Weaving machinery at the Musée des arts et métiers

The Musée des arts et métiers (Museum of Arts and Crafts) in Paris is one of those museums you will with find absolutely fascinating or just not your thing.

the Musée des arts et métiersIf you are a weaver or have done any weaving you will find their display of looms fascinating as they have models of all key looms and a circular knitting machine!

the Musée des arts et métiers loomYou can see me thoroughly enjoying myself here peering into the beautiful old cabinets trying to translate the notes.

the Musée des arts et métiersAlso of interest was this colour wheel for dyes

the Musée des arts et métiers colour wheelThis display on the invention and manufacture of rayon was also interesting.

the Musée des arts et métiers rayonAnyway as promised, I thought I would share the information about this gem as it is not on the main tourist track and when we visited it was quiet.

Jerry and I are sharing all our travel news  over on Tones and Tints.

How to make Gift Boxes from Paper tutorial

I have been poking around You Tube again and found a few tutorials that might be handy this time of year.

This tutorial demonstrates how you can make Paper Gift Boxes from gift wrap, recycled greeting cards or decorated paper. It is a unique way to wrap a gift!

Friday freebies is a regular series in which I highlight free resources online, free patterns and links that are of interest to fiber folks.  All posts in the series are in the  Friday Freebie category I hope you enjoy them.


For those who want a contemporary take on their sewing projects don’t miss browsing the sewing section of the ReadyMade site where there are loads of economical and green DIY projects. Many are quick and easy to make so if you only have basic sewing skills don’t fear there is plenty of stuff for you there.

I know everyone is blogging links to various tutorials and free patterns for sewing projects that are suitable for gifts. ReadyMade is another site which has ooddles to offer.

So over you next sewing break make a cuppa and browse for instruction, ideas, and inspiration. The sections I find of most interest is organise it, craft it, sew it and of course this time of year celebrate it!

A partridge and pear tree decoration

For those poking around looking for free patterns for Christmas tree decorations this partridge and pear pattern from Connecting Threads is great.

While on the Connecting Threads web site make a cuppa, take a break from holiday season preparations and explore a little as there are a lot of free patterns and a good few using the English paper piecing method.

Found with thanks via Tansy in the stitchin fingers forum

Denise Felton over on Needlework News has a great round up of free Christmas charts that have been released for cross stitchers

I liked these button wreaths which I spotted over on Craftapalooza. It is a great way to recycle buttons so pop over there is a tutorial you can download.

Stash Storage

thread label image

Over on Stitchin fingers a discussion has developed about how people store their threads.

Often I get asked as to how I store my crazy quilting supplies so today I thought I would show you what I do and explain why I do it.

I store everything by colour as most often I am looking for a colour. When I am piecing a crazy quilt block  I select by colour and tone. The exception to this is a basket of even weave hand embroidery fabrics such as Aida, Linen and Lynda speciality fabrics. They are all kept together in one basket because they are not crazy quilting supplies as such.

journals and lace

Fabrics are all stored by colour in these baskets. In the baskets in zip locked bags are lace, ribbon braid and items like doilies that I have dyed. I keep them here because as I am piecing I will often think I need a bit of, for instance a bluish lace or braid to fit with what I am doing. If all trims are kept in a bag then it is easy to reach for the baggie that has the blue trims in it.

Buttons and charms are in the containers on the shelf. They are frosted but I can see what colour is what

embroidery thread storage with draws open

Threads too are all sorted to colour because usually I am looking for a colour to match what ever I am working on. I found that until I started to store by colour I spent far too long rummaging around trying to find this or that shade that would just look right as an accent to the current piece of embroidery I was doing.

I really don’t have time to spend more than 20 minutes digging about so I keep all threads in this sewing cabinet Jerry made for me. They are wound on the commercial plastic bobbin cards cards and stay neat enough to simply slip away after I am done. Although rummaging can be very relaxing and fun it can also eat away hours if I am not careful. Since I have kept my threads that way I really have saved on rummaging time.

Here are the draws closed

draws for embroidery thread storage

Beads too are stored by colour. These trays hold lots of little plastic containers which I discovered in a discount shop a couple of years ago. I have 5 trays which can easily be seen making