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Thread: Help! I Can't Bring Myself To Throw These Away! I Just CAN'T!

  1. #1
    Super Member Ps 150's Avatar
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    My Gram recently decided she was too old to quilt and sew anymore. (She's ONLY in her 70's and some of you spritely ladies could give her a "Haha!" for that thought!) So, she cleared out all of her supplies and passed them onto my daughters and I, her only quilting/sewing descendants. This greatly increased my supply of tools and notions but also THREAD! Trouble is, most of these spools are old. A lot of the thread is rayon, mercerized or even silk. How old is too old for these types of threads? They're all so pretty and I just don't want to pass them on. There were also 3 bags of tiny paper bobbin type spools and I'm not sure what they were used for. Help! Please!

    Not Sure What These Are. They're In Bobbin-Like Form But On Papery Spools.
    Name:  Attachment-208229.jpe
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    Beautiful Variegated
    Name:  Attachment-208240.jpe
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    Mostly Rayon, Silk and Mercerized.
    Name:  Attachment-208241.jpe
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Size:  47.4 KB

    Sone Silks, Some Cottons, Some Rayons and Some Mercerized.
    Name:  Attachment-208242.jpe
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  2. #2
    Kas
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    I would get a cool glass jar with a lid and put the fun wooden spools in it as a display. The rayons should be fine, I'm thinking, but I really don't know. Are the varigated ones silk or what? Ya know, if you are worried about the strength of the thread, you can use it for thread painting on a wallhanging where the stitches don't have to stand up to the stress of constant washing.

  3. #3
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    Here's a fun idea for some of the wooden spools

    http://www.sillypearl.com/2011/05/cr...den-spool.html

  4. #4
    Super Member Chele's Avatar
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    Those variegated threads are so pretty. Test them and see if they're weak. I bet they're fine. You won't need thread for a while! ;)

  5. #5
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    You can test the thread by taking some and wrapping around your hands and pulling. If it is strong enough to kind of cut into your hands before it breaks, it is strong enough to use. You have a treasure trove there! If it can't be used for machine sewing, it can be used for hand sewing. The little cardboard bobbin spools are perfect for hand applique and great for take along projects. The spools that are wooden would look nice in a clear glass decorative jar for your sewing room. I am sure board members will give you lots of ideas.

  6. #6
    Power Poster cutebuns's Avatar
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    Someone just may hit you if you throw out the wooden spools, they are hard to come by and are a collectors item, as well as very useful in many crafts etc.

    The thread, do a break test on them, if it breaks easily then it is rotten and the actual thread can be disposed of,

    the bobbins are just that, prewound bobbins, yet again check the quality, they should have a size stamped on them to tell what machines they will fit.

  7. #7
    Senior Member quiltin chris's Avatar
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    The bobbins with the papery looking sides are probably prewound bobbins---meaning she bought the bobbins already wound and ready to be used.

    Are you selling these items?

    Those variegated threads look beautiful.

    Chris

  8. #8
    Super Member sweetpea's Avatar
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    Use it. if you are unsure about it do a test seam and pull on it the seam if it wholes up use. if not pitch it.

  9. #9
    Senior Member marknfran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ps 150
    My Gram recently decided she was too old to quilt and sew anymore. (She's ONLY in her 70's and some of you spritely ladies could give her a "Haha!" for that thought!) So, she cleared out all of her supplies and passed them onto my daughters and I, her only quilting/sewing descendants. This greatly increased my supply of tools and notions but also THREAD! Trouble is, most of these spools are old. A lot of the thread is rayon, mercerized or even silk. How old is too old for these types of threads? They're all so pretty and I just don't want to pass them on. There were also 3 bags of tiny paper bobbin type spools and I'm not sure what they were used for. Help! Please!
    Can I buy them from you? Please????? :roll: :roll:

  10. #10
    Super Member sewcrafty's Avatar
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    Wow, jackpot!!! I'd test the thread by giving it a pull. If its still strong, use if not repurpose.

  11. #11
    BMP
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    Quote Originally Posted by DebraK
    Here's a fun idea for some of the wooden spools

    http://www.sillypearl.com/2011/05/cr...den-spool.html
    WOW that is one darling idea !!! I wish I had some old ones to make that with !

  12. #12
    Super Member hobo2000's Avatar
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    Silk will last forever. I am using some they sewed parachutes with in WW1. The rayon also will last. The little ones are pre-wound bobbins. I use these in my FW and my Janome. They are wonderful as they use to make them with very fine but stronger thread. The varigated threads are not very old so you should not have a problem with those. WOW! Just like Christmas only better for a quilter. To use the bobbins in a FW you pull off the front and back gently and put into the bobbin holder. I love them. Saves me so much time.

  13. #13
    Super Member Ps 150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kas
    I would get a cool glass jar with a lid and put the fun wooden spools in it as a display. The rayons should be fine, I'm thinking, but I really don't know. Are the varigated ones silk or what? Ya know, if you are worried about the strength of the thread, you can use it for thread painting on a wallhanging where the stitches don't have to stand up to the stress of constant washing.
    It's all in French without any English on the package but from my very limited knowledge and a google translator, all I could make out was that it's cotton.

  14. #14
    Super Member Ps 150's Avatar
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    I did a break test on the variegated and they broke very easily.

  15. #15
    Super Member brookemarie19's Avatar
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    I was told to do the breaking test. Pull on the thread a little and if the thread breaks then it can't be used, but if not its fine. The paper bobbins are just that. You tear the top part of the paper (as I have been told) and put it in your bobbin case and sew away. Hope this helps.

  16. #16
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    Before you discard any you should put them in the freezer for awhile and the moisture will strengthen them. When you take them out try the pull test again.

  17. #17
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    Before you discard any you should put them in the freezer for awhile and the moisture will strengthen them. When you take them out try the pull test again.

  18. #18
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    I would go ahead and use it. The prewound bobbins are standard bobbin size, and will work in most modern machines. I have some spools of thread from the 1970's that are still just fine. I use them all the time.

  19. #19
    Senior Member PWinston's Avatar
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    Use the thread for making yo-yos and English Paper Piecing.

    Whatever you do, don't get rid of the wooden spools. There are pleny on the board who would love to have them, myself included, if you do not want them. Let us know.

  20. #20
    Super Member frauhahn's Avatar
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    Wow!! The first picture is awesome! I'll bet that has some
    value!

  21. #21
    Power Poster cjomomma's Avatar
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    I don't have any suggestions. I just wanted to say that those wooden spools are awesome. I have a few and plan on displaying them if I ever get a quilting room. They are a piece of quilting history.

  22. #22
    Super Member Rose L's Avatar
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    Don't toss the breaking spools just yet!! Sometimes dust mites get to the out layers but don't penetrate the whole spool. Take several layers off the spool and then try the break test again! If it breaks after that then you can toss them or decorate with them.

  23. #23
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I would test every spool and see how strong they still are.
    Quilts that are 20+ years old, have thread that is 20+ years old too :wink: :D:D:D

  24. #24
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    I did exactly what Kas said when I inherited a "ton" of old thread several years ago. Makes a wonderful collectible and looks great in the sewing room. Some of my spools wold for 15 cents originally.

  25. #25
    Super Member redquilter's Avatar
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    I have a lot of my old wooden spools of thread and some that were my mother's. I found a couple of very big, antique canning jars and filled them with the spools and they sit on a shelf in my sewing room. Look colorful and interesting.

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