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Thursday, 18 February 2016

Pincushion Organiser and Thread Catcher


When you're an avid sewist it goes without saying that you, your family, pets and home are always covered in thread.  As I take the lift down from my apartment I'm often embarrassed to discover there's even thread scattered on the corridor carpet outside my front door - how did it get there?!!! And I feel bad for my husband who regularly removes thread from his suit trousers when he's at work.

All this changed last July when I went to Quilting By The Lake and was introduced to the wonders of taping a paper bag to the edge of my sewing table.  How come it took 50 years for me to discover something as simple as this would stop my life being covered in thread?


Last week the light bulb went on for me; heck sewing is my life and I'm pretty sure I deserve something better than a brown paper bag taped to the end of my sewing table - so there and then I set about making myself a thread catcher.

Rather than reinvent the wheel for such a simple object I did a quick internet image search for thread catchers and over and over again my favourite was one by Elizabeth Hartman @Oh Fransson.  I took a look at her website and was delighted that she has a free project tutorial to make the Pincushion Organiser.  Happy Dancing!

What should/could have taken minutes took me an evening and into the next day - picking fabrics - boy it can be hard to choose fabrics for yourself.  I don't know about you but I find it really easy to choose fabrics for others but for me, well there's simply too much choice and so much I love.


Finally, I chose the following:
"Line" Edges collection by Laura Gunn for Michael Miller Fabrics
Confetti Dots - Dear Stella - pink
Liberty Art Fabrics Lifestyle - Bloomsbury collection - Catherine and Bell
red felt
covered button from stash
Aurifil thread #4182 - medium turquoise


And this is my review Oh Fransson's Pincushion Organiser project:

The pincushion is long and the position of my sewing machine over at the right-hand side of my sewing table means the left-hand edge of the pincushion and the thread catcher are pretty much in front of me as I sew.

My Tip: if you'll have the same issue where you want to use your pincushion organiser sew the thread catcher hanging loop to the right-hand side of the organiser rather than on the left.


You can see in the pic above that the pincushion slides off my sewing table.  This is partly due to the shiny surface finish of my table and partly to the lack of weight in the pincushion to hold it in place.

My Tipsadd more rice to the pincushion insert to increase the weight and/or sew a piece of adhesive velcro to the underside of the pincushion that will be directly against your sewing table (not the piece that will lie on top of the organiser - this will make sense when you are making the pincushion) and then attach the opposite side of the adhesive velcro to your sewing table.  

I've solved these issues for me by moving my pincushion organiser off onto my ironing surface to my right - it's right next to me so still super easy to catch threads and reach for all the necessary notions and the fabric no longer slides against the metallic ironing surface.


Not called for in the pattern but I added a row of top stitching to both side edges of the red felt to hold the pressed seams and create a flatter neater finish.


My TipI didn't close the seam on the back of the pincushion pocket,  The gap isn't visible and the opening will allow me to easily remove the flannel rice infill to wash the organiser. 


Overall I think it's a great project and I'm super pleased with it.  I'll definitely make it again as a gift for other sewists and incorporate the changes I've detailed.

Yep, it sure beats a brown paper bag and life's so much better when my thread's confined to my projects and not being worn by everyone I love ;D


If you'd like to make your own version of the
Pincushion Organiser by Elizabeth Hartman @Oh Fransson (for personal use only)
you can click through to the project here.


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30 comments:

  1. Thanks for the link Chris - I love this. I have something similar - pincushion and threadcatcher - that was given to me some years ago now but I love the addition of the pockets, great idea. xx

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  2. This is inspired!! Love your fabric choices x

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  3. I could definitely do with making myself one of these Chris, I am always picking threads off of my clothes :)

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  4. Thank for sharing. Will be making one for myself and a friend or two.

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  5. I've made some of those in the past as gifts but I have yet to make one for myself. I really need to.

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  6. We are always covered in thread here. I guess I should make one of these.

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  7. I've always wanted a nice thread catcher and pin cushion! Mine is an old plastic bowl! Thanks for the tips, they will be very helpful!

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    1. An old plastic bowl sounds as bad as my brown paper bag, treat yourself Jayne, we deserve it! - Chris :D

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  8. This is really cute and I've been meaning to make one practically forever. It's time!!

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  9. Despite being fanatic about thread cutting at the machine I am always covered in threads -- just the short bits that get trimmed off when rotary cutting or little pieces coming from pieced units. I've finally gotten so I have only 2 sweaters and 2 big shirts I wear while quilting. It doesn't eliminate the threads but it does mean most of my clothes can be worn in public. Thanks for info on organizer.

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  10. Cute organizer, but I can really relate to the difficulty in choosing fabrics for it! I just love everything! I bet you'll get a lot of usage out of yours. I do mine.

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  11. Thanks for this, I've just started sewing in a new country after a year away from it and there is thread everywhere just from making a cover for my quilter's ironing board! I love the idea of the velcro so it doesn't slip off as I have a sewing machine table without much space in front and could easily envisage myself knocking it off. This is my next must do before I begin making quilts again.

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    1. Don't wait, I waited too long and I have no idea why, wish I'd had one years ago now! - Chris :D

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  12. love the fabrics and such a lovely way for being organised :) well done! x

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  13. What a great idea, I've always wondered what to do with all the little threads when I'm using my machine.

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  14. Such a fab project, really love your fabric choices. Xx

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  15. It's a great idea and I love the fabrics you used! Thank you for a wonderful idea. Pat :)

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  16. This is great! I love this clever idea! Gorgeous fabrics you used!
    Hope you have a lovely week!
    Hugs and love from Portugal,
    Ana Love Craft
    www.lovecraft2012.blogspot.com

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  17. Brilliant idea and can understand the thread problem, it gets every where not to forget the roller of the hoover, what a mess

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  18. I must make one of these! My threads just seem to be all over my sewing table! What a sanity saver! Would you be willing to share this at our Link Party? http://www.thestonybrookhouse.com/2016/02/table-it-link-party-84.html

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  19. Thanks for sharing your great tips! I need one badly!!

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  20. This is too cute. I bought some emery sand to fill a pincushion with, but I also wanted a thread catcher. I've been searching for a great pattern. Thank you for sharing!

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  21. Pretty nice and love your fabric combo.Thanks for sharing tips.

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  22. Very pretty. It definitely beats a brown paper bag!

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  23. I love this pincushion/thread catcher. I plan to make it but will fill it with ground walnut shells.

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  24. Love the colors you used for the whole project... For placement of the bag I think I will put the loop on the bag and a button on both sides of the pocket base. Then I have choices. Instead of Velcro I wonder if I use some of the non slid rubbery stuff I use on the bottom of my go pedal on the sewing machine?

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    1. Haven't used that stuff but I if it's got enough non slip grip then I don't see why it wouldn't work. Enjoying making it, it's a great project - Chris :D

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  25. I should certainly make one of these! Yours is beautiful :)

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  26. That's a very pretty New to Me project! I have a garbage can under my sewing machine table, but the amount of thread I carry upstairs on my socks or slippers, is greater than the amount that actually goes into the garbage can, lol. The brown bag picture is a hoot!

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Chris Dodsley