embroidery part 2

Here is a rundown of what I did today:

Bad things:

Ate a Twix bar at lunch.
Went to Michael's again. (Not that bad)
Spent more money at Michael's. (Bad)
Ate an apple with lunch (thereby cancelling out the Twix bar)
Read books and played choo-choo with Sawyer for a long time.
Cleaned out my email.
Oh yeah, and this:

It took at least 6 hours, about a gallon of patience and approximately $10. So if you have the 6 hours and gallon of patience (I had to quantify how much patience you will actually need for this. It's a lot.), then this is a cheap project to do.

Why write a post about this? Uhm, hello! Do you see how beautiful all this embroidery thread looks lined up and color coded? So pretty. 
Another reason to post about organizing thread: To share with you the genuis method for winding these bobbins that Anderson and I came up with. Ready for it? Hm? Promise not to laugh? ok...

Ok you can laugh. We did. Many times. Every once in a while one of us would chuckle and say "Look at us." (Translation: "What the heck - we are sitting at home watching Dancing with the Stars using a rigged up power drill to wind a million skeins of embroidery thread onto tiny cards. Really. So. Cool.")

Anyways - here is the quick how to. 
What you'll need:

1. Boxes ($2.49 each). They are in the embroidery aisle of Michael's, and they come with 50 of the little white card things to wrap your thread around.
2. Bobbin winder ($2.99).
3. A power drill - Say wha??
4. Mind-rotting television to help pass the time. My personal choice was Dancing with the Stars on Monday and Biggest Loser/the Voice on Tuesday. I am all love/hate with those two shows. Love seeing what happens and watching to corniness and drama, hate that I am not doing something better with my mind.
Take the little bobbin winder and pop the pieces apart. Mine didn't have glue or screws or anything holding it together, so we just pulled the pieces apart. 
Take any drill bits out of your drill, insert the plastic piece, and tighten it up. 

Unwind your thread into a loose pile before you wind it with the drill. It knots up very easily so if you already have it loosely pulled apart it is less likely to knot. 
Wrap your thread around a few times to get it started. 
  Turn on your drill and wind it up. If your drill is fully charged it takes about 5 seconds. If you kill the drill battery like I did, it goes a little slower, but still saves you all the work of having to hand wind it. 
Keep going and going and use up your entire gallon of patience til you are all done and you have this loveliness sitting in front of you. Ahhh, my organizational soul is rejoicing.

Another benefit of taking the time to organize your thread? These little white cards can be stored on a ring while you are working on a project. No more forgetting which color of thread you are using for a piece. Genius. 
Anderson, you can have your drill back. The battery is dead anyway :)



  1. Looks great. How ingenious to use a drill. Sweet.

  2. genius way to use a drill!
    the colours are beautiful!!!

  3. OK. First? I truly appreciate your understanding of fruit cancelling out candy calories. Very few people get that :) Also--winding threads like that looks insanely fun--and you could probably bribe a guy to help because it uses a power tool. And finally--is there anything happier than a rainbow assortment of anything?

  4. Haha, can you imagine if your husband's friends saw him using his 'manly' power tool to wind up your THREAD?? how funny, but a great idea!

  5. I am so inspired to organize my threads. I've been thinking about it for a while because threads are all around in different places. And using a drill? Brilliant! Thanks for sharing.

  6. I had started this daunting task not to long ago needless to say I did not get too much done. My patience was really low on that day. So needless to say my org. box and threads got shoved into the guest bedroom.....I feel inspired now. Maybe just maybe I will drudge through it.

  7. They look so pretty! I love the power drill idea!!

  8. Brilliant! I am going to follow just 'cause of the drill winding!

  9. I have a box like that from middle school (friendship bracelets) it took forever to wind them around those paper cards by hand. That would have been a neat idea 15 years ago. lol!

  10. love this! i too have a box just like that from my junior high friendship bracelet days & wish i had thought of a drill back then! since then i have acquired the most fantastic collection of embroidery thread- all purchased at a garage sale from a woman who organized them in tiny drawers- by DMC number. until i buy more thread i am reaping the fruits of all of her labor & rejoicing in the organizational beauty! :)

  11. Very clever! Wish I had thought of that back when I wound all of mine. I'll keep it in mind the next time I have floss to wind.

  12. This is the best post!! I've never quite been sure of the benefits of the all the labor involved to have little boxes of organized floss - beautiful as they are!! And I think I could interest my husband in helping me as there is a power tool involved. Thank you!

  13. Alison, you are a genius! Also love the idea of putting floss cards on a ring.

  14. Oh, how I wish I had seen this a few months ago when I worked on getting my floss all pretty like yours. This is awesome (and genius)!

  15. hahaha I LOVE it! Never seen a drill used like this before!
    ps found you through craft gossip

  16. Where were you when I filled 3 boxes with threads given to me? You are a genius!

  17. Fantastic! Thanks for testing your patience for us and thanks for sharing this tip!!

  18. My husband collects power tools like I collect fabric... the difference is I actually MAKE things with fabric!! You're brilliant!! Thanks for making my floss chores SO much more fun!

  19. OMGosh!

    Great idea, after the hours and hours of winding floss by hand, I am thrilled to find a new and easier way to do this. Perhaps, I should ask Santa for a small re-chargeable drill...
    Thank you so much for posting this!!!

  20. Not only will that save a ton of time, it looks totally fun. Thanks for sharing!

  21. Nice, lol. I'm all about the power tools!!!

  22. Thanks everyone for the comments - I am not a genius - just desperate to not hand wind hundreds of thread skeins, haha!

  23. What an awesome idea to use the drill! I put my thread on bobbins a few years back, sure wish I had of thought of it then! I remember trying to bribe my kids to do it... I think I paid them 10 cents a bobbin LOL.

  24. Ok...power tools, embroidery and chocolate. What's not to love!

  25. I don't know why I didn't think of this!

  26. It's so pretty (prit-tay!) :)


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