# Learning from My Thread; Giveaway!

Not long ago I dumped all my thread into one box in preparation for moving. Yesterday I decided to put it away again, and that meant sorting it by type and color.

All the solid colors of cotton thread go on wall thread racks because they’re used the most; the rest is used less often and goes in drawers.

As I sorted the cottons by color, I realized there was a lot to learn from this exercise.

• When all the tints, tones and shades of one color are together, you can see how they relate to each other. You can see that pink is just red watered down by adding white,

and that Williamsburg blue has been altered from basic blue by the addition of gray.

What I call salmon is somewhere between red and orange, and it’s had white added in, too. So much becomes clear!

• When the spools are grouped by color, it’s a good reminder of how many variations there are. Look at the greens—it’s like a whole forest right there! Don’t get stuck on one variation. Use many.

• It’s interesting that generally, all the spools of one color look great together. This tells me that if you threw all your purple fabrics (yes, the pinkish ones and the blue-ish ones, too) together in one quilt, they’d be smashing.

• Surely each of us would have varying amounts of each color. I can’t help but wonder why I have five times more reds than yellows. Note to self: buy more yellow thread.

• Neutrals are a whole species unto themselves. Remember when you were a kid and you mixed too many colors from your paintbox? You’d always get brown. Brown is a moosh of lots of colors, black is the absence of color and white is all the colors mixed together equally. I do have a few colors in my neutral pile too, because I’ve learned that flesh tones and some golds will disappear on almost any fabric.

Try sorting your threads by color and see what you can learn. Then leave a comment here and tell us about it by midnight Monday, August 8 and we’ll pick a random winner to receive a sampler of threads compliments of Quiltmaker. The winner of a sampler of threads is Myra Sattler from Herndon, Kansas. Congratulations to Myra, and many thanks for all of your great comments! Look for more great giveaways here on Quilty Pleasures.

*  *  *  *  *  *

You might enjoy our recent post on the 3-in-1 Color Tool.

## About Diane Harris

I'm Interactive Editor for Quiltmaker magazine in Golden, Colorado, USA. For six years, I've been writing pattern instructions and product reviews, and doing a host of other tasks necessary to help produce a national pattern magazine. Now I work remotely from rural Nebraska to generate some of our online content. I manage the QM Scrap Squad, our blog tours and our Quilt-Alongs. I have one of the best jobs in the world.
This entry was posted in Scrapbag, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

### 179 Responses to Learning from My Thread; Giveaway!

1. robin says:

I really have very little thread. !

2. Rebecca says:

I need a better system for organizing mine, like a wall rack or something. My color assortment is growing, but there’s still some key colors I need like red and yellow, and I always seem to be running out of beige and pink. THANKS for the chance at growing my thread supply!
ourbusylittlebunch(at)hotmail(dot)com

3. Robyn Brown says:

wow! How lovely that is. It does make you realize that all shades of one color would work wonderfully in a quilt. It definitely makes me feel a little “freer” with color choices.

4. Cherie Berg says:

I love colors! And I have quite a few choices in the box that sits at the end of my machine and lining my windowsills. It’s time I took my cue from you to get organized!

5. deb m says:

My threads are organized by color, and by type. Cottons in one small desktop drawer organizer, and poly embroidery thread on a shelf in an old kitchen cupboard.
What I learned by organizing them that way is Sometimes a color does not fit in either color category that you thought it might. For example…just like that pair of sox I got when I was in high school…they looked green when I tried to wear them with yellow and yellow when I tried to wear them with green! They are the more complicated colors in between, and make great accents!

6. Margie says:

I like the idea of organizing by color. need a system and more variety of colors!

7. jean Billington says:

I keep my thread sorted by color to. Love the rainbow of colors that you have in these scans. From one end of the spectrum to the other.
What a great gift this would make.
jean

8. Nancy says:

I hang my thread on the wall and worry that it will fade. I also would love to know what neutral threads to buy…

9. Becky Weimer says:

I started sorting my threads way back when I was a garment sewer in clear plastic boxes. It certainly helps to find the right color for the job!

10. Vickie says:

I have just a few shades of each color and use mostly shades of grey for piecing. I did notice I am quite partial to pinks!

11. debby says:

I don’t have many spools of thread yet so would love to win

12. Sunnybec says:

This could be potentially embarrassing but I don’t have many colours, at the moment I stick to black white and neutral as I have only been quilting for a year. I am sure I will buy different colours as I get more experienced. Linda

13. Gale says:

I’ve always sorted my thread by color and type in plastic boxes. I just love looking at the colors and seeing how they go together. I also notice that all the shades of a color seem to blend one into another. Now that you mention it, I seem to be partial to reds and pinks and definitely need to buy some more yellow. I love yellow. Why am I always low on yellow fabric and yellow thread?

14. Connie says:

I have mine sorted by color and what I have learned is I have a lot of greens…….and reds…….and blues. What can I say, I love thread!

15. I am just starting my thread collection. I have a small wooden dowel rack on my wall and they are sorted by color…. 1 of each! I would really like to win!!

16. Mary C in WA says:

Since I brought home the Mettler display when our local Hancock Fabrics closed. I always have my thread sorted by color and keep having to refill the neutrals, like White and Black since I do a lot of piecing and not as much Machine Applique as I did when I worked at Hancocks. Could use some new colors to add in there, Aurifil and Gutterman fit in the display too!

17. Nancy B from Many LA says:

I wish I had enough thread to do this with. LOL!

18. Tiffany says:

I buy thread as I need it. So far, I have several whites and beiges, plus one each of red, yellow, blue, and brown. I could use a little more!

