There I stood in front of my very-unorganized sewing room, staring off into a churning sea of fabric and threads. If I didn’t do something quickly I was going to lose it – I was already having problems finding what I was looking for and my sanity could only hold out so long!
I’m sure many of you have had this same feeling when your sewing room is not as tidy as you’d like it to be (or in my case, chaotic!). You’ve probably wondered, “How do I even begin to organize this mess?” Well, have no fear. We’re kicking off an article series all about tips for organizing your sewing room. We’ll start first with one of the toughest contenders in the search for organization: thread.
My first step on my path to thread organization was first realizing I had a problem. I looked at the countertops in my sewing room and new immediately that thread was the obvious place to start. I had loads of ideas, but I wanted to wait and see what worked for the look I was going for. I spent a great deal of time on Pinterest and searching in magazines for ideas. These are always good places to start when getting the creative juices flowing and I recommend you try the same when looking for new ideas.
Sewing Room Organization: Bobbin Storage
I knew right away that I needed to do something with my bobbins; the tails were always flying and I was having constant trouble detangling. So here are a few ideas I came up with in the bobbin category. There are generally bobbin storage areas built into your sewing tables, so don’t miss out on this storage opportunity if it’s available to you.
Many manufacturers are now selling bobbins in already in containers for organization. The bobbins come in jars or trays that are already color-organized and on pre-wound bobbins to boot. Just be careful that the bobbins you order will fit your machine.
Sewing Room Organization: Thread Spool Storage
Moving on to my thread spools now. I really wanted to utilize the space that I had, looking for ways to use drawers or empty wall space for thread storage. There are lots of gadgets available in craft shops for this sort of thing. I found these thread holders that mount to the wall on clearance at JoAnn Fabrics, and I even got to use a 40% off coupon on them.
While this is a great option to store threads in a small area, I was just not impressed with the way it looked hanging on my wall. I still wanted something more aesthetically pleasing but equally functional.
Another easy option is using bookshelves. Lots of my friends store them in neat rows on bookshelves just like the quilt stores do. This wasn’t the best option for me though as I find it hard to keep tidy.
The option that has worked best for me is using a thread display rack that I actually got from a quilt shop that was going out of business. It helps keep my threads organized by color and I always know when I need to order more. Because I also do long arm quilting, I tend to go through quite a few spools of thread on any given quilt so it helps to have a visual indicator – I can quickly see when I’m getting low.
I really love this particular rack. While not all of them fit in the display, I find it really handy to keep them organized and tidy. It’s a standard size rack so most of your standard size thread spools will fit on it, though some sizes do not.
Here’s another makeshift rack option for you. To make them, I simply went to my local hardware store and picked up some inexpensive wire shelves used for spices and such. Just install them on a wall or anywhere you have space, and ta dah! Instant thread storage.
This spice rack option has worked well for me – up until I began my thread addiction. I am currently having a carpenter rework my long arm room with wooden shelving units that will hold two cones deep and wrap around my room that houses the long arm machine. I’m very excited about this work – it’s every girl’s dream come true to have custom shelving built in the sewing room!
Speaking of custom, you can always get creative with shelving units if you have the woodworking/carpentry resources available to you. Here is a photo of Karen McTavish’s quilting thread organization system. Her father built the shelves along a staircase and her mother organized it into the rainbow color coding. It’s really beautiful isn’t it? A great way to showcase your supplies in an aesthetically pleasing way.
One final idea for you: Attach your bobbins to its spool pair with straws and store in a drawer or container. They have to be one of the larger-sized straws though, as regular straws will not hold. Blogger Maria Elkins shared this idea and many others on her blog: www.mariaelkins.com.
So now that you’re armed with ideas, it’s time to tackle your thread organization. Do you have different ideas that have worked for you? Share your techniques in the comments!
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