My second favorite "tool" is a small pillow that I use for applique. If you have ever appliqued, you soon realize that your neck hurts after a while because you are always leaning over your work. By placing a pillow on your lap, placing your work and hands on top of the pillow and putting your feet on a small footstool, your shoulders are forced back and the neck issue goes away. I carry my little green pillow everywhere I take my applique....it is all prickly with a variety of pins and threads hanging from it, but I wouldn't be without it!
The quilt shown in the picture is my first full applique project. Grandmother's Country Album pattern came out many years ago and I, along with several others online, (Carolyn) decided to make the quilt together. We chatted often and gave each other support. I think I made this quilt at least 3 times! I kept learning new techniques and improving and as that happened, I would do the blocks over. The center cabin block still doesn't satisfy me (it's too dark), but it is done and as everyone knows, done is better than perfect! As is the norm for me, I didn't follow the pattern completely. DH built the hanger and I stained/varnished it.
DH is putting in some ceiling lights this week that I requested and retro-fitting isn't the easiest thing to do in a ceiling. They are small flood lights strategically placed, so my sewing has taken a bit of a back seat while I help him with that. (guilt? :>) The pink and green applique/pieced blocks are now a top but it is taking on a life of it's own. It just keeps growing and taking more and more time - it was going to be a simple throw-it-together -and-be-done quilt.
We are in for some warmer weather and the snow is beginning to melt. There are still big piles of snow yet and we still can't see the grass in our yard, but the sunshine is a promise of things to come!! I hope you have a very sun-shiny kind of day!