It ain’t pretty

I spend a fair amount of time watching “floss tube,” drooling over incredible cross stitch samplers and everybody’s haul, WIPs, and even the pretty floss drops many stitchers use to keep their floss beautifully organized and picturesque while they work on a project. And while I do appreciate the many lovely ways to keep floss, I haven’t gotten on board with pretty floss drops because, well, I’m cheap.

Or should I say, I’m frugal, and somewhat thrifty. When I’m working on a stitching project, my main goal is to get the piece stitched as neatly as possible, even though I have let go of trying to be a perfectionist about it. I also like to focus on making sure the right floss is with the right project and that the floss doesn’t turn into a bird’s nest while in a project bag. Years ago, in the early 90’s, I was dating my now husband and we were at a local mall where I purchased a cross stitch pattern called Teddy Bear Reunion. It had over 50 colors of embroidery floss in the pattern, and I purchased all those DMC colors. Then I enlisted my future husband’s help to “bobbinate” all those flosses onto those little white cardboard pieces and stick them in a plastic box. I would pull out the color of floss I needed as I was stitching the many teddy bears.

Fast forward all these years later, and I am back into cross stitch like so many fellow crafters who used to stitch in the 80’s and 90’s. Cross stitch has made an enormous comeback and there are hundreds of talented designers creating beautiful patterns, hundreds of dyers creating all sorts of lovely linens and other materials to stitch on, and so much more than just DMC or Anchor floss available.

So, in 2023, I decided that I needed to get my flosses better organized. I still had the plastic box from the 90’s! I still had flosses my husband wrapped up on bobbins way back when. It’s easy to recognize his printing. I don’t have that much in the way of a floss collection because I have never gotten into any silks (yet) and I have only used DMC, Classic Colorworks overdyed flosses as well as The Gentle Arts overdyed flosses and Weeks Dye Works flosses. I also have literally 4 or 5 spools of Anchor floss. I tried to make my own cute floss drops with scrapbook paper glued onto stiff cardboard then die cut with my Sizzix machine, but this was tedious and not worth my time. So then I would just die cut plain old paperboard, or chip board. After I finished a project, I would just throw all the overdyed flosses into a small bin. After all, I didn’t have a lot.

But this was not working for me. I had flosses in about three or four separate containers. I had no list or database of colors (still don’t!) and I needed a better system. So one night while browsing Pinterest, I came across an image of flosses organized in a hanging file box and I decided that that could work for me. So I got on Amazon and purchased two file boxes, a whole bunch of ugly drab green hanging file folders, and several hundred of little metal paper fasteners. Then I got to work cutting up the file folders, punching holes, and inserting paper fasteners.

As you can see from the photos, these aren’t pretty. They are functional and for now, that’s what I care about. I have a variety of ways that floss is kept, and I’ve used a lot of leftover file folder material to make little floss drops. They are pretty ugly! But I don’t mind for now. My overdyed flosses are kept in alphabetical order and my DMC flosses are in numerical order. When I went through all my DMC floss, I did throw away the 30 year old flosses where I had very little left, or I had a newer skein to compare color with and there was so much difference that the old stuff went in the trash. All the floss I own is contained in one file folder box.

Lastly, here is another look at The Bramble and The Rose by Ink Circles that is getting close to completion. I am really enjoying the stitching on this one and it is going to look fantastic once it’s framed.

I wish I could remember where I found the vintage camper needle minder. Sorry about that!

And one more pic to hopefully brighten your day: my houseplants.

It’s May 2, and we are inching closer to more appropriate spring weather here in Minnesota. It’s been a very, very long winter. I look forward to sitting on my deck and stitching!

Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope you have a wonderful day.