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Tips for Assembling a Tool Bag

Everybody has their own ideas about the tools they want to have on hand – it’s one thing when we’re at home and have access to our “nest”, fully outfitted and arranged.  But, how about taking it on the road? I stitch with a group once a month (rotating around members’ houses), also attend classes whenever my schedule permits, and adore stitching on the road if there is a willing driver……so I have developed a bag of goodies that go with me no-matter-what.

Obviously, one must have an assortment of needles – at a minimum, my bag will have Tapestry and Chenilles in sizes 20, 22, 24, and 26. Milliner’s needles are handy to have on hand (you might want to make a perfect bullion knot, so much easier with a Milliner’s needle).  Don’t forget to throw in a few threaders and magnet pairs, too.  Scissors, of course – exquisite embroidery scissors, scissors for cutting metallic threads, an all-purpose pair in case you need to cut paper, cardboard, whatever.  My bag has an assortment of laying tools– my personal favorite is a shaped, wooden tool about 7 inches long, but it’s important also to have a Tekobari (not to be confused with the BLT) and perhaps one other like the Trolley Needle.  There are a number of lovely hair and shawl “pins” that make good laying tools, too.  A 6? ruler is handy, along with an assortment of colored pencils and a good mechanical pencil.  Spare rust-proof tacks and a tool to remove them; an Alan wrench to adjust/assemble a Lowery Stand; T-Tool to adjust Evertite Stretcher Bars; Bugz-Eye Magnifier; and Pink Hair Tape (think Sally’s Beauty Supply, this handy tape will hold things out of the way without leaving sticky residue – just don’t leave it there indefinitely……..) are all useful.  One incredibly handy tool is a telescoping magnet wand– especially for dropped needles in the car or on an airplane!  Add a bit of paper or card stock (for notes or masking stitch diagrams for purposes of determining compensation), and I’m ready to go.

Not necessary, but oh-so-wonderful to have are adornments for your scissors and threaders.  My faves are by Lee Cox, an amazing artist (and stitcher, by the way) who creates dichroic glass beads, then combines them with silver beads and Swarovski crystal beads into the most beautiful tassels. Her bracelets and necklaces are spectacular, too.  Will put a link in next post so you can see her beautiful work.

Set up your tool bag, and you’ll be ready to go, too!

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