Gadgets Gone Wild

It had been a while since I ordered any notions online, so a free shipping order enticed me to buy a little light for my sewing machine, pronged fork pins, and the cheap version of a slick surface for free motion quilting.

The package arrived and, as always, the stuff looked better in the pictures.  The light is installed and works fine, but it’s made of flimsy plastic so I’m not expecting it to be long lasting.  The pins are supposed to help me match seams but right now I have no seams to match so I can’t tell you how they work. I did test them through fabric and they seem sharp.

sslp-w315The slick surface looks and feels like white Contact material, which would have been a heck of a lot cheaper.  And this knockoff version of a supreme slider cost $10 less than that item’s small size. I’ll let you know how it performs. It may well rock my world, but right now it’s creased and looks like packaging material rather than the item itself.

My pique at how easily I can be duped into buying overpriced (IMHO) gadgetry led me to peruse a quilt shop catalog I received recently with a jaundiced eye.  Do I really need a “quilt binding express” to fold and press binding strips for $26?  How about a Jaaba, an aid to keep applique and binding flat while I hand sew?  That costs $13, but it comes with an instructional DVD.

Oh, here’s swatch buddies, little plastic cards on a key ring that I’m to attach fabric swatches to and label them. For $13 I can get 24 of them. My mother used an empty envelope. And, my personal favorite, a 72 inch square felted design wall for $40. I use a cheap flannel backed plastic tablecloth that cost $5.

Wait, I just found a ruler buddy set for $13.  For that I get three 1 inch wide finger guards (one 9.75 inches long and two 6 inches long) to stick on my acrylic rulers.  Sorry, design wall, I have a new favorite.  Really, if you’re worried about cutting your fingers I suggest a suction cup ruler gripper or a protective glove.

Yes, I know selling gizmos is the heart of private enterprise and production runs are small, so per unit costs are higher.  I also know P T. Barnum had it right.  Witness what I just bought.



Filed under Snark

5 responses to “Gadgets Gone Wild

  1. Thank you for doing the (expensive) research. Every time I feel like buying some new gadget, I tell myself that it will just decrease the budget for something I really need, like batting. With fabric prices being what they are, I have less and less to spend on stuff like this. I know if I take a good look inside my kitchen drawer, I can find just what I need! Take care, Byrd

  2. audrey

    Are you saying the rotary blade sharpening tools don’t work? And here I was just about to give in and try out another gadget!

  3. I bought chip clips the other day. Yes, chip clips, broad ones, about 4″ across. 99 cents each. Why, you may ask? My longarm comes with clamps for the sides, to attach to the backing and batting stretched on the frame, to provide tension on the sides, as well. My clamps are very tight and narrow, about a 1″ mouth. I wanted wider ones to distribute the tension better.

    There are different products out there, including one called Grip-Lite. I have seen them. They sell for about $27 per pair — $54 for 4. They are chip clips. Really.

    My chip clips cost less than $4 for 4.

  4. Judy

    I am STILL waiting for a perfect product to sharpen those pricey rotary cutting blades. And how about the tape to put smaller bits of batting into large enough sizes to use? You, my friend, suggested just butting the pieces together and zigzagging them together. About as close to free and economical as you can get!

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