I am AWL in!

July 01, 2018

I am AWL in!

Do you use an awl when sewing?

I was presented with this wonderful tool years and years ago when I attended a Pine Needles Quilt Shop VIP event as a customer!  I remember back then I was shown how to use a straight quilter awl to help feed the fabrics evenly from the beginning to the end of a seam without "stitching through" my finger!

Over the years this tool has replaced almost every pin when piecing , every time I make a project.  When used properly fabrics are kept from shifting and seams can be neatly and accurately "nested" using the awl as a guide.

THIS is a picture of the first awl i ever bought back when I was "30ish" at my local quilt shop (Pine Needles, which my husband and I bought many years later). 

Those of you that know me know that I do not wear much jewelry, however these types of things are my substitute. This gold plated beauty caught my eye, and I just had to have it (even though it was not in my budget). 

I still have it! It has moved with me from place to place 5 times.  It has a prominent space in my sewing drawer, and I still use it.  Ah yes, a "good" investment.

I love my tools, so now some 20 years later I have 2 more awls that I like to use.  Next up, a ball point awl, this is great to use for the same purpose on lighter and knit fabrics so I do not pierce any of the more delicate fibers/threads of my projects.  I like to use it too when turning pillows, pockets and tubes, the ball point will not push through the corner as easily as my sharp pointed one.

My latest discovery is the curved tip awl, while I have been known to use in place of my regular awl (truth is it is likely the other one is misplaced or at a different machine). This special tip is wonderful when doing curved piecing, for getting underneath the seams for straight pressing and so forth.

Folks often ask me often how I get so many projects done in a limited amount of time.  The answer is three-fold:

  • Don't sweat the small stuff - done is better than perfect ALL THE TIME
  • Tools - having the right machine, accessories and tools in your sewing room. Sewing awls are a staple in my sewing area.
  • Do not put your machine away.   Leave it out.  When you can steal away for 10 to 15 minutes here and there, you will be amazed at how much you can get done in these little bits of time.

ACTUALLY, a dream come true for me would be:  some kind of platform for my sewing machine on my treadmill with the ability to make the steps really smooth so the fabrics would glide through the machine without jerking…then I could accomplish these two things in tandem…. :)

Happy Sewing!

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