Sunday, October 15, 2017

How I Do It - Thread Storage

I use cotton threads.  Gave all my metallics, rayon and silks away.  I use mostly CC, DMC, GAST, SSS and WDW threads,

I have all the DMC thread colors and am building my overdyed thread inventory one skein, one project at a time.

When I first started doing cross stitch, I stored my DMC thread in decorative boxes.  Then I discovered floss bobbins and Darice thread boxes.  I wound all my thread on the bobbins and stored them all in three or four Darice thread boxes.  That worked for me and I used it.

Then I found out about floss away bags and set up a system for each project I was working on.  That worked for a time but I have to say I grew tired of changing out the bags, refiling the thread and time involved.  I wanted something simpler, easy, quicker especially when I was working on more than one project at a time.  I wanted a way to pull and store my threads and then refile without too much of a hassle.

I had my next door neighbor where I was living at the time, who was a master carpenter, make me a cabinet for my DMC threads.  I had been using utility (nuts and bolts) cabinets and liked it.  I hung them up on the wall in my sewing area.  I wanted something I could permanently store these cabinets in (as in one unit, all six cabinets together), that was mobile as in could be rolled and rotated and easy to access.  I drew a picture of what I had in mind and left the end result to my neighbor.  I was not disappointed when told it was ready and could be picked up.  He used oak and had sanded it for me.  I put oak stain on it and did two coats of polyurethane.

The top comes off, the cabinets slide down and lock into place.  Three cabinets on one side, three cabinets on the other side.  Once I had the cabinet loaded with all six utility cabinets, I loaded the drawers with my DMC thread.  I set it up in numerical order, two threads per drawer.

I love being able to go to this cabinet, pull the needed threads for a project and when done with my project, I refile the skeins of thread.  I do a thread inventory once a year and restock colors I am low on or out of off.

Pictures taken in former rental.  Currently, the cabinet is in my new rental and I have it in my sewing room with all my counted cross stitch inventory.

For my overdyed threads such as CC, GAST, SSS and WDW I had stored them in their respective photo box.  Then I happened on a blog post by Vonna from the The Twisted Stitcher showing how she set up her system of storing all her overdyed threads.  I liked it.  I bought what was needed and set up a system of my own.

I like how I can go to the box, pull the letter of the thread color, see if I have the thread and if I do, open the ring, take off the thread and refile the letter back into the box.  So easy.  So organized!  So simple and quick.

Setting the system up.  I have different colored letters for each brand of thread.  Because my overdyed thread inventory is small, as I don't have all the colors, I am able to fit two in one file box.  As my inventory grows, I will put each one (GAST, WDW, etc) in their own file box.

I labeled the file boxes on the front so I would know which threads are inside.  The boxes  sit on the magazine bookcase in my cross stitch inventory area of my sewing room.

When I kit up for a project, I pull the suggested threads.

If the threads are DMC, I will group the threads by 100's, take a quart sized ziplock baggie and mark 100, 200, 300, etc. on each bag.  All the 100's will go in the baggie marked 100. All the 200's will go in the baggie marked 200 and so forth.  Then I will cut a little slit or small hole in the upper left hand corner, under the ziplock and thread the baggies on a 2" or 3" book ring.

If the threads are overdyed, I punch a hole (if needed) in the upper left hand corner and thread the colors in alphabetical order (thread color) on a 2" or 3" book ring.

When working on my project, I hang the baggies or the overdyed threads or both, depending on what the design calls for, on the cart I have near my stitching chair.

When I am done with the project, I take everything off the rings, rehang the overdyed threads in their respective file boxes, refile the DMC threads in their respective box on the thread cabinet and if the baggie is still good, I keep it for the next project.

I have found this system works for me.  It's quick.  It's easy.  It's cheap and efficient.  Organized too.

Regarding loose threads while stitching, I fold it in half a couple of times, loop it around the skein and it goes back into the baggie.  If it's an overdyed thread, I fold it in half and loop it on the punched hole.