I love my Hera marker! The one I have is a long slim version, (there is a smaller, squatter version), that has a pointed tip as well as the usual flat knife-like sharp-ish edge at the other end. Here it is:
Both versions of the Hera are marketed as a marking tool. You drag the flat end (or the pointed end on my version) along the fabric and it leaves a sharp crease – like this:
Both ends of my Hera are also incredibly useful for turning under edges when I am doing appliqué – it’s just incredibly useful to have such a precise point to work with.
But I use it for loads of other things too:
I use it for finger pressing, especially when I am doing foundation piecing. The flat edge creates a lovely crease on the fabric – just press along the seam and there’s no need to reach for an iron.
When I am pressing seams open, I use it to prise the edges apart (very useful when you don’t have long nails!) and hold the seam open as I press – being careful not to get it anywhere near the hot iron, of course.
When I am foundation piecing onto paper, and need to rip out the paper, the Hera marker is brilliant at helping me tear away stubborn bits. Just fold the paper over and drag the flat end of Hera over the crease in the paper, and it tears away much more easily. And if it is really stubborn, I (gently) drag the pointed end along the stitching line, which frees any recalcitrant pieces of paper.
But most useful of all is this:
The automatic cutter on my Janome sewing machine leaves the top thread tucked down inside the machine and I find this really irritating when I want to get my next bit of sewing under the presser foot. So I keep my Hera next to the machine, and just flick it under the presser foot to bring the thread back up to the top and out of the way of my fabric. I’m not sure that’s what Clover intended when they invented this indispensable little tool…!
This is the fourth in my series: Sewing tools of note. Hope you are enjoying them!