Floss Organization: Part One

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The most common ways to organize floss are with bobbins, baggies, and bows. None of them really work for me so I have been searching for an alternative for some time. I even started working on creating my own system and then I came upon a ready-made version of what I had been fiddling with and said to myself, “Eureka! I’ll have more time to stitch if I don’t have to make my own thing-a-ma-jigs!” (Not having yet come up with a better name.)

I discovered Thread Drops!

40 thread drops + a binder ring in each package.

40 thread drops + a binder ring in each package.

Here’s what I love about Thread Drops:

I don’t get annoying bends in my floss like I would get from using a bobbin. Yes, I dampen my floss to get rid of the creases but it’s nice not to have them at all.

I can pull one strand at a time from the Thread Drop so I don’t have to wonder what to do with the other five, four, three, or two strands left when I cut a six-strand length from bobbin, baggie, or bow.

I can put the colors for one project on a single ring.

Getting the floss onto the Thread Drop takes a lot less time than bobbin-winding. (My system for that is in Part Two.)

My strands are pre-cut which means that I am not tempted to stitch with overly long lengths and when I am traveling, I can do quite a bit of stitching without absolutely needing scissors … a plus when traveling by air.

It looks pretty and elegant.

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I love looking at the color scheme for a project on a single ring.

 

I can store all my colors on rings and put the rings on a hanger and put the hanger in a closet. This keeps them away from the sun. It also means I don’t have to buy a box or anything else for storage and that gives me more money for fabric, fibers, and other good stuff.

I’m just getting started so I don’t have photos to share but I can tell you that my plan is to buy extra binder rings and organize my DMC floss by number. The 200’s on one ring, the 300’s on another, etc. I’m thinking that I will organize my over-dyed floss by color. We’ll see.

No system is perfect. There are drawbacks to the Thread Drop system. If you have a substantial investment of time and money in another system, it’s hard to switch. I haven’t used bobbins in years and years and got rid of mine some time ago so I was open to a new way of doing things.

The tail ends of the floss can get sort of beat up. So far, it hasn’t bothered me. I haven’t found that I have trouble threading my needle, for example.

You do need to take some extra care to keep the strands from getting tangled but it hasn’t taken a lot of effort. I roll up my work anyway, so I just lay my floss on my stitchery and roll it up when I have to put it away.

I can see that if you have a cat that this system could be a challenge … for you, not the cat. All those dangling threads would look like a new toy.

I think that to be fair, I need to write about the other systems with pro’s and con’s but that will have to be for another day.

I decided to add Thread Drops to my Etsy shop since I had a hard time finding them. If you know me well you know that I am selling them just because I love them and want to make them available to others. As always, check with your LNS (local needlework shop) first. Shop owners listen to their customers so speak up!

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Now go take just one more stitch!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A First Aid Kit for Cross Stitch

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It’s happened far too often. I have time to stitch away from home and I find I am missing a needle. Or my only needle breaks. Or I find I don’t have my chart. One time, I had my chart, floss, needle, scissors, and reading glasses. What I didn’t have was my fabric.

Last weekend I drove about a half hour from home to stitch with friends and realized I didn’t have my readers. Had I been any closer, I would have gone back to get them. Fortunately for me, someone in the group had an extra pair. We all have stories to share about that time we didn’t get to stitch because something was missing.

I remembered I had an extra first aid kit that was no longer needed. Hmmm. I decided to make a first aid kit for cross stitch.

A first aid zippered container that was no longer in use is perfect. Turn it just right and the band-aids look like a cross stitch! Cute, yes?

A first aid zippered container that was no longer in use is perfect. Turn it just right and the band-aids look like a cross stitch! Cute, yes?

The best part of this project will be in its preventive value. Now that I will have one of everything in a nice, neat case in my car, I will probably never need it. That’s just the way it goes. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing, right?

Using a case intended for an actual first aid kit is not essential. Any container that will stay closed and fit easily in the glove box or console will do. My choice says more about my sense of humor than anything else.

It was easy to decide what to put in it … one each of every item I didn’t have when I needed it at some time in the past.

Needles of various sizes
Floss
Pearl cotton
Flower thread
Fabric in various counts
Highlighter
Sponge in a water tight container
Post-it notes and a pencil for just in case
A simple chart
Small scissors (not necessarily “good” ones … they are for emergency use after all)

Deciding what to include was easy ... everything I had ever forgotten at some time in the last 40 years!

Deciding what to include was easy … everything I had ever forgotten at some time in the last 40 years!

The pearl cotton is included so I can practice pulled thread stitches. The flower thread is for those times I am stranded with a non-stitcher who wants to learn. (I find it’s easiest to teach when the learner doesn’t have to deal with multiple strands.) The dry sponge, ready to be dampened, in the re-purposed film canister is my go-to stitching aid to prevent tangles and knots.

Ready for the next cross stitch emergency!

Ready for the next cross stitch emergency!

I added a couple of small pieces of linen from my stash, an easy single-color snowflake chart, and over-dyed floss for said snowflake for that time I may forget everything. You can get that freebie snowflake chart in my easy ornament post.

And, of course, a cheap pair of readers.

x x x x x x x x x x

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