19. Heather says:

So far I have 4 spools so not much sorting to be done. Obviously, I’m a beginner at both sewing and quilting. I have black, white, grey and a beigy-taupe. That’s it. I think they’ll do for the piecing plans I have. I’d love to try some colours, especially when I ever get to hand or machine quilting.

20. Diane D. says:

I have learned that some threads seem to collect more lint and other air “floaties” than others, and that those particular threads need to be stored differently. Reading about what you’ve learned makes me want to resort all my thread into colors. Thanks for the good idea!

21. Suzy says:

I love color but use mostly tans and grays for piecing. Several years ago I organized in plastic boxes by color and and my largest group was blue-turquoise-aqua-green. Not so much true blues or greens but the blends of the two. My problem is that after I use a color I don’t put it away immediately or often leave it with a project; then I go out and buy another spool of thread because I “don’t have” that color.

22. Marion Fitzgerald says:

I have a few shades of each color but often use a neutral color in my quilts. I organize it by color and cold use some new colors to mix in.

23. kwiltnkats says:

I noticed three wood spools! Time to make something with those oldies! The best cat toys around (wink)… Sandi

24. vicki williams says:

Love Love Love the idea of sorting your threads into colour groups. Would love to win some so as to getting stuck into this process.

25. I absolutely had no yellow thread and very little yellow fabric in my stash. I love the photos of your thread by color. Great post. Thanks!

26. Carol says:

I think it’s time to make some purchases….I keep finding empty spools with an occasional white or black. most certainly time to go shopping! Thanks for the giveaway!

27. Dawn Hollingsworth says:

I have mostly neutrals as this is what I piece with. I am starting to buy other colors in the hopes I will be brave enough soon to do some machine quilting I would love to win some more as I don’t really have all that much thread. My husband would disagree

28. Darlene Jacolik says:

I love machine embroidery and have all of those threads sorted by rayon, poly etc. My construction/piecing threads are in a drawers with matching bobbins in small zip bags. Actually my threads are the best organized item in my sewing room. I have a lot of pinks, purples and greens.

29. DianeH says:

I’m just getting into free motion quilting and now realize how much thread it takes. When I started seriously quilting I knew enough to throw out all the ‘cheap’ thread I had. I’m buying good thread in larger amounts now. Thanks for this.

30. Deb Martens says:

What fun to see all the shades of threads! I love to collect thread, too. I keep mine in clear plastic boxes, mostly sorted by type rather than color (I keep all the shiny, sparkly, variegated, and specialty threads together).

31. Terri says:

I am a thread addict, I admit it. I can never have enough thread and always buy two of each color, no matter how big the spool. My biggest downfall is variegated thread – I love that stuff! I always seem to have a spool that works perfectly for quilting each quilt. My husband built a very nice pyramid shaped thread rack for me w/ dowels on all the legs of it. He is so thoughtful and supportive! I also treasure the wooden spooled threads that my mother bought so many years ago.

32. Carol Vickers says:

I have mostly neutrals – I feel kind of boring!

33. Linda K.C. says:

I sort my thread to what they are used for not just color. I keep all my embroidery thread by color so it is fast to do a project. All my poly is keep in a plastic thread box, so I will use it up. I do mainly quilting so I also have big cones to use on the longarm. Most of my thread is kept in rubbermaid drawer system to keep the dust off. You will see more lint if you keep your thread out. Not only will it get dusty it can also dry out.

34. Margery Jansonius says:

I also put my thread into drawers by color. It is surprising how many on one color you have and the right shade is never there. My rayon embroidery threads are on a wall rack my husband built for me behind my machine.

35. Sandra McCormick says:

Recently I retired and decided to fix up a room dedicated to sewing, quilting, etc. I had most of my thread in the plastic MatchBox Cars boxes. So I made a couple of wall racks using peg board and dowel rods cut to fit different sized spools. Now my thread is grouped according type and color right on the wall where I can find what I need without flipping those boxes around. There seems to be a lot of white so my dream would be to win some colored thread. Also I have a small container where I have several almost empty spools of thread to be used for small things. Thank you for the opportunity to enter.

36. Linda Kimble says:

Years ago in the tool section of Sears I purchased an upright storage cabinet with rows of separated bins. Best of all, there was a clear plastic dust cover. I thought how perfect this would be for storing my thread; I could separate it by color, keep it dust free, and see it at a glance! This is where I keep my all purpose sewing thread that I use the most. My other thread is grouped by type rather than color as i don’t have as much of it.

37. Joan Amundsen says:

I think I REALLY need more thread!!!

38. Donna Widerquist says:

I really have “beautiful” thread——but I think that I need more!!!!

39. I have a handful of thread and now I realize yet again that I need more thread in various colors. My collection seems to be lacking in a variety of colors.

40. Melody says:

I keep mine on a wall rack sorted by color. It’s amazing how much blue I have and how little purple – and almost no yellow. I love the blues and purples together.

41. Maryellen McAuliffe says:

I have a great thread rack my dad and I made using 1×6 boards stair stacked and long nails. The nails are long enough to hold the bobbin and spool, and fits in the wall space above my machine. Easy and cheap, and yes, my colors are arranged together. The first row on the left is black, white, and neutrals, then the colors in order. So much easier to see where I need more colors and to choose the right shade for my project. Right now, I need more creams and ivory thread. And that one true baby pink, which seems to be needed but not easily found. Thanks for the photos of yours. Interesting!

42. Amy B. says:

I have a lot of light and dark value colors. Note to self – buy more medium value thread!

