the thread sticks to it and when it is full I just throw it into the “recycle for dog beds” bag and get another. Keeps the floor under my machine thread free, easier on the Vacuum.

  • Marsha Nelson
    August 31, 2017

    There are always several projects going on in my sewing room.
    I bought cute, colorful, lined baskets and keep 1 project in each one. Every thing I need to complete it is in the basket. So when I’m ready, it’s all there. Each time I work on it I put It back in the same basket until it is finished.

    • Susan Spiers
      August 31, 2017

      I use washers for cutting patterns out- will have to try covering them- very pretty! Thank you, Susan

  • Vicki
    August 31, 2017

    I use pony tail holders around my stabilizers. I’m thinking about trying Velcro so I can write the type of stabilizer on each one. I moved my unorganized button box to a Half Gallon Glass Canning Jar. It looks great and colorful. Getting ready to install the new 4’LED workshop lights on a re-adjustable chain from the ceiling over the sewing machine, yet under the ceiling fan –tight quarters.

  • Clovis
    August 31, 2017

    Some of the tips you suggested I do. Like the toe separator, tape on the ruler, I have all my buttons in a container and I have a separate paper cutter. There are so many tips you suggested. Thanks.

  • DebbieW
    August 31, 2017

    I will be visiting Bass Pro Shops to, hopefully, get the clear acrylic cylinder with screwable compartments for buttons. Wow, that was a mouthful. It’s great when we all share helpful techniques to make our sewing spaces more productive. Thanks Nancy.. : )

  • Penny Hammack
    August 31, 2017

    First, have my daughter-in-law. She is helping me organize my sewing room after two moves. We’re putting my lace and ribbon collection in plastic sandwich bags to keep it separated, clean and visible. She also suggested we hang lighter fabrics on coat hangers in my stash closet. Makes it easy to find what I’m looking for. Cheap plastic hangers bought from Walmart are perfect.

  • Lani
    August 31, 2017

    I use a 3 ring binder with see through sleeves to store my quilt patterns. I put the pattern in a sleeve with a fabric sample sheet and fabrics that shows what fabrics were used for sashing, border, binding, backing, etc. I also document the date the quilt or project was made. When I am really on the ball, I include a picture of the completed project. This really helps me remember what I did and when!

  • Susan T
    August 31, 2017

    I keep a empty facial tissue box on my ironing board in which to place snips and scraps. Give it a toss into the trash when full.

    I have a file cabinet in which I use one drawer for sewing files. I have a file for all my machine manuals and repair receipts. Another is used for all the instructions that come with notions.

  • Eileen horan
    August 31, 2017

    I use a tiny metal command hook positioned on the side of my sewing machine to hold my snips while I sew.

  • Candace Timpanelli
    August 31, 2017

    LOVE the tips. I am all about recycling.

  • Florence Dupuis
    August 31, 2017

    I use a white piece of paper behind my making needle to make threading easier. It makes the eye more visible.

  • Dawn
    August 31, 2017

    I use a small compartment box that is sold in the fishing supply department to store my sewing machine needles. I have labeled each compartment with the needle size and can see at a glance which sizes are running low.

  • Lynn
    August 31, 2017

    Pool noodles are great for rolling quilt blocks and tops, avoiding crease lines.

  • Jackie T
    August 31, 2017

    I store the instructions & finished block together in a clear plastic binder when making a mystery quilt or sampler. I also use new gardening gloves to handle the quilt , guiding it under the needle. The rubber dots are larger & grip better.

  • Carol
    August 31, 2017

    I use clear plastic shoe boxes to store my threats. I stand them up vertically so I can see the correct colors.

  • Maria G
    August 31, 2017

    I use cleaned out yankee candles to hold my buttons

  • Debbie Echaves
    August 31, 2017

    I use the clear squarish containers from nuts to store buttons you can see everything and they done waste space like round containers.

  • Rosie
    August 31, 2017

    I save the large glass jars with a cork stop that pepper corns come in. I use them to hold my Wonder clips, another for the pins used to pin a quilt before quilting, buttons, etc. This book looks so interesting.

