Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tools Tuesday . . . .

It's Tools Tuesday, but before we get to that, how about a tour around the Buggy Barn Quilt Shop?  I got a couple of comments from folks wondering when I was going to blog about my great week in Washington attending the Buggy Barn retreat, I figured if I didn't start squeezing in pictures every day, you would never get to hear about my trip.

Remember that photo I posted last week of the outside of the shop, well look at all the great stuff inside that shop!


Quilts, patterns, notions, wool, you name it, they've got it squeezed in that shop.


My first stop in this store, I just walked around and around, looking up and down, taking it all in, and didn't spend a nickel.  


Luckily we came back everyday we were in town and I got over my initial quilt shop overload and bought some stuff.

There were even quilts on the ceiling!


I would say the gals at the Buggy Barn have their own style, and most of the quilts in the shop all have that same folksy look and feel.  With the limited amount of space it would be impossible to be everything to all quilters, but most everything appealed to me.

See those little white tags on those quilts below?


Those tags were on most of the quilts on display, they say the shop carries a kit for that quilt, how great is that!  There will be more pictures of my classes and the quilt show to come later in the week.

When I blogged about those pressing sticks a couple of weeks ago I got a few questions about the iron I use.

I use the Rowenta Pro Precision Pressure Iron and Steamer.  If you don't use steam, you won't be interested in this iron at all, because this iron is all about the steam.


It doesn't spit, leak, or splatter, I think because the water is held in the base and not in the iron itself.   I bought mine from Williams-Sonoma, but let me warn you, it's a luxury item.  My favorite feature, it doesn't have automatic shut off, which is great for a quilter, there's nothing more maddening than piecing a bunch of pieces and popping up to press them to find your iron cool and done for the day.

So finally here is the tools portion of today's Tools Tuesday post.  You've probably noticed the pretty little hat box on the bottom shelf in some of my pictures before.  This is where this hat box has sat since I moved into my sewing room.  It holds my thread.  And it worked pretty good for the first 5 years I sewed.




It worked because I didn't have much thread the first 5 years I sewed, some cream, some white, some gray, one black and one red spool pretty much got me through.  Then I started appliquéing, sewing on my own binding, and the next thing I knew, I had a hat box full of thread.




This is how I find the thread I'm looking for, I dump it all on the floor then rummage around until I find what I need.  Then I scoop it all up and throw it back in the hat box.


I hate this system, it's not even a system.  I'm a neat person and there is nothing about this storage method that is neat.  Every now and then I'll look for a good thread storage system on line but I've yet to find anything that appeals to me.  How do you store your thread?  I'm not in favor of storing my thread on one of those boards that hang on the wall.  I don't want to look at my thread every day.  And the holders that I've seen usually don't account for thread in different sizes from different companies. All I want is my thread to be neat, stored in a container where I can easily see and select my thread, and that doesn't take up much space.  What do you think, is there something out there for me?


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42 comments:

  1. I store my thread in a small plastic drawer unit. Drawers about three inches deep work well, because the spools can be put in on end if you want to see the color numbers, or just laid on the sides so it is easy to see the actual colors. I use this system for my sewing thread and for embroidery thread. I separate the thread by color, putting all the blues in one drawer, for example. When I want to select a shade it's easy to remove the drawer and take it to the best light. I keep the unit on a shelf in a closet so it is not subject to direct sunlight, which I am told is not good for thread.

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  2. Thanks for sharing pictures of Buggy Barn ...... my kind of quilts! I store my thread in Matchbox car plastic boxes that I got a few years ago at Walmart. Can't find them at Walmart now, but I found and order the same thing from Connecting Threads. They are a clear plastic. I had to share my Matchbox ones with my grandson. LOL!!!!!

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  3. I have a Horn cabinet and I purchased an insert for the top drawer that holds thread, laying on their sides. Fits most spool sizes, easy to see the colour at a glance, easy to take out and put back, and there are rectangular compartments at the front that can hold a few notions and your bobbins. Works for me!

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  4. I use metal tins that have cookies in them at Christmas time. I have the silks in one. The spools that have not been opened in another. And all the rest in another.

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  5. I have a wooden tray that was made to house newspaper wooden block letters for the printing process. It hangs on my wall and I can easily see all my thread. Different size compartments for different size spools along with my thimbles. Just don't bump the tray or all your thread can come rolling out..

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  6. Someone beat me to it with the suggestion of the little cars plastic boxes. I have two that are filled and then last year, inherited sewing items from a friend who passed away. She had an official Sulky plastic suitcase-like box, slightly bigger than my others and each spool has it's own nested spool holder to keep them organized. Three boxes, many duplicate colours now, better get sewing and use them up. Would hate to have to pass them along too. :-)

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  7. I use plastic match box car carriers...they sell same thing at JoAnns and with a coupon they are cheap to at least try. Also start looking at tackle bait boxes. You will be surprised to find variety and colorful ones these days. I know you don't want them out and visible but a spool rack can hang on the inside of closet or closet door.

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  8. I store my thread in antique spool cabinets which I love. I have two, but I also have a wooden tool chest. All three of them are great for patterns, notions, bobbins, etc.

