Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Save Your Spools in 2013!

 I save my emptied spools during the year and count them at the end of December. Many of you do too. The recent post about this idea caught the eye of Diane Harris of Quiltmaker magazine and the Quilty Pleasures blog

Diane is going to blog on this topic in January of 2014. Let's gather our data this year and report back in the comments below. I'll send her this link next January.

I realize that this values quantity over quality. It favors longarmers and zigzaggers over hand applique people. It favors users of little spools rather than biggies.  But it's not really a competition. It's to satisfy our curiosity about our own productivity, one year compared to the next. If you have any thoughts on this practice (which aren't too critical) please add your comments here too. :)

P.S. This pretty polka dot basket is from the Container Store. In store only.


June Calender said...

I've been putting my empty spools in a plastic bag and hoping to find a kindergarten or nursery school teacher who wants them for kids to play with. Hasn't happened. Maybe they have better and more educational toys nowadays. My bag is full and I must get a bigger bag. There's more than two years of spools. I'll keep saving but not sorting into this year versus what I already have. Anyone want spools for any kind of project? I'd send them to you.

farmhousequilter8 said...

I also have empty cones from long arm quilting that I have kept thinking someone could use them. Any ideas?
Paula in KY

Lily said...

I've started saving my spools, and when I have enough I'm planning on making a wreath for a quilting friend. I saw a free project at Joann's for the idea, you can probably find a picture on their website.

Annie said...

I emptied 11 spools last year. I thought it was a rather interesting documentation of my too few stitching hours.

stufenzumgericht said...

Hi Karen,
when you posted your empty spools of the year 2011, I decided to do the same in 2o12 and collected all my empty spools, not so much as yours, but it was a beginning ;-) The "competition" sounds realy good and I think, that we'll have a lot of fun! Yours, Martina

Ms. C said...

Somewhere online I saw a Christmas garland made with the thin empty plastic spools (Gutterman type). The spools were covered with green or red felt and threaded onto twine with beads knotted every so often. It's and idea that could work with a small portion of spools.

Barbara Sindlinger said...

I started putting mine in a vase mid-year last year and just threw them out so I can keep track for a fully calendar year. I'll let you know how it goes. they are kind of pretty in a vase.

Patti said...

This sounds like fun! I'll hang on to my empty spools for sure. And a good encouragement for working on projects too! btw I emptied my first spool from start to finish at a retreat this year. It was a 500m spool used in a log cabin. I had to start into a 2nd spool! That was a lot of sewing!

patty a. said...

I count the empty spools at the end of the year, but I also keep track of the number of yards of cotton quilting thread I use each year. I do use Sulky rayon, but not as much as I use to so I haven't been tracking it. I can tell you I used 19,000 yards of cotton quilting thread from May thru Dec. 2010 (when I started to track this), 34,100 yards in 2011 and 21,470 yards in 2012. I think it can be a better indication of how much I have done rather than the number of spools of all the different types of thead used. Another way to look at is the number of quilts done in comparison to the amount of quilting thread used. In 2011 I finished 18 quilts and in 2012 I finished 33, but used less thread. How did that happen? I think the size of the quilts probably had something to do with it.

Heather said...

I've saved mine for several years now. |Eventually I want to make a sculpture with them,a fine tribute to all my needlwork adventures. I have about six onthe table right now with only a few metres left on them. Into the baggie they'll go.

marslaura said...

Funny thing I have spent the day cleaning the black hole, I mean my sewing shop and as I gathered my empties all from last year I never considered counting them only tossing them. I've tossed a few here and there last year but clueless how many. On todays adventure I had my mind made up to throw out all the non wooden ones and the first one I picked up was a tiny plastic one and as I was about to drop in in the recylce I saw that it had a horizontal line around the middle and as I was goofing around at the moment I decided to give a quick pull and I was sew surprised when it came apart into 2 ends! Well I didn't throw any out nor did I find any other cool ones like that but so far of the ones I still have and found today I have 3 standard size wooden spools (Coats and Clarks 325yds $.29! and the Sears 3 cord cotton 325 y made in Italy $.25!) 1 small wooden spool(J&P Coats) 2 standard styrofoam spools, 7 standard plastic spools and 2 small plastic ones! I am surprised as I look at these knowing how old some of the spools are. So needless to say the thread from those were not used in piecing or quilting but some was used as thread paint!
I am a bit on the dingy side with remembering things a year out but if someone reminds me where to post my numbers next year I will start seperating actual spools used and post those numbers next year. I just know that I will never remember where to post it without a reminder nor will I find one of the 10 places I write it down!!!
As far as donating the empties I suggest contacting a montesori school if your community has one as well as the domestic violence and homeless shelters in your area.
.......sorry for my horrible spelling, I'll blame it on the late hours and my typing skills, but really it's that I am a victim of spell check that is to lazy to use it!

Lynnwa said...

I love this topic, I also save my spools. I make dolls out of the serger cones.

Lynnwa said...

I love this topic, I also save my spools. I make dolls out of the serger cones.

Linda H said...

Re. the first post above- I save my thread spools all year long and give them to the Kindergarten teachers at our local elementary school. They LOVE them. They put them with the blocks and the kids make castles, towers, etc. Great for tiny fingers and small muscle co-ordination. Guess you just have to find the right teachers who are appreciative. (I also save the little plastic tags from bread bags and do them up in little bags of 100. They use them as counters.)

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