43. Glenda Gentry says:

I have turned my upstairs into a studio. I have lined my walls with 1″X2″X8′ boards that are drilled . I insert dowels cut to length of various spools. I sort my threads by numerical order of the color and type of thread. I have color charts from numerous manufacturers that I have purchased from the thread companies. These charts are available for nominal fees. When selecting a color for a project, I select the color from the chart, go to the number on the thread rack and hope I have it. Works very well. I use a lot of varigated colors. One wall is devoted to machine embroidery thread, another to hand and machine quilting cotton, one to serger thread, another to all purpose multi-use thread.

44. laura windham says:

No matter how many shoe boxes my collection grows to, I never have the correct shade for my project. I use many shades of gray.

45. Brenda says:

Since I stopped sewing garments I have more neutrals, more greys, and lots of black, but very few colours. I can’t find purple or red at all, and pinks are scarce. thanks for hte chance.

46. cynthia sato says:

I sort my thread by color into clear plastic thread boxes. It keeps the threads upright and untangled. I also use handi-bobs to hold the matching bobbins on the peg next to the corresponding color thread. I like to sew doll clothes, children’s clothes and quilt. This way, when I am changing my project from one to another, I don’t have to find or rewind a bobbin. I have two shelves in the bookcase near my sewing chair filled with thread.

47. Cathy Good says:

I mainly have greys and beiges with a few other colors. I guess I only buy thread when I need it and since I quilt I usually use the greys and beiges; I need some livening up!

48. Toni Spencer says:

I did this recently and was surprised with how all the colors in a same color goup would normally look good together …even though with fabric I probably wouldn’t have put them together. Thanks for the chance to win.

49. Kelly says:

Uh oh. I just figured out how to hide my “stash” from hubby. I feel a new kind of shopping trip coming up! At least thread will be easier to smuggle into the house.

50. I have more neutrals and lights than anything else. I think I need some orange and red! Thanks for the great post!

51. Rita Sheloff says:

I used to have my thread out all the time, hanging from pegs. Then one day I went to use some and noticed that it was quite dusty. I then noticed several others were quote dusty, too (YUCK!), so ever since I keep them all together in a plastic bin. But I still do separate them…all the polyester is in one bin, all the cotton in another, larger size spools of cotton in another and all my embroidery threads neatly standing up in yet another 2 bins!

52. Nancy Crawford says:

I am very lucky to have a beautiful thread cabinet with glass doors that my dad made for my mom several years ago. I have the enjoyment of seeing all the colors through the glass, but it is protected from dust and other things floating through the air. It is one of the best memories I have from my parent’s house.

53. Gloria says:

I keep all my threads in a nice clear plastic drawer container… it is so nice to pull open a drawer and see my whites, creams and grays and then go to a next drawer and see the reds, oranges , yellows etc… so easy to locate what I want to use… but I have lots of room for more threads….

54. Janet says:

Looks like there are some wooden spools in the mix. Be sure to save them. This is a great way to play with color with a small investment.

55. I keep my threads in plastic containers and some out on an old antique cubby, so I have some handy when I need them. I have very limited colors and mostly black or tans, since I do a lot of prim quilts. I do have a set of fancy ones to use with my machine, but I definitely could use more threads and colors.

Debbie

56. Claudia says:

I’m too late for the give-away, and truthfully, I don’t need it. A few years ago I did a similar exercise, but divided things by size of spool and then by color families. Good stuff (cottons) is separated from that “it was all I could find”, and the Sulkies and other rayons and specialties play by themselves. I pulled out the Sulkies not too long ago and put them under my Ott lite to make some color choices. They looked like a box of new crayons and glowed like jewels. Yes, I do love color. And I received a very colorful surprise today.

57. Joanna says:

I never seem to have enough of the thread color I need for some projects, so I tend to buy neutrals. I have lots of cream and natual. I sorted my threads into see though containers, and that works really well. Seeing all of those spools, especially the wooden ones, reminds me of playing with my mother’s threads at her sewing machine when I was a child. And I never stopped:)

58. SewLindaAnn says:

My threads are sorted by color now and it is so helpful in picking out what I need. I have a filing cabinet with the narrow drawers and it’s perfect. In one drawer I have embroidery threads, in the other I have separated by color sewing threads. I have my embroidery floss in a vintage suitcase.

59. Dawn says:

I’m not lucky enough to have a fancy cabinet or anything special to keep my threads in, but they are sorted, by type, weight, then color. I don’t like digging around trying to find the color or weight I need or want to use so I sorted it all years ago. Thanks for a chance at the giveaway!

60. Debbie says:

I don’t sort my thread by color right now. (Although I have had plans for awhile to try it that way, it’s not going to happen anytime soon.) I have it sorted by type. Depending on what I need it for, I go to that type of thread and choose whichever color is appropriate for what I need to use it for.

61. I have discovered that I am very heavy in muted colors and very low on brights. I have lots of blues and greens and very little yellow, orange, or red. Guess it’s time to start adding to my thread collection.

62. Margie A says:

I use cotton thread for quilting and have them on wooden spool holders on the wall above my sewing machine covered with clear plastic to keep the dust off. Works for me. The other threads are stored in a large bin easy to store.

63. Rita Goshorn says:

my threads, too are sorted by type, then color, in trays in my right hand cabinet, close by. my frequently used threads and their bobbins are on a peg board at arms reach.
love your giveaway …… thanx for the opportunity to win thread!

rgoshorn@ak.net

64. Rachell Reilly says:

I too, try to categorize by type or brand or use (general use, machine-quilting, hand-quilting, higher-quality for machine piecing). I try to keep the majority in a set of small plastic drawers that are semi-clear, and the quilting by type in the small swing-out caddies on the door of my sewing machine cabinet (that doesn’t work because my toddler likes all the colors and gets into them and they get messy). I’ve learned that I need to get a lock for my sewing machine cabinet. I also LOVE walking down memory lane as I pull out my thread drawer; I remember things like: I used this color for that project or piece of clothing, or for that quilt; gosh I wish I hadn’t gotten too big for that shirt or skirt….that was one of my favorites…..all sorts of stuff. I also realized that I sew my clothing in a lot of neutral colors, and not a lot of brights. I realized that even though my favorite color is purple, I have a lot more blues than any other color (and consequently blue clothing). And I’ve also learned not to be afraid of yellow because it does blend with other colors more than I thought, and I love it for star blocks in my quilts.

