Thread Organizing Exercise!

I have a LOT of thread, and I was having trouble accessing it.  Organizing it took some thought and care.  Part of the trouble is that the sewing room isn't very large and it holds an awful lot of stuff...


I thought the problem was that the thread was inaccessible, but it was more complex than that...  These cake boxes kept the thread dust free, but they didn't hold all of it, and they didn't stop light getting in.    There were also rather a lot of sewing machines in the way!  I had to move sewing machines and boxes of trimmings to get at the thread.  Not a good thing, really.


            I think there were 14 machines stacked up here and there, tucked in corners, and out on the bench ready for use!  My poor Bernina 1150MDA was almost buried in threads for various ongoing projects because putting it away each time was just too much hassle.

There was no point trying to move machines out onto the landing as there are three hand cranks and a treadle sitting there gathering crapola as it is!

We also house the best part of 3000 books in this room.  There's no point in suggesting cycling them to make room to store some stuff on the shelves, as there isn't anywhere to store them, and anyway, as an ex teacher of English Literature, the very idea of not being able to access all my book brings me out in itchy lumps!       Alan moved some of his remaining modelling kit down to the conservatory modelling area, and I used the space to tidy up some of my smaller stuff.  The Bernina emerged from it's thread cocoon!
   I have several of these Ikea Anonius sets of basket drawers, and an older similar set under the work bench by the window.  I reorganized these too, rationalizing their contents and putting several things away elsewhere.   
I bough a new cutlery tray for the scissor drawer: it holds more, and the scissors no longer escape through the mesh and jam the drawer!     It doesn't matter how much you rationalize and how much you put away, there's ALWAYS a crap drawer for those useful little bits that have no home of their own!
Some of the quilting fabrics got put away in the storage crates in the loft, but projects that are works in progress and UFO's got re-housed in the cake boxes.       Some of the machines can now be tucked away more neatly, leaving a greater area of floor space as well as easier access to the things that I house on the shelved down here (mostly extra kit needed for my sewing classes at school).
  I bought a new, taller Antonius set with six of the new plastic drawers to house the thread.  The serger cones fit in quite well on their own, but the smaller threads needed better homes than plastic bags.

I bought a variety of plastic boxes that will keep the dust off all the different threads.

I found a couple of excellent dedicated thread boxes that fitted the Ikea drawers well.    Unfortunately they didn't take the taller cops of thread, and the posts mean that some of the fatter reels and cops don't fit in.  However, two boxes allowed me to house most of the embroidery and decorative quilting threads neatly.
This still didn't address the light issue.  I devised a fabric cover for the whole stack, made from curtain fabric lined with a blackout thermal lining.  The 'cozy' is held in place with Velcro.  I used stick-on hooks round the desktop and down one side, and sew-on loops on the cozy.

One set of plastic bins are now surplice to requirements, and awaiting removal from the conservatory to the shed, where it will start a new life as shed storage.


Now that I have the thread and other kit stored in a manner that is both easier to access and easier to put away when not in use, I have hopes that the sewing room will remain a great deal tidier and easier to use.  This will also make it much easier to convert to use as a guest bedroom when needed for friends and family.

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