Thread and Patterns are Key to Sewing

I have a few dozen spools of rayon and polyester thread in various colors. Most of these date back to when I was a quilt magazine editor. I have separated them by color and placed them in zip lock bags. But they are still MESSY!

I found an easy way to keep those threads under control. I had some Glad Press 'n Seal and cut in into 1" x 6" strips and wrapped the spools. I say that they had a bad hair day and I gave them a hairnet!

Sticky plastic wrap which NEVER has been in my kitchen
 Some of my blue threads, which were having a bad hair day!

Blue threads wrapped with self-sticking Press 'n Seal
I'm almost done with the other colors; just have the purples to do.

And patterns? Well, I get paid to write patterns for quilts so I never use other people's patterns. But when it comes to jammies for my grandsons, I have to use those tissue patterns, don't you?

But what's happened to the price of patterns over the years? I have sewn for almost 50 years and I can remember buying Simplicity, McCall's and Butterick patterns for maybe $1.25. Can you see the price on this pattern? Of course, I got it on sale, but that's rather steep. Even that little dinosaur is checking it out!

Today's pattern prices would drive me to shop for kids' jammies!
But here is a picture of the flannel pjs. Aren't they cute? He loves them.

Flannel dinosaur pjs, fabric by Benartex
I ordered another pattern in larger sizes and it should arrive soon. I only paid $4.00. Now that's my price!
Probably 20 years old, but it's uncut and I can't wait to make pjs for oldest grandson
And I was busy making more of those place mats with applique fork, knife and spoon for my little granddaughter. I NEVER could have done this without a pattern. I can only draw stick figures!

What do you think? This way Eva can know where to put her utensils and then on the back she can learn her letters so she knows how to spell knife, fork and spoon, right?

Fun placemats

Lavender background fabric with a fun printed plate
 This is the back of the placemat. Look at all those letters!

Perfect backing fabric
I have several other boy prints to make more pj bottoms for Miles: dinosaurs, camo print, cowboy boots and hats - you know the drill. And what about his little brother? Oh, he has all the pairs that used to fit Miles!

Hope you have a good weekend. I'm going to reveal details about my 2016 Block of the Month this next week so you can be prepared!


  1. Thanks for the info, Debby. I never would have thought of this.
    I agree with you about the price of patterns.I am an elderly person, too. I can remember getting fabric, thread and a pattern for a dress all for under $10.00. They are really ridiculous today. I have seen them for up to $20.00. I think that is why I started making quilts instead of garments. Have a great weekend!

  2. good way to stop threads tangling up and will give more time for stitching! Paper patterns are so expensive now, mind you i have stopped making clothes so do not buy them and even sent all the ones I had never used to charity a few weeks ago. Pyjamas look great and really liking the table mats, the alphabet fabric is great

  3. Great idea for the threads. Cute PJs too. I agree, the cost of patterns has skyrocketed. I won't buy one unless it is on sale for at least half off. I usually scrounge thrift shops and garage sales for patterns as I can often get them for less than a dollar. I do check to make sure all the pieces are there and the instructions.

  4. That's a great idea for the threads, thanks! $13.95 for a pattern? And it's a PJs pattern, at that. I'm afraid I'd suffer sticker shock, too. The last time I even looked, they were only $6 or $7.

  5. Debby, what a great idea for keeping those threads in place...I use old medicine bottles for my bobbins...I just wind up 4 or 5 using the same cone thread...I buy cones, not little spools and I can keep those from tangling up, but will have to try your idea with the cones......Thanks


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