Friday, January 27, 2012

Thread Caddy - As requested by our facebook fans!

Caddy Update: 02/25/2012  (Note: This is an old posting and I have since made many improvements. Please checkout the website or new blog postings for more accurate information. 09/04/2012)

Its a cold Saturday here in Kingston, Massachusetts and I spent all day tinkering in the shop, trying to find the best setup for our Deluxe Thread Caddy. This is a ton of fun but is not as easy as one may think. My good buddy Rod kept me company for a while and shared his words of wisdom and a couple cold ones. After many hours of rearranging the setup, trying different size lazy susans - this seems to be the most functional work station so far.

The center rack is our original Thread Caddy that we sell for $24.99. You can read more about this small unit if you scroll down the blog posting. This unit just sits in the center of this lazy susan setup, and can be removed if you want to use it elsewhere.

I included two peg racks for holding extra spools of thread. You will be able to pick the rack that works best for your needs. One will hold spools that are 1.75" in diameter while the other rack will hold the embroidery spools. (If I am missing a size, please send me a message.) Maybe I should make one for the larger cones?

The next little gadget is a magnetic pin cushion that you see in the front of the unit. A powerful 3/4" magnet sits in the middle of the little wooden bowl.

On the back of the unit is an area to store up to 3 rulers / templates. I grooved out a block of wood to hold them in place and installed a decorative "Thread Spool" back board. I am looking for ideas on what could be attached to this back board. If you have one... post a message.

I haven't finalized the design yet. I really, really want your input.

You may notice the beeswax holder has been replaced with a blue box of Thread Heaven. I am just experimenting with this idea as an option. I need to chat with someone who uses the Thread Heaven. If you think this spot would work, please comment!

I need ideas on what could go on this back plate.

Well that's it for today's progress. I look forward to your input.

Thanks again,

Harry Barnett

As a little side note: I have extended a sale on our Floor Stand for the laptop hoops. It's worth checking out.
Caddy Update: 2/16/2012
Still tinkering with a Deluxe Caddy as seen above. This time I made the base larger and put it on a lazy susan spinner. I was thinking of adding a couple small dowels for two extra spools. On the back side I have a spot for a Clover Desk Threader. If it is going to be mounted to this Caddy, I want it to have a magnetic connector. The bad news is it adds about $7.00 in magnet costs... so I need to find a better solution or less expensive magnets. I bet I can get a smaller magnet to do the job. Time to go shopping on eBay! The magnet that you can see on the back of the caddy, the little silver circle, will hold about 19.0 lbs. Strong little bugger!!! It's a bit of over kill at the moment for a couple of pins / needles but it happens to be what I have in stock in the shop for my lap frames. The dowels for the thimbles will be a bit shorter than before. On Friday, I will be experimenting with Thread Heaven holder vs Beeswax. This could be a requested option.

As always... send me your ideas at and I will try to incorporate it into the design.


Updated - Feb. 14th, 2012
Additional small mini magnet is now installed on the right hand side of the beeswax block. It's not shown in this picture. It's the perfect spot to place your needle! I also enlarged the opening for the thread spools. It will hold a spool that measures up to 3.00".
- Harry

Updated - Feb. 4th, 2012

Well, I have been tinkering again with the design of our Thread Caddy. The latest upgrade is the beeswax holder is no longer held on with Velcro. I moved it to the lower bolt and seated it into a precision cut holder. This was not an easy task, but I think it is so worth it. Now you can just pull thread off the spool and run it through the beeswax. When the wax needs to be moved or replaced, just loosen the wing nut and it will pivot down. Now you can just pop the container out and pop a new one in. I just wish I thought of it earlier. It's crazy how I will obsess over an idea and then it just hits me. As of 2/15/2012 the caddy can hold thread spools that measure up to 2.75".

I have been toying around with a "Deluxe Version" in the pictures below.

