Thursday, November 20, 2014

An organizational tip for Friday Smiles # 94

Today I'm joining Annie at A Stitch in Time and the gang at Friday Smiles with an organization tip.
Do you remember this photo where I showed tubing I planned to use to curb my rambling bobbins?

This tip will keep your bobbin thread from coming unraveled in your thread drawer.   I saw this tip years ago on Quilting Arts, a PBS TV series.  This show may not be available in areas other than the US, but I'm sure you can probably find a similar tutorial or video by doing an internet search.

I bought one foot (12", or 30,48 cm) length of both 1/2" and 5/8" diameter tubing at my home improvement store (see first photo above).  The 5/8" diameter tubing was too large for the bobbins, but the 1/2" diameter was perfect.  I cut circles that were the approximate width (thickness) of the thread between the two plastic (yours might be metal) bobbin ends.  Then I cut a slit down the middle so I could wrap the tubing around the thread on the bobbin.  You can see I've already cut the circles to size and slit them down the center.

Next, I slid the tubing circles around the outside of the bobbin threads.  It doesn't matter how much or how little thread there is, the tubing is self adjusting.  I have one piece of tubing left, because I counted the bobbin that is in my sewing machine at the moment.  But look how well behaved the bobbin thread is, now.   And yes, that's my arm, camera, and curly hair on the top of my head that you see in the reflection of the tray.  I had to laugh when I saw my "selfie."  I hope this tip (and maybe even my selfie) puts a smile on your face, because I was definitely smiling when I finally got these bobbins organized.

One thing I might add (and you might need to consider) is, I don't (repeat DO NOT) want my top thread and my bobbin thread to match.  I sew paper to paper, and the back side of the scrappy journal page is as important to me color-wise as the front side.  By mixing top thread and bobbin thread, I am able to get two different "looks."   However, if you are a seamstress and not a wanna-be sewer like me, you might want to keep your bobbin thread with your top thread.  I believe my friend OHHH Snap found a way by using a golf tee.  Apparently, you place a golf tee in the hole of the bobbin, then run the tee through the hole in the thread.

I hope this tip works for your bobbin thread, too.

For Day 21 of AEDM, I shared an organization tip with Annie at A Stitch in Time for Friday Smiles.  Now please join Annie for even more Friday Smiles.




24 thoughtful remarks:

Dianne said...

this is brilliant! you are so organized...!

Julia Dunnit said...

Your tip is priceless frankly, as is the idea fromSally about the tees...bobbin storage is a realy pain. Next time I'm in the tubes section, I'm going to treat myself. What makes me smile even more though, is the fantastic colours and multis that you have in stock. Delicious - just opening the drawer would cheer me up! And..loving the nearly revelatory selfie!

Shaz in Oz.CalligraphyCards said...

ah well done me dear Elizabeth sounds like painless sorting indeed... yes smile worthy to have organisation, very clever whoever thought of that...
Happy Smiles day, Shaz in Oz.x

voodoo vixen said...

Very clever indeed, your storage looks nice and neat, my bobbins always seem to unravel and have parties together when I am not looking! :)

Robyn Oliver said...

Hi Elizabeth...happy Friday. Aren't you just the cleverest, tidiest person...that's an absolutely fantastic idea and I'll be buying some tubing when I'm next at the hardware store...been sewing this week and yep threads everywhere. Thanks for that and have a wonderful weekend Robyn

Annie said...

I really love your idea Elizabeth....but I have sooooooo many bobbins and sooooooooooooo many reels of thread I'd be at it for days ;-) Now you've shown me yours I just might have to show you mine one day :-) I always smile to see the gorgeous colours in a thread drawer.
Hugs,
Annie x

Rebeca Trevino said...

Brilliant idea!
Fortunately (or Un-) i don't sew. i have however been known to use bobbins as part of the 'bling' in memory mirrors.

Jennifer McLean said...

super cool trick. it's amazing how people come up with fixes when it becomes necessary. Visiting from AEDM.

Corrine at sparkledaysstudio.com said...

Great tip. Wnderful colors in your thread drawer. xox

massofhair said...

Tried the tubing but struggled to cut it so have used toe seperators instead fot the bobbins. Works so well for me, got the idea from Pinterest. Like tubing for reels that works fab.

Great tips are always welcome Elizabeth, have a fab weekend:-) xxx

Twiglet said...

Great tips and thanks lots for your kind comments too - I am feeling much better today. x Jo

Maron said...

Nice to be organized. Everything goes smoother! Good tip.

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Just looking at the colors of your threads made me happy, but this organizational tip really made me smile!

Have a wonderful weekend! We are looking towards warmer temps again next week.

~*~Patty S said...

How fitting to have a thread organizing tip for A Stitch in Time :-)...that made me smile too!
Thanks for sharing E...
your threads look pretty...
I like thread and sewing notions alot.
Happy Friday to you and Bleubeard!
oxo

elle said...

a great tip!

froebelsternchen Susi said...

brilliant organized dear Elizabeth! Would you please come to me for a cup of tea soon and organize all my threads?! ♥♥♥

Beth in IL said...

Nice job organizing.

pearshapedcrafting said...

Starting here on a mahoosive catch-up! What a wonderful start it is too - a very clever idea - I wouldn't dare show anyone mine!!! Maybe now though, with a fab organiser like you to guide me!! Hugs, Chrisx

Elizabeth said...

Hi Elizabeth, how organised are you?It's a great idea and one I may have to adopt as my bobbin collection grows. Love all your colourful reels of thread too. Thanks for sharing, Elizabeth (& The Boss) xx

Hettie said...

Brilliant tip Elizabeth but one question I want to ask.....what are you doing with such scrummy threads? Not that I begrudge you having any but I didn't think you were a sewer!!
Hugs and happy Friday.
xx

Jo Murray said...

Clever tips....I need all the help I can get to organise myself. Thanks.

505whimsygirl said...

One thing I have yet to collect is bobbins. Your solution sounds perfect and easy to do.

I am so behind visiting blogs it's terrible!

Hugs K

Halle said...

Great tip! I've used the golf tee idea in the past...works pretty slick too.

BJ said...

Well I can't seem to find any replacement bobbins to fit my machine so I only have about 5! Plus a few packets of ones which don't fit! I tend to keep mine on a thick straw in my sewing machine drawer/box thingy.

In fact I use a piece of straw blu-tac'd to my machine just before the tension take-up spool as I found in the days of banner making that my metallic thread kept undoing itself from the tension spool. I still use this for ordinary threads today. BJ