Tuesday, September 16, 2008

tool tuesday: tracing wheel

I am not a sewer. At all. I learned how to attach a button when I was a Brownie and retain that skill to this day, but that's about it for my functional sewing skills. But I am fascinated by sewing tools and I do own a tracing wheel. My tracing wheel has serrated teeth on a wheel attached to a blue plastic handle. It makes slotted perforations as it is pushed across a piece of paper or fabric. Its primary use is to transfer marks from paper to paper or paper to fabric, often using tracing paper as a guide. This is not a tool I use often, but I do love its shape, its preciseness, and its cog-like qualities. I use it to make even perforations in Japanese paper to mark where I will sew the paper. I usually make needle marks freehand because I like the uneveness, but every now and then I will require marks that are perfectly even and my tracing wheel allows me to do that. I also use it to make texture marks on metal tape for collages. And I'm sure, as time goes by, I will use it for other purposes as well. If you have your own tracing wheel, what do you use it for?

By the way...tool submissions needed for future "tool tuesday" posts! Honour your favourite tool!

7 comments:

Terry Rafferty said...

Tool Tuesday - what a wonderful idea. Yes, I have a tracing wheel too (probably several). My mom taught me and my siblings to sew a hundred years ago, and a tracing wheel was standard. I don't sew much anymore, but the wheel remains one of my favorite things - I love the way it feels in my hand and all the associations from years of using it.

Jeane said...

Kate - I'm with you - I don't sew a bit, but this tracing tool could be very interesting to use in other ways - hmmmmmmmm

marlana said...

I have a sewing wheel somewhere, from way back in the 90s when I had a dressmaking studio. I don't sew at all anymore but my dining room table now is the one I used then...it is criss-crossed with those tracing wheel tracks and I will never remove them: they give the table extra character, like wrinkles to a face. I really like your ideas for new ways to use this tool!

Robyn said...

Hmmm, the cogs are turning in my brain.....how can I use this in other ways.

kate said...

terry...there is something about a wheel. No wonder it remains a favourite.

jeane...I'd be interested to see what you and your wacky brain will come up with!

marlana...what a lovely and poetic story. I can imagine your table and all its "wrinkles". Thanks for sharing its story.

robyn...cogs thinking of cogs! If you come up with something, please share!

Gwen Buchanan said...

What a great idea to use your tracing wheel to mark your evenly spaced stitching lines.. You are so smart!!! I will remember this. You are full of ideas... Thank you.

bridgette said...

hi kate, thank you for your recent comment you left for me on my blog. I really appreciate your very kind words.

I don't sew either, but I do include the tracing wheel as one my tools too! I use it when I do encaustics- i love the marks it makes in the wax.