March Studio Organizing Challenge

Posted on March 15, 2019 by prairiemoonquilts in Studio Organizing Challenge

Aside from actually using a little bit more of my fabric, I made ZERO progress on getting it reorganized last month. So it’s still on my to-do list, and I hope to get to it soon, but here it is already time for another Studio Organizing Challenge!

While I do intend to keep trying to work on the fabric mess, my challenge this month is going to be:

Organize the thread

I have my thread fairly organized, but over the course of time and in the process of using it, it tends to get out of hand, and needs a bit of help to get back under control.

Here’s my colored machine piecing thread (the neutrals, which are mostly cones, all fit into one drawer of my sewing machine cabinet, so that’s where they are). I have a few empty pegs I can fill up with random spools that are scattered around. (Elvis keeps an eye on it for me.) Over the last three years, I have made a giant effort to use up the little odds and ends and have them gone, and it’s worked very well. I used to have three of these racks, and now I’m down to only one that isn’t even completely full — it can be done!


Here’s my longarm thread. It’s on pegboard, mounted on the wall behind my machine, and there’s a spool of every color of the type of thread I use every day (Superior OMNI).

But then . . . I have extras . . . and they are threatening to take over! Most of them are in this drawer:

But the drawer got too full, so now I have them stuffed into the shelves above. And there’s other types of thread in bags and boxes on these shelves!

This cabinet, if not for the thread, would be mostly empty, and could be used for so much more.

So my goal is to do an inventory so that I know what colors I need to stock up on with my next order, and get it organized so that it doesn’t take up quite so much of this cabinet. Then I can put some other things away in the empty spots, which will help.

I have also destashed some cones online a couple different times, and that helps to re-home perfectly good thread that I know I won’t ever use.

If I have time, I might also work on reorganizing my appliqué thread, which shouldn’t take long because it’s in pretty good shape right now. Or tackling my embroidery thread — I have a bag of random pieces that are partly a tangled mess that needs some attention. I’m using those bits and pieces on my embroidery doodle, which I haven’t worked on for quite some time, but need to get back to.

So what’s your challenge with thread? Do you have random spools, bobbins, bits and pieces hiding in dark corners that need to be brought under control? Do you need to concentrate on using up some odds and ends to get rid of them? Do you need to do an inventory, so you know what you have and what you might need to buy more of? Do you need to de-stash or otherwise get rid of thread you know you’ll never use? Do you simply need to find a better or different way to store it?

Let me know what you’re up against in the comments. Hopefully I’ll have a nice clean cabinet to show you before it’s time for next month’s challenge!

9 responses to “March Studio Organizing Challenge”

  1. Shirley Guier says:

    My thread is in pretty good shape. My machine embroidery thread is stored in 6 drawers and organized by color. Each drawer is a mess but the spools won’t stand up and I can deal with that. My cotton sewing and quilting thread is done style and stored on a wall like yours. I do have a few drawers of speciality threads that I use perodiacially but it us all organized. Thread hasn’t been my problem unlike my fabric! And piles of stuff. I just bought 10 bolts of fabric at a sale that doesn’t fit anywhere!

  2. Ginny says:

    Thread is in good shape, but I don’t accomplish as much as you do so don’t get things as messed up. Now I can’t say as much for the boxes from moving. Must open everything as I can’t find several sewing room things that I need. Can’t even find the bulk of my scrap fabric. Now that is bad.

  3. Marianne says:

    My thread is in good shape but I do not machine quilt yet, I have a hand crafted solid cherry thread cabinet that doubles as a nightstand in the studio (lateral cherry file cabinet on the other side of the bed.) Back in the day, I was in a 200 yd aurifil every color they had then. I use it for the handwork on bindings and appliqué. Five drawers, one double. Plus all the other threads. Spools lie down so I can see them all..and close the drawers.

    I also have a thread tree on the floor to the right of the machine. Holds 50 of the 1422 yd aurifil that I use for piecing. Years ago a quilt shop quit carrying them and I bought a box of 6 every time I could afford to until the sale ended. They are neutrals but also pale pastels, especially the greyed ones. In a decorative box on the thread cabinet I have a 12 pack of 30’s aurifil in a plastic box and a pkg of 4-6 prescencia that a professional quilter I admire recommends. Plus two sulky cases of yli silk, every color which I no longer use sheesh, that is a lot! Does anyone use Bonnie hunter’s favorite 3 ply 60 wt by signature? Curious. Sigh. Just call me a thread whore!

  4. Meloney says:

    I do have lots of thread. The last time you did this, I had lots of work. I don’t think I’ve made that big of a mess, but time will tell while I go through ALL of the thread bins. I do have a shoe box with long arm thread in it, and that needs to find a home.

  5. I need to find a good way to store it. I have a thread rack like yours, only much smaller, but I tend not to return threads there, and now have more threads than will fit in the rack. I am trying to gather them so they are all in the same place at the same time to see what size storage I need to find for them. I am hoping to find a shallow container that is big enough for all of them. Hmm reading the comments, I like the idea of storing them lying down. So now I need something even shallower and even bigger!

  6. Tia says:

    I thought my thread was organized and safely stored. However, last week one of my kitties threw up black thread and then pooped it out. Very scary because it’s dangerous… It could get wrapped up in the intestines. Anyway, I’ve been unable to find the mysterious black thread. The thread will be the very next thing I move into my new sewing room, away from all the kitties!

    Thanks for mentioning what long arm thread you use!i haven’t tried Superior Omni… But now I will!

  7. I have a good system with a pegboard like yours. I have one for embroidery thread and another for sewing/quilting thread. I used the same thread for sewing/piecing as I do for longarming. I feel like I have a lot of thread, but then I see your stash and am not even close! Haha (insert thread envy here!) I do have my favorite colors and those I use the most and have started buying two cones of a color so I can keep one on my bobbin winder and the other on my longarm in case I run short. That has helped me not fill too many bobbins and then have several leftover after I finish a project. My pegs are long so I can double up the same color on one peg.

  8. Karrin Hurd says:

    I actually reorganized my threads last week. My quilting threads, appliqué threads, YLI silk, Sulky rayon and cotton, machine embroidery threads, DMC and Valdani pearl cottons were in about 5 places all over the house. I found another spot yesterday and put those with my newly organized ones. My challenge is the threads that don’t have something you can wind or hook on when you are finished, especially rayon. I usually end up putting a piece of scotch tape on to hold till the next use. I do though still have a basket of Mettler threads I use for appliqué that is a snarly mess. My 5 year old granddaughter is coming this week a couple of days and she will help me sort it out hopefully.

  9. Stephanie says:

    Ohh thread. I have all sorts of thread, excluding long arm cones. It is reasonably organized, but stored all over the place. The embroidery floss is the messiest, so that will be my challenge.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *