Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A Tutorial: The Sweetest Little Thread Catcher...

This is my new hand stitching companion...literally a THREAD CATCHER.  When I am hand stitching, there are little tails of silk thread and snippets of quilting cotton EVERYWHERE...I know things are out of hand when Weasley the cat saunters by with thread and fabric snippets are stuck to his fur coat!

And now, a view of the underside...(this is my favorite Kaffe Fassett fabric in my stash)...

Do you want to learn to make one?  Let me demonstrate the magic...first, I push DOWN with my thumbs on the pleated side...

The bottom pushes out and starts to untwist...

Now there is a cute, little container, open and ready to receive your thread tails...

When I take a pause from stitching, I simply push all my little thread tails to the bottom of the container, hold the rim, and twist the bottom compactly into the rim...ta da!!  The threads are trapped within the compact, little, twisted container.

SO neat and tidy!  I discovered a great video on how to do this on Pinterest, which I will link at the end of this post, but I found that some of the measurements needed to be updated to make it actually come out toilet paper rolls, and so many other things, packaging/product is shrinking while prices stay the same or increase.

The original directions have us make this little gem from "recycled" materials...(a cereal box, leftover batting, and a Pringles potato chip tube are recommended).  I think you could make it from other things, you would just have to adjust the sizes of your materials (and you wouldn't "have to" eat Pringles).  I have saved an empty plastic mayo jar that might work as well...

After gobbling up all the Pringles, wipe the tube (and your clothing) free of crumbs, cut off the lip of the container, and cut a 1/2" slice of the tube.  I used paper scissors, but a nice sharp craft knife might be easier.

Measure the circumference...I found mine to be about 9-1/4".  I added 1/2" to this to get the longer measurement for my rectangle of fabric needed for the body of the thread catcher.  (In the Pinterest video, the circumference measured 9-1/2"...see...things ARE shrinking in the stores...) 

My fabric rectangle measures 8" x 9-3/4" (before I folded over 1/4" on each long side and pressed).  (That's 8" x 9-1/4", plus the extra 1/2" on the longer side.)

The size of the components for the thread catcher bottom are dependent on the size of the Pringles ring.  The box board and batting circles need to be slightly smaller in diameter so that, once covered in fabric, they won't be too tight to to twist, push, and nestle inside the Pringles ring. 

I found this inside size/diameter to be about 2-11/16"...just shy of 2-3/4".   Cut two each of the box board and the batting.

Then I made my two fabric circles a little larger so that I would have room to baste and gather the edges around the box board and batting.  My fabric circles measured 3-1/2" in diameter.

Now I do a running stitch around the edge of each of the two fabric circles...

Then I center a batting circle on the wrong side of the fabric circle...

...followed by a box board circle, covering the batting circle.

Then I pull the gathering thread to surround my batting and box board circles.

I secure this with a couple of stitches and a knot.

Now I slip stitch these two padded circles to each other, wrong sides together, 

Then, I fold my fabric rectangle, right sides together, and stitch along the SHORT side with a 1/4" seam allowance.

Note that the stitching is on the 8" edge of the fabric rectangle.

Now I press the seam open so that it will lie nice and flat.

With right sides still together, I slide my Pringles ring on my tube of fabric and encase the ring as I bring the edges that are pressed under together.

I line up those pressed under edges and pin.

My Pringles ring is now securely located where the fabric tube folds.

I stitch right under the Pringles ring to lock it in a casing.

Ta da!

Then I remove my pins.

I push the inside of the fabric tube out past the Pringles ring.

See how my 1/4" seam is still neatly turned under?  I insert my thread catcher bottom and secure with pins.  The fabric tube will be slightly larger, so you will have to center the bottom as you pin to ease the slight fullness.

Then I slip stitch around, easing the fullness and removing pins as I stitch.

Then I push the bottom through the ring, and into the other open end with the pressed under edge, center, pin, and slip stitch in the same way.

Ta da!

Now it is ready to accept all your thread tails...

When I stop stitching, I push all the thread mess to the bottom of my thread catcher...

...and gently twist and collapse, trapping the thread tails.

SO easy and satisfying.  And it is so compact and small that it will fit nicely in my stitching bag.

Here is a the video I found on Pinterest.  She really lays out the steps very nicely.


Note:  I found my set of Karen Kaye Buckley large circles very helpful...there is one exactly the size of the fabric circle, and I used another to make my box board/batting template and just trimmed my template a little smaller.

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)