Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Winding Ways

I got the neatest little gadget the other day - a winder for winding embroidery floss onto little flat plastic bobbins. I've been wanting to organize my embroidery floss better, and now was the time.



Here is the little winder - the slots on the bottom fit on the edge of the floss storage box - and you wind and wind until all the floss is on that little white bobbin on the left side of the photo. After I bought this nice little tan winder (you can get them on ebay really inexpensively) I found that there was a pretty pink one - oh well, tan winds as well as pink. Sharon - have you been winding floss on your pretty pink winder?

First I must tell you about how I got so much floss. Some I bought for projects, such as the needlepoint pillows that you can see HERE. Some I got for other embroidery projects, like my Crazy Quilt - made from my hand painted cotton fabrics. Since the fabric is 100% cotton, I decided that the embroidery would also be only cotton floss. . So I have lots of embroidery floss for that project. It is an ongoing project - I make a section and when it is embroidered I attach it to the other sections and one day I will have a bed size Crazy Quilt.

(click the photos to see the stitching close up)



Back to my floss story - My mom had a friend who was a Home Ec teacher, and when she retired from teaching she had boxes of floss left that wasn't going to be used - and so she sent it to me. Now that was very nice of her - though when I opened the box I found it was groups of colors - over 40 skeins of each color. The most of one color was turquoise - and over the years I've used some of it - but I didn't want to wind that many bobbins of turquoise, knowing I'd never use it all - so I started a plastic bag of "give-away" floss - surely my friends want some turquoise floss. As I sorted through the floss I discovered the other colors my mom's friend had given to me, I kept two of each of the colors and put the rest in the give-away bag - and I know have a quart zipper bag, stuffed with floss. Someone is going to be very happy - besides me.



The bobbins come in little bunches of 25 - all neatly bound up with a tiny, tight rubber band.

I got lots of bundles of bobbins - 20 bundles of them - 500 bobbins - and only about 2 cents each. Oh you know I love a bargain.

Now I wish I'd seen these colored ones before I bought 500 white bobbins - oh too late for that.

I won't show you what my floss looked like before I started this process - no I won't - but this is the piles of color after I had sorted it - taken out the knots and tangles and scary looking bunches of mashed up floss. I wanted to spare your little hearts and eyes of the tragedy that can befall floss if you aren't careful.

Another view - same floss - hundreds and hundreds of skeins - all colors . . .

Yes - I did too - I saved all the labels from the floss as I was winding it - and here it is - heaped up on my 12x12 inch cutting mat

An aerial view - same pile. . . I loved the old price tags - the best one I found was 3 for 10 cents - now that's a bargain.

And now - are you ready for the results? Hang on - they are fabulous results . . .


Beautiful boxes of nicely wound bobbins . . .


Lovely boxes - full of pretty rainbows of colors . . .


Three whole boxes - 375 bobbins - full of organized floss. The white and black floss are in a separate little box, they just wouldn't fit in these three boxes - which by the way - I got from Goodwill a while back. At the time I didn't know what the boxes were for, but figured they would store something in my studio very nicely - and I only paid 99 cents each.

So there you have it - the story of my floss winding adventure. It was great fun and I hope never to have to do it again. Are you embroidering something pretty?

14 comments:

luv2quilt2 said...

I have almost as many skeins as you have, but mine were wound project by project. It seems, though, that no matter how many colors I have, each new project requires some new and different colors. I don't mind; they're really pretty in their boxes.

Pat said...

I have a couple of boxes of neatly-wound floss BUT I did mine by hand...UGH. I never saw the colored bobbins...mine are all on the white ones. I do like how the colors all look in the boxes!

Fearless Nester said...

The start of your crazy quilt is so gorgeous, really really gorgeous. And all that colorful floss was also a feast for the eyes. The images you took of it should be hanging on the walls of quilting supply shops. You have amazing talent! Great post and images.

Mona Lisa said...

Wow ! I have all I need to organize my floss too, but never got around to it. Now your pretty result is giving me the courage to go for it.

Then I can start something pretty.

Mona

Sharon T in Lynden said...

LOL! I am going to wind floss tonight! Had to wait for the bobbins to arrive. How did you mark your bobbins? I just heard from another friend that the stickers don't stick on those nice plastic bobbins. I also bought 3 new counted cross stitch magazines....trouble brewing here I'm afraid......LOL! I had quit doing cross stitch because my eyes just didn't want to do it, but now that I have the printer that I can blow patterns up, so easier to see, plus I just won't work on that beautiful 28 count, I am going back to it.
I LOVE YOUR CRAZY QUILT!!! I want to see it, and touch it, and do one!

Darlene said...

I've been spending moments here and there attempting to reorganize all my floss - yours looks wonderful. I'm taking mine from "Floss A Way" bags to bobbins like yours - it's a very slow process. LOL Since you have all the wonderful tools I'll just send my floss to you to wind for me. LOL OK?

Nanci said...

I looked at all the photos and just said OMG!

Crispy said...

I bet you had fun doing all that winding too LOL. I love it when I have a reason to get in my boxes, just to look at all the lovely colors.

Crispy

JoyceAnn said...

Hi JoAnn ~ You have a great selection of floss , they look so colorful in the storage boxes. Your quilt looks wonderful too , love that little panel that has a spiderweb.

~ Warmest Blessings ~

Sunny said...

My, oh my, what a lot of floss! lol. I have about that many colors but not as many of each. That's a handy gadget you found and it all looks so neat!

Elenka said...

I have never seen anything like that! Just looking at the colors is very appealing. That must have taken you quite a long time!
I've never made a crazy quilt, yours is gorgeous.

Purple Pam said...

Your crazy quilt blocks are wonderful. I love all the different colors. AND those floss boxes, I could not keep my hands out of there. I love playing with stuff. I am worse than a child. I play in my fabric scraps all the time, and my fabric stash as well. What fun!

I have my floss organized in little plastic bags just big enough to hold a skein of floss. They are held together on a big metal ring. I have them organized by the number on the skein. I started this when I started the Periwinkle Lane series of embroidered blocks. I still have three more blocks to go to finish all 12.

Nancy Jo said...

I thought I had a lot of floss! NEVER MIND. Guess I don't. The needle work on the crazy quilts is really pretty. And now that you have the floss all nice and neat you can really see all the colors you have. And you do have alot of colors.
Nancy JO

Peg said...

Ooh, I need one of those winder thingies - will have to see if I can find one. Most of my floss is on bobbins, but the old cardboard ones, which get a little soft and 'bendie' after a while - this would help to get that change-over done. Good tip - thanks!