65. Dorothy Reitsma says:

I sort my thread by colour and keep them in plastic see thru boxes, that way I can easily pick what I need. My sulky’s and other rayons are in a separate box. Of course I have too much for my boxes so my big cones are on a wall rack. I always seem to buy more as the colour isn’t quite right. O well I can always use more.

66. Karen O says:

This post was amazing to me. Just last night I sat down and sorted through all of the spools of thread from my Mom’s sewing box. First I took the old thread off of any wooden spools that didn’t have much on them – future craft project in mind for those spools. Then I put them in color groups! I loved how they looked, and how organized everything is. Now I have to combine them with my own thread.

67. Lisa Gallup says:

I have some in a drawer and some hanging on a spool rack…I have sorted the ones on the rack by colors. I never thought to much about dust I use them quite frequently I don’t know if they have time to get dusty…I guess they do living in the dusty state I do.

68. Colleen says:

Great post! I also sort my threads by type then color. The cotton spools are on a rack the others in drawers (except for the hand quilting threads ~ they are in a jar). I have an old computer plastic cover I lay over the cotton spool rack to eliminate the dust issue. I discovered looking at my threads that I tend to purchase a lot in the same color family other than a bunch of neutrals I have a bunch of reds. I think I just liked the beauty of the color, and some of them I have multiple spools of the same color. I guess my lesson is to keep a color chart handy when I go shopping!

69. Dana says:

I have way too many blues and not enough neutrals. I think I may buy the same amounts, but use up some so much faster. I’ve been experimenting with different brands, so I’m all over the place with what I own.

70. Sarah says:

Most of my thread right now is in big plastic bags as I’m currently staying in a rental house while waiting for our house to be built, so the bags are just a big hodge-podge of different colors/threads. However, I have been keeping all my threads (regardless of manufacturer) on a bookshelf. The larger cones in the bag and then smaller in the front. When I use the thread and there’s still some on the bobbin, I usually put the cone and the bobbin into a plastic bag to keep them together.

I do tend to sort the threads by what I use them for…applique, quilting, piecing. My piecing threads are pretty dull (mostly white, cream or beige), but when I look at my applique and quilting threads…its a color explosion! Its fun to see how many various colors there are for the different threads.

71. Wilma Searcy says:

I go to the crafts section of the store to find flat plastic containers with dividers which are ideal for storing threads. I have a thread collection which includes those inherited from my mother and my mother-in-law as well as my own. Many are on wooden spools which I always save.

72. Wow a stash of thread! I am new to quilting most of my fabric stash is inherited but my moms thread was in direct Texas sun and I am afraid most of it had weakened. I love your threads of many colors. Ha

73. Diane says:

I store most of my thread on wall mounted thread racks. This allows me to gaze upon all the color combos anytime I need some color inspiration.

74. Naomi Vela says:

I have my threads separated into 3 different areas…larger reels (ie cones of embroidery threads and overlocking threads) on one homemade stand, cheaper thread on the other homemade stand and my ‘good’ threads (Rassant for example) in a plastic box near my machine. From visually sorting through mine, I have learnt that I could quilt a rainbow! Hugs Naomi

75. Linda E in AZ says:

I learned that I have way too many greens and blues, but then that seems to be true of my fabric stash too. Strange because I really love purples and turquoise these days and lime green. I guess it’s just a holdover from the past.

76. Linda says:

After reading a number of comments, I’ve decided that I definitely need more thread! I keep mine in a couple of compartments on the doors of my sewing cabinet. I have mainly neutrals it seems.

77. upstatelisa says:

Generally, I have my threads hanging together on a holder by color!

78. Cecilia says:

I found that I have more embroidery thread than quilting thread. I also seem to have more yellow and blue than red thread.

79. Henria O. says:

I learned that I need more thread. My thread collection is a bit sparse right now!

80. Glenda Gentry says:

Love seeing all the comments here. As colorful as the thread!

81. Marcia W. says:

Most of my thread is actually my mother’s thread that she let’s me use. We have it separated by type of thread: all purpose, hand quilting, machine quilting, and specialty crafts. We used to hang it on the wall in a special spool holder my late father made, but after moving we no longer have a good spot to hang it. So, it’s all in a stack of little boxes. Some of the thread is quite old (think thread marked 5cents to 20 cents each) and kept for sentimental reasons. SO, we sure could use some brand new thread. Thanks for the chance. It is indeed wonderful to see all the colors together.

82. Gidge says:

I am a bit of a new quilter and I decided after looking at my thread that I need a lot more!
I like the varigated colors alot…and I need to do more bright quilting…I’m a little boring I think!

83. Kathi says:

I store my quilting threads by color and my Isacord embroidery threads are in numerical order. All are in drawers – the quilting thread spools on their sides so I can see the colors and the Isacord upright so I can see the numbers. Seems like every time I open a drawer, I find myself moving a spool of teal from the blue to the green drawer. It’s almost like the spools change colors because of which spools they are next too.

84. Linda says:

I’m pretty sure that sorting my threads would take about 30 seconds! I have cottons for hand quilting – in maybe 5 colours, and thread for piecing – maybe 10 colours (including the grey and beige that I mostly use!) and 6 variegated ones.
I store them in a cabinet that was made by a friend of my mom’s…it’s a beautiful wooden cabinet, one of the favourite things in my sewing room.

