February 21, 2023: Thread; Baskets; LC blocks; and Earthly Delights

Greetings dear readers! Although my thread has been fairly well organized all along, I was able to further improve things this past week as I worked on cleaning out the sewing room. I am much more of a “fabriholic” than a “thread-aholic”😊. Nevertheless, over 30 years, I managed to accumulate a fair amount. I added a third stack of drawers and this is where most of my thread for quilting resides, sorted by colors:

The only drawer not arranged by color has my collection of 30 weight Gutterman silk, my favorite thread for hand quilting. These drawers all contain 50, 60, and 80 weight threads and I mostly use them for hand and machine appliqué and hand piecing. I also have a box full of spools of 100 wt. silk thread for appliqué and a drawer full of all kinds of embroidery thread for embellishments. Finally, I have one of these wall units for larger spools of thread:

I used to match my machine piecing thread to the color of fabric I was using, but over the past several years I have almost totally transitioned to using neutrals. For my bobbin thread, I almost exclusively use Superior’s “The Bottom Line.” It is a thin 60 wt polyester and I keep 6 colors in stock: light, medium, and dark gray and brown:

These 6 work for almost any fabrics I’m using and each bobbin holds a lot so I don’t run out so often. For the top thread, my machine, a Bernini 440 QE, likes 50 wt. Aurifil or Mettler and I also use mostly neutrals there too. How do you organize and manage your thread use?

In the somewhat gloomy depths of winter, I needed a little more color in my life so I made a few more baskets for Ursula’s quilt. These colors definitely brightened my mood!😊:

That brings me to 80 baskets – 18 to go!!

Of course I continued to make some more log cabin blocks as well – up to 84 of those, 36 to go.

I don’t think I mentioned that my “fabric pull” for this quilt is about 400 different fabrics! I’m probably using about 250 of them – the ones I like the best🙂, of course – several times and the others maybe one or twice overall. I am loving mixing up these fabrics and one of the enjoyments of this quilt throughout its lifetime is going to be studying all the fabrics in it. Here’s a closer look at 4 blocks. The first one has pieces of a vintage indigo fabric I bought at the Tokyo International Quilt Festival in 2010:

In the next one, the pink fabric with the circles is a piece of kimono fabric I bought in Kyoto. The reddish brown fabric is a special type of woven Japanese fabric called (I think!) “tsumugi” – I bought a roll of several different colors from “Quilters Express to Japan” years ago.

This one has authentic indigo fabric and the darker green is a piece of Oakshott cotton that fits in:

Another indigo in this one, plus some lovely taupes, especially the dark brown on the edge:

I’m almost finished with the next block in Sweet Journeys!

I’ve also added more lines in the center medallion. It doesn’t look great yet, because there’s a lot still to be quilted in there, but it’s good to see progress!

Often when cleaning and purging one finds some hidden treasures. Look what I found:

I EPP’d these several years ago for a demonstration I did on English Paper Piecing and had them packed away – out of sight, out of mind. I really do like them a lot and I might want to make some more of these! They use Tula Pink fabrics and I have some more of those lying around, waiting for me…..😊. I think, however, I should wait till I finish my other hexagon star project!

Yesterday was 55 degrees out and whatever snow was on the ground had all melted. I decided to walk to the bog since the path can be treacherous when snow covered.

The moss was lovely and several shades of green:

The moisture in the bog was still ice:

This morning it snowed and things are white again! Such is the way with winter! Just think – spring is only one month away 🙂. Hope you are all enjoying some relaxing stitching.

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day, Gladi

20 thoughts on “February 21, 2023: Thread; Baskets; LC blocks; and Earthly Delights

  1. Chris K. February 21, 2023 / 8:34 pm

    Since you asked, I keep the threads I use most often in the drawer of my sewing machine table; it’s a pullout with spindles. I also use two Sulky Slimline universal thread organizers. One has general sewing thread in different colors, and the other has specialty threads. I have just a few spools of silk thread that I keep in an Artbin satchel with other applique supplies.

    • gladiporsche February 22, 2023 / 9:06 pm

      Sounds like you have a great organizational setup for your threads. Thanks for sharing that info!

