Friday, March 1, 2013

Empty Spools Organizing

What do you do with all those little bits of thread left over on an almost empty spool? Well, you save them until a couple of meters of that exact colour might save the day (or the quilt). Right? Hmmm...! More then likely, they will just keep multiplying and become more and more irritating as they get in the way of the new spools that are invited to join the collection.

They seem to multiply like bunnies!

Well, the other day I had an inspired idea.

I pre-wash almost all of my fabric before I use it in a quilt. Before washing it in the machine, I finish the edges with a zig zag stitch to prevent the fabric from unravelling. As I was looking for just the right shade of burgundy to do that, all of those almost empty spools kept getting in my way and falling onto the floor, rolling all over the place. To keep them out of the way, I removed them from the thread drawer and placed them on the table, near the machine. Hmmm...! It was a light bulb moment. (Why did it take so many years?) 

As it happened, I had enough "reddish" spools to clean up that I even got to match the colour of the fabric, (as though it matters!).

Now, it did get a little tedious re-threading the needle several times on a single edge, but I did get rid of a number of those irritating almost empty spools.

These were the spools that I used up on the 4 lengths of fabric.

The spools at the top of the page are what's left in my drawer after the "purging" therapy session. Once they're gone, we start on those spools of interesting colours; you know the lime greens and neon pinks!


  1. This happens to me too, and with bobbins as well. It doesn't help that I can't bear to throw them away... That would be a waste of perfectly good thread, right? I did manage to use up a couple of near-empty spools when I made my brother's quilt. I used them for the grid, which was removed after I finished quilting. I like your idea - another great way to use up old spools!

    1. Somehow, even using up a few meters of left over thread feels good. In the grand scheme of left over fabric scraps, it's not a big deal, but it's a start (very tiny) to better supply management. I like the idea of the free form quilt from your last blog. I'm going to have to give it a whirl one of these days.