I thought it might be interesting to describe what tools I keep by my sewing machine to have to ready to use.
I have a small plastic box for these tools, it keeps them together, and makes it easy to move them around between different working areas.
Here are the items in the box, laid out so they can be seen.
Top row from the left: gauge for seam allowances etc., emery strawberry for cleaning needles and pins, thimbles and a rubber fingerette for more grip, needle threaders (in a box to make them easier to find), tailors chalk, fray stopping liquid, tape measure, thread conditioner, sewing machine screwdriver for changing machine needles.
Bottom row from left: sewing machine cleaning brush, point turner that doubles to put under the presser foot back when I'm sewing over a thick place, two wooden skewers for controlling fabric near the sewing machine needle ( I sewed through my finger once, and don't want to again!), fabric marker pen, squeeze scissors for trimming threads, rolling chalk pencil, tweezers for picking out thread ends, another rolling chalk pencil, forceps to pull needles through fabric when they are stiff, a button hook for wedding dress buttons, a craft knife for seam ripping, snag puller, seam gauge, stitch ripper (I prefer this brand for the sharpness, smooth tip, and easy to hold handle), trimming scissors, embroidery scissors on an extending lanyard for trimming threads and clipping in small areas - I can attach this to myself if I need to, seam presser, chalk pencil.
I also (try to) keep my wrist pincushion in the box when I'm not wearing it. I recently made this new pincushion - it has a disc of cardboard in the base to both give it shape and prevent pins from jabbing my wrist when I stab them into the cushion. The pins at the top are glass headed silk pins. They are sharp and go into fabric easily, and are a little longer than regular pins. They do bend more easily, but I think the ease of pinning makes up for this. I also keep some longer glass headed pins at the base of the pincushion, for those thick or difficult to pin situations, such as through multiple layers of fabric or around bones in bodices.