Because this is that time of year when I really don't have any pictures of what I'm working on, I have decided to steal borrow a blog topic from Nicole - Sister's Choice.
She posted yesterday morning - Tuesday - about what was in the cute new little basket by her sewing machine. It was interesting to see what she has that I might need, as well as what sorts of things we both use or have handy. Some of the commonalities among quilters make me laugh... as in, almost every quilter I know has a little candy stashed somewhere close at hand.
So this is what I keep within reach... but first let me get somewhat oriented. I sew on a large dining table that I bought on a close-out sale at World Market several years ago.
I got so used to sewing with my sewing machine up on a table that when I sew on a set-in machine, I wind up with sore shoulders and a stiff neck. My sewing machine sits just shy of mid-center, giving me some space on the right side for my "stuff" and more space on the left for a large cutting mat. I also have room to lay out "whatever" it is that I'm working on whether I'm at the parts or blocks stage. By moving that wire basket and dish in the corner, I've also the space to support the quilt for sewing bindings on big quilts. The extra space also converts very nicely into room for a second sewing machine on those occasions when a friend has come over to sew.
The machine in the picture is the one I'm using right now, I bought second-hand while I was having some "machine issues". It is a Bernina 240. It's been a perfect little back-up, and I've been enjoying it so much that even now that my old machines are back in working order, I'm reluctant to put it away. But I'll do that as soon as I finish my current project.
I've had the basket for six or seven years... I think. If not exactly that long, then almost. It was made by a lovely woman named Barb Renninger. But more on that in a minute.
The red base is my funky Ikea light, and the thread cone is on one of the Paul's Metal Petals flower cone holders. Aside from being pretty and useful, it is a constant reminder to be quiet when a friend asks you about whether or not you use something a month or so before Christmas.
Huh? A couple of years ago, my friend Judy asked me if I used a cone holder for thread. I didn't... and I told her that I really wasn't a fan of cone thread... blah blah blah. I probably wasn't a fan because I had never found a cone holder I liked. A few weeks later, while at Judy's house, I saw her cone holder and fell in love with it. That's when she told me that she had planned to get me one for Christmas until I told her I didn't like using cone thread. Judy now knows to ignore me when I say things like that.
That's a soap dish that has been repurposed for sewing things. It holds my wound bobbins - I wind four or five at a time - my seam ripper, and my readers (this is a pair of flea market glasses that a friend bought and that alone makes them my favorite). The scissors are the pair that are always next to my machine. (Though they probably need to be sharpened right now... making mental note)
Another true confession. While I think the soap dish is very pretty and I love using it next to my sewing machine, it is another one of those things that makes me smile when I see it. It isn't really "me". But I bought it in a shop in Houston, Texas because I felt guilty about going in and out of the shop three times to make sure I had the quotation on a pillow correct. It's simple - they had a machine-embroidered pillow in the shop that I really liked, mostly because I loved the quotation. But it was $160.00. Make that $160.00! No, thank you. So I went outside to write down the quotation, but then had to go back in to get the second part because I couldn't remember the last line. It's kind of long. Then I went back a third time to make sure I had the whole thing written down correctly. That's when I bought the soap dish, it was $20.00, or something like that. It had been put away until I ran across it a year or so ago while cleaning out closets.
As for the quotation - it is by Charles Schultz, the creator of Peanuts. It was the inspiration for my quilt, Charlie Brown. Charlie Brown said... "Sometimes I lie awake at night and ask myself, 'where have I gone wrong?' Then a voice says to me, 'this is going to take more than one night.'"
Right between my soap dish and my basket is a coaster for my soda/coffee/water, two pincushions and another small dish. The wool pincushion at the bottom is the one I use the most, it holds my favorite pins. The other pincushion has a couple of needles and it is the pincushion that gets moved around the room as needed.
While at the Chateau in the south of France, Lizzie and Charlotte had a dish of French chocolate-caramels that were so good they kept disappearing. Imagine that! A thin layer of dark chocolate over a smooth, not-too-sweet soft caramel. I saved a wrapper as a souvenir, and probably as a reminder to see if the candies were available here at home. They are Mi-Cho-Kos - michokos - and they are made by La Pie Qui Chante. As you can probably guess, I found them at Amazon.com. They can also be found here.
This is my basket. As you can see, I have way too many little pairs of scissors. Mostly I keep "spares" within reach, from rotary cutter blades to sewing machine needles and marking tools/pens. Extra readers. Note pads/post-it notes. Extra seam rippers. (First, I do use them regularly. Second, I have a bad habit of using them for purposes for which they were not intended... resulting in broken-off tips. Third, they do lose their "sharp" on the inside and eventually need to be replaced.) The Brighton tins on the side are filled with safety pins and some super-long pins that I don't use regularly but usually go looking for when making pincushions.
I have to 'fess up about those Brighton tins... did you know that every single thing I ever bought at Brighton was a gift? Each and every item was separate gift for different people. Okay, not exactly... but it was the only way those ladies would cough up more than one tin at a time.
The "What Happened" is the top of my band-aid box. After my last "sewing injury", it was kindly - and correctly - suggested that I needed some cooler band-aids, so armed with a good excuse to go to Urban Outfitters, I now have these.
On a side note - did you see that wild video of the shark-feeding frenzy in Australia?
Poor Charlie. (Charlie the tuna. The sharks were feeding on a school of tuna.)
I'm thinking he's going to need more than just one box of band-aids.