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4 ways to organize your threads in your quilting space!

by Christine Baker

Yesterday on QUILTsocial I showed you how I used the Vivace Craft & Accessories Tote to organize my sewing machine accessories. These totes provide the ultimate storing solution for notions, tools, and craft supplies. The tote comes with 24 standard pouches of varying sizes, ensuring everything has a place. Equipped with zipper closures, each pocket will maintain its organized arrangement in travel making it great for workshops and retreats. I also showed you the Vivace Craft Tote Inserts that can be added for extra storage capacity.

Today I want to talk about thread storage, and introduce you to the Hemline 60 Spool Thread Stand and the Clover Stack ‘N Store Bobbin Tower. Since I have a Gammill Longarm quilting machine, I have a lot of thread. Storing and organizing it has been a struggle, but I finally have a system that works for me. This handmade cabinet stores most of my cones of thread and the top is large enough to house the bobbin winder for my longarm quilting machine.

This handmade wooden cabinet has deep drawers that can hold up to 12 large cones of threads. The top is large enough to house the bobbin winder for the longarm quilting machine.

A handmade thread cabinet

Hanging racks hold the remainder of my thread cones, along with all my cones of bobbin thread.

Cones of quilting threads can be stored on large wooden racks that hang on the wall.

Cone thread storage

This system works great for my quilting threads and makes them easy to find, but my small spools of thread are everywhere. I’ve tried using a rack for them but every time I accidentally hit the rack, it would fold up and all the thread spools would go rolling across the floor. Then I discovered this easy to assemble Hemline 60 Spool Thread Stand.

An assembled Hemline 60 Spool Thread Stand and box shown sitting on a green cutting mat.

The Hemline 60 Spool Thread Stand

The Hemline 60 Spool Thread Stand can be hung on the wall or can be placed free standing on a desktop. When the legs are opened, a brace comes down to secure the leg and lock it in place, preventing it from folding up and causing a thread catastrophe.

The stabilizer brace on the leg of the Hemline 60 Spool Thread Stand comes down to secure the leg in place so the stand won’t fold up by accident.

The thread stand leg stabilizer.

I’ve tried many different products for organizing my bobbins too, but they still seem to unroll and end up in a tangled mess. The round Grabbit Bobbinsaver I’ve been using is good for the bobbins I’m using for my current project, but I need something that holds the rest of my bobbins. The Clover Stack ‘N Store Bobbin Tower works great! It neatly organizes up to 30 bobbins and can hold any type of bobbin. It secures threads, so there are no more tangles, and you can easily see all your thread colors at a glance. It also takes up very little space on your sewing table, which is a great feature!

The Clover Stack 'N Store Bobbin Tower can hold up to 30 bobbins of any type.

The Clover Stack ‘N Store Bobbin Tower

Now, let’s get to work on our sewing machine mat. Yesterday, I quilted the mat and cut out some selvage pockets. The next thing we need to do is finish the edges of our pockets. Using the binding fabric, cut one strip – 1¼” x WOF (width of fabric). Sub-cut this into 3 rectangles – 1¼” x 3″ each. Sew one of the strips to the right end of three of the pockets. Press towards the fabric strip.

 The 3" strips of accent fabric are sewn to the right end of three of the selvage strip pockets.

The 3″ strips are sewn to the right end of three of the pockets.

These pockets are sewn together into a long row with the accent fabric strips in between them. Now I’ll make a binding strip to use as the top edge of the strip of pockets. Cut one 2½” x WOF strip and press in half lengthwise.

A strip of teal binding fabric is shown on an orange and white ironing board being pressed by a yellow Oliso Pro iron.

Press the strip in half lengthwise.

Using a ⅜” seam allowance, sew this binding strip to the back of the top edge and the right end of the pocket strip.

The binding is sewn to the back of the top edge and the right end of the pocket strip.

Sew binding to the back of the top edge of the pocket strip.

Fold the binding to the front of the pocket strip and topstitch along the folded edge at the top and the right end of the pocket strip.

The binding is folded to the front of the pockets and then topstitched along the top and the right end of the pocket strip.

Fold binding to the front and topstitch.

Here’s what the right end of the pocket strip should look like after the binding has been topstitched.

The selvage pocket strip with teal binding along its edge, shown on a blue cutting mat.

The right end of the pocket strip.

Place the pocket strip along the bottom left corner of the sewing machine mat so the raw edges of the pocket strip line up with the raw edge of the mat. Pin this in place.

The selvage pocket strips is placed on the sewing machine mat, matching raw edges at bottom and left

Position pocket along the bottom left corner of the sewing machine mat.

Stitch the sides of each of the pockets to the mat along the edge of the accent fabric and along the binding on the rightmost pocket. Reinforce the stitching at both ends.

The selvage pocket has been stitched to the sewing machine mat along both sides of the teal accent fabric.

Stitch the sides of the pockets to the mat.

Cut three strips of binding fabric 2½” x WOF and sew them end to end using a mitered seam. Trim, and press these seams open, then press the binding strip in half lengthwise. If you need more information on how to make binding, check out one of the many posts on QUILTsocial about binding, such as my post entitled Do You Know How to Bind a Quilt?.

Sew the binding to the back of the sewing machine mat and then fold to the front and topstitch along the folded edge. This will finish off the remaining side of the pocket strip.

The teal binding is topstitched to the front side of the sewing machine mat.

Topstitch binding

Now that the mat has binding, we need to make our thread catcher that attaches to it, which we’ll work on tomorrow. I’m so happy with the thread storage solutions we talked about today – the Hemline 60 Spool Thread Stand and the Clover Stack ‘N Store Bobbin Tower – I’m really starting to feel like my sewing area is coming together! See you tomorrow when I show you more great tips.

This is part 3 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 2: Organizing your sewing machine accessories

Go to part 4: 2 must-have notions that organize your cutting table in a flash!

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1 comment

Christi January 13, 2021 - 1:45 am

If the thread is sitting out how do you keep the dust off of it?

Reply

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