Monday, 9 January 2017

My sewing threads

I bought a wonderfully big rack that holds 105 spools of sewing thread.  I am incredibly lucky to be able to hang this up so I have all sorts of colours available whenever I need, and within easy reach. That's particularly useful because I swap and change between projects a lot.

I have this rack hanging next to the window that is in the perfect spot for matching fabric to thread colour.  At least in daylight hours so I need to plan a bit in winter.

I took the photo for the project, but at least it shows the rack

I used to have a lot of different colours and have since either given away or used up some that I don't need. I kept mainly those colours that I want to wear so there are no muddy greens or orange hues left now. I still have a spool or two that I use for basting, but that's it.

Because I have this much space and only those colours that I use, I often find that I already have the right colour that I need for a new project.  I can't even begin to say what an advantage and sheer relief it is not to have to pop out and buy the blasted thing before I can throw myself into the next project. Having to go on a shopping expedition would smother my sewing mojo even more, I'd much rather have more thread than I know what to do with.

I have run into the issue of trying to use a thread though that had gotten too old and brittle: it shredded like mad at the needle and even a new needle wouldn't remedy it (always worth a try: re-thread or use a new needle. Will solve the issue 99% of the time). I tried another thread: problem solved and promptly chucked the offending article. What a relief. I just have to keep it in mind that this can happen.

So for reasons of nurturing my sewing mojo as much as I can and not quench the precious and delicate flame, I like to stock up on threads when I see that I am running low.  Which recently happened with light silvery grey, dark grey and a dark blue.

The greys turned out to be easy buys: look at all the G├╝termann greys, find the correct shade number, done.

The dark blue was rather annoying: despite dozens of dark blues in the G├╝termann range, none of them was the perfect match to the Coats yarn I was running out of. Can you believe that I now have four shades of dark blue that are not the exact same?

All pretty close, but no cigar
See: different shade numbers!

I suppose the Coats dark blue is somewhere in between the middle two shades.  It won't matter all that much because it won't be obvious. To keep top-stitching uniform, I'll have to pick and stick with a single shade, preferably one of the new ones, - but it'll be fine for seam stitching.  You won't spot it when you gallop past it!  As they say in quilting circles.

I am also lucky to have quite a lot of bobbins and that I can keep them with their threads by use of something that calls itself 'bobbin mates'.  Yah.  Okay then.  But they are very useful!

Here's a photo:

The short, fatter end gets shoved into the sewing thread spool, and then you have space for two bobbins on the longer end.  For the most usual colours (white, black, grey and whatever else I use a lot) I fill up bobbins: then they're handy to be used without having to fiddle about.  The bobbins for some of the other colours I don't fill to the fullest extent because I want to make sure not to use up more than half the thread, which would be a bit pointless.

All this makes me really happy, and it gives my sewing a much appreciated boost!


  1. Thanks for the tip about the bobbin mates. However, with regard to the spool rack, you have done the wrong thing- to hang it in daylight. This not only contributes to the aging of the thread but also the light changes the colour and the outer thread fades while the inner thread is protected and therefore remains the same colour. Result- two differing colours on one spool. You should either cover the rack over or remove it to a dark place and only take the thread to the window when you want to match it up to some fabric. Same, of course, goes for fabric stash storage. I shudder when I see photos of sewing rooms with fabric stacked on open shelves with the edges of fabric exposed to the light. This is alright if you only store it for a short time but I know that I have fabric that has been in my stash for years!

  2. That's a good tip, thank you!