sewing & needlework
needlework essentials :: thread catcher

needlework essentials :: thread catcher

{part two of five. See part one here}

My favourite place to stitch is curled up on the lounge. Hoop in hand, pattern to one side, threads to another. Generally the tv is on, though I’m only watching with half an ear, enough to chat to Mr Dove. But my main entertainment is watching the needle move in and out of the fabric, and seeing the colour slowly seep across the design. With my satin stitch embroidery especially, it’s almost like watching a surface be peeled away to reveal the coloured detail below.


One of the most annoying things though, is the little thread offcuts. I generally accumulate them in a pile on the arm of the chair, with good intentions of putting them away “later”. And you know what they say about good intentions – it doesn’t take long and I find them scattered all over the floor, which is annoying at the best of times (especially since I have no one to blame but myself!), but now Beetle is one the move, and also putting absolutely *everything* in his mouth, I knew it was time to finally get around to a little project I had had planned for a while now.

needlework essentials - part two - thread catcher

This little thread catcher was all of around 15 minutes work, and is the perfect little addition to my couch-side stitching collection. A quick scan through my fabric stash, and I was drawn to this pretty teal spot that has been sitting my drawer for a long time. I had originally purchased half a yard (a yard?) way back when we were all making Swoon blocks, but when it arrived, it was a bit of an odd texture (as was the grey I’d bought to mix it with, which turned out to be a linen, not the quilting cotton I thought it was – check the description next time, Miss Dove), and aside from using it in Joy’s mug rug for our 2012 swap, I hadn’t really done anything with it. Plus I have a bit of a soft spot for teal, and so out it came. Soon joining it on the cutting table was some curtain tape used to make box pleat curtains – basically 4″ wide mega stiff interfacing. I was very technical in drafting the pattern for this little thread catcher. I grabbed one of the children’s plastic cups (a clean one!), wrapped the curtain tape around the top edge, and marked where the ends met. A quick rotary cut to bring it to length, and then doubling the width, adding 1/2″ to both the length and the width, I cut a piece of the teal big enough to cover it. The cup came back in to service to trace a circle on to the tape, and two onto the fabric, with 1/4″ added. The ends of the tape covering joined, and then the sides attached to one circle, the other circle stitched onto the tape circle and slipped into the bottom, and voila! A nifty little thread bin. I ended up folding the sides down into itself, as the 4″ ended up being higher than it had seemed in my mind (I am terrible with spatial stuff!), but folded it half, it gave it a touch more stiffness and stability, and was now the perfect height.

thread catcher

I’ve found it also is a good place to pop my scissors, and it even perfectly fits the piece of pattern I’m currently working with, that is folded into 1/6″ of it’s full A4 size. Now I have no excuses for an untidy couch. You would think, anyway.


Today is day five of beautiful, wonderful, delightful soaking rain. I think we are sitting at around 3″ since Sunday (can you tell I’m a country girl? Rain, like quilts and babies, is best understood in imperial!), with somewhere north of another 2″ predicted today. Just what the doctor ordered, and perfect for some crafting. Butterfly is still trying to kick a nasty cough, so I think I’ll bundle her up in a quilt in the corner of the studio and we can craft together. I have a pile of mixed media projects I want to try out. A new digital paper pack in progress. Some watercolour paper I stretched yesterday that I’m hoping to lay down a layer or two on. And if we get the chance, maybe a movie for her and some handwork for me – cool and rainy sounds like a perfect day for crochet, don’t you think?

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