  • Joanne
    August 31, 2017

    I use an empty recyclable prescription bottle to store used needles and pins, and when it’s full I put it in the recycling. I also just recently used shelf liner to make nonslip pads for my sewing machine, serger, and cover stitch machine pedals.

  • mary m young
    August 31, 2017

    I am very lucky to have an old timey store thread case from Coats and Clark. I have the colors lined up accordingly. The colors that I am using currently go into a basket by my machine. Thanks you for all the great ideas and I am going to turn over a new leaf to keep a more organized and tidy work space. How about putting one of those sticky rollers on the
    end of an old broom handle with duct tape. Use this on the sewing floor after you sew to pick up threads etc.

  • Roxanne Simonds
    August 31, 2017

    I love the ribbon storage idea! Great tips, and some of them I already use.

  • Charlotte Richardson
    August 31, 2017

    I use Comic Book Cardboard to wrap my fabric around.

  • Ellen Weber
    August 31, 2017

    Love all the tips!! I have been sewing for nearly 70 years and can always use a new tip! I cut about a 2″ piece of the hem of an old pair of jeans and use it behind the needle and under my presser foot to help the machine sew more evenly over thick seams, etc. when hemming blouses, etc. It raises the presser foot just enough to make it easier to sew neatly over that area.

  • Estelle
    August 31, 2017

    Just when I needed a birthday present for my friend who spends her life embroidering, you came up with the perfect gift: the steel wook needle sharpener! Thanks, Nancy!!

  • Bonnie
    August 31, 2017

    Bed riser are wonderful under cutting tables that are dining room height. Really saves the back. Also shop the fishing department for small plastic storage containers. Much cheaper there than the craft department.

  • Shelly
    August 31, 2017

    I have a lot of machine embroidery threads. Many don’t have a way to secure them. I buy inexpensive hair ties at the doller store and use them on the spools that don’t have notches to secure the ends. My thread drawer is sooo much neater and organized now, without all the thread unwound from my rayon threads!

  • Hearland Honey
    August 31, 2017

    I buy inexpensive hair ties at the dollar store and use them to secure the ends of my spools of thread. They are much more affordable than the expensive thread keepers sold online and serve the same function without the bulk!

  • Patti
    August 31, 2017

    I see lots of good ideas here. Sounds like a book I would really enjoy. The tips sections on sewing/quilting shows is my favorite part!

  • Kay Bennett
    August 31, 2017

    I purchased a 5 drawer plastic unit which fits under my sewing machine cabinet. I use it to hold threads, needles, etc. My husband constructed a wooden frame for the top of the unit which I covered for a mini ironing board. This is extremely handy when sewing, quilting and paper piecing.

  • Anne Z
    August 31, 2017

    I wind several bobbins before beginning a project, thus when I run out of thread with one bobbin, I can simply put in another one. I do not have to stop my sewing to load a bobbin.

  • Linda McLellan
    August 31, 2017

    I keep a small, portable ironing board near my sewing machine so I can quickly and easily press seams as I work on a project.

  • Gail
    August 31, 2017

    I use well washed ground beef containers to store scraps cut into charms and 2 1/2 in strips, etc. They are sturdy and can be stacked, and they hold quite a bit of fabric.
    Thanks for the great tips.

  • Mis Alva
    August 31, 2017

    I love to read your articles and tips. I am just a beginner.

  • Margaret Schenk
    August 31, 2017

    Don’t discard those corks from empty wine bottles. Use them to make sewing kits for quick and convenient small hand-sewing repairs. Wrap strands of white, black, or colored threads around the cork using a separate cork for each color. Secure a needle and a few straight pins in the top of the cork. Place your cork sewing kits in the drawers of end tables or other handy locations throughout the house. When someone needs a button sewn, a ripped seam stitched or other small emergency repair in a hurry, you’re good to go.

  • Deej Bradley
    August 31, 2017

    I love free motion quilting but can’t see what I am doing half the time if I use the standard embroidery foot. My bright idea was to use my jewelry tools, very inexpensive from the local craft store, to make one. Using the round nose pliers, I bent a large steel paper clip to fit and attached it to my machine. Wish I could send you a picture it is so cool. I can now see where I am going and where I’ve been and use it all the time.

