Thursday, September 4, 2008

Empty Spools/Full Heart

For those of you who sew.....empty wooden spools should be a familiar sight. Well, let me correct myself. If you sewed years ago, wooden spools would be a familiar sight. For those of you who haven't sewn very long and get your thread on a plastic've probably only seen wooden spools in your mother's or grandmother's sewing baskets or in your local flea market.

I have lots of old wooden spools and just love them. I look at them and wonder what colors of thread were on these spools. Was it silk, or cotton? Silk would be very special and I have some old thread spools with the silk still rolled up on them. What was made with this thread? You know I am a quiltmaker, so I like to imagine the quilts that were made with this thread. And, don't you know they used every little tiny bit of it! Who used the thread from these spools? I wonder about their lives and the quilts they may have made, probably under difficult circumstances. The stories these spools could tell!

Homemade thread spool racks are really neat too. I have two. (My friend, Jim, has several too, in fact he inspired me to display my empty spools.) So, here they are. One is in the studio. It isn't full yet, so I am still collecting different kinds of wooden spools. There, hidden in a couple of drawers...are more old spools...mostly duplicates. You have to find a lot of spools to actually gather an assortment. I'm working on it.

The other wooden spool rack I have is in my living room. Well, OK, that's kind of weird! But, so am I. I like it hanging in there. When someone new comes to visit, I always get kind of an odd look from them when they realize I have a display of empty thread spools in the living room. Not to worry, I also have several glass containers of buttons just below the racks......and a glass punch bowl full of button cards on the coffee table. Every one knows I like to quilt, collect buttons, etc., so when they see all the places in the house I have chosen to display these things, they are only temporarily taken aback. What they say after they leave, I have no idea.

My friend, Sharon, who passed away a couple of years ago now, collected hummingbirds. She had all kinds. When I helped clean out her studio, I found a glass hummingbird that had been broken in half and the back half was missing. Knowing that she had saved it for some reason, I took it home. Last year, in my little Knot group, we were challenged to make "something" out of an empty thread spool. So, I put my thinking cap on and decided to use the glass hummingbird together with an empty spool to make a little piece of art. So, here it is. I made a little band to go around the spool with embroidered flowers and butterflies and then added yarn to represent a "nest." So, I have a bird's nest for my Nest and I think Sharon would have liked it.

So many empty many stories...such a full heart! Pat


Unknown said...

How lovely, I adore these wooden spools, i have some of my gran's, and like you wonder what they held.
Rosie said...

I never think where you display things are wierd because they all go together, honestly I never noticed the spools in the LR, but then we usually stay in the nest. I had forgotten about the spool challange and Sharon's hummingbird.
Lovely as your work always is.

Anne said...

The hummingbird and nest on a spool is exquisite! However, you don't just have a "thinking cap," you have an artist's cap, as well. I think it's so touching that you honored your friend's memory with that lovely piece.

BTW, you'll cringe when you read that I have allowed my parrot, who I have had for 27 years, to chew those old wooden spools. My mother was a seamstress, and she found out that Pierre enjoyed chewing on her old spools (this is when I still lived at home). Now I wish I had kept them all.

Your spool-piece photo would be a sought-after image for magazines like Country Living, Country Home and the like.

Jackie said...

I have been trying to buy a thread or spool rack for weeks now!what a coincidence. There are lots on ebay in USA but none in UK.I'm going to have to make one.

Gayle said...

Pat, I loved this post. I have a canning jar full of wooden spools on my desk and love to take them out now and again. I love the way you display yours. :-)Gayle

StitchinByTheLake said...

Like most stitchers I too have a few wooden spools left over from my mother and grandmother. I love the way you decorated one. What a wonderful way to display your treasure from your friend. blessings, marlene

Anonymous said...

Pat - what a lovely tribute to your friend.

I was just thinking today that I need a spool holder - my shoebox just isn't cutting it anymore.

Judy said...

What a lovely way to keep and display something that used to belong to a dear friend. I love wooden spools and wish you could find more of them around.

A Bit of Heaven

A Bit of Heaven
An original designed wall quilt with my vision of heaven on earth.