Still working out the bugs... but should be coming soon!
This "Deluxe Caddy" will have a Clover Desk Needle Threader, a lazy susan spinner and a location for your favorite pin cushion. On top of the lazy susan, I'll mount the original Thread Caddy. This should complete the little work station. I am thinking it would retail for $39.99 to $49.99. It depends on how many magnets, bells & whistles that get installed. As always, this is still a work in progress - so email me or post a comment if you have any ideas for improvements. I am open to any ideas.

Oh, please share our link with your facebook friends. As many of you know, I am a one man shop, trying to stay busy making our Barnett's Laptop Hoops, Featherweight Tables and now Thread Caddies. I have been blessed that orders come in almost daily now, but I could still use a little help now and then with a facebook "SHARE".

Thank you,

Harry Barnett

This was my first design...

I just updated the design - a little simpler and less expensive. I have a feeling I'll make a larger caddy but for now this seems to be a simple and practical caddy. I included two thread holders, two thimble holders, a magnet on the back to hold pins and needles, a slot to hold scissors, seam ripper, pencils, etc and on the far left side a container of beeswax that is held on with velcro.

Thread Caddy / Notion Holder from Barnett's Laptop Hoops - Click here to purchase.  Note: Design changes will happen over time.  This is now an older posting and the caddy has had some nice updates. Take a look!

The picture below is an older posting - earlier today. I changed my mind! - Harry

Well, I have been tinkering for a couple hours now on the thread caddy. This is my first attempt, so be kind on any comments. I am trying to keep it simple. So far I have a spot for holding two rolls of thread. These are held in place with a 4" bolt and an "Easy Turn" knob. Super easy to pull it out and replace. In the back of the caddy, I placed a 1/2" slot that can hold a pair of scissors, seam ripper, marking pencil, etc. The bottom plate will have rounded corners and a spot to hold bees wax and cone thread. I am thinking of keeping the other side open for a Clover Desk Needle Threader. Somewhere on the unit will be a magnet that will hold extra pins and needles.

Most likely, I will develop a couple variations to meet your needs. As I said above, this is my first attempt. Any input from our readers would be greatly appreciated. Please post here or on facebook.

Thank you,

Harry Barnett

P.S. The cute little girl in the picture is Payton Jane Barnett, my baby girl. We get to work together when Merry and my other kids are at school. I love working at home! If you look in the background, you may notice an Octagonal Rug Hooking Frame on a Bean Bag Base. This is the project I was working on earlier in the day.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Sunday Morning Funnies ...

Well I had fun putting these together this morning. I am actually procrastinating on going out to work in the shop, it snowed all day yesterday and it's cold. I'm a big wimp when it comes to cold. Maybe, I'll take the day off??? The Pats are playing today. That's a good reason right? OK, maybe I'll make it a half day. Well what ever I do, I hope you had a good laugh. Pass it on to another quilter you may know.

Take care,

Harry Barnett

Friday, January 13, 2012

bean bag

I am excited to announce our new lap base for any of our Laptop Hoops that have those little magnets on the bottom. This new base has a large bean bag on the bottom, allowing you to squish the lap frame into a comfortable position on you lap. Easily find that comfortable angle. No knobs to turn! It also has our trade mark lazy susan spinner that allows for effortless movement when you need to turn your project.

Another new item is our Deluxe Thread/Notion Caddy.

This Deluxe Thread Caddy has a couple added features. A small lazy susan spinner is mounted below the center rack. This allows you to easily access many of your necessary items that you use while hand quilting or sewing. Thread can be easily refilled by removing the wing nuts on the side. A small container of beeswax is included with your purchase. The bees wax has a unique holder that pivots up in front of your thread. This allows you to easily draw your thread through the wax. A Clover Desk Needle Threader is mounted on the side with a magnet to help keep it in place when not in use. On the opposite side we have left this area open for your favorite pin cushion or any other gadget you may need. You can store two of you favorite thimbles on the wooden dowels that have been mounted on the base while a slotted area in the back holds scissors, pencils and more. A small magnet is installed on the back to hold pins and needles.

