Thread Matters: By Color, Weight, Collection… How Do You Keep Your Thread?

This month’s Thread Matters comes to you by way of Karen Miller of Redbird Quilt Co. — Designer, Educator, Free Motion Quilter, Author, and Master Educator & Aurifilosopher for Aurifil USA. We couldn’t be more pleased to share her tips with you! Thank you, Karen!

If you’re addicted to thread the way I am, the organization challenge is REAL!! In this month’s Thread Matters I’m sharing my simple & effective way of organizing my Aurifil thread stash + some really sweet storage ideas that I’ve come across online!

You KNOW I love my ever-growing stash of Aurifil thread!

As a matter of fact, I recently took inventory and found over 14 designer collections, 6 house collections, 20 cones of Forty3 (40wt 3ply LongArm thread), 2 cones of monofilament, and several small spools of 2ply Cotton and Lana Wool.

How on earth do I keep them organized?

Well, I’m on the road – A LOT!!!  I travel to shops and guilds spreading my love of Free Motion Quilting across the USA. In addition to the traveling-road show, my sewing space moves between our home and cottage at least twice a year. All this travel requires that I keep my 2-ply thread collection packaged up and ready to roll! The best way I find to do that is… keeping it in its original box — by Collection.

Yes indeed… albeit Designer or House Collections, I purchase my Aurifil thread by the collection. Regardless of the colors or weights in the collection I strive to keep them intact in their original box.

Because of the awesome way that Aurifil color codes their thread spools, it’s easy to find the exact color and weight needed by opening the protective box for a quick glance.

In addition, it’s really cost effective to purchase Aurifil thread by the Collection! Check with your favorite quilt shop – some shops enable you to assemble your own collection of Aurifil threads and store them in this sweet little box.

The Aurifil thread box keeps thread free of dust and can aid in the ongoing quest of keeping it out of direct sunlight. Make it a priority to keep your thread stored at a comfortable temperature, too. 😉

When I’m not traveling, my thread collections have a home in my Ikea shelving units. You can fit 16 or more boxes in each cubby.

Tip: You might consider labeling the exteriors of the box, to make for a quick and easy collection scan. Check out this video from Sew Very Easy for more info!

When the collections need to hit the road with me I toss them in one of my nifty utility totes.

My favorite one fits 16 large spool collections and I can manage the weight without issue – I love this! We always love handmade, but if you are using your own handmade totes, make sure to use durable materials to support the weight of the collections. I also use some of the super versatile totes available through Thirty-One.

If you’re working on smaller, day-to-day projects and need some easy solutions for thread on the go, Aurifil Designer Aneela Hoey of Comfort Stitching has some fantastic and easy to sew storage solutions.

For those of you that are settled into a sewing space and aren’t constantly on the run, a peg stand (wall or table top) is a fun way to organize and display your threads.

Image by Desert Bloom Quilting

Again, it’s important to keep them free of dust and out of direct sunlight – these elements can damage our beautiful Cotton threads.

Be sure to check out these awesome protective storage settings we’ve recently seen online:

I love this Horn of America Cabinet storage shared by @Sariditty on Instagram.  The threads tuck away inside the cabinet when not in use – that’s a great way to minimize exposure to dust and sunlight.

Image by Sarah Thomas of Sariditty

Here’s a neat solution by Kris of Poor House Quilt Designs. Kris and her husband put their heads together and built a lift thread storage solution for her studio drawers. Build your own version of this nifty design by following the instructions in this blog post.

Or check out this handy post by Alyce Blyth of Blossom Heart Quilts, shared right here on Auribuzz earlier this year.

We found a few other great storage ideas on Instagram and couldn’t help but share —

If you would like to tell us about your thread storage or organization tips leave a comment below or post on social media – #aurifilthreadstash #aurifil #threadmatters

Thanks for joining us today!

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Karen L. Miller is the owner of Redbird Quilt Co., launched to share her love of wool and cotton applique and to demonstrate how free motion quilting (on a home machine) can bring fabric to life!  At Redbird Quilt Co., the Northern Cardinal takes center stage in many of the designs.  The entire Miller family enjoys feeding, observing, and photographing the many Songbirds that grace the North East USA landscape and therefore Songbirds are often found in Karen’s designs.

Karen lives in the Finger Lakes Region of New York where there is a fantastic array of forests, lakes, farmland, and families.  She and her husband share their home with one crazy Yellow Nape Amazon “Cayman”.  Their children are grown and they are blessed with 8 special little grandchildren of which the 3 girls and a grandson LOVE to sew with “Gramma Karen”.


  1. I have an old wooden printers tray mounted on the wall to store – and display – my frequently-used thread. So nice to see the colours at a glance.

  2. I like to keep mine in the collection boxes as well. As I use up the threads in the collections I transition the remaining spools into empty collection boxes that I coordinate by color, so I can easily find what I need for my projects.

  3. Great ideas, Karen. I’m going to rethink my storage methods. I do have storage racks on the wall but no dust protection.

  4. Wow! Thread heaven! My thread is on a wooded rack hanging behind a door. It works for me…I’m not sure what I would do if I had half as much as Karen has! Drool worthy!

  5. Oooh I love all the thread storage options. I am pretty much an Aurifil snob and I keep my ‘Fil organized by color (or Artist collection) in Aurifil storage containers.

  6. Ooh la la, & the lovely RED toenails! <3 My husband & I made a peg stand & I learned that the next one will have longer pegs so that I can also store the bobbin with the corresponding thread.

    1. You actually don’t need an long peg, if you get the bobbin keepers, like one of the puctures above. You put the bobbin in the keeper and it goes into the top of your thread, so you have a pair set. Ilove those keepers, their rather i inexpensive too.

  7. I love these ideas but haven’t figutpred out how to keep bobbins and spools together. My wonderful husband made a thread rack for me with taller pegs but the peg diameter is too wide for bobbins or bobbin clips. Any ideas would be great. I’ve tried both types of clips shown in these pics. Thanks🙁Linda

    1. I use plastic drinking straws on the pegs (a couple inches long). I put on the bobbin and then the coordinating thread on top on the same peg. Hope this works for you.

    2. CHeck out the bobbin keepers in one of the photos above, they are great, the bobbin goes on first, and then clips down into thread roll.

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