Friday, May 4, 2012

Thread Catcher Instructions for your Barnett's Thread Caddy

Check out what Nel made for all of us. Over the last couple months Nel and I and a group of quilters on Facebook have been designing many new items for quilting. Nel and I have been emailing each other, trying to improve on a couple designs and in her spare time she came up with this unique thread catcher bag and wanted to share it with you. Thank you Nel! This is awesome!!! Mini Thread Caddy with a built in thread cutter and Thread Heaven.
In addition to this Thread Catcher she helped design a new

Instructions for Thread Catcher for Barnett’s Laptop Hoop Sewing Caddy
Sewing pattern by Nel Eyre (

Barnett’s Thread Caddy(Note: The thread caddy pictured with the pattern was a prototype/early model)  Usual sewing kit.
 Fabric: A fat quarter is more than adequate. Two contrasting fabrics are particularly effective; in which case each piece needs to be about 7" x 18" (a fat eighth)
 Mouse mat. You could use a piece of cork mat, but it’s a bit more fiddly to fit. Wadding/batting could be used. However, this is a bit lightweight and less stable.
 Two four inch pieces of braid, grosgrain ribbon or even rope for straps; these could also be made from fabric scraps.
 Freezer paper or card to make master pattern. It is possible to make this by simply drawing directly onto the fabric.
Collect together everything you need.
Draw around Caddy onto freezer paper. Create a second line about ¼" away from this line. I used a ‘magic ¼’ wheel, but a suitably sized button or a machine bobbin will do the job. The first line is the sewing line; the second line in the cutting line.

Cut out:
For single fabric
1 x circle the exact size of caddy from the mouse mat, using old scissors
2 x circles in fabric from paper pattern. Be careful to cut on cutting line!
4 x 4 ½" squares of fabric
2 straps, if required.

For a reversible bag
1 x circle the exact size of caddy from the mouse mat, using old scissors
1 x circle in fabric 1
1 x circle in fabric 2
2 x 4 ½" squares in fabric 1
2 x 4 ½" squares in fabric 2
2 straps, if required.

To make the bag
The following instructions are for the reversible bag, using two contrasting fabrics. If only using one fabric, proceed without reference to second fabric.
Optional straps: Take a rectangle of fabric 2 ½" wide by about 6" long. Place long edges together, right sides inwards and sew a ¼" seam. Turn through, press well, and cut into two pieces.

Sandwich the strap ends between two contrasting squares, placed right-sides together and stitch, using a ¼" seam.
Press seams open.

Stitch the other two pieces together and press.
Place the two pieces right sides together and stitch all round, leaving about an inch open for turning. Clip corners to reduce bulk.

To square out the base of the bag:
Pick up one corner and align the bottom seam with the side seam. (It helps if you open the seams) Measure ½" from the point and mark. Sew straight across the corner. Trim to 1/8" to reduce bulk.
Repeat with the other three corners.
[I find it easier to set the machine to sew forwards from the centre, then back up to the edge and then forward to the seam again. This seems to prevent the fabric disappearing through the footplate and creating a bird’s nest on the back.]

Turn the bag through; ladder-stitch the opening and press carefully. It is worth being picky at this point if you wish to make the bag reversible. Align all the seams and poke out the corners. Make sure the top is neat and the straps tidy.
Now to make the mat.

For the Mat
Place the outside coloured fabric circle face up and then place the completed bag, right side up, on top, with the straps overlapping the edge by an equal amount. Put a pin through each to stop them shifting. [I also put a pin into the bag to keep it still and out of the way of the next steps. It is most aggravating to find it caught in the stitching!]
Set the second fabric on top and stitch all the way round, leaving a fairly large gap to turn through and insert the mat. I sew a second time over the straps for security, and back stitch at the other end. The next bit is a bit ‘brutal’ so I don’t want anything to come unstitched.

Turn through, and press thoroughly.
Now. Roll the mouse mat circle into a tube and poke it through the hole you have left in the side of the mat. Let it open with the base side uppermost and carefully flatten it right up to the seam.
Be patient, here. It WILL go, but it is a very tight fit. If you really must, trim a minimal amount to make it lie flat, but your fabric will stretch a little, especially on the bias, and it looks smarter the tighter fit it is.
Close the opening with ladder stitch and press again. The mouse mat will soften, temporarily, with the heat of the iron, but I haven’t had one melt (yet), and it seems to snuggle it into the edges nicely.
Your thread catcher is complete. Turn the mat over and the bag through for a completely different look. It will protect your table from scratches, and it also makes a fine mug mat. I use my bag for my phone, on occasion, too.

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