  • Starla
    August 31, 2017

    My husband gave me a magnetic dish from his shop to hold pins — I just drop them in and they light themselves up! It’s big, about 5×7 inches, and red, too — my favorite color.

  • Venita
    August 31, 2017

    Several years ago, I purchased a 4 drawer case with clear plastic divided boxes( for fishing lures)from the hardware. I store all my buttons in it organized by kind & color. Works great.

  • Ethel Ahrendt
    August 31, 2017

    After I have blood drawn at my doctors office, they put that stretchy elastic bandage that sticks to itself on the owie. I save these and then cut up skinny strips of the elastic to put around my bobbins to keep the thread from unraveling.

  • Brenda
    August 31, 2017

    I store my needle packs in baseball card sheets that go in a three ring binder. Then I just flip through them when I need a new needle. It’s easy to find the right needle quickly.

  • Kathy Bennett
    August 31, 2017

    My mom gave me her 1960’s era travel iron to use for pressing quilt seams! It’s little, so very easy to maneuver on small seams and blocks.

  • Kathy
    August 31, 2017

    I keep empty jars to put buttons, ribbon, trim, elastic, etc. in. Easy to see what I have.

  • Kathy
    August 31, 2017

    I use empty jars to store buttons, trim, ribbon, elastic, etc. in. Easy to see what I have.

  • Tess
    August 31, 2017

    Wonderful tips!! Thanks! I use paper towel rolls to wrap my left over binding and then make a pieced binding for a scrap quilt. I put my smaller sewing feet in a fishing fly holder — the bigger feet go into a fishing box with bigger compartments. The sandwich boxes from Dollar Tree hold my 4.5″ and smaller pieces sorted by color (and the boxes are in color too). I found the wonderful (cheap) colorful AMAC boxes at the Container Store — the larger ones hold rotary blades, fabric markers and glue sticks. The smaller ones hold empty bobbins, etc as well as pins and needles. The great part is they fit on the window sill so I can see them at a glance and the light through them is awesome. I keep a basket from the dollar store beside the cutting mat to hold scraps and when full they go to a friend who makes dog beds. My “free” wall space is covered with peg board — some of it has shelves and some hooks to hang my rulers. I use the selvages that I trim off to tie batting, interfacing and to slip through the holes in my rotary cutters so I can track them at class and hang on the pegboard.

  • Calla Wininger
    August 31, 2017

    I use fishing tackle organizers (especially the type with adjustable dividers) to store presser feet, extra bobbins, and miscellaneous machine accessories. School supply boxes, recycled candy & cookie tins, and Pringles-style chip containers also make handy storage bins for my sewing and crochet supplies.

  • Jan N.
    August 31, 2017

    I lower my ironing board and set it up to the left of my sewing machine. On the right side I have a table for the cutting mat. This configuration ends up in a u-shape making it easy to just swivel my chair left or right, depending on whether I need to cut or iron and making my sewing time much more productive and efficient.

  • Tina
    August 31, 2017

    I use a magnetic fishing hook holder that stands up to hold my hand sewing needles. It’s about 3 X 4 inches and I don’t lose my threaded needles when I need to take a break. Thanks for the great ideas

  • Edna Marks
    August 31, 2017

    Use old pill bottles to hold needles that are to be discarded, keeps them from sticking who ever handles trash bags. Also use jars to hold buttons and other small items to keep them from getting lost.

  • Helen Bowie
    August 31, 2017

    I put the ironing board down to a low level and sit on the couch when cutting out small applique pieces that I need to use with Heat n Bond then that takes care of the tedious job and then I can go on to work on sewing the quilt top at a later time.

  • Ann Marie Oblas
    August 31, 2017

    After I finish piecing a quilt top, I get the batting and backing ready for sending it to my long arm quilter. I always cut my binding, sew the pieces together, press the binding, roll it up and secure it with a straight pin. And then I store the binding along with fabric remnants from the piece top, the pattern, and thread together (usually in a zippered plastic bag from purchased curtains or sheets). When my quilt is returned to me, it’s a very quick finish to attach the prepared binding!

  • Noreen
    August 31, 2017

    I love great tips! Thanks for sharing yours. I use gallon ziplock bags to keep my patterns in after I’ve used them, as they never fit easily back into the original envelope. I slip the pattern envelope into the bag along with all the pattern pieces, and squish the air out as I ziplock the bag. It stays nice and flat and you can see everything.

