Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Favorite Vintage Tool

I just love it when you can take a tool, especially a vintage tool with a sentimental connection, and repurpose it for quilting.  The wooden block in the picture belonged to my father who used it in his printing business from the mid-1940s until his retirement in 1978.  His print shop used the old letter press process that Gutenberg would have easily understood.  When type had been set and locked in a frame, the wooden block was used, in conjunction with a mallet, to tamp it down so it was flush and ready for even inking. 

I discovered the hard way that my HQ16 does not like really bulky seam intersections like those in the quilt I blogged about yesterday.  When I saw some of my quilting friends using a modern tool to flatten their problem spots, I remembered I had held on to this tool (I wish I could remember the correct term for it) as a memento of my father.  Since it was exposed to a lot of print shop oil and grease over the decades, I wrap it in a thick towel, lay the problem area in the quilt top on it, steam it with my iron and then tap firmly with the mallet.  The results I get are as good as those using the newer tool.  The mallet is a new purchase from the hardware store.

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