85. MaryBeth says:

I’ve learned that I really don’t need to buy any more neutral thread (for a while, anyway!!)

86. Mom C says:

I don’t have enough regular thread to worry about sorting, it all fits on my spool hanger near my sewing machine. But my machine embroidery thread! I love the vibrant colors, I could buy one of every shade just to look at them. When I am in doubt about a thread going with a fabric I run over to my neighbor. She has an eye for color and can see shades that I don’t see. I always like what she picks and it always goes together so beautifully. Sometimes I think I’m learning but I’m still an amateur compared to her.

87. Madeline says:

I have a wall rack with my quilting threads on it, and 3 drawers with containers full of hand quilting thread, embroidery floss, perle cotton in several sizes. I was a cross stitcher for 20 years, and have been doing embroidery since I was big enough to thread a needle. (about 8 years old) I have 2 complete collections of DMC embroidery floss with over 400 colors, and over 100 quilting threads. I love color! I have found that there is a “warm” and a “cool” version of the different colors, not just warm and cool colors. Look at them closely. For instance, a purple with more red in it is warmer than a purple with more blue in it. This is probably due to red being a warm color, and blue a cool color.

88. Syd says:

I realize after reading your post that I’m a slouch. I just dump them all into a plactic container, talk about a mess. Though I will be organizing them. I do have to admit I love seeing all the colors mixed together. Such a colorful surprise!!

89. Sharon says:

I keep my piecing thread separated from my quilting thread. For piecing I use mostly a light gray, and I love the off white for quilting. (I make mostly donation quilts, and I like the look of off white on multi-fabric quilts.) I have huge glass pickle jars that I keep my piecing thread in, and I like seeing all the colors through the glass. I used to keep them on thread racks until I noticed, like some others who commented here, that they collect too much dust that way, and it’s hard to clean dust off thread.

90. hueisei says:

I never sort my threads. I will keep all of them in a container. Sometimes is hard to find a matching thread for my project too. If I am rushing for time, I just pick some that its my regular color like white, beige or black . Maybe I should started organizing it…

91. Since I do machine embroidery, I play with thread colors often and love it! However, with quilting, I have just begun to delve into the world of threads….I am trying to learn about the textures and workability of threads now, for machine quilting.

92. Donna K. from N. TX says:

One thing I know about my thread, I can’t keep the ends from becoming un-secured and I get a jumble of loose threads before long. I need to put a clear wrapped cover (like Press and Seal) around each one to tame the loose ends.

93. Donna Albright says:

I have quite a bit of thread and, if I ever put it all in the same place, I think I would be surprised at how much of it is the same! I have some with this project and some with that project — just so I know which thread I had planned on using. I never thought of sorting it in piles to see the different shades. Guess I’m just gonna have to try it — after I put all of it in the same place.

94. Lisa Marie says:

I sorted my thread and discovered that I tend to buy the same colors over and over. Neutrals, of course, that get used often. And others (like a certain shade of orange) that I must think I don’t already have! This organizing exercise ought to help me make smarter purchases. I would like to have more variety in the types/brands of threads I have. Most of the local places carry the same things so I don’t have a stash of some of the really good stuff like Aurifil and Sulky.

95. Cheryl A. from WA state says:

I sort mine by color and type….then I can easily find the ones that I need. I have tried to have a fair selection of most colors so that I don’t always have to go buy another….I can get close enough with what I have. It was fun to read about someone else’s experience with the sorting out and trying to decide what and how to do with it all.
Sewing is always exciting!!!

96. Lyn says:

It’s shown me that most of my threads are Coats&Clark Dual Duty Plus, in neutral colors so they can be reused on different projects.

97. Linda says:

I LEARNED THAT I DO NOT NEED ANY MORE ‘GRAY’ THREAD!!!
IT SHOWED ME THERE IS A REASON TO SEPARATE AT LEAST BY COOL+WARM COLORS, IF NOT BY INDIVIDUAL COLOR FAMILIES. THANKS FOR SHARING!

98. Sharon James says:

I sort my threads by colour into wooden cutlery trays which are kept in a chest of drawers away from dust and light. I can remove a tray holding particular colour range and take it to my sewing machine for each quilt project.
My thread collection started when I was dressmaking while a teenager. Some of my threads could be termed ‘vintage’.

99. Kaye M. says:

After reading your post about thread, I decided a needed a new container for my thread collection so I bought a plastic carrying case with lots of little divisions and a see-through lid. As I was going through my thread stash I found some really old thread so that went in the trash. I found one wooden spool of orange thread by Belding Corticelli with the price stamped on it–30cents!! I think it was from the late 70s when I sewed a tweed blazer.
I have alot of thread in the aqua to green range of color and not much yellow. The blues in my box aren’t true blue, they are more in the grey family. I think I need more neutral colors in the tan family, a person can always use more thread.

100. Linda DiVall says:

I have trouble keeping up with my wound bobbins. I now run a strip of yarn through the center of the thread spool and the center of the matching bobbin and tie a little knot. I no longer worry about which white bobbin is polyester or cotton or 40 weight, etc.

101. Hi Diane! I’ve moved several times over the last 20+ years of marriage. Each time we’ve moved my sewing room takes up more space/boxes than I’d rather have to admit too! I was looking for a tool the other day, in my sewing room, and I opened up a drawer. OH my…I found thread stashed in there!! Hokey Smokes! How in the world did it get in there!! Directly above this set of drawers are my spool racks…they are full…oh! now I know how they got in there!! LOL I did it! I ran out of room on the spool racks…I think I might have to go buy or have someone make me a thread holder/rack. And I think that if you are going to make an all “red” quilt, or all “green” or even all “purple”…they say that all reds go together, well wouldn’t that hold the same truth for all the other colors? Can you imagine the dent you would put in your stash if you made several all 1 color quilts? Oh my, that sounds like a challenge!!! Happy sewing!