  • Sharon
    August 31, 2017

    Wow I have read all the tips and comments. They are all great and hope to try some of them out. Many I also use and it is so
    helpful to hear what other people use. This would be a great book to have. Thanks
    Sharon

  • Lynda Adair
    August 31, 2017

    I am a huge fan of painter’s tape for holding on small items to applique, trim, or lace. Pins get in the way, and the tape will hold securely, while you machine or hand sew, leaving no sticky residue.

  • Kayla Jackson
    August 31, 2017

    I use a cute hat box to store my current project. Pattern, thread, zippper, etc. This way the essentials for the current project are at my fingertips, neatly stowed and in a cute box!

  • Gaila
    August 31, 2017

    Oh my goodness! Thank you so much for all the wonderful ideas, Nancy. I plan to try several including the TV tray to be used as a small ironing area, the ribbon holder, the pool noodle, sleeve ham, and pressing cloth. Again, thank you!

  • Ola Norman
    August 31, 2017

    I made a quilted mat to go under my machine with pockets in the front to hold my clippers, ruler, etc.

  • Christine M
    August 31, 2017

    I wrap my fabric on comic book boards and line them up on shelves like books. Keeps my fabric stash neat and organized.

  • Terry Cullan
    August 31, 2017

    I use tins from tea to hold wonder clips, quilt basting pins, and small things like those.

  • Kar Bur
    September 1, 2017

    I too use empty “mint” tins for old needles and cutting blades. Great way to safely collect those old sharp items to eventually recycle. Love the idea of making a “P” on an old blade for cutting wrapping paper! As always, Nancy is sharing so many great ideas. Will be fun reading this book & organizing my sewing area even more.

  • Cindy
    September 1, 2017

    I have a 16 inch magnetic bar attached to the wall right in front of my sewing machine and serger. This holds my most used scissors, nippers, and shears all within easy reach of my machines so they are always accessible to me with no clutter on my work area, and I can easily pick which one I need at a glance. Love it!

  • Fran
    September 1, 2017

    After pressing my quilt blocks I put a heavy book on them til they cool, it helps keep them nice & flat.

  • Cassy L.
    September 1, 2017

    I use different size needles in my sewing machine. To keep track of what I am currently using, I put a small piece of double stick tape on my sewing machine and place needle container on it. The holder has the number printed on it so it is easy to see at a glance what is in my machine.

  • Debra A Armstrong
    September 1, 2017

    So great reading all these tips. Mine is glue a small magnet to a popsicle stick for picking up dropped pins.

  • Bonnie
    September 1, 2017

    I’m sure many of you us the plastic covers a new set of sheets are packaged in, but if I don’t need any at the time, I do take a few moments to rip out the zipper before discarding it. Free zipper.. yea!

  • Karen payton
    September 1, 2017

    I like to use a party platter with divided compartments to keep my cut pieces of fabric organized. The ones with a cover are a bonus for storage if needed.

  • Marti Morgan
    September 1, 2017

    There are sooo many and I am trying hard to think of them, of course I love using the pipe cleaners for fast bobbin case cleaning, I love using mole skin as a seam guide, and those plastic bags with zippers you get with linens for storing UFOs.

  • Corinne D.
    September 1, 2017

    For me, using a piece of shelf/drawer liner under my sewing machine foot pedal is a time saver. Now I’m not chasing the pedal around constantly.

  • Bonnie
    September 1, 2017

    101 Renegade Sewing and Quilting Tips is a fantastic resource for creative ideas. I organize my quilting rulers and templates in a hanging file folder box. By using this method I can store the templates, directions, and booklets in one easy to find location. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  • Johnnie Kay
    September 2, 2017

    Great ideas from the show and your friends! I store those pesky sharp quilting pins in old mason jars … find them at thrift stores. Also, there are plenty of scrap pieces at thrift store to make smaller projects …especially those projects that I don’t want to use my quilting cotton scraps for. Thank you for sharing Nancy!

