Monday, May 6, 2013

Happy Giveaway Day!

Welcome!

I know you're probably busy blog hopping, I will be too in a bit, so I'll try not keep you long!

I love vintage notions, and look for sewing bits whenever I'm at an estate sale or thrift store.  They often tell such great stories about their owners.  Once, I bought a sewing box at an auction that belonged to a nurse, she had suture silk, surgical blades, and bandage scissors stashed in there, along with a bullet casing!  Clearly, your imagination must be a large part of the story.  I've found old letters, Girl Scout patches that never got sewn on, promotional needle books from banks, campaign buttons; all sorts of treasure!  I even found template pieces cut from old newspaper that someone had bought from another quilter for $0.25...by mail...almost half the price of a stamp today.

I display what I can in my sewing room, but my collecting has gotten a bit out of hand.

l:  framed needle books above my machine  r:  shelves of tatting and crochet thread, hooks/needles, pins, etc.

And so, today, for my first ever giveaway, I have some vintage notions to offer!

I'll be adding some more buttons and things throughout the week, it's spring cleaning time, here!


Giveaway will close on May 10th, at 5pm PST, and is open to US residents (sorry international friends).
The winner will be chosen by random from the comments section of this post.

To enter, please answer one of the following:

  • Your best sewing tip, or favorite sewing notion?  
  • Are there any household items that may not be made for sewing, but that you use in your sewing arsenal? 
  • The bullet casing...what in the world do you think she was using that for? 


Bonus entry for followers of my blog.  Just tell me what method you used.

Follow on Bloglovin


Good luck, and thank you for stopping by!

177 comments:

  1. My favorite sewing notion...hmm...I used to HATE ric rac unti I discovered how to use it to make a sweet scalloped edge on dresses. Line it up to the bottom of hem (serged hem) on the right side and then flip under and sew in place. So sweet. Now I want to use ric rac on all my daughter's dresses. :)

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  2. But favorite sewing notion really is good thread! Not necessarily expensive thread, but good thread! (My favorite kinds is actually really cheap but it works well in my machine!)

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  3. I LOVE ric rac but hardly use it. but I also LOVE LOVE LOVE vintage buttons!!!

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  4. The bullet casing... I would love to romanticize it somehow by imagining that she kept it for sentimental reasons. As a nurse, she removed a bullet from wounded soldier who later became the love of her life.

    Thanks! Kate

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  5. My tweezers have gotten me out of many a thread jam and my sewing razor might raise brows (remove pills) were my sewing kit be sold off.

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  6. I am in love with my seam ripper. I gave him a name because I use him so often.

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  7. I "borrowed" one of my husband's craft self-healing mats (he's an art teacher) and it is my way favorite when I cut with my rotary cutter. I am yet to return it, oops!

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  8. I love buttons.

    melodyj(at)gmail(dot)com

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  9. I love ribbon and ric rac. I rarely get a chance to use it--I have two small boys and no girls!--but I have a very healthy collection, including some old school unopened ric rac my husband's grandmother gave me a year or so ago! Love it!

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  10. I love to make binding from scraps, I try to cut them on the bias so then you get an easy biased tape. Thanks for the chance to win.

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  11. Oh, I love vintage notions! My very favorite is ric rac. I am absolutely in love with it!

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  12. I love using cute ric rac and other trims, especially when I make aprons. Thanks for hosting!

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  13. i LOVE vintage buttons. and i use a ridiculous amount of elastic for pants-making. :) i have some vintage goodies for giveaway on my blog too! love yours. :)
    -jess

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  14. I love fun buttons! You just can't find them like the vintage anymore!

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  15. My favorite vintage sewing notion is zippers! The metal kind. They just seem of such higher quality than what they make today.

    Brigid
    The Middle Sister and Singer

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  16. I love vintage notions. I try to collect them when I find them. My favorite sewing notion is the rotary cutter. It's been the best time saver for my quilting.

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  17. I have a pair of suture scissors that I use for embroidery. After more than 20 years they are still razor sharp.

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  18. Best sewing tip? It's all about pressing. My sewing has improved so much since taking the time to press well, and using tools that help, like a seam roll, a ham, and a press cloth.

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  19. I'm a bloglovin follower :)

    dazzlingshorty(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  20. I love my rotary cutters!

    dazzlingshorty(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  21. my machine does not have a place for large spools of thread - good thing one of the arms of a paper towels holder (one of the stand ones) works just as well!

    bethbimber(at)gmail(dot)com

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  22. I use a wonderful item that is supposed to be used for sorting paper. It is over with the office supply items. They are little rubber thimble looking things that go on your fingers for sorting paper. They are wonderful for sewing fabric that is hard to get your needle through. They also protect your fingers when you have a lot of hand sewing to do.

    melsdaisypatch at gmail dot com

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  23. followed with bloglovin as Melissa Graham

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  24. lick the needle, not the thread!