102. Rebecca J says:

I can so empathize with you! after moving I ended up with two great BIG BINS of notions that I am still sorting through. DH came into the sewing room one afternoon while I was working. there I was: the little hen happily nested among all my ric-racks and binding embellishment sorted by color on the floor. I did notice that I need more thread especially since I’m getting started working on my fall and holiday gifts! can anything be more fun than this???

103. Diane says:

Is it possible to have too much thread?? I don’t think so. I love to applique and am always looking for just the right match.

104. Wyo Di says:

I store my thread by colors and when I originally did so, I noticed that the majority of threads are in some shade of my favorite personal color – purple and the least amount of threads were in some shade orange, my least liked color. Is there a pattern here???

105. Tracey says:

I just recently bought a new sewing machine, which has me super excited. I never expected that thread could be such an issue, here I am, starting my collection from scratch

106. Usha says:

I have been fascinated by the multitude of colours …each thread is pretty on its own and sometimes one seems to be prettier than the other…they are akin to the lovely blooms in the garden.

Usha

107. Janet Breunig says:

As of right now my sewing room is a mess and I have all my threads in a big tote. Soon hope to have them color sorted and then I can see if I need to buy more. Never have enough thread.

108. Linda Cartwright says:

I don’t have that many threads, but I try to keep mine sorted by color and in plastic shoe boxes. Then I place that box in the larger plastic bins I use for my fabric of same colors.

109. shavonna says:

I just resently moved and as I was packing I couldn’t believe how much thread I had;and how old some of it was. My son said to toss it and start anew but I started telling him the stories behind some of the spools and he backed off. Not only are there stories in the colors but there are stories in the spools themselves.

110. Evelyn says:

I try not to over buy thread as thread has a shelf life and I have learned you are not supposed to have your thread out on those thread stands as they get dried out and the sun damages it. So I keep mine in shoe boxes to keep them out of the light.

111. Kathy Boeggeman says:

I’m not sure how much thread I really have, I just know that I buy new thread for every project!!! LOL

112. Ann says:

<3 Threads hold my World Together <3

113. TheaM says:

I’ve moved so many times over the past 20 or so years… my threads have really accumulated. A few years ago, my dh bought me thread cases – just for my embroidery threads – and all four of them are full – I also have three thread racks on the wall – and have room for one more, which I need, since these three are also full! I love thread – love playing with different fibers, colors and weights. I do a lot of free motion quilting and have an extensive thread collection already – but I’d be delighted to add to it!

114. Glenna says:

you can never have too much thread and it seems you are always looking for just the right shade

115. Kris says:

I tend to buy almost all my colors for a specific project, so when I look in my stash, I remember why I purchased them or what project I used them in.

116. Cathy says:

I bought plastic carriers for toy car in the toy department. They are double sided and have approx. 20 compartments on each side. I have 4 of these containers and have my thread sorted by color. I love looking at these rainbows of thread. Hugs

117. Phyllis says:

I love thread and sometimes just buy for the beautiful color. I almost always have in my stash the color I need to blend with what ever I am sewing or quilting on. There is always room for more, it might be a shade I don’t have and really, really need.

118. Ramona says:

I like the idea of a one color quilt. I’ll have to add that to my ‘to do’ list. I store my thread by color in clear plastic shoe boxes. I always check the thread for strength before sewing and purge out any old thread. Wooden spools, with and without thread, are displayed in old fruit jars in my ‘playroom’.

119. Judy D in WA says:

I love thread!!! I love thread of all colors, shapes and sizes! I just love thread!

120. Amy Jackson says:

I love to sort through all my colors and am always amazed at them all when I group them like this, I always have tons of blues! My son loves to take them all off the rack or out of the bins and sort through them too.

121. What a great learning exercise! I sort mine by color with thread racks that I hang on the wall … makes for easy pickins when needing a special color to match I’d LOVE to win your thread giveaway!

122. Sayward says:

Since I am just starting out, my threads are really boring. I need to live a little! =)

123. Amanda Stelmach says:

I have 25 colors of thread in a plastic container that is made to hold thread. I separate them by who makes them for example Gutterman etc. I don’t have to many colors because I buy what colors I need for the quilting project I am working on at that time. I have a lot of pink and green because I made purses for my bridesmaids and those were the colors of the fabric. I would love to add yo my collection and would be so thrilled to win. Hopefully I would have to purchase a new container to hold the thread. Good luck everyone and thanks for a great opportunity to win.

124. Carla Brown says:

I have lots of thread but it seems I never have the color I need when I start a new project. I love thread and all the different shades you can get.

125. Betty says:

I love looking at thread – just think of the possibilities! I have moved my thread from little bins to bigger bins to little totes to racks and I still can’t seem to find the right place. However, I still keep buying thread and so whatever place I put them, just seems to get smaller!!! I love to group all the spools together and then see all my options. Of course this doesn’t include all the floss too, which is overflowing in a little tote!

126. Heather Rourke says:

Diane, this was such a fun blog post to read! I loved the photographs as well. Thread, to me, is like a 64-box of Crayola crayons for adults! (My mother never did buy me the big fancy box, and yes, my age is showing!) I loved your comment “Note to self: buy more yellow thread.” That made me laugh. Thread is even more addictive than fabric these days! I moved- and downsized – in the past couple of months, and I just rediscovered my thread stash. What a treat that was yesterday! Like you, when you see all the colours together, they all ‘work’, just like driving around the countryside in summertime, and seeing all the shades of green out there, all waving in the wind together. Makes one realize that one can be far more creative – and brave – when putting fabrics and threads together. Thanks again for a wonderful read!

