Beginning Embroidery Floss Tips

I’ve recently picked up my embroidery projects again and I’m loving the simplicity of stitching while I watch TV at the end of the day with my husband. I’ve got my big zenbroidery project that I’ve been playing with again which meant I needed to pick up a few new colors of floss to round out my collection that I’m using.

That got me to thinking about the way I’m organizing my stash. Originally I had my floss collection all wrapped around some plastic Darice bobbins and tucked away in a clear box that was falling apart and looking pretty shabby. I mean, to be honest, it was the same box I used as a teenager to make friendship bracelets.

With my new floss in hand, I sat down to declutter and organized my collection. I’m a huge believer in using the plastic Darice floss bobbins* because I find that these are more sturdy than the cardboard ones.

I also don’t write my floss ID number on the bobbin. Instead, I cut the number off the floss and wind it with the thread.

It makes for simple identification of each color and also makes organizing super simple.

I added those hearts when I was younger and I’m thinking of sticking to it. It adds a little pizzaz to each bobbin.

I have an adopted set of floss from a friend and those are wrapped on cardboard bobbins and a pen and/or pencil was used to mark the colors. Those, I’m finding, are fading and can be hard to read. A good example of why I choose to mark and store my floss the way I do.

By some luck, my husband had some clear plastic cases in his new tool kit that he wasn’t going to use. They are meant for nails and screws. I took one look and realized they would be the perfect fit for my floss stash. And they are smaller so I can take them away with me and carry them in my purse rather than hauling along the big ol’ plastic cases.

Ah! There is something so satisfying when I see all those well wrapped and organized colors lined up. Very comforting.

Well, hobbyists, if you are a beginning embroiderer, these might be some worthy tips to consider. Now if you search on Pinterest, there are LOADS of other tips so use your fingers and do some Googling to find the methods that work best for you!

And if you want to see more on my reorganization of craft room and all my supplies, check out my Youtube video on my recent decluttering! Don’t forget to subscribe that you don’t miss any new videos!

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Ryan’s Cases for Smiles: A Worthy Cause

Kids and cancer: two words, I believe, don’t belong in the same sentence. But we live in a world where young children struggle with cancer and its treatment on a daily basis. And beside these little superheroes are a their parents, siblings, doctors, and nurses helping them find hope and push through.

As a parent myself, I sometimes feels helpless when I hear of the hardships other parents face when dealing with the diagnosis of cancer for their child. While we wait for the right tools to fall into the right hands at the right time to find a cure for cancer, what do we have to give to these families as they strive to survive such a devastating disease?

Well, how about some smiles?

While at QuiltCon 2016, we were approached by Cindy and Lisa from Ryan’s Cases for Smiles. Now, in all honesty, I struggle a bit with some auditory processing issues so when we were walking around on the vendor floor of the convention center, I had some trouble hearing some of the conversations we were having with all these amazing people. As with most crowded places, when a conversation starts I use my adaptive skills to help me fill in the gaps when I have a hard time understanding what’s being said.

So when Cindy Kerr approached us, I didn’t quite catch the beginning of the conversation. But as things progressed and I took some cues from my mom’s facial expressions and her body language in addition to the material we were handed and the pieces I did hear, I realized Cindy was there to ask us to help them get the word out for their wonderful organization.

Ryan’s Cases for Smiles is a caring group of people working to help young cancer patients “feel better to heal better”. By making and donating pillow cases made of fantastic fabrics that would cheer anyone up, this organization is making a huge difference in the way a child feels as they go through the necessary treatments to fight their battle and be well again.

All they asked of us was just to spread the word of their wonderful organization and I couldn’t agree fast enough! Any chance I have to help a child going through something as tough as this is a chance I’m happy to take!

Check out the video below of all the wonderful things they do to help these little superheroes fight the biggest battles of their little lives. Help a child smile and donate some fabric, a pillowcase, or your time.

Head over to Ryan’s Cases for Smiles and help out in any way you can!

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Hobbies Up To Here Episode #23

Ho Ho Ho hobbyist and crafters!

The holidays are upon us and we’ve got another podcast episode for you full of holiday cheer and laughter!IMG_6543

We have a few holiday works in progress. From my first Dresden plate to my mom’s first mug rug!


Inspiration for the mug rugs come from Annies Quilt Craft on Etsy.


Our big topic today is on the idea of organization. We discuss the idea of over planning and squashing the creative flame and instead finding a healthy balance so that projects are easier to plan and execute.

We’re very excited for Dori’s Quilt Planner by Stephanie Palmer to arrive so we can start filling it up with great ideas for future projects and sew alongs!

We’ve been pretty crafty at home, decorating and creating our very own DIY ornaments. Check out Dori’s haul and mine on YouTube to see what we brought home to make these great crafts!


Dori’s gallery wall made with gift bags.

  So adorable! She watched this tutorial that helped give her the inspiration!

And her darling snowman ornament based on this tutorial.
Post to come showing all the bulb ornaments we’ve made with our tips and tricks.

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Quilter’s Question: Storing Your Stash

Recently, I convinced the husband that I needed a new desk and filing cabinet from Ikea. I’d seen enough pictures around Pinterest to know that this set-up would work well for my beauty supplies and would relieve my bathroom stink from all the clutter. So I sold it to him on the premise that our bathroom would be cleaner and we’d have more room on the sink.

Low and behold I got my desk and filing cabinet! It took me some time to fill it out and rid the bathroom of all my palettes but we’re now able to see the tile around the sink and all my stuff is better organized. Yay for organization!


Along with all my makeup things, I realized that this desk would be a great place to set up my sewing machine and there was enough room to start storing my fabric stash here, too. So it doubled as a beauty/sewing center. Score another point for me!

But as I started to dig into my fabric and move it to my new craft center, I realized I had no method at all to my madness. I had a box from work that used to hold reams of paper on a shelf. I opened that sucker up and BAM! I found loads of fat quarters and bundles of fabric I forgot I had.


A Box O’ Fabric

Then I found another bin with lots of loose material floating around, some finished squares I bought on eBay to be put together to make a quilt (what was I thinking!) and jelly rolls for those quilts I had the best of intentions to make as gifts.


In short, things were a mess. I started moving some of the stacks to my desk and filled two shelved built into the side of the desk. Then I started to filter through the boxes and bins but got so overwhelmed I had to put them back together and store them in the closet as they were. Then I went to start the binding on my son’s quilt. That’s when I realized I didn’t know where it was!!


My disorganization was coming full circle and now I couldn’t find the last bit of material I needed to finish his quilt. After some searching, I found it tucked away in some vintage inspired fabrics. It was probably stuck with all of that fabric because the common color schemes are browns and yellows. But it definitely was the last straw.

I need a better way to store my fabric. And preferably a system that won’t require me to spend a lot of money.

My question to all of you fellow quilters is this: What is your preferred method of organizing your stash and storing it? Bucket? Hanging files? Do you wash, press, then fold them into neat stacks? Do you organize by color? Theme? Fabric type?

I’m curious to hear what everyones’ method is and maybe it’ll give me a direction to take when I start to get my mess of a stash organized.

For now I’ll show you the jelly rolls I found in a box tucked into the closet.

IMG_1186 IMG_1187

I had completely forgot about these. I think I found them on sale at a Wal-Mart near us that was closing down its fabric section. They have a nice beachy feel so I think I’m going to use these for my next quilt. And instead of using the same four strip squares I’ve been sticking too, I’m going to change it up a bit.


More to come…

Fresh Poppy Design