The Free Motion Quilting Project: The Weirdest Stash

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Weirdest Stash

No, it's not a collection of toenail clippings.

Or a stash of bellybutton lint.

But this has to be equally weird - I save thread.

Let me clarify - this is not thread on a spool. Yes, I certainly collect this, but we all kind of collect spools of thread in order to be able to feed something through our machines in order to make them work.

No, this is a collection of stray threads.

free motion quilting | Leah DayAll the cut little pieces ranging from 1 to 10 inches long typically, sometimes longer if I desperately need a bobbin and decide to sacrifice a color by unwinding the entire thing. I guess I should call it a collection of spent thread since it's usually thread who's usual purpose is shot.

So why in the world am I keeping all this stuff?

It's not even easy to keep! You try collecting threads for a day and let me know the best way to organize them so they don't make a furry mess over everything. It's impossible!

I've taken to clearing off a spot on the floor and then every time I break a thread and hide the tails, the left over bits get thrown on the floor in that spot. Over time if I'm working on a big quilt the same color will get massed up in a pile, which can actually be quite pretty:

free motion quilting | Leah Day
Still...this is strange. I can just see my future daughter-in-law cleaning out my sewing room after I'm dead, shaking her head at the boxes and boxes of spent thread I've stashed in between bolts of fabric. Quilter is a word that is almost - almost - synonymous with hoarder after all. I don't really save or use scrap fabric, but stray thread? Gimme Gimme Gimme!

But the worst thing about my shot thread addiction is I'm going to try to addict you!

Check back by tomorrow to see how to make something really pretty with the pile of trash above. It's all the leftover bits of orange, red, and yellow thread from the blazing sun on Emergence.

Just so you don't have to go searching - click here to find the post on what I did with all my threads.

Let's go quilt (mindfully keeping all stray threads in a neat pile as we go),

Leah

25 comments:

  1. If you don't have me glued to my PC to watch out for the next FM video, you start something new. Can't wait for tomorrow!

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  2. I keep mine too, and use them as stuffing for little teddy bears and pincushions. Can't wait to see what you make with them.

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  3. I have also collected the snipped ends of threads for years and have been known to collect the snippings of friends at college too!! I am really looking forward to seeing what you do with them. I have really enjoyed your free motion work over the last few months and hopefully one day will use some of your designs in a piece of work.Happy Christmas and have a great creative New Year!

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  4. I come from the embroidery world - and we use our left over threads in all sorts of ways..... wonder what you are going to do with them?

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  5. You are not weird. I collect thread clippings, put them in mason jars, go to the hardware store to buy lamp parts and make cute lamps with shades to give as gifts. People of that.... go figure!

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  6. I save threads from quilting and store them in small zip lock bags. Usually, the threads from the same project are in one bag. I use these remnants to make textile jewelery.
    Here is a sample: http://olof.blog.is/blog/olof/entry/1213652/

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  7. I keep mine in a jar and they are actually called orts! Have fun because you can make all kinds of cool things with them. I cannot wait to see what you have been up to with them....

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  8. I've been saving mine, too, for a project later in the year. Looking forward to seeing what you've come up with!

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  9. I'mall ears, this is interesting, I have so many threads when I long arm quilt :-)

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  10. I am mostly a hand embroiderer, cross stitch, needlepointer and I save my ORTS (as we call them) in a jar. I even belong to a Totally Useless Stitch Along (TUSAL) where we post a phohto of our orts at each new moon! If interested details can be found at www.itsdaffycat.blogspot.com. I can't wait to see what you do with your "orts".

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  11. I do the same thing! LOL I will make mine into a bowl using water soluble topping and free motion quilting.... They come out beautiful!

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  13. Nope, not weird at all. My long arm generates several feet of spent thread just doing tension tests and stops/starts. Mine are all collecting in a jar, and I've got some Dissolve ready for when I have enough threads to make something. :)

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  14. Leave the thread pile outside in the spring and the birds will use it to build their nests.

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  15. Lol ~ I'm sew glad to know I'm not the only one, Leah!
    I've used it for everything from stuffing pillows to embellishing quilted bags :)
    Can't wait to see what you do with it. I'm sure it's awesome!
    ~ Jae

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  16. My quilting friend puts her bits of threads on fabric and then puts some organza on the top and machine stitches everything together - very beautiful.

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  17. I keep mine is a sweet jar in the Studio. I add to it only embroidery threads. I hope to use it to create a fabric someday.
    I did love you describing what your daughter in law will think after you are dead. I have those same thoughts but for my poor daughters! :)

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  18. My Grandmother used to save them in bags and they would become filling for well anything she needed stuffing for! She saved that and yarn clippings and the cotton balls from the top of pill bottles! She always had bags of all different fillers and if you opened up a toy or pillow that she made you never knew what was going to be inside of it! LOL I made an afghan and matching pillow and I put the clippings from my yarn into the pillow! It just made me smile to know they were in there!!!

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  19. Well I am so glad that I'm not the only one who does this. I have been saving for along time. After reading all the post I not the only one who does this. Keep mine in a paper sack next to my machine. I will stay tune for tomorrow to see what your are doing. jinnie

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  20. That's pretty funny :), but not weird. We thought it was funny when we found a box in my Grandma's attic that was labeled "Threads too short for anything". She must have loved spent threads, too!! You have a much more creative way of putting them to use, though. :)

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  21. I do too. I keep mine in a jar on top of the piano.

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  22. I inherited my mother-in-law's sewing supplies which included a lot of wooden spools of " 4 for $1.00 " thread that would totally ruin our modern computerized machines. I am unwinding these many spools to use in some watercolor type art quilts with the thread sandwiched between a water soluble with the pattern on it and a layer of tulle. This will be thread stitched ( or thread painted). I'm anxious to see what you do with yours.

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  23. Duh I can't find the follow up on this, help.

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