It’s a new year—time to clean up and organize our sewing spaces! I want to share 3 ways I organize my thread and some awesome thread tips.
three ways I organize my thread:
1. keeping my bobbin and my thread spools together
When sewing, I typically match my bobbin thread to my top thread. This means I have A LOT of bobbins and often times leftover thread in my bobbin that I don’t want to waste. After experimenting with different products and ways to keep the bobbin attached to the thread spool when I’m not using it, about a year ago I discovered an inexpensive product in a vendor booth at a local quilt show.
I wrap a piece of Hugo’s Amazing Tape (I use the 1″ width) around my bobbin and spool. This self-cling tape sticks to itself and can be used over and over again. While at the vendor booth, I also picked up a Tadpole Tape Cutter that enables me to not search for scissors when I want to cut a piece of tape off. It’s an optional way to cut the tape and takes a little bit of effort to make a cut, but in my opinion worth it!
2. organizing my main thread collection
I use Aurifil cotton 50wt thread for all of my machine piecing, some of my machine quilting, and a lot of my hand piecing (including English Paper Piecing, binding, and applique if I don’t have the right color in 80wt).
Last year I inherited a sewing box from my husband’s family. It’s the perfect container to organize my collection of 50wt thread. I’ve been keeping my warm colors on one side and cool colors on the other side. I’m also able to use one of the cubbies for neutrals. It’s a great organizer to protect my thread from direct sunlight and dust. Both of these elements can damage and shorten the lifespan of your thread. Plus, I’m able to move the sewing box from my studio to my living room when I need thread at my fingertips to work on a handwork project.
3. organizing my thread for a project
It can take weeks (and let’s be real, sometimes months) to finish a quilting project. I often use multiple colors (and sometimes weights) of thread while quilting. While I’m working on a project, I like to keep all of the spools of thread I’m using together and close by.
Over the holidays, I whipped up a couple of Open Wide Zippered Pouch by Noodlehead, incorporating test blocks I had from my patterns. These bags are the perfect size to store spools of thread for a project. They’re also great for carrying supplies for handwork (or a snack)!
two awesome thread tips:
1. keeping your Aurifil thread tidy
Did you know that the flange on the bottom of a large spool of Aurifil thread can be removed?
Want to find the end of your thread on a new spool?
Want to secure the end of your thread when you’re not using it?
Simply twist and pull the bottom of the spool and you’ll reveal the end of your thread. I like to remove the flange, wrap and tuck the end of my thread, and then secure the flange in place to keep the ends of my thread tidy when not in use.
2. reducing knots and breakage when hand sewing
Did you know that thread has a nap, or grain? Think about running your fingers over a piece of wood and what it feels like going with the grain and going against the grain. Going with the grain feels much smoother, right? Same thing with thread! The direction that thread comes off a spool will be running the thread with the grain, just like thread runs through your machine. When threading your needle for handwork, you’ll want to make sure you thread your needle with the end coming off the spool, then cut your thread and put a knot at that end. If you’re having issues with your thread knotting up and breaking, this should reduce those occurrences. It also helps to use a thread gloss, thread conditioner or beeswax on your thread when sewing by hand!
Do you have any thread organization tips or tricks?
I’d love to hear them! Please comment below.
Go make something great,
Thank you! You had recently visited our Quilt Guild and demonstrated many of these tips! Great refresher. I also have an old thread case, but it’s not set up yet. Maybe I’ll get busy now. Thanks
Hi Louise, The thread tips are great for everyone to know. I love sharing them! Thanks for leaving a comment. –Sheri
This is a threading tip: If the thread doesn’t want to go through your hand needle,rotate the needle and try from the other side of the eye. It turns out needle eyes are not the same on both sides.
Hi Joy-Lily, That’s another great tip! I usually remind students of that tip when I teach! Happy quilting, Sheri
Sheri I am new to quilting and recently enjoyed your presentation to our guild. It was so informative and I thoroughly enjoyed the evening. I have ordered some Aurifil thread and I’m looking forward to using it. Thank you again for all the information provided in the presentation.