Thread caddy can hold...

  • spool of thread

  • scissors

  • seam rippers

  • marking pencils

  • 2 thimbles

  • needles

  • pins

  • bees wax (included with purchase)

  • Clover Desk Needle Threader (included with purchase)
    and anything else that you can stuff into it!

Makes a great gift!!! Note: All the goodies pictured in the caddy are for display purpose only, except for the beeswax holder and needle threader.

Here is another quilting gadget that you may want to give a try someday. An Aunt Becky Finger Protector can make your stitches go much faster, with a bit of practice. I have been told it is not easy to master, but those who do, love it! Click this youtube link to see a quick demo.

Have a cute quilting or sewing cartoon. Send them to me at I would love to post and share them on our facebook fan page or our next blog.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Our little business is expanding...

I just want to start this post off with a BIG THANK YOU! We ended the year with our best month ever, even with the bad economy. I was building a frame or two a day for the entire month of December. I took the 25th off to rest. I still haven't figured out why it was so crazy, but it sure was fun! As I type this, orders have slowed down a bit, but its enough to keep me busy 6 to 7 days a week. As I have recently discovered, I can't do it all. I have asked a good friend of mine, Rick, to help out with some of the new designs. Rick is an extremely talented woodworker, who is designing a few items of his own to showcase on our website soon. I can't wait to see more of his new items. Check out this little sewing chest that he is making for us.

With a new year comes new designs at Barnett's Laptop Hoops. Starting this week we are developing a new line of frames that utilize Howard Brush gripper strips. These new frames are designed for rug hooking, punch needle and needlepoint. Each frame will work similar to our Original Design Lap Frames, having a solid base and 4 support legs. I will install the same little magnets on the bottom, so you can adapt it to any of our unique lap bases that tilt and rotate 360 degrees. Sizes that are being developed are a 14" Octagonal, 14" x 14" Square, 9"x 9" Square and a 6"x 6".

Another exciting item is a Bean Bag Base. This is another option that I am developing that utilizes a large bean bag, about 12' x 6" that has a lazy susan spinner attached on the top. It works similar to our other base units that tilt and spin your lap frame. The bean bag will sit on your lap and you can squish/adjust the angle of your frame and the lazy susan allows you to rotate the frame when needed.

Books, books and more books! Well we are almost finished with entering the supply of books from my wholesaler. I would say we have about a hundred more titles to go. Thank God! It has been a lot of work entering close to a thousand titles on the website. Our "Book of the Day" category has been working out well. I try to post a new book daily, the key word is "try". Many times it is a new release or a great deal, up to 75% off. I posted the latest book from Jo Morton, Prairie Flower Encore. This has been flying off the shelves! Here is a little bit of the introduction...

"Prairie Flowers was a success and sold out, but I continued to get requests for it here and there. I hated not being able to fill the orders, but new projects and my teaching schedule take up most of my time, an I don't like publishing an old pattern without updating it. Last year it occuued to me that I could resurrect the book and offer new projects by adding an additional 12 blocks and a larger center block for a medallion setting to the original 12 blocks.

This book offers seven projects using the 24 flower blocks. The first three quilt versions are from Prairie Flowers and are shown using the original 12 applique blocks, although you can use any 12 Blocks from the collection. For the "encore" part of this book, I started by making all 24 blocks, and used 20 of them in version #4, the medallion-style quilt, and the remaining four in the small quilt that became version #5. The blocks are great take along projects so the quilts went together quickly. If you're looking for a super-quick project, the two extra projects on pages 15 and 27 are just the ticket. Make a single block and frame it or turn it into a pincushion. Both of these sweet little projects can be accomplished in no time at all-and they make great gifts for your quilting friends.

Now that you know the story, it's up to you to choose what blocks to make and how you're going to use them. Don't you love choices?