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  9. I use the plastic, tackle fishing boxes too. They come with a lid and are see-through. Because they're not a "sewing" item, they are often cheaper too.

    I have more than one box. One for neutrals, one for warm colors and one for cool colors.

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  10. I'm with you - don't like those wall mounted thread holders. My thread is stored in drawers sorted by color. For years I used a small plastic drawer unit from Target. The drawers are shallow. When I got a new sewing cabinet a couple of years ago I moved the plastic drawers to the drawers in the cabinet. They work like dividers. It takes up some space, but is so neat and tidy!

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  11. I store my thread pretty much like you do - the jumbled up method - I just have a bigger container. I'm with you though, my everyday spools of thread are not art objects for display. But I haven't found the perfect thread storage device yet.

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  12. Being a fairly new quilter, I don't have enough thread to worry about yet. I just use one of those clear plastic storage boxes - the kind from iris or Rubbermaid - that's the size of a shoe box. So far it has worked.

    Yesterday I finished my Spools quilt just in the nick of time! The border fabric has buttons and straight pins and was just calling my name. Go see my updated photo!

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  13. i have a three drawer plastic unit cabinet i got at walmart or anywhere i went to the dollar tree i believe or deals and got plastic bins like for silverwear and lay them side by side and thet fit nicely and i pull out my drawer and they are seperated by color my cheap thread i keep like you all in a ball i use those little kids hair bands (also walmart)around my bobbins and the iron is on sale rigt 100$off

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  14. oh and hobbylobby has al kinds of clear plastic or glass pretty jars all sizes woould hod thread floss etc.

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  15. I store my threads in a 'Really Useful' box and I bought a tray insert which allows me to divide the threads by colour and my non-cotton threads live in the space under the tray - they're really handy (or useful, hence the name!!). Ice cream tubs are also useful if you've got lots of larger spools of thread and they'll stack up on the shelf...not very pretty to look at though ;o)

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  16. I just use a certain plastic storage box I get from The Container Store that's the perfect height to keep my thread upright. It's clear, so I can see through it and have my threads divided in lights and darks. I know there are fancy and prettier ones on the market, but this works for me.

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  17. I store my thread in a three drawer plastic cabinet. I tried the method of hanging on a wooden spool rack but that method didn't work for me. Looking forward to seeing more pictures from Buggy Barn.

    Gloria

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  18. I seen some thread boxes(They do have the little sticks to put your reels) at Michael's they are plastic not very big and have clear tops to see what's in store. They would be great to have on a book case just like you have your hatbox. Good luck at been organized:).

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  19. I like your thread in a pretty box. It reminds me of how my mother kept hers. And it was fun to sort through them. I keep mine in a little white cabinet on the wall, by color. Easy access, dust free, and I love being able to see all those pretty colors. http://sunshineyellow-stitches.blogspot.com/2010/08/and-speaking-of-rulers.html

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  20. Like Jacquelin above, I have a wooden tin type box that hangs in my sewing room. I have a binding business, and I keep an assortment of colors in it, so all I have to do is grab what I need. I love it, and have even been on the lookout for another one. Love, love your pictures of Buggy Barn...we are headed out that way in October and I am really hoping there is time to stop by. Wonderful post!!!!

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  21. I keep my threads & bobbins I use on a everyday basis in my drawer I have right next to me when I am sewing in my cabinet. All other threads I keep in these cute jars I bought a IKEA , I have a jar with threads in blues, a jar with threads is greens etc. I am not a fan of the Spool racks that hang on the wall , I like mine all organized in a drawer.

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  22. I used to have one of those things that hang on the wall but like you, didn't want to see it all the time, plus I felt like everything got dusty all the time. Here's my solution that I love: I went to Office Depot (any office supply usually has these) and bought some "Really useful Box"es. That's their name. They come in clear and clear colors, and have a lid. They come in several sizes, and I use different boxes for different kinds of threads. I once saw someone using them at a quilt class I took and fell in love. If you want me to send a picture, let me know.

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  23. Not a peep out of me. I use your technique, only with a bigger box...

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  24. I keep my sewing threads in a flat box, one level laying down, that I slide onto a shelf under my sewing machine. It's just a leftover box from greeting cards or something. The main amount of thread is in little bins that I keep with my applique because I'm using a bunch of colors for a project right now. I would love a solution that kept it visible, clean and sorted by color, but haven't found one yet.

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  25. My thread fills an old crock that I keep handy on my sewing table. Crock is a favorite,deep and wide. BTW, I likw scrappy quilting so I use up a lot of the older spools and don't worry about thread color. Good luck on your search for the Perfect thread organizer.

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  26. Personally, I like your thread storage system. Probably because it's like mine. I don't find thread attractive and don't want to look at it so hiding it away in a pretty box makes sense. Perhaps you can rubberband your spools into color families? Then, when you dump them out it won't be quite as much of a jumble.

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  27. I have the same storage system as you do and I dislike it too. But haven't found anything I like better that I can afford.

