Thinking about what kind of tools we need to review as a stitcher... there are always advice columns, blog/Facebook posts, but I think about where I get what I use. I like to use better quality items as I feel they last longer and will provide me with more uninterrupted hours of stitching. These are my basics:
Besides the obvious fantastic highlighters (Staedtler Textsurfer) that will never smudge your copy, or pattern and can be photocopied again and again with the purple or the blue not blocking out the pattern photocpy after photocopy. These are available on Amazon, http://www.amazon.co.uk/Staedtler-364-WP8-Textsurfer-highlighter/dp/B000TKHB76/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1358367630&sr=1-1-catcorr
My precious short silver/gold plated stork scissors
My needle cushion that sharpens my needles every time I insert
Of course the Daylight lamp/magnifier combo is a good one
Hoops - if you use them - right now I have been doing smaller pieces so I haven't been using my hoops, of course you never want to store a project in your hoop
Stand - this is the one my Father in law bought me for Christmas: http://www.michaels.com/Adjustable-Craft-Stand/nw0715,default,pd.html
Magnifier, if you don't want to invest int the lamp combo or you already have the lamp
But if were to go the extra mile, would would make my stitching easier? I am thinking about what I use that other stitchers may or may not. I found an app for my Iphone that tracks my thread stash. How many times have you been out and about and could go pick up some thread but you have no idea what colors you need? Instead of packing around the whole pattern, or making a list - I track my whole thread stash on this app:
I now have an inventory of thread in my stash that is not "allocated" to a specific pattern. Before I used this, I always seem to have a whole pile of baby blues, or a bunch of Christmas Red 666. That way if I am using the same color on two projects simultaneously, they each have their own container or allocation to the project and are not included in the stash. When I start something new, I go through my stash, update my tracker, and then head to the store. I have enough stuff to pack around and lose. The last thing I am going to let go is my phone. When I am finished a project - all the remaining thread goes into the "inventory" on my phone.
What are the best quality bits and bites you use? Give me some feedback...