I've been thinking about doing this post for a while but it became relevant when I was working on the sailboat postcard. I needed thread for the edging and wound up checking all of my thread stashes to find the perfect matches.
I'm pretty sure that I have more thread than fabric and I'm A-OK with that. I hate starting to quilt a quilt and not having just the right thread to go with it. Thread is like crayons. If you can afford it are you going to buy the Ultimate Crayons or the 8-pack? You are buying the 152 ultimate pack that includes glitter and metallic crayons.
Well, let's start with the fancy metallics, glitter and other special threads. These are in a cabinet right next to my Brother sewing machine (where I make postcards). Like many of my threads, several are in the original wrappers but they were there when I need them! But there's nothing there for my postcards.
Next stop is these 2 drawers of mostly acrylic threads. These are under the Brother table and I use these a lot on postcards but it runs fine on the longarm too. Many, many years ago there was a website called Lunn Fabrics that sold hand dyed fabrics. Debra and Michael now design batiks for one of the fabric lines. They also sold this thread and when they went out of business they sold off the remaining inventory at deeply discounted prices. I bought over 50 cones but, seriously, this was so inexpensive that I'm sure I've gotten my value out if it now. The colors are beautiful and the sheen is wonderful. But none of them matched my postcards. Down to the basement.....
Nothing in the Masterpiece collection matched. I primarily use this as bobbin and piecing thread.
I used a variegated poly threads on the front of the cards but didn't want a varigated effect on the edges so no Rainbows or King Tut. These days I use these threads primarily on charity quilts where I do an all over pattern. I'm using up a lot of King Tut on the veterans quilts.
The threads I use most often for quilting are these polyester (not shiny) neutrals and I'm glad I have lots not choose from....but not for these cards.
I expected to fin the matches here in either the So Fine or Bottom Line collections but no!
How about the solid polyesters? I love these threads and use them a lot. But no matches here either and I'm running out of options.
Back upstairs I have another cart of thread next to the Juki. The top drawer has my piecing threads. The second drawer has some heavier cottons that are used almost exclusively on postcards but this wasn't what I was going for.
Years ago when I was primarily sewing garments some online store had an amazing price for Mettler thread and I bought every possible color. This supply has come in handy so many times and I consider it one of my best purchases ever.
That was doubly true when I made these postcards. Look at those perfect matches!
I love my thread collection and wouldn't trade it for anything. I think I'd give away all of my fabric before I gave away the thread. It's my ultimate crayon box just bigger and spread all over the house. At least they don't stain carpets when they are accidentally smushed.
4/13/2017 11:16:17 am
LOL! And I thought I had a thread obsession. At least I stick to spools not cones most of the time since I don't have a longarm to eat it up.
4/13/2017 12:24:24 pm
I have a modest collection, nothing on your scale, but it is wonderful to be able to have the right colour and fibre of thread to carry on what you are creating instead of stopping everything and shopping online for the thread you NEED. My worry is that thread has a shelf life, so I try to keep mine in the dark, unfortunately, they don't multiply there.
I've not had any problems with thread aging and getting brittle. I do keep them out of direct light. The ones in the basement are mostly in the dark and the ones upstairs are in drawers. But I have some serger threads (oops, forgot to include those!) that have to be 30 years old and they are still great.
4/13/2017 01:54:28 pm
SO MANY COLORS . . . I totally get it.
4/13/2017 03:25:11 pm
I love your collection - and your "crayon" analogy. Before I read your post, I thought that I had a lot of different types and colors but you have me beat my miles - ;))
4/13/2017 03:28:01 pm
FYI...I was just in Lancaster, Ohio and visited Michael and Debra's shop. What a treat...but alas, I couldn't tell you if they had thread! My eyes just bled beautiful batik color!! If I quilt straight lines on my home machine, do I use 100% cotton? 100% polyester?
4/13/2017 08:07:19 pm
I thought my supply was nice..but now I feel just a bit deprived. LOL. Great stash!
4/13/2017 10:36:10 pm
OMG - I have a what I'd consider a fair amount of thread but no where near what you shared here!
My collection is vast (for me) but not quite on your level, but I hate not having just the right color. I have been collecting lots of variegated threads lately. I look for bargains, though. I am always drawn to thread. Just re-organized my sizeable hand embroidery thread collection and I don't even do much embroidery...just acquire supplies for it!
4/14/2017 05:44:11 am
Wow! I bow to the museum quality Thread Collection!
4/14/2017 06:02:38 am
"She who dies with the most thread is the winner!" I think that's going to be YOU! I thought I had a lot of thread until I saw a portion of your collection. It is beautiful for sure!
4/14/2017 09:25:32 am
good lord, woman....you are the thread queen. hahahhaaha i no longer think i have a lot of thread. you have about 10 times as much as i do. you're my hero. hahaahahaha
4/14/2017 01:01:14 pm
Vicki, your thread collection makes mine look puny! I had my husband read your post because I thought it explained the "why" of having so much thread (and for me, fabric) so well. So glad you found the colors you needed. By the way, if thread keeps breaking, rub a little mineral oil on it. More than likely, the thread is just dry. I learned that little gem in a class with Sharon Schamber.
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I'm Vicki Welsh and I've been making things as long as I can remember. I used to be a garment maker but transitioned to quilts about 20 years ago. Currently I'm into fabric dyeing, quilting, Zentangle, fabric postcards, fused glass and mosaic. I document my adventures here.