127. Tracy says:

Diane,
I totally understand how you feel, I have moved 4 times in the last 5 years and sorting thread and fabric is not fun. I finally bought plastic shoe boxes and have my thread sorted by type. My every day cotton thread for sewing is on a wooden spool rack on my sewing table. I keep a wide variety of thread colors for sewing, machine quilting and applique.

128. Marge Kumaki says:

You can never have too much thread, especially when you’re particularly picky about matching colors exactly, as I am!

129. Marjorie says:

Threads are like candy. It is hard to have just one–color, spool, type.

130. Katie Wilson says:

I love looking at all your threads grouped by color family. So pretty!
I keep my threads for piecing on a thread rack. In plastic divided containers from Hobby Lobby I have my rayon threads, bobbin threads, and metallics, and the beautiful variegated threads are out in the open so I can see the lovely combinations. Hand quilting threads are stashed away in a cupboard – easy to get to on the rate occasion that I need them. (I often use quilting thread for tacking down the binding on the back of a quilt.)

131. Linda says:

I have big plans – great article on making your own thread storage in a Studios magazine – just need a whole whack of 1/2 size baking trays. Oh well, for now, thread is on stands and in containers. I like the idea of all in one container – protected from dust.

132. I am making a wedding quilt for my daughter. I have a border of “crazy quilt squares” that I wanted to embellish. I found a lovely heavy thread with metallic strands running through it. I used a variety of colors to zig zag it (willy nilly) around the border. It blends and highlights the various colors in the squares wonderfully. My daughter saw the (incomplete) quilt top and said this was her favorite part of the quilt (so far). I was so excited. I love the freedom of creativity that comes from having resources on hand.

133. Lorri Ackland says:

My honey made me a thread rack, last fall, and its great. Having those colors displayed, and handy. But, ofcourse, not all of them fit, so I sure could use another one. lol

134. I never knew how important thread was to a project until I actually started sewing! Sure, picking out fabrics is fun (buying neutrals isn’ t so fun, but I’m sure we’ve all found it necessary), buying interfacing also isn’t fun, but necessary….but thread….that opens up a whole new hoarding door! Of course…you NEVER have the right shade, no matter how much you have!

Thanks for the pictures, that really puts the post in perspective.

135. Patricia Meredith says:

I had to make a quick move when my 85 yr old mother became worse. As I was packing I smugly said “Oh, thread, I will put them all in a tote where I can at least find them” Big mistake because I had very old thread and inexpensive thread mixed with better quality thread many of which no longer had the descriptive sticker on. Since I had just started quilting and didn’t realize the value of a decent quality I now have to either throw it all away or use any/all of it.
I can’t get out often and I have a limited income so I will use it and hope for the best. Just a word to the newbies…

136. Linda Woodley says:

I never knew there were so many different kinds of thread until I started quilting and got an embroidery machine. There is always a need for more thread, you can never have too much.

137. Linda says:

I’ve learned you can never have enough thread and I do not have enough thread! this did show me that I tend to use the same colors and need to introduce some new life in my sewing.

138. Nancy Green says:

Loved looking at the eye candy pictures of the threads in their color groups. What a great inspiration. Those of us who work with fiber of any kind are drawn to “color” it seems. And who could have too much thread??

139. Anna McD says:

You can never have too much thread! Thanks for a chance to win

140. Judy Oswald says:

I have most of my threads in a box and must go through them and put them in order. My newer ones are in a plastic divied case. I don’t have many good threads and could really use more.

141. Judith Hogan says:

All my thread is in one box, but I like the idea of sorting it into shades in separate containers. That way, I’ll know what colours I use most and what colours I need more of. Most of the time, I tend to use a light beige for everything.

142. sharO says:

Your collection is interesting that you put all varieties of thread together. I tend to group according to brand. I guess I’ll relook at my threads.

143. Judy K Clements says:

Oooooh, look at all of that thread! I need some colors to add to my selection – hope I win!

144. Leslie says:

I have my small thread collection sorted by colour and type of thread. As one person remarked above I have a lot of purple (my favourite) then shades of green (mostly lime) but I mostly have neutrals as I use them the most.

145. Lyn says:

I have my threads sorted by color and also by thread type. All of my rayon/poly embroidery spools are sorted into stacking plastic drawer units. The drawers are just deep enough to hold the spools upright. Serger thread is in another unit with two deeper drawers. My sewing thread is stored in two of those clear plastic, double-sided “toy car carrier” boxes. Oh, and I have a third carrier with spools of cotton embroidery thread. Now if only I could keep the rest of my sewing items as organized as my thread!

146. Debbie Tarangul says:

I recently experienced a flood in my basement after a bad storm. This is where my studio is and thankfully the side where it is didn’t get very much water. (note to friends…store your fabrics and threads in drawers, shelves or plastic bins to avoid damage lol) Anyways in preparation for the restoration crew to finish up the clean up…I packed my whole basement and most of it is sitting in a storage unit currently parked in my driveway. I couldn’t bring myself to put my fabrics out there so my living room looks like a “hoarder’s” house with 30 blue bags of fabric sitting behind my couch. This doesn’t include the fabric in boxes and bins in the storage unit. When I realized just how much I have…I have been telling all of my friends that I am not allowed to step foot into a fabric store for a year. I did put a caveat to that however…I still need to get thread to be able to make use of all this fabric. So someone would have to go with me to make sure I stay with my resolution. lol…..sooooo if the “quilting fairies” would allow me to win this thread….I would have a great start to reduce my stash…..quilty hugs to all….