  • Lynn Hursey
    September 2, 2017

    I have my iron plugged into a power strip along with a night light. When I leave my sewing room, if the night light is still on I know that I didn’t shut off the power strip and my iron.

  • Marie Shafer
    September 2, 2017

    This looks like a great book for my teenager to organize her sewing items. We know that we can’t go wrong with a Nancy Zieman book.

  • Chris
    September 3, 2017

    Taking the ribbon basket idea I thought of using a wire cube, dowel rods, and short rolls of stabilizer, to make a storage roll out for my stabilizer. You can purchase diy wire cube kits at places like Target or Walmart. Make a cube, insert dowel rod with a roll of stabilizer on it, then when needed unroll and cut. My cubes are 12 inch squares allowing me to put more then one roll per cube. Also, the cubes stack and take up so little room stacked next to my cutting table.

  • Lory Wood
    September 3, 2017

    I bring an empty tissue cube box to classes for scraps and threads, then easily throw it away after class. Thanks for all these ideas!

  • Sue Sneed
    September 3, 2017

    Thanks for all the years of tips and information on your show.I still enjoy it as I did many years ago. I loved the washer idea.

  • Judy G
    September 4, 2017

    I glued a small, strong magnet to the bottom of a decorative wine bottle cork to use for lifting rotary blades when changing them out on my rotary cutters. Also, did you know that 45 mm rotary blades fit perfectly into the larger diameter prescription bottles? Great for safe disposal of used rotary blades.

  • Ginger
    September 4, 2017

    That pedicure bobbin idea is great for storing bobbins to take along to classes! One of my favorite secret weapons for sewing is using hemostats for holding needles inserting into the machine or using to pull up bobbin threads.

  • Virginia Leo
    September 5, 2017

    I keep a dollar store basket next to my sewing machine with all the things I will use during the project; the different thread colors & bobbins, the pill case with all the feet for my machine, extra needles, my magnified seam ripper, reading glasses… I also keep a little dollar store tub on the other side of the machine for thread cuttings & I tie my tape measure to the handle of the basket (if I try to keep it around my neck it always ends up on the floor).

  • Bobbie Kolehouse
    September 6, 2017

    An original staple it hemmer, I’ve started sewing miniature in scale doll clothes. I bought a simple sewing machine, and found the miniaturist suppliers, but there is a gap in my actual sewing skills. Things like making a man’s tee shirt with ribbing, in scale for instance. This episode popped up on my FB feed and I love the hints and tips. I’ve already made a rolled “sleeve” pressing thingy and it helps open the seams. Organizing the materials is another challenge. Not just sorting but sorting them in ways I can find them when I need them. Love the tips and have ordered one of your earlier skill building books. (Oh yes, love the painter’s tape to the back of the ruler tip too!) Best wishes for a happy retirement, Nancy!

  • Cheryl
    September 7, 2017

    Would love to win a copy of this book. Nancy’s sewing tricks are always amazing. So many hints in all the responses -My favorite that I use is dollar store baby pigtail holders around my bobbins No more thread tangling

  • Carol
    September 9, 2017

    I use the pool noodle to wrap my binding around, I string a piece of scrap fabric through it, long enough to hand around my neck while I’m pinning the binding on. It’s never tangled and easy to keep track of.

    Can’t wait to get the pigtail holders for my bobbins, I hate the tangled mess they create!

  • Vickie
    September 10, 2017

    These are great ideas and I am already using some since I saw this program

  • charms
    November 8, 2017

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  • Ellen Guy
    November 16, 2017

    I use Command brand hoks to keep my quilting rulers right above my drafting/ cutting table. It works great!

  • Carol Spears
    November 16, 2017

    I use Hugo’s Amazing Tape to keep my sewing supplies together. You can even wrap it around the magnetic pin holder when packing it away to travel for classes, etc. I cut off about 3/8″ to wrap around the bobbins to keep threads from going everywhere. The best thing about it is you can reuse it time after time!

  • Https://Www.Etsy.Com
    December 10, 2017

    It’s going to be ending of mine day, except before finish I aam reading this great paragraph to increase my knowledge.

  • Carol Spears
    December 11, 2017

    I love Nancy’s hacks on organizing our sewing areas. Especially, the easy way to make a sleeve presser with magazines!

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