Banners and Snowball Blocks

I had a super busy weekend but still managed to get some stuff accomplished in my sewing room.

The Topaz came home last Wednesday evening from her spa day and I didn’t get a chance to use her until Saturday or so.  They put on an AWESOME new threader!! I love it so much more than the one it came with.  It is much easier to use.  I don’t know why it didn’t come on the machine in the first place.  I got busy stitching out a decorative banner for my sewing room.

The embroidery design comes from Big Dreams Embroidery and the fabrics are Art Gallery fabrics and I think the brown spool tops and bottoms are some Buggy Barn I had a fat quarter of that looked dark enough to pass for a spool.  Art Gallery Fabrics did a thing on their Facebook page a few weeks ago offering a free package of scraps to anyone that e-mailed them so I sent away for some! I got a nice selection of some orange fabrics in various prints and thought they’d work well for this project.

I still have a good selection of fabrics left from my Art Gallery scraps so I will certainly make something else!! Probably a quilt of some size.

I finished cutting my background squares and setup Betty (my Singer 201-2) for sewing my Snowball blocks.  She loves Aurifil thread!! I watched the premiere of Mad Men while sewing up a few blocks to see how they would look.  The quilt is going to have a delightfully scrappy look I think.  These are 10.5″ blocks with 5″ charms sewn to them.  I’m thinking of doing a short tutorial on how I did them.  I used my add-a-quarter ruler to trim once they were sewn.

I’ve got 46 of these to sew up and then I’ll do some applique in the centers of some of the blocks.  It’ll be a twin size quilt when I’m finished.

During my embroidery adventures I figured out my machine stitches much happier of the thread comes cleanly off the spool.  So I rigged up a little system.

The spool sits flat on the table, runs through the Clover spool holder, through a safety pin and then is threaded through my machine.  No more tangling, thread getting caught in front of or behind the spool, thread running too fast or two slow off the spool – everyone is happy! I’ve noticed a real difference.

Thanks to everyone that commented on my Pinterest rant post!  I’m glad I’m not the only one that thinks the hubub is crazy.


  1. Good thread system. I have a basic cone holder that works well until a cat runs through and carries the strand all the way to the hall and down the stairs if I don’t catch him first. I don’t think they even see the Bottom Line thread, and they don’t know what is caught on them!

    I like the tan in your scrappy blocks.

    • OMg my room would be a disaster if I had a cat.

      I had a heck of a time deciding on a background fabric since the lady this quilt is for has dogs and I want it to be easy to keep somewhat clean. I thought tan would be better than white or black. I like it so far.

  2. Love, love, love the banner!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Debby, Chester NY says:

    I love your banner!! And I really like that you used the word CREATE instead of THREAD like the site did. I also liked the way you threaded the ribbon through instead of the silly looking bows they have in the sample picture.

    Chester, NY

  4. I don’t know whether it’s me or just the mad men mention but your choice of fabrics have sort of a retro mad men 60’s feel – do you like that thread holder and is it for any size cone, say the aurifill size that costs around 10 bucks for the 50 weight? or is it more for the embroidery machine (which I don’t have or do) to me it looks like the thread would get all tangled up but if it doesn’t it is a great idea. thanks

    • I don’t have the thread on the holder when I’m running it through my machine – just through the arm loop at the top. The thread sits flatly on my table. I only use this when I’m doing machine embroidery since the thread runs through the machine SO fast and I need to keep it from getting tangled and also let it unwind a bit before going through the tension area. I might use it for free motion quilting too since thread tends to go through the machine faster than piecing.

      The thread holder is ok – I bought it this weekend since it was on clearance at JOAnn. It keeps me organized while I’m doing machine embroidery since I can stack all my thread spools that I’m using for a particular pattern on it and I really like the tall arm that helps the thread feed into my machine cleanly. You could do the same thing with a paperclip and just putting your spool beside your machine somewhere though.

      For regular piecing I just put my Aurifil thread on my machine in the horizontal holder and it runs just fine.

  5. Your banner turned out awesome! What size did you end up using? I’m debating….5″? Scarlett says hi! I started on her banner tonight. Did a test stitch out and need to fix my font a bit before I do the real one. Hopefully later today!

    • Yeah I think I did the 5″. I was able to get two banner pieces stitched out in my 260 x 200 hoop by turning it sideways so I didn’t have to rehoop stabilizer a bunch of times.

  6. Love the thread banner….Add this to my list of things to do.