147. Wanda says:

I have a very small stash of fabric and it is primarily neutrals with a few colors, like two blues, two greens, one red, maybe a pink or a purple, that is about it. Winning this thread would really help me to increase my thread stash and give me more options to experiment with and thus greatly benefit me.

148. Judi R says:

Like you, I seem to buy too many of the same shades of one color, but my color is pink. I must have almosst every pink, EXCEPT the one called for in a particular embroidery. And of course, that pink will not be in my store!

I did take the time to organize my embroidery thread this summer. I bought those neat plastic boxes so I can take my treads with me. Now I need to get my “regular” sewing and quilting threas organized!

I love your yellows and blues and certainly will be more than delighted to take your surplus off your hands. Afterall, I have never met a fiber I didn’t like. (Or need to add to my stash)

149. jil says:

Your collection looks uncannily like mine, its taken a while to get that many threads together. When things started to be a wee bit to much for just one box I went to Ikea and bought some opaque plastic boxes with adjustable portions and my threads never looked more organised and much more comfortable to work with. And guess what I discovered through that exercise…my favorite colours are the ones I have most of and just about every shade posssible which makes sewing so much simpler when you can just reach up and take the right shade. There were plenty of gaps in my colour range I discovered as well, so I try to fill them when threads are discounted.

150. Linda says:

Like most of the quilters I know…we never have just the right shade of a particular thread, even though we certainly lots of variety in the shades of colours. I have all mine sorted and organized by colour families, same holds true for my fabric stash!

151. Michelle says:

You’ve convinced me that I need more thread! Or at least more colors of thread.

152. Val says:

I love my threads – the variations in green alone are enough to transfix me!

153. Jeannine says:

When I sorted my thread I learned that I needed more colors. I have several spools of neutral colors. The thread that I do have tends to blend with different colors of fabrics so I can use it when I quilt. I want to learn applique and it looks like I will need to start a “stash” of thread as well. Thanks for the opportunity to “WIN!”

154. Leanne says:

I have more shades of blue than anything. I could use more of any other color!

155. michele sanderson says:

love all the colors threads, i wish i had that many i saw a bunch of different kinds what is your favorite?

156. Pearl Mackey says:

I would love the opportunity to go shopping without paying!!! lol

157. Patti Finelli says:

I am addicted to thread in every type. I sort by weight, color, and use. I can’t mix thread types: example poly with rayon. My husband says I need help, and I just laugh. We never have enough fabric or thread. Seems like we are always missing a certain color especially when we are sewing late at night. Why is that, we don’t have enough in our stash.

158. Karen says:

Wow…I would love to have all that variation in my threads…:)

159. Ullis says:

I got a lot of green threads (as well as fabric) Thats my favourite color. And quite much of neutrals but hardly no blue thread. I prefer warm colors. And I think 80 % of my threads are cotton!

160. Becky. A says:

I need more thread tooo.

161. Nancy Myers says:

I think I have too many threads–mostly in greens, grays and blacks–which means I should probably sew more quilts to use them up!

162. Myra Sattler says:

I always seem not to have the right color for what I want to sew and end up getting more thread all the time. I have a small chest that I keep my thread in and try to keep it in order but not always.

163. Laurie says:

I have learned that I love blues and purples and are very shy on whites and browns. I loved how some colors looked so good together and decided that my next project is going to have to be a quilt in shades of purples or blues to use all the wonderful shades of threads I have collected.

164. Kate says:

I have tons of thread and never the right color when topstitching… sigh.

165. Joyce Jensen says:

I have lots of creams and tans, now when I see all of your colors I will have to branch out more and experiment with more colors!

166. Joyce Jensen says:

I have lots of creams and tans, now when I see all of your colors I will have to branch out more and experiment with more colors!

167. Great pictures!! I’m always surprised by the way the color of the thread reacts to the fabric colors when I machine quilt a quilt.

168. I just recently sorted out all my threads, I was pleasantly surprised to realize I had colors I didn’t realize I had. I also realized which colors I need to stock up on again.

169. Karee says:

I have more threads of colors I seldom use and almost none of the colors I use all the time. Better go shopping!

170. Judy Johnson says:

I have learned that I like to use pale green or lavender as a neutral.

171. dortha clayton says:

I almost always have to go buy another spool of thread for button replacement, repairs, etc. It’s getting harder to find places near my home to even find thread.

172. Bonnie says:

I have found (by looking at your stash) that I don’t have NEAR enough colors of thread!!

173. I love all the colors! But am partial to blues and purples and don’t even get me started on metallics.

174. Dotti Elgart says:

That “aha” moment. Your having dropped then reassembled the various types and colors of the threads, showed me two things, 1) don’t separate different threads by content and wt. And 2) don’t be so exclusive in the color mixes of the colors I use in quilts . No longer will I be so exclusive in my color choices. Seeing the threads with such a wide berth of hues and tints withn a color will free me to be more open with my choices. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, now I see the light!

175. Linda Vitzthum says:

I’d love to play with thread!

176. Rae Craig says:

I’m as addicted to thread colors as I am to fabric!! What a blessing it would be to have that many colors of thread (and a place to keep them)!!

177. Greta Beach says:

You are such an education! I am only now learning about thread. I didn’t know there was so much too it. Seems I need to scrap most of my thread and start buying a little more wisely…
Thanks!

178. I group my thread by color into small plastic containers with lids. It makes it so much easier to find when I’m searching for a particular tint instead of rummaging through the 50+ spools I have. Also noticed it looks like you use Gutermann thread like I do too!

179. racheal robinson says:

I have a small stash of threads, but they were all purchased for a reason! I can look at them and remember the special projects that they went into. It is like a walk down memory lane:)