What to do with leftovers

A few days ago Jane Eborall  mentioned how she handles leftovers – thread left on shuttles after she finishes a project.  She winds it back on the ball it came off of!  Wow, what an idea!  You’d never be stuck with wondering what was on the shuttle, what size it is, and where to find more if you needed it.  I think this would be a good habit to get into to with leftover thread. 
So far I’ve only done this when there is a lot on the shuttle – sometimes, and usually only when I need the shuttle.  But I think it’s a great idea.
What I usually do is try to figure out some small thing to do with those leftovers, usually when I need another shuttle and they are all full.  Not an uncommon occurrence.  Sometimes I try out new ideas and techniques, sometimes I doodle with flowers and butterflies and such, and sometimes I wind it on whatever is handy to get it off the shuttle and promptly forget about it.
About a year ago I tried my hand at doing ATCs to use up some of my little flower and butterfly doodles.  Those ATCs didn’t turn out too bad.  Since then I’ve done one more, which I think came out pretty good, too.
You can’t see it in this picture but the cup is slightly raised from the background, giving it a bit of depth.  
Yes, only one more since my first try.  I like doing them, but usually I don’t have time to work on them when I can think of all kinds of things I want to try.  Doing more ATCs are on my list of goals for 2015.
Thread storage
I mentioned that mice got into my thread a few weeks ago. I finally did something I’ve needed to do for a long time – I found a better storage solution. 
This is a stack of three three-drawer containers I found at Wal-mart in the office supplies department.  They had almost identical drawers in the storage solution area that were in white – same brand, same size – but they were a $1 more each.  Black works for me. 
These drawers keep the balls of thread in one layer, making them easier to look through and keeping them from getting lost in the bottom of a deep dresser drawer. And I can easily store thread by color family – that is if I can make up my mind which family that is.  Is purple in the pink family or the red family?   I only have so many drawers to work with.   It’s also very easy to put partial (leftover?) balls of thread away when I’m done with them. 
What do you do with leftover thread? 
“Leftovers in their less visible form are called memories.  Stored in the refrigerator of the mind and the cupboard of the heart.”
Thomas Fuller 

12 thoughts on “What to do with leftovers”

  1. Oh that makes a good ATC card, and boy you look very organized I don't want any one to see my little piles of thread overflowing in places that I thought was a good idea at the time. 🙂

  2. Left over thread, if there is enough left to make a butterfly or a flower then I used it up that way, small pieces are put in a bag which are used for butterfly feeders, or sewing a butterfly on something nothing is wasted apart from a tiny bit that's no good yo man or beast.
    Butterflies and flowers are used on cards, I find a picture of flowers or garden scene and put a couple on the card makes a unquie card.
    I try to keep my balls in the little bags they come in with the top piece folded in side the bag so I know what the name of the colour is, does not always work some threads that don't have little bags like Lizbeth

    1. Cards are great places to use little doodles. I've done it but don't send out many cards. Putting the thread back in the bags they come in is a good idea, it would keep them from coming unwound and tangling with other balls

    1. Thank you, Sherry. I talk about that doily in my October 10, 2010 post. If you type 'doily' in the search box it will come up with "Doily with an Antique Motif".

  3. The new storage containers look very practical. And since they have transparent sides, you can find what you are looking for quickly.
    I guess life is easier for needle threaders, no winding and unwinding shuttles and the leftover thread is usually the entire ball… But nice idea with the doodles.

  4. Super drawers, see through so you can see what's where. I sometimes wind the leftover thread into a butterfly and put it inside the ball it came from. I'd be annoyed with myself if I wound just a bit of thread onto a shuttle and then ran out on the ball thread because it was a rewound bit.

    1. I've really liked the drawers so far, But I think I need more! Jane E has a method for letting herself know if it's a partial thread, which would make a big difference when winding the next shuttle.

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