  2. acityquilter February 21, 2023 / 9:43 pm

    the log cabin blocks are lovely but oh those baskets…the colors do grab me! nice to see woodsy photos…we have had NO snow all winter and almost no ice either…i am going to try the 30 wt silk for hand quilting …..golden glow is coming along beautifully

    • gladiporsche February 22, 2023 / 8:58 pm

      Thanks Grace! We are getting several more inches of snow tonight and into tomorrow and I hear your area may have record warmth!!! At least you don’t have to shovel out🙂. I definitely recommend the Gutterman 30 weight silk for hand quilting and JoAnn’s carries basic colors. If you like it and need other colors, I recommend ordering from Red Rock Threads in Utah – great service!

  3. Robin February 21, 2023 / 10:15 pm

    Funny that you should talk about thread today because I spent time organizing my thread drawer this morning. I find that I use mostly neutrals in my piecing and so I’ve got lots of spools of various colors. I need to start using it up. I have my applique thread in a different place and it seldom gets messy. But, my regular thread drawer is very knotty.

    • gladiporsche February 22, 2023 / 9:02 pm

      I, too, accumulated all those spools of 50 wt. colors when I was piecing with them. I prefer appliquéing with 60 wt. or silk. I do use them for machine quilting with a walking foot so can’t get rid of them just yet!

  4. Evelyn Hatch February 22, 2023 / 1:33 am

    Your basket fabrics cheer me up too! Begone, winter blues. 😊❤️

    Sent from my iPhone


    • gladiporsche February 22, 2023 / 9:04 pm

      Glad you enjoyed seeing them! I agree- I’m ready for spring!

  5. barbvedder February 22, 2023 / 12:49 pm

    what an incredible thread collection! Great organization too. Love seeing your ongoing projects. Those EPP stars are dazzling!

    • gladiporsche February 22, 2023 / 9:04 pm

      Thank you Barb!

  6. Cynthia @ wabi sabi quilts February 23, 2023 / 1:16 am

    Your collection of thread is absolutely impressive! I organize mine in a similar drawer system, but I only have one set of three drawers, lol I will have to give the 30 weight silk a try! Thank you for that recommendation. I adore the close up views of your Japanese log cabin blocks (yes, that’s tsumugi!). They are stunning and make me lonesome for Japan. Your baskets are wonderful too!

    • gladiporsche March 2, 2023 / 12:28 am

      Thanks for your kind comments,Cynthia, and thanks for confirming my correct use of the word tsumugi!🙂

  7. Jocelyn Thurston February 24, 2023 / 2:29 pm

    I’ve been reading your posts the last two days. I noted several things to return to or look up. So many lovely quilts of your own making in progress and thank you for sharing these beauties that you encounter as well. It is all remarkable quilt making! I’m enjoying this reorganization that you are undergoing too and your remarks about threads, etc. A real treat to visit you Gladi. I should also say how much I enjoy your nature photos. It is -15C with a little wind so quite cool on my walk this morning in south east Ontario. Very bundled up and overheated getting back in the house. But feels good nonetheless.

    • gladiporsche March 2, 2023 / 12:30 am

      Thank you so much for all your encouragement! We have a mutual admiration society going 😊.

  8. marissthequilter February 28, 2023 / 8:25 am

    I enjoy following your progress on your various projects. Thank you for the treasure trove of photographs. Your work is so beautiful. I can see why you want to make more of those Tula Pink medallions! I was interested to see that you used the EPP method. I have done these medallions by machine in the past, but think that hand stitching them is a better way to do it. Thanks for the idea!
    As for your thread collection… oh my

    • gladiporsche March 2, 2023 / 12:32 am

      Thank you Mariss! I do love the accuracy that EPP provides.

  9. audrey February 28, 2023 / 7:43 pm

    Really enjoying the sweet little baskets! Always a favorite of mine.:) And your thread is filling me with envy! Yay for good organization!

    • gladiporsche March 2, 2023 / 12:32 am

      Thanks Audrey!

  10. Laura Lane March 1, 2023 / 10:09 pm

    I think the term “sparklers” is from Roberta Horton’s book, “An Amish Adventure”

    • gladiporsche March 2, 2023 / 12:35 am

      Thank you Laura for clarifying the “origin” of the use of the term sparkler in this context! I own 2 of Roberta’s books, but not that one. Hope to cross paths with you at the museum one of these days!

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