Wednesday, May 2, 2012


I turned off the computer so didn't have the use of my printer/scanner. So went to the old method of copying my pattern piecing. Tracing is the method. We had a storm front go through and decided while it was storming I could trace off patterns and not have anything electrical on. I got my cheap tools out. Yes I am cheap. I wish I could afford better tools, but I still would look to save money. I used a mechanical pencil and as you know they have lead that smudges when you need to erase blunders.

I am sorry I can't give credit to the quilter whose blog I read about using a white eraser to remove pencil lines. This quilter said to look at Dollar Stores for a good buy for these erasers. Well soon after that I went to a new dollar store and found a whole pack of them for a $1. I should have bought some more. Maybe will go back and see if they have anymore.

They work without smudging the paper. The suggestion was a great one and I want to pass it on. If you are the original messenger thank you for the idea of looking at the dollar store. This would be a good eraser for Children also. It is a nice size to handle and yet it does a wonderful job.

The next tool I use is Contractors paper or Architect paper.
I buy it in rolls and cut the pieces off the size I want. It was $25 a roll, but I have gotten so many more uses out of it over buying in the pads. Also the length issue is covered. If you have a big area to trace I can unroll the paper and cut the length of my choice off of it. I save any small pieces for small tracings also. I then save my master tracing and use for positioning of applique pieces.
The other thing is the paper is thin and can be stored within the confines of the book cover. I use a paper clip to secure to the cover and I have them available when ever I want to reuse this pattern.

As you can see it it transparent and works well for tracing. Also you can use it to position applique pieces on your blocks because you can see it. When you fold it it is thin and you can store it really flat. This was bought at a paper store, but the big box office supply store carry it now. I also found it in printer paper size so it can be used in your printers without having to trim the paper to fit the printer. This is 24 inches in width and about 50 feet in length. The good thing is you don't have a lot of printer paper sized pieces taped together to get a design traced on.

So when you are in the dollar stores and the office supply stores look and see what is available for your needs. I read a post on a blog where the placement guide for applique was traced onto acetate or clear acrylic with dry marker. This way you can reuse the acetate sheet over and over again. This really makes sense. It amazes me the thinking outside the box that quilters use to meet their needs.

Put your thinking caps on and look around for the best use of supplies and products that can save you money and work for more than one purpose.

I read so many blogs and I have these DAH! moments when I think why didn't I think of that. I admire those who come up with a solution to their needs and no cost is outlaid for expensive tools. Look at your tools and see if you have all that you need. Chris


Katie M. said...

I have found so many things in hardware stores and office supply stores over the years that have saved me so much. It seem that once someone adds the "quilting" label to something it automatically doubles in price! I guess a label makes something 'specialty' :-)

StripperDeb said...

Love ALL your great ideas, especially the Contractors paper - I will definitely be getting me some of this, Thanks for sharing!!

Happy Quilting,