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  25. I use a plastic colander for thread catching, on the floor at my side. I rub it with some wool fabric to get it all static-y, and then any thread I toss in the general direction of it is SNAPPED UP and caught!

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  26. I use burlap the same way, it rolls on the sq and toss and its no longer in for the vacuum

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  27. When working with fabric from multiple sources, never, ever trust that it has or has not been washed. Always wash it. My current project has so many sources I have had to hand shrink jelly rolls.

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  28. I am going to guess that the bullet casing was removed from someone? Strange... Thanks for a lovely giveaway!!

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  29. I have five seams rippers because I can never find one when needed!

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  30. My sewing trick: pin-a-lot. Works for me! Thanks for the giveaway. Ana

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  31. My guess for the bullet casing: she used it as a thimble (if it was big enough to fit on her finger). I'm dying to know her story! Thank you for giving these wonderful vintage notions away. They are awesome!

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  32. My seam ripper is my favourite notion.

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  33. I love the thought of the bullet casing. My imagination is running wild with this one...but from experience I know that they make great whistles...maybe she used it to store her needles.

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  34. I am a happy new follower via GFC...looking forward to hearing about more of your discoveries.

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  35. I love my huge box of vintage buttons saved by both my husband's grandmothers. One was naturally thrifty and saved them all. The other was a antiques dealer and had a huge stash!

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  36. I love my seam ripper :) I just got some sticky finger tip thimbles that I am about to try when I sew my binding. Hope they work!!!

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  37. My favorite tools are my fat seam ripper and I have a bunch of rubber finger tips from an old office job that are great for FMQ.

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  38. My favorite sewing tip is to iron every seam!

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  39. My best tip is to press, press, press!

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  40. My favorite sewing notion is buttons! I add them to everything!

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  41. How fun! I like to use paper plates to hold fabric pieces for blocks after cutting and use recycled glass jars to hold items like buttons and waste triangles.

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  42. I love your beautiful giveaway!
    I like my threads..

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  43. best sewing tip I have is one I have yet to master myself MEASURE CORRECTLY THE FIRST TIME. I keep a little bowl of water beside me instead of licking my fingers to get traction on my fabric when piecing for quilts. Oh my gosh why would you keep a bullett casing in there? Fun fact, when we went through my grandma's sewing needles, she also had a few needles from her insulin in the same coffee can :D

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  44. The bullet casing - could it be used as a thimble? that might be crazy :)

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  45. I use a pewter plate that has the word LOVE stamped all around it for my thread catcher.

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  46. twizzers are great for getting those tiny threads that stay down at the bottom inside your machine. can't think of anything else... oh, toilet roll cartons to wrap my binding tape around

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  47. I like using cupcake tins to sort my pieces in when I am sewing

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  48. I use chop sticks from our local Asian restaurant when turning objects to make the corners nice and sharp.

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  49. tweezers for when I'm sewing curves and chopsticks for turning!
    I love vintage and I love notions and the combination is even better!

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  50. Great giveaway! I'll answer number two. lol My husband set a brand new Gerber Multi Tool on my sewing desk about a month ago. I'm not sure if you know what it is but he uses it in the Army, it reminds me of a pliers but with a lof of other cool stuff. Well anyways it came in very handy the other day as I bent a pin because I left it in while sewing. It was stuck in the machine, in the fabric, just everywhere. Craziness, and the Gerber was the perfect tool I never knew I needed! lol Thanks for the chance to win!
    mrs(dot)hbraun(at)gmail(dot)com

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  51. New follower on bloglovin'
    mrs(dot)hbraun(at)gmail(dot)com

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  52. I believe the bullet was extracted during the war from a man she fell in love with during his treatment... and they lived happily ever after!

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  53. Oh, I'm with you: I love old sewing notions. I buy them whenever I see them (unless I can persuade myself that I really don't need them, which isn't often enough). There's just something wonderful about knowing someone 50 or more years ago bought them for some project. Well, I sometimes use those rubber jar openers to pull needles through difficult, thick fabrics. And I use eyebrow shapers as seam rippers. If I win your giveaway I promise to give those items a great home! Thanks for participating in the giveaway. (You might like my most recent post about an old tape measure, a Tattle Tape for Women.)

