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By A Thread

Martha Stewart Living, March 2008

Sometimes the perfect thread for a sewing project comes on a spool that's imperfectly sized for your sewing machine. The solution: Place the spool in a heavy mug, and position it on your work surface directly underneath the spool pin. Take hold of the thread end, and hook it over the spool pin before threading it into the machine as usual (the thread should form a 90-degree angle); the thread will unravel smoothly as you work.

Comments (23)

  • Phyllis-26 11 Apr, 2011

    That is a good ideal because i have some big spool and they kept falling off.
    Thank you

  • ckt398 8 Apr, 2011

    What a great tip! Instead of buying another tool, I can use what i have on hand.

  • martimouse 21 May, 2010

    I have been using a thimble on the spool pin to hold a small cone of thread.

  • LucyMaryJane 21 May, 2010

    Great Idea. I have also used a free standing paper towel holder for very large
    cones. Also I have thrown narrow fabric over my left shoulder and fed it though
    the serger. Makes it behave and handle allot easier.

  • MickiGloria 20 May, 2010

    I think this is a great idea!!!!! I could have used it a couple of weeks ago instead of running out to get proper size thread I could have used serger thread!!!! simple but some of us are literal thinkers Thanks Martha. Micki

  • jam1126 19 May, 2010

    Its those "AHA" moments that make Martha Stewart and her brand of creativity one that I have respected for many years. Something as small as placing a coffee cup at the back of a sewing machine to hold a extra large spool of thread is another brilliant "AHA" for me. Thank you Martha Stewart, your brand of elegance, style and technique will be with me and my family, forever!

  • NicoleStein 19 May, 2010

    Not to be rude, but come on people. Spools too big, put it in a cup. I am a loyal Martha Stewart fan and I'm very crafty, creative and love to cook - probably similiar to the millions of Martha fans, but seriously - give us something worthwhile, not put your extra large spool in a cup. I must admit, I feel the last several months of organizing tips and crafts of the day have been really lacking. Please give us something more creative, not this nonesense.

  • rock63roll64 19 May, 2010


  • Bill_Malts_First_Male_Crafter 19 May, 2010

    This reminds me of a trick I use while knitting: I place a large bowl on the floor, and my round, hand wound ball of yarn in the bowl. It unwinds perfectly, smoothly, as I knit. It even works with two or three balls of yarn if I am combining color strands.

  • lbuser 19 May, 2010

    I read this when it first came out last year some time and I asked about whether or not I could use serger thread for regular sewing and they all said it works great. Not only that but that it is stronger than spool thread. I don't know if this is true or not but I began using serger thread for regular sewing and I have not had any trouble with the thread breaking or tangling. This has been a great money saver for me.

  • mrsmacrae 10 Aug, 2009

    you shouldn't use the cones on anything except sergers. They are a single ply thread which means they are weaker than regular thread.. Just thought I'd tell everyone this..

  • melissamrock 9 Aug, 2009

    This would save money too. You can buy the cone thread (basic colors are like $1.99 at JoAnn Fabrics) instead of the smaller, more expensive threads. As a machine quilter, I use the plastic Cone thread holder and it falls over (especially when my material may get caught in it). This would take care of all of those problems. I can't wait to try it.

  • melissamrock 9 Aug, 2009

    Fantastic Idea!

  • mary2jane 4 Aug, 2009

    Martha What a great idea!!!thanks for the tip MaryJane

  • BonnyJean 3 Aug, 2009

    Such an easy answer to something that has bugged me for years! Thanks!

  • grannyquilter 2 Aug, 2009

    Great idea. You can take this to class as well. Way to go Martha.

  • ravenlover 2 Aug, 2009

    Help. What can you suggest for keeping smaller spools on the spool pin from jumping off????

  • Vigdis 2 Aug, 2009

    WOW... why have not I thought of that for a long time ago... should have... :O)

  • Cayo 2 Aug, 2009

    It's very good idea. My mother use old jar, if the spool fits in, it works very well to.

  • sunshine 3 Jul, 2008

    I agree with you all. This is a wonderful idea and I have another to add to it. Save empty spools of thread and I have found that alot of the different sizes spools of thread will fit into the larger spools. Just put the smaller spool into the larger spool and put onto your spool pin and sew away. Happy sewing! Let me know what you think.

  • contributorsjdrn 21 Jun, 2008

    I am so pleased that this idea has come along for me. I have lots of cone thread spools and couldn't find a "commercial" way to do this!!!

  • impulse2create 13 Jun, 2008

    I agree 100% with kitie1124 !! Such a simple idea but the cup should hold the thread perfectly. I will give this a try. Good thinking Martha !

  • kiltie1124 10 Jun, 2008

    One of the best ideas ever! I'm a quilter and I tried this with my cone thread and it worked great! "Sew" simple!