Category Archives: Craft Tools

Craft Tools

Ode to Thread Heaven: Savior of My Hands and My Sanity

Ode to Thread Heaven: Savior of My Hands and My Sanity

Today, I’m going to tell you a little story. A story about my mad infatuation with a magical substance called Thread Heaven (affiliate link), a thread and embroidery floss conditioner that is solely responsible for saving both my hands and my sanity.

This story begins with a book. More specifically, the cross-stitch book that I’m currently writing, and the resulting mountain of sewing that such a book necessitates. It’s fun work, but it’s still a bit tough on the hands, especially after a long day of solid stitching. Luckily, I’ve recently discovered a marvelous little blue box—no, not the TARDIS—and it has been nothing short life-changing.

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Tutorial: Goldfish Bowl Poodle Skirt with AccuQuilt GO! Big

Tutorial: Goldfish Bowl Poodle Skirt with AccuQuilt GO! Big | The Zen of Making

Tutorial: Goldfish Bowl Poodle Skirt with AccuQuilt GO! Big | The Zen of Making

Disclosure: AccuQuilt kindly provided the GO! Big electric fabric cutter and GO! Big circle die for this project.

Love the look of retro 1950s-inspired style? Be the belle of the sock hop with this fun and flirty DIY goldfish bowl “poodle” skirt!

It’s surprisingly easy to create your own custom version of the iconic poodle skirt, and, in this tutorial, I’ll show you how to make my quirky aquatic variation. But, before we get to the tutorial, I’d like to introduce you to my new favorite toy, the AccuQuilt GO! Big electric fabric cutter. The GO! Big definitely saved me a ton of time on this project—I’m kind of a perfectionist, so circles are probably my least favorite shape to cut out—and I couldn’t recommend it more highly. I was already in love with my AccuQuilt GO! Baby, and, I have to admit, the GO! Big really blew my mind too!

** This post is part of the AccuQuilt GO! Big Blog Hop! Scroll down to the end of the post for 10 whole days of AccuQuilt-inspired fun!**

Continue reading Tutorial: Goldfish Bowl Poodle Skirt with AccuQuilt GO! Big

Tools: How to Use Thread Snips

Tools: How to Use Thread Snips | The Zen of Making

Thread snips—also called thread nippers, thread clippers, and thread cutters—are incredibly handy little scissors to have around your craft room or sewing studio. Perfect for sewers, multi-crafters, and yarn crafters alike, they’re compact, light, and made to be operated quickly (most are spring-loaded), making them ideal for snipping threads, notching fabric, or clipping yarn ends while you work.

Tools: How to Use Thread Snips | The Zen of Making

I love my own thread snips so much that I even designed a special scissors holder necklace so I can have them close at hand whenever I’m working. But, like all tools in the sewing room, knowing that thread snips are awesome in theory doesn’t do you a bit of good if you don’t actually know how to use them in practice. (And, at first glance, that’s not always obvious.) So, for those of you who’ve seen thread snips in craft stores and fabric shops but still aren’t quite sure how they work, I put together a couple of GIFs to show you how to hold them, how to move the blades, and how to use them to cut. I hope this helps solve some mysteries!

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Sunday Snapshot: Crafty Forensics with Tailor’s Chalk

Sunday Snapshot: Crafty Forensics with Tailor's Chalk | The Zen of Making

This week, I learned that, if you have a razor blade and some patience, you totally can dust for fingerprints with powder scraped from tailor’s chalk. (Actually, I used a razor-edge seam ripper, but same difference.)

I also learned that I’m friends with exactly the right people, as none of them were even remotely surprised when I MacGyvered up said crafty latent print action.

Sunday Snapshot: Crafty Forensics with Tailor's Chalk | The Zen of Making

The fingerprint in question.

(Full disclosure: My dad is a police officer, so this isn’t exactly a random skill. I grew up knowing how to dust for prints.)

Sunday Snapshot: Crafty Forensics with Tailor's Chalk | The Zen of Making

On a somewhat related subject: I also accidentally created the first of what may become a series of craft-related murder mystery art photos. (I didn’t *mean* to look dead in the picture, but, well, there you have it.)

So, uh, do you think that maybe my subconscious and/or the universe is trying to tell me to write a craft-related cozy mystery series? Because it kind of seems that way to me.

Don’t forget to follow along on Instagram for daily doses of Tiny Cranky Haley and/or my other crafty adventures!