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  54. I found a martini glass in my cupboard that fits 5 in precuts perfectly for marking circles!

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  55. I don't know what I did without a rotary cutter. I am working on a quilt that I started several years ago before I had a cutter. It is now so easy to cut and piece.

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  56. I am a new follower-Bloglovin

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  57. Bullet casing = thimble?
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    jgemeroy(at)gmail(dot)com

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  58. Following with GFC
    jgemeroy(at)gmail(dot)com

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  59. I love my june tailor shape cut plus ruler! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  60. My favorite notion is vintage lace!
    mandiprout80@ gmail dot com

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  61. I love the seam ripper with the little rubber thing off the end that picks out all the little treads. I am sure there is a name for it but I don't know what it is. Oh and the pens that iron off!

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  62. I love my plastic 15 knitting needle for turning corners

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  63. Hmmmm...I would like to think that the she helped a man with his gunshot wound and he later became her husband, so she saved it as a memento! atabanana29(at)gmail(dot)com

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  64. I follow you on Bloglovin! atabanana29(at)gmail(dot)com

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  65. I use clear shower curtain liners for copying patterns.

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  66. My best sewing tip is so blatantly obvious that I am not sure if it counts: close the computer and sew! But my favorite notions are vintage trims: everything from laces to cotton ricrac and binding.

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  67. Yours is a fun giveaway! I frequently use a papermate ballpoint pen to draw around templates on the wrong side of the fabric. I use bowls and plates of different sizes to draw around for fabric circles (or to make a circle template of cardboard). Recently I started using painter's tape to mark quilting lines for machine quilting. I use various sizes of ziplock bags to hold quilt pieces and keep them sorted.

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  68. I am a happy follower of your blog with GFC!

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  69. I haven't got any sewing tip at the time, because I'm a beginner and I'm only using tips from others at the moments... (but thanks everyone for your tips !)

    I don't have any bullet casing but the box to store trousers patches is a little tin soldier box that used to be my grandfather's one. I use screw storage to store my buttons and whiskey boxes for my knitting needles. As I usually can't afford many things, I reuse a lot from everywhere. But it's not as lovely as most of the sewing rooms I can't see on the net (anyway, I don't have a sewing room neither).

    Was the bullet casing used to store needles ? It shall be efficient to sort them out.

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  70. It seems that my most used notion of late is my quick unpick!! I love my quilting rulers.

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  71. Dental floss can be useful to make gathers, and I use old magazines for paper piecing all the time.

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  72. I love to find vintage notions too when I'm poking around thrift stores. My tip is to have good lighting, it makes it so much easier to match up seams, etc. Thanks for the chance to win.

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  73. The stopper for an exercise ball. Yes, I use one to help me stuff the little arms/legs in the little felt toys I make. It's PERFECT.

    Love your giveaway.

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  74. This looks lovely.My fav sewing notion is good thread.Lovely giveaway,thank you for the chance to win it.Have a lovely day.

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  75. My favorite sewing notion is a good and sharp pair of scissors. Thanks for the lovely giveaway!

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  76. I love vintage items so I am really excited about your giveaway. Thank you so much.
    I love my rotary cutter, but for something that doesn't belong in the sewing room, I have a small dowel that I use when I need to turn my strips after I sew them for straps or other things.

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  77. I have some Chinese style teacups that I use as holders for my scissors, seam rippers, and pencils. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  78. The rotary cutter along with rulers and mats have been the best tools to come out. Anything in the kitchen works well for making round templates.

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  79. I use milk jugs in my arsenal for templates. thanks for the chance!

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  80. Love my rotary cutter
    sntbosch(at)me(dot)com

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  81. I find my self using custard cups a lot when I sew to put needles, or threads, or safety pins in while at the machine.

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  82. I love the vintage vibe of your blog and am now a new follower via GFC.

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  83. so the bullet casing... I think that her husband was shooting stuff in the front yard and she went outside to tell him to stop because it was disturbing her and so she almost slipped on that casing so she grabbed it and went back inside and put it in her sewing kit when she went back to what she was doing.

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  84. Favorite/hated notion is the must needed seam ripper!

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  85. what a genesis idea of framing the sewing books. I have the bottom one and love it but never through to preserve it like that.
    I use my kids washable markers for tracing out my patterns. and needle nose pliers for the occasional digging things out of my machine, usually when bad things happen. plus I use a wooden spoon to get corners out when turning things right side out.