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  28. I have the same storage system that you do but in 3 different baskets. One is for sewing machine threads...mostly neutrals. Another is for hand quilting threads...again mostly neutrals although there are some other colors as well. My applique basket has many different colors. Yes, it all jumbled mess, but I just dig through until I find what I need.

    Theresa W
    foleywestrup at hotmail dot com

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  29. I tried a number of different plastic storage cases before I finally settled on the see-through cases I bought at JoAnns with a coupon, so the price was less than $9 each. They each hold about 35 spools (large & small). I use one for colors and the other for neutrals as well as hand quilting thread. One thing I do not like is that the smaller spools can partially fall off the spindle and get wonky when you pick the case up by the handle, so I try to store them flat and skip the handle. I think the individul spindles are key for keeping each spool untangled & easy to pull-out. If they made the same style case with a shallower depth just for small spools it would work perfectly. I have all the color families grouped together so I can see the best color match at a glance. I would have stuck with a box like yours, but someone once told me that a loose jumble of thread can cause friction that may weaken the fibers that make up the twist of the inidivdual thread. Maybe this was totally bogus info., but I bought the concept and have seperated my spools ever since.

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  30. I use the Matchbox car holders. They have wonderful little compartments. My box opens from both sides (do they all??). I have my smaller spools that I use for applique on one side. Of course, I have another container for the big spools.

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  31. I use the opaque VHS video cases. They fit the Guterman size threads perfectly and I sort them in colour groups in the cases.... It keeps the threads from unravelling and dust free and best of all I use to have lots of them so they cost nothing. You can still pick them up from op shops.....

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  32. When my longarm quilter, Margaret, lived here in town her house had a small lower level apartment (never lived in) which she used as her studio. She hung her batting on the shower curtain rod (aka "The Batting Cage") and put her large cones of thread in the dishwasher. They fit perfectly over the spokes meant for separating dishes. Of course, this is not a very practical solution unless your dish washer is close to where you sew and you don't mind washing dishes by hand.

    I'll be picking up my Spool quilt tomorrow after school. Margaret comes in once a month from the beach to do drop off and pick up at the LQS. She decided to give up the B&B she was running and quilt full time, so her turnaround time is considerably shorter than it used to be. I can't wait to see the finished quilt. I'm thinking of using the leftover spool body strips for a scrappy binding. I wanted to wait until I could test a sample piece with the quilt before making the entire binding.

    Cindy in NC

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  33. Leanne's thread caddy....more about that tomorrow~

    i'm off to bed. it's been a long day!!

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  34. I was hoping for a discussion about how to sort and organize thread; do you sort/store by size/fiber/color/etc. Topstitching thread, quilting thread, piecing/sewing thread, decorative thread, variegated, etc. I suspect that I have too much thread!

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  35. I have wall-to-wall IKEA shelves in my sewing room. They're marvelous! Once set of shelves is tall and skinny and really for the storage of CDs and DVDs but I found (6" or so) heavy gift boxes at Michaels that fit in them perfectly. I have 9 different boxes, one on each little shelf that each hold a particular color of thread. If I need purple thread, I pull out the purple box. Orange? The orange box. Each holds probably 20 spools. I don't have to keep the lids on them as they fit so perfectly into the cubbies that they won't get dusty. Love this system!

    Gotta go to the Buggy Barn some day. My friend went there a couple of years ago and told me I HAD to go!

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  36. I store my threads by color in pretty glass jars with lids that I picked up at Joanne's. Lined up on a shelf they look really pretty and I can see at a glance with I'm getting low on colors.

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  37. I have not suggestions about thread storage....I threw mine in a bin. What I have been wondering is a) why you didn't bind your own quilts and b) why have you started. I've wondered that over the years of reading your blog. Just curious!

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  38. Thelma, my thread storage looked like your container except mine was several plastic boxes. Recently, I purchased 2 of these plastic containers from Connecting Threads

    http://www.connectingthreads.com/tools/Double-Sided_Thread_Organizer___D82068.html

    I sorted my thread. One container has the neutrals. The other container has the colored thread. Don't know if this will suit your needs, but it has solved my problem.

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  39. Hi Thelma, here is the link to my blog post I did about my thread stash/storage a couple of years ago. I use several different containers. Maybe one of them will strike your fancy!

    http://pawsntailsquilts.blogspot.com/2010/05/quilting-thread-stashthread-review.html

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  40. I'm very interested in seeing what you decide to do! I don't think I want to look at my thread either and I don't have a system I like.

    I forgot to wish you Happy 400 follower/posts and 800,000 hits on your more recent post!

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  41. Hi Thelma-
    I keep my thread in a fishing tackle box! It works great. It is compact to store but opens up to 3 tiers of compartments for thread and other notions. In the bottom, I keep my rotary cutter, elastic, ric-rac and other supplies. We even got my mother-in-law (a long time quilter) in on this system and got my daughter her own tackle box filled with a rainbow of threads when she started sewing as a young girl.

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  42. I am using that same iron and can't do without it. As I told you I'm reading your blog in extenso and reach last year Fall posts. After my first one I don't write comments because I don't want to importune you with my bad English style, but I am really enthusiastic about all I read, learn and admire from your posts. Thank you once more Thelma for the pleasure I find in your blog.

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