Wednesday, March 18, 2015

15 Minute Studio Spiff Up #11

Who would have thought I'd still be leading an intrepid group spiffing up their studios after 10 weeks of cleaning and organizing?  Yep, you are still hanging in there.  This week I've got something I forgot all about.  Here's your assignment this week: 

Time to organize and clean up your thread collection! 

When I first started the 15 Minute Spiff Up I wrote some notes about areas that might need work on.  I'd forgotten all about the notes as the weeks went by.  Heaven knows I've still got a couple of areas I need to work on but I don't really want to start them.  I'm not spending 15 minutes a week, much less 15 minutes a day times 7 days or any part of a week on some of the areas I've assigned! 

But I know some of you are still working hard on the weekly assignments.  I'm really enjoying your efforts that you share in your comments.  

Here's what my thread collections (yep, collections.... more than one....) look like. 

First the long arm thread. I know I've shown this before as I am SO proud of repurposing an older piece of furniture.  This was a media shelf.  Pat made wooden "risers" for these shelves so I can easily see my threads stored in the front and the back of each shelf.  It's really brilliant if I do say so myself!  I can easily see and grab what I need.  Surprisingly enough, this small number of colors works well for me.  I've recently bought duplicate spools as I have been using up some of my cones. The threads aren't in perfect shape but they are neat enough for me. 

Next up, basic sewing thread and quilting thread. I used to use Mettler cotton thread a lot.  As many of you know, Mettler is no longer the thread of choice at quilt shops.  My collection of colored cotton thread, used mostly for piecing is dwindling.  I'm happy that Gutterman is readily available and comes in the same size so this plastic container still works for me for the small spools.  I also have some Mettler hand quilting thread on the far left that isn't in the picture. 

Next up embroidery thread. Most of my embroidery thread is Mettler Polysheen that comes on spools just like the above. So I have another container just like the one above completely full of embroidery thread.  I'm generally happy with the smaller spools as I don't do a whole lot of embroidery.  But I also popped for this great storage holder with trays to snap the mini cones in shown below.  I didn't realize until I got home that there is only one brand of thread that will fit on the trays.  (That explains why I have a box of Marathon thread still in the box and others jammed on top.)  I don't buy the mini cones as I don't get over to the store that carries them very often.  I wasn't happy having spent a goodly amount of money on this case.  Bummer.  

On to my basic everything else thread. I have big slide out shelves in my sewing cabinet.  Pat added the sliders when I moved into my new studio.  Heaven!  I can access everything on the shelf with the sliders. On this shelf is my collection of older thread.  One box is full of rayon, metallic and other odd thread. The front right container had mostly DMC cotton embroidery thread that I used for machine embroidery (not to be confused with using an embroidery module...which the above threads were used for!)  

The left front container is polyester threads -- some of it old. Lots of Dual Duty thread and some newer spools of various poly threads.  I'm trying to use up the older poly thread but I won't use it for piecing unless I use a cotton thread in the bobbin.  One of the first quilts I made was heavily used and tied 12" apart.  Heck, that's what we thought would work in the old days!  I learned that poly threads will cut through fabric so I tend not to use poly on the top and in the bobbin.  Someday I'll make a real dent in that collection.  You might not be able to tell but there are NO threads that come on a wooden spool.  Those threads (and yes I own many of them) are on display in my hallway.  They are antiques and the sheen is beautiful on them  But they aren't very reliable now.  I would rather enjoy looking at them then watch them fall apart in a quilt. On the other hand, I don't think the poly threads will ever wear out! 

Here's my last tub of thread. Hum, I think I've been rooting around in it.  There are several spools of Dual Duty Cotton quilting threads.  There are some Sulky threads of various types. There are some hand dyed threads.  And even one spool of really heavy carpet thread on a wooden spool.  I don't use most of the threads in here even though some are beautiful.  I've used some in my embroidery machine and the variegated look wonderful. 

The last place I store thread is on a rack. No pictures of that because I don't have very much thread on it.  It is covered with a plastic cover I bought specifically for it.  It does keep the dust out but it looks and fits awkwardly.  My  cotton piecing thread is stored there.  It's my go to thread for general piecing. My favorite color is a light silver.  But I also have big spools of white and cream.  I have a huge cone of black that I may never use up because it is so hard for me to see the stitches made with black thread.  

Although none of these areas have actually been spiffed up for the pictures, for the most part they are all functional and because most are stored away are not eye sores.  I may try to neaten up some of the plastic containers since it's hard to see what I have when all the spools are all jumbled together.  

There's your assignment.  Let me know how you store your thread.  I've been getting great ideas from every one.  Some I'm incorporating into my clean up. Some are stored in the brain for possible later use.  

Happy Quilting All! 


  1. deja vu! I was looking for thread last week and I wondered... lol Gotta find more than 15 minutes somewhere!!!

  2. I'm trying to use my Dual Duty thread, too.

    Where do you purchase Ruthie's thread?

  3. For some reason I have not been bitten by the thread bug. (That's just fine; I don't need another compulsion.) Gutermann poly works well in my machine and I buy it when it's on sale at Joann's. A couple of weeks ago I bought 32 spools of Aurifill from Craftsy when they had a 40% off sale. Most of my thread is stored in drawers in the antique card catalog unit where I keep notions. I also have a nice thread rack (bought at a craft fair) but there's not enough height between the shelves for Aurifil spools.

  4. I keep on keeping on. Some weeks are better than others. I just finished working on other spots of my thread collections -- embroidery, general purpose, long arm, and specialty. I need to work on my bigger drawer. Check my blog out.

  5. I got the one drawer cleaned out.
    I know I have lots of certain colors that will never be used. Some of it can be used for piecing, so I don't need to buy more thread for quite awhile.

  6. I store my thread in baggies if it has a bobbin that matches and the thread is not secured to the spool. I store mostly in plastic drawers or containers and by colour except for the specialty threads. I was thinking I'd not need much time but then I had to search for supplies for my crazy quilt class. :(


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