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  86. I have a Hera Marker and I love it. I can really recommend it! I use a wooden stick (for flowers) instead of a stiletto (I think that´s what it is called).
    Gun, Sweden
    gun@lapp.se

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  87. Don't ever sew when you are in a bad mood. It will just get worse. So, chill out and come back later or even the next day. It is not good to have to rip out seams all day long. Thank you for your exceptional giveaway. Hoping to be a lucky winner.

    Sandi Timmons
    sandit1@sbcglobal.net

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  88. Fun giveaway. Maybe the bullet casing was used to poke out corners. I have used my daughters' hair sticks for that and also their snap barrettes to put binding on. Now they sell plain ones like that for binding.

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  89. Was she using the bullet casing as a thimble?

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  90. I follow you through Bloglovin

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  91. I like my rotary cutter. Thanks for chance to win.

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  92. I'm a new follower through GFC.

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  93. I started using washi tape to hold the cloth together instead of pins. Especially in those tight spaces. I just sew right through it ad the glue residue is almost non-existant. Works like a charm.

    The bullet casing was to hide her lipstick ;)

    Thank you for a great giveaway and the chance to win. If I win this, I would actually love you to send it to a friend of mine in the US who is about as crazy as you are about vintage sewing notions. The two of you could probably clean out all the yard sales in the Us - hahaha.

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  94. OMG, I have sewing room envy! A) I don't have one at all, and B) yours is sooooo cute! I'm addicted to vintage sewing notions, too! I do adore me some rick-rack...

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  95. I love making my own bias tape! It is so easy and pretty!

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  96. Household item: Chopsticks! They are great for turning corners, distributing stuffing, and I'm sure I pull them out for other uses that are currently escaping me.

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  97. I follow with my rss reader

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  98. My favorite sewing use for a non-sewing item that I recently saw was taping a chopstick to your sewing machine for putting a second spool of thread in your machine (when using a double needle). Awesome!

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  99. I like the rubber band around the machine when using large seam allowances. Thanks!

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  100. I've cetainly used tweezers when I can't get my thread to properly go under the metal plate from the bobbin case!

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  101. My favorite notion is iron-in interfacing.

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  102. Love a vintage notion - still at the beginning of my collection though.

    As for the non-sewing notion - a hammer.

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  103. i love Vintage Notions. Thank you so much for the chance to enter yoru giveaway. My favorite notion os of cours ethe handy dandy seam ripper. MY favorite item is the sticky lint roller. Makes it so easy to pick up all those lil pesky threads when you have to rip soemthing out and to run over a finished project or my cutting table to pick up all the lil bits n pieces of threads and stuff.

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  104. I use chopsticks to turn corners.

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  105. My favorite sewing notion has got to be the giant bag of vintage buttons my mother acquired from her grandmother. Thank you for the giveaway!

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  106. I have a button obsession. I have jars and jars of them.

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  107. I love old buttons, I am currently using some of my mum and grandmothers vintage buttons to decorate my first sewing project for me, A sewing machine cover and matt to put under the machine to protect my dinning table.

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  108. I love my rotary cutter/mat and rulers. I couldn't sew or craft without them. I have a small funnel in my sewing room that I used to fill corn bags with.

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  109. I have a pair of fly-tying scissors that I use - I love that they are very pointed, very sharp and actually cut right at the tip, and the handles are more comfy than any other little scissors I have. Thanks for a chance to win! :)

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  110. I now follow you via bloglovin. :)

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  111. I've learned how essential the right needles are for the job.

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  112. Vintage is fabulous! One of my favorite notions are covered button kits - the perfect finishing touch for any vintage dress pattern!

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  113. My favorite item to use that is not sewing related is chopsticks. These work great to turn narrow straps.
    detroitgirl77 AT gmail DOT com

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  114. I also follow via blog lovin

    detroitgirl77 AT gmail DOT com

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  115. I love my rotary mat. hadas_a1@yahoo.com

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  116. I love notion is my seam ripper.

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  117. I am a follower to your blog.

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  118. buttons..I have bags and bags of buttons!

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  119. I use a chopstick when turning things right side out (for the corners).

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  120. My favorite notion is my pretty needle threader and I also love to use chopsticks too.

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  121. I just discovered a walking foot... it opened up the world of knits for me!
    peachstateme (at) hotmail (dot) com

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  122. Okay, this may jus be my active imagination, but I don't think the nurse was using the bullet casing, I think she removed it from someone and used the suture thread, etc. . . That she has stashed to sew the patient up! Maybe she helped someone cover up a crime? Do you think I have read too many mystery novels?

    I love vintage notions too and am so excited about this giveaway. Thanks for sharing.

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  123. Maybe she was a war-time nurse, and the bullet casing had some special meaning to her?

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  124. Pencils and an 18-inch metal ruler are part of my sewing tools.

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  125. My favorite sewing notion is my rotary cutter. It works miracles quickly.

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  126. My favorite sewing notion is bias tape. I like the vintage ones and handmade ones. thanks for the giveaway!

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  127. I use a lot of the crystal doodads and china that I inherited from my grandmother in my quilting room. A short vase holds my seam rippers. A wider mouthed one holds my scissors and rotary cutters. I put bobbins in a sugar bowl with a lid so the kittens don't get at it. It makes me really happy to see those precious old things get used every day, and they are lovely reminders of a previous generation of quilters and sewists. P.S. I adore your wooden spools!

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  128. I am following you via GFC.

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  129. I wonder if she used the casing as a type of thimble, hmm.

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  130. I love a good thread!
    carin(dot)aschan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  131. I love buttons, all kinds of buttons have a use when I'm creating :-) Thank you for offering the giveaway.

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  132. I'm following you on bloglovin.

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  133. I also love buttons but tweezers and a set of chopsticks that I use for guiding fabric are always close by when I sew or embroider. Thank you! (Is it sad that I wanted to answer all three questions??)

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  134. I have always loved buttons. I remember visiting a store as a child that had huge jars of buttons on the counter.
    (majesticjenkinsATgmailDOTcom)

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  135. I can answer one and two together...I bought a device when I was walking around a tool store with my husband that I use ALL the time. It's like a stilleto with one end sort of square with sharper edges down to a sharp point that I use to cut threads, rip out seams, etc. and the other end is rounded to a sharp point that I use to miter corners while I am sewing on binding, etc. In the quilt stores stilletos are really expensive but I only paid under $1.50 for this one. I love it and use it all the time.

    I think the bullet casing might have been used to push big needles through the fabric when quilting or the old tying of quilts sort of like a thimble.

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  136. I think the bullet casing is part of an interesting story that happened at the hospital and she carried it around as a souvenir. Either that or she used it to hammer down snaps.

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  137. I use a big science magnet to clean up my pins.
    mcintoshsusan@hotmail dot com

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  138. I'm a new follower!
    mcintoshsusan@hotmail dot com

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  139. emmevon(at)gmail(dot)com

    can't live without my seam ripper.

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  140. i follow via bloglovin' thanks!

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  141. i would love to see your notions in person!! i just love my seam ripper. what kind of sewing machine do you use?

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  142. My rotary cutter. I could not live without it. Also a household item that I use for sewing would be a big long plastic spoon that I use to turn over fabric, such as handles on bags, or just to poke out corners :)

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  143. Seam ripper, thanks! leightim83@yahoo.com

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  144. Thank you for doing a giveaway.

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  145. Could the bullet casing be a needle case? Or just something that hubby left lying around that fell in the case? Thanks for the generous giveaway.

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  146. I love vintage notions as well, buttons are my fave!

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  147. My favorite sewing notion is good elastic thread

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  148. I am a nut for buttons and love to find jars or tins of buttons at the thrift store. I can spend hours sorting and looking at buttons. I am very fond of the older chipped shell buttons. I can imagine some one clipping them off an old shirt before it was thrown in a bag to use for rags. I always think the chips are from washing the shirt in a wringer washer.
    in a pinch I use a candle instead of beeswax to coat my thread before stitching.

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  149. My favorite notion is the seam ripper that my late father gave me that has a long lathe turned wooden handle. It fits my large hands and works well.

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  150. I use my toddler's stacking ring toy as pattern weights, since my floor (her play area) is my cutting space and I don't want stray pins wandering around. Photographed here: http://dangandblast.blogspot.com/2012/12/pattern-weights.html

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  151. Hopefully she wasn't using the bullet casing to help tamp down snaps!

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  152. I always have needle-nose pliers handy for when hand stitching through tough or multiple layers of fabric, I never got the hang of using thimbles!!

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  153. New follower GFC and thank you for the chance to win this vintage package...love it!!

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  154. I actually use a razor blade knife thing (one of my husbands tools) to cut fabric quite often - it just works for me!

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  155. I love vintage sewing notions too! I love your framed needle cases. Nice.
    I use freezer paper and wax paper when cutting and tracing designs. The freezer paper can be ironed onto the fabric to accurately cut out the fabric and assists with paper piecing. The wax paper can be used for adjustable pattern pieces. A fingernail can make a mark- easier to use for fitting issues - although I have graduated to swedish tracing paper now.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

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