Nolichucky West


Vintage Spools of Thread

Tucked inside vintage suitcases and baskets are my sewing tools and supplies; needles, hooks and eyes, snaps, thimbles, and spools of thread, many, many spools of thread. I have inherited Mother’s spools of thread, and also Aunt Barbara’s. I probably have Aunt Ruby’s and Grandma Margaret’s too. I could never resist a bag of sewing supplies in a thrift store, especially if I discovered a vintage wooden spool peeking out.

Here is just one of the baskets of sewing supplies. What really drives me batty is the thread tangles that end up happening wherever I store my thread. I’m determined to do something about that tangled little nest.

I use spools often, to wind up bits of lace, or organize baker’s twine for craft projects. I have a few spools scattered around my craft room.

In my craft room a printer’s tray holds rubber stamps and other craft supplies. There are some spools of thread stacked and ready.
A spool doll made by a dear friend hangs on my bulletin board.
On the window sill in the kitchen sits stacked spools and a wire that hold a precious photograph.
On the other side of the window sill sits another spool picture holder. This photo never fails to make me laugh.

I decided last week I have too many spools of thread, and I began to sort things out. I was reminded by the message from Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. While on her solitary vacation at the sea shore the author wrote of simplicity, of filling your pockets with every beautiful shell you discover in the sand but then realizing you only really need three or four. So, I decided to keep some spools of thread, give some away, and list some in my Etsy shop.

After sorting I ended up with two big bags of thread on spools that I donated to a charity thrift store. I kept a supply of thread that would be good for sewing. There were many craft wooden spools and empty plastic spools that I decided to keep for future projects. I saved several blue spools to start a garland, and the vintage wooden spools will be listed in my Etsy shop.
The garland I wanted to make will have spools with thread and spools covered in fabric strung together on cotton string. I went through the spools of blue thread and made sure the ends were secured.
The empty wooden spools were covered with strips of fabric and secured with glue.
I estimated the amount of string I needed and tied a big button onto the end to make a loop for hanging.
I began stringing the spools onto the string alternating a thread covered spool with a fabric covered spool.
After just a few were strung together I wasn’t sure this was the best look, or that the garland would be as long as I hoped.
Now all of the spools are strung together it is definitely not as long as I need it to be. I decided to add some unpainted wooden beads to the garland. It had not been hard to string together, so it wasn’t a problem to take it apart and try again.
I am much happier with this result. Now I need to decide exactly where to hang it.
It does look nice on the porch, but I think it belongs above my sewing machine.
There are still some bits of thread from the blue spools hanging off from where they were secured. It adds to it’s charm, and makes it easier to reach up and thread my needle with blue thread should the need arise.
Now the vintage spools of thread need to be prepared for my Etsy shop. I really wanted to secure the end of the thread, but many vintage spools are missing the little notch on the top. I gathered together some lace cut from vintage linens, straight pins, and white vintage buttons.
I just wrapped each spool with a bit of lace, added a button to the end of a pin, and placed it in the spool.
This is how they look in the listing. I hope others will enjoy them. I still have plenty of spools of thread to serve as reminders of all of those lovely ladies who loved to sew.


Once again a monsoon storm is threatening. A large storm hit on Saturday evening and our electricity was out for a couple of hours. I lit candles and then gathered up the solar lights from the garden. I put the solar lights in mason jars placed around the house. We then sat on the porch to watch the storm and ate the ice cream before it melted. It was lovely evening.

Thanks for listening. Take care.




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