One of my favorite things to do is wander around hardware/home-improvement stores to seek out what I like to call "quilty tools." On a recent excursion, I found this little apron at Lowe's (suggested retail price: $1.49!). I love finding things that make a light bulb go on over my head. I saw this and thought "that'd make a terrific little handy-dandy tool belt!"
It's a simple little canvas apron with two large pockets on the front --and, of course, a giant screen-printed Lowe's logo (but for less than two-bucks, I can live with the logo). I took it to my domestic sewing machine and added more pockets by simply sewing straight seams and creating pockets of varying sizes right where I wanted them.
Viola! -- a personalized tool belt that holds everything thing I need for working at my longarm. From left to right, it holds the following:
- A Zinger -- retractable clip-on holder for my scissors
- Tweezers - great for picking up those errant threads and pulling up bobbin thread
- Small Screwdriver -- for changing needles or removing needle plate
- Soft Touch Thread Pic (with leather cover over pic end so you don't stab yourself in the belly when you bend over) for "unsewing" (aka frog stitching, seam ripping, etc.) areas
- Oil Spout (with plastic end cap -- again, to avoid getting stabbed when bending over)
- Mini pin cushion (pilfered from a wrist pin cushion and safety-pinned to apron) for pins and a self-threading needle
- Brushes for cleaning
- Mini screwdriver for adjusting tension on bobbin case
- Needle Puller Rubber Disc
- Red Snapper Mini Clamps for loading quilt backs and a piece of tailor's chalk in the big pocket on the right
That's it! Easy-peasy! It's so convenient (and much more efficient) to have everything you need right at your fingertips. You, too, can make your own customized tool belt in just a few minutes and a buck-and-a-half!