Thread For Life

I took a vacation day this week to take advantage of the summer-like weather.  It since turned colder and wetter, but I got in a good chunk of time at the storage unit while it was warm and sunny.

When we moved mom closer, we scrambled to pack what she needed in two days.  It was really hard to decide what to take and how much would fit in the new apartment.  We probably moved too much, but it seemed like the right thing to do at the time.

I think I’m the one that packed the sewing kit.  I wasn’t sure what mom might need, so I grabbed it all.  Realistically, I live five minutes from her and could have provided anything she needed.  Did I actually think she would sew on her own buttons?  Have I ever seen her sew anything in my life?

When I came across it in the storage unit, I decided to bring the whole thing home.  I sew, and I’ve used up several spools of thread in the past year.  Might as well use this instead of buying more.


Not sure how old the threads on the wooden spools might be.  Some might be older than I am, which is scary.  Does thread deteriorate over time? 

Not counting the thread on wooden spools, I’m thinking this thread will last the rest of my life and then some. 

No idea why mom had so much thread.  In 30 years my son will probably be asking the same thing about me.

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4 Responses to Thread For Life

  1. Wendee says:

    I went through my grandmother’s quilting scraps (maybe 10 years ago?) and kept pieces and half-finished projects. For a while, I worked on using them. A few fabrics, I added contemporary fabrics (very painstakingly matching colors in the prints to select new purchases … ) and made wall hanging quilts for a few of my cousins for their weddings. How’s that for a keepsake? Those were my youngest cousins, so there haven’t been anymore weddings, and then I found myself not quilting when they had their babies …. I didn’t have the nerve to ask how the fabric held up … but that’s why I made them as wall hangings and not bed quilts, right?

    And then there’s her unfinished, crazy quilt and unfinished hand-pieced blocks. Oh my. I have not only my UFOs, but hers as well. I know the feeling of finding fabric, thread and hand drawn quilting block piece patterns, sketches for quilts (there’s no question where I got that. It’s genetic) that are quilte possibly as old as me. When we went through grandma’s piles of stash (quilt and yarn/crochet), some of my cousins asked what grandma was ever going to do with all that, but I have a pretty good idea of what she had in mind.

    I’m thinking of using the old fabrics in multimedia art and paintings, if not for the specific use – – quilts – – they were intended. At least that’s what I tell myself. I find myself thinking that if I make something that I keep for myself, I’ll feel okay to let some of the rest of it go…

  2. Gayle says:

    I just pitched a bunch (not all) of older thread on wooden spools. I know. I used to think that was a bad thing but I read an article in which the author suggested you do a tug test. If you give it a good tug and it breaks it will do the same thing in your quilts or clothing or whatever. Next I unwound some of the thread and checked for “slubs” in the thread that would gunk up my machine and make it not sew very smooth stitches. Most did not make the cut. Lucky for me I have no idea where this thread came from (my aunt got most of my grandmothers thread) so it didn’t hurt to get rid of it. Anything with a color I thought I might use in art quilts I kept but everything else went out. I kept a dark and light spool for hand basting (am I the only one that does that any more?) thinking thread that breaks would be much better for that. Okay, I didn’t actually pitch the wooden ones I took them to my quilt guild where I knew a ton of people would want them. Never fear, I kept most of what I’ve purchased in the last 20 years so there will be plenty of stuff left for my children and their spouses to shake their heads over.

  3. I just got three boxes full of my late aunt’s sewing room contents. My male cousin had to have just dumped everything into the boxes. The thread was just a tangled mess. I pulled out all the wooden spools for somebody (not me!) to use for crafting–those seemed too interesting to pitch. The rest went in the trash. I have plenty of thread to last THROUGH eternity. Plus, they make more thread every day. 🙂 I don’t feel a need for salvaging questionable stuff!

  4. Vicky says:

    I’ll venture a guess on why she has so much thread. The tradition of her day was probably to match the thread to the fabric she was using. Nowadays, we mostly use a neutral for piecing. I think that’s why there was so much!

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