Thursday, September 26, 2013

Playing with Thread Waste

What do you do with all those little bits of thread that you clip off your quilts? Throw them out? Never!

I keep a little thread bin beside my sewing machine and when I clip the thread from my quilts, or pull the tail ends of threads out of my machine when I am changing thread colours, I drop the pieces into the little bin and they accumulate until I have enough for a new thread waste project.

One of my favourite uses for thread waste is to create a beautiful textured new fabric that I then use in my art quilts or greeting cards. This card
is one that is currently in my Etsy shop and it was made with thread waste that was drizzled over a piece of felt, then sprinkled with a bit of glitter and Angelina fibre before being topped with a piece of organza. I then free motion quilted a design all over it before cutting it to size to insert into this Strathmore Photo Frame card (my favourite for really nice quality cardstock cards).

If you are a long arm quilter, you will have even more thread waste and the ends of thread can accumulate beautifully in colour-coordinated collections. I even add snippets of embroidery thread and silk fibres that unravel from the silk fabric I use in many of my projects. Don't feel that you have to colour-coordinate your thread ... as you will see in this example, I have all colours mixed together and can tie it into a cohesive look by using a particularly striking colour of thread for my free motion stitching.

I hope you will have fun thinking of uses for your thread waste ... and link back up if you have pictures you can share with us.

This blog post was written by Kathy Kinsella, a member of the Quiltsy Team who is a fibre artist from Canada. (


thebutterflyquilter said...

Love this. I have a habit of throwing my thread out. Now I will have to keep it. I will need a bigger bin though!

Jeannie Sredl said...

When I'm hand dying, I purposely cut some smaller scraps to run through the washer & dryer to make more thread waste. Linen in the best! Very thick and full of texture. Love this stuff!