Sunday, December 15, 2013

Threads anyone?

Oooooo  Shiny Sparkly!!  Wheee!

I am linking up with Field Trips in Fiber today joining her links party on Studios  Real Studio Tour
I just found out about it, so I will start with my favorite storage solution. Thread boxes.
I collect threads almost as much as I collect fabric and beads. It all started with a sale, and I stocked up on cotton thread. One day, long long ago, a sparkly thread caught my eye, and the love affair started! Back then the shiny metallics were very bratty, and I was sewing on a 1950's era Singer who did not find metallic threads amusing in the least.

I figured out how to deal with them, and then began teaching others how to work with any thread in any situation and it's a very popular class. Check it out  HERE

Threads have a way of unspooling themselves despite locking in the end, or using the plastic grips. That's why I like these hot wheels containers. I bought them long ago at Walmart in the toy section for a tiny amount of money. I have 6.
They have many sections, and there is a door on each side of the whole container allowing you to lay it down and look, close the door, turn it over, open that door and look. 
 This one is laying flat, and you see how many DMC cotton 50 weight smooth threads I have stored on one side (the plastic door is closed)

Here is a box standing up, and you can see both halves. The quilting industry discovered our use of these and now sells them for this use in particular. They now cost more of course!

I have my threads sorted by type, because that is how I use them. I know I want a metallic, not a red. A RED metallic. And it will be tucked away in the metallic box with all colors of metallics. 
 This shot is looking straight down into the IKEA rolling crate that is the perfect size to hold four boxes tucked away under the sewing machine cabinet. I roll it out, look at the labels and pull a box according to what effect I want.
I likes my thread, y'all!
This system keeps them dust free, mostly light free, and at hand.

This shows how the crate rolls around next to my chair. You might notice there are another two cases, ahem, did I mention a thread collection??
This is my favorite storage solution.
When I am about to quilt a big project, I go through all the boxes pulling possible threads, and putting them on one of those vertical free standing spool holders, to have them right in front of me for the project. At the end, I put them back in their category/ boxes.

I love this system, it works for me, the threads mostly stay in place. There was the time, DH was vacuuming the studio for me, and the vacuum got too close to a thread tail hanging out of a box, and faster than you can scream, unspooled an expensive thread all around the beater bar. Being cheap not wasteful, I carefully upended the vacuum, and reverse rollered the thread off the beater bar, rewinding it around the spool. I won that one!
When we take the vacuum in for periodic service, the guy always complains about the threads stuck in odd places. Well, that's what we pay you for.
( a reader wrote in and said: Walmart still sells these containers for $7.00 online. It's called Creative Options Thread Organizer)

Don't forget to check out the other studios!
you might like to see other studio organization HERE


  1. Love this idea - especially when you have to take your thread on the road. I only have three boxes like yours - but I keep mine on a shelf that my husband built into my sewing machine table. I gave him the dimensions so that the boxes would fit nicely on them. The rest I keep on my thread board for the medium size bobbins - I might need another of those since I filled mine - LOL!! I still like the thread cabinet that I saw - where the shelves slide out.

  2. You do have a wonderful collection of threads! I'm just starting to play with the variety of threads now available. Love the story about your vacuum repair guy!

  3. Vacuums are definitely the enemy of thread! I've looked for containers like yours here but they don't seem to be available, or at least they aren't in any of the places I've looked.

  4. I need to purge my older threads. Some are over ten years old! lol It is hard to let go. However, now I COULD look for a storage box and put the odd ones in that and use them when trying out new ideas before committing them to the ACTUAL project!

  5. Love, love, LOVE it! The containers, the story, all! Those sparkly threads look very interesting. Pat

  6. That's a great system. I really love the rolling crate to hold the boxes. Guess I'll have to start shopping the toy section too!

  7. Ooh la la! Look at those sparkly threads! Love the storage ideas:-)

  8. Spools with the extra end piece to control loose ends of thread are great. But for spools without that, I love Hugo's Amazing Tape for keeping the ends neat. The tape comes in clear or in colors, sticks to itself but not to the thread, can be re-used, leaves no residue. It's marvelous!
    Martha Ginn

  9. What a neat idea. I'll have to look for these.

  10. Walmart still sells these containers for $7.00 online. It's called Creative Options Thread Organizer.