Have Your Say
20th September 2019
In issue #199 of All Stitched Up! HERE we unpacked some ideas about organising and asked you to point us in the direction of where to begin the process of cataloguing our stash and if you’d found the ‘just right’ way to keep track of what you have and what you need when it comes to all things needle and thread. And point us you did! We hope you’ll find the following suggestions as helpful as we did…
‘First, I have to thank you for being. You are my inspiration on Fridays. I know I have a life when I get that email because you show me that life is not only about work!
I have also tried to follow the notion of reducing my stash and the number of things around me. It works, but to me, it’s also important to remember that I live in a home for others to enjoy, not a house meant for exhibition.
I’m so lucky that I have my own room where I have a nice space designed and planned by me. To keep this organized, I always keep a list on my phone of the things I need for my hobby. The problem is normally not what you have but what you have run out of, or don’t have at all, that creates a problem when you want to start working on a project. So, I always keep a list on my phone of the things to buy.
Before starting on a new project, I always check the material list. The missing items then go on my shopping list on my phone. When I go on a trip, I always try to check in advance if there is a quilt shop or embroidery shop nearby. Then I can get my supplies – and of course I also end up buying new unplanned projects, notions or some nice supplies, but at least I also get what I need!’
‘You asked how embroidery can be organized and I am pleased to show you my way although I am sure there will be many more methods! I take a thin piece of cardboard and made many holes along the edge. For each colour I use, I knot a sample in one hole and give it a description, where it was used and if known, I also add the colour number.’
‘So, when I run short of a certain colour or when I am seeking a colour which would best sit next to it, this cardboard becomes a helpful tool as when I am downtown to buy additional threads, it is always on hand as it is easy to take with me.’
‘I use a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to catalogue my threads and beads mostly because of its filtering and searching capabilities. I have a different thread/bead brand on each tab, the colour numbers down the rows (in numerical order, for easy search) and the types of thread along the top.
So, for DMC I have a column for stranded, then one for perle 5, 8 and 12. The hardest part I’ve found is that I’d like to have all the threads listed, not just the ones I own and then I put the number of skeins/ balls in the relevant square. I didn’t want to spend hours typing in all the numbers, so I went looking on the internet for inventory lists.
This was relatively easy for DMC but it was really hard to find lists of many other brands and it’s hard to know if those lists are complete and for some reason it’s not possible to copy and paste some of them neatly into Excel. Once this is all set up, I plan to put the file into the Cloud where I can access it from my phone and other devices while I’m at a fair or shop.’
We’re not sure if this is the exact same link you used Leanne, but after reading your suggestion we found this LINK on Lord Libidan that was just what we were after!
‘I use the database ‘TapForms’. I currently keep a list of charts and kits plus a list of threads but need to start a list of linens too. It can be used for household inventory, recipes, in fact anything you would like to keep track of!
The owner of TapForms is VERY helpful and answers your questions quickly. He also has many videos to reference. It’s very simple to use and the program is wonderful!’
Thank you Lois – if anyone would like to learn more about TapForms you can visit their website HERE, just be aware however, this software is only available for Mac devices.
‘Another wonderful newsletter! Although I can no longer embroider due to failing eyesight, I enjoy the newsletter and love seeing what everyone else is doing. My way of organising my thread stash is a bit of a pain to set up but once that is done, is so easy to use! I have found that most thread manufacturers have colour charts available online. I print either the full colour chart or just the numerical listing then all I have to do is mark off the ones I have on these charts. It is so easy to see if I have the necessary threads or if I need to add them to my list of threads needed.’
‘I have always kept my threads in small Ziplock bags, filed in numerical order in a drawer – or many drawers in my case. Guess what – no tangles! I even punch two holes in the side of each bag so that when I am using them for a project I put them on two hinged rings so they are like a little book, easy to access and I don’t lose any in the bottom of my bag. I wind ribbons onto empty cotton reels and pop them into little bags so that the ribbons don’t crease and everything is organised. I haven’t given away my very organised stash yet as I keep telling myself my eyesight will improve, or a miracle of medicine will find a way to improve it. I won’t give up – I have so many projects that still need to be done! I am, however 80, so what are my chances?!’
With such a positive outlook and sense of determination Lorraine, we think your chances are erring on the side of success and hope you’ll find yourself stitching again in no time at all! Until then though, we love that you’re staying connected to your stitching tribe and are enjoying the fruits of other’s labours.
‘For a long time, I would come home from shopping trips with patterns, threads and/or fabric that I already had, but at least it meant I really liked them! Then I found an app – XStitch Plus.’
‘You can enter threads, patterns, fabric, beads and can even make notes about individual items. There is also a wish list feature to keep track of supplies you still need. You can enter pictures of your projects and indicate whether they are kitted, started or finished. I started with the first-generation app, which was free, but have since upgraded to their second- generation app which costs US$10 per year. The app programmers are very consumer friendly and you can contact them if you find a designer or thread they don’t have listed and they will update their database to include them. Your information is kept in the cloud so if you lose your device you don’t lose your information. I have saved much more than the $10 yearly cost in not buying multiple patterns and unnecessary fibers and linen which means more money to spend on other stitching necessities! Can you tell I love it?!’
As always, we love that the Inspirations Community is so willing to continue the conversation and appreciate each of the suggestions that were put forward. We’d love to keep chatting, but it’s off to organising our needlework stash for us!