Always-well almost! Large thread spools may be intimidating because they are large, cumbersome, weren’t really made for home sewing machines and hard to store. Despite their size, they do have benefits over smaller spools in many circumstances.
Large cone spools have anywhere from 3000-5000 yards on each spool. So, the price of a yard of thread is more economical from a large spool than from smaller spools.
With the quantity of thread on the spool, if you get a medium value (the lightness to darkness) of a neutral color like gray, you won’t have to purchase another spool for piecing quilts for a long time. Large spools are great for quilting too-any color works here!
And when they don’t fit on your home machine then what?
If you don’t have a cast iron spool holder specifically made for holding large thread spools, try one of these hacks:
Coffee mugs (cute or functional work just the same), vases, Ball canning jars, food canisters all work as long as the spool fits inside the holder and is heavy enough so that the spool doesn’t topple over when the machine starts running. FYI if you are going to spend money for a large spool holder, I recommend a cast iron stand compared to a plastic stand for the weight issue.
As for thread guides (before the thread goes through the tension discs) most sewing machine models have accessories such as these.
But if you can’t locate this type of accessory for your machine, safety pins or paper clips strategically placed are good hacks to keep the tension on the thread right before it heads into the tension discs.
I can here it coming already. “Where am I supposed to store it?”
There are many acrylic cases such as this one from A.T. Enterprises or wood racks such as the one above on the market.
But if you can’t afford the above or are a DYI expert try the following hacks:
In my lecture, SOS: Studio Organizing Solutions (if you or your guild are interested, you can find info here), I say over and over again “get things off the ground or cutting table/ cabinets.” You can certainly do this by putting a peg board on the wall.
And my favorite is using the top part of the ironing board hung on a wall. It gives my studio a little bit of whimsey, gives an ironing board a new life, and yes, keeps spools off the floor and cutting table.
When’s NOT a good time to use large spools?
I suppose when you have those fancy threads like metallic or monofilament might be the exception.
If you have a preference about size of spools, I’d like to hear it. Or even better, if you have a hack for spools of thread please comment.