Outside of my sewing machine and my iron, the two things I probably use the most when I'm sewing are my pin cushion and my seam ripper.
My pin cushion was a gift from the ever fantastic Modern Gal, who bought it from an Etsy artist for me and sent it to me last Christmas.
I love that it's a twist on the traditional tomato thingy and has some Noodles-like flair. And since it was custom made (I was confused when she e-mailed me asked me to measure my left wrist.) it stays on my arm perfectly _ it doesn't cut off the circulation, or twist around so the pins are upside down.
The other item that I simply can't live without is my seam ripper. For you non-sewers, a seam ripper is, well, exactly what it sounds like. And if you, uh, screw things up enough (cough, cough) you're going to spend a lot of quality time ripping out stitches. I have a few seam rippers, but this is by far my favorite and the one that gets the most use. Outside of the fact that it fits so nicely in my hand, I adore that it belonged to my great aunt whose sewing box I inherited after she died years ago.
My great aunt and I weren't very close, something I really regret now that I'm learning about her. She had amazingly talented hands, knitting sweaters my parents still wear, crocheting afghans and sewing up a storm. (Family lore has it that after she had a mastectomy, she didn't want to buy any fancy mastectomy bras, whether because of the cost or modesty issues. So she simply made her own. I think that must explain the old elastic I found in the bottom of her sewing box.)
I love how well-used but loved her sewing items were when I finally took them back to Chicago last year. Just look at that seam ripper. Maybe my talent for botching seams, or sewing pieces upside down (or, backward) is inherited.
Who knows. But I love knowing that she might be gone, we're still connected by something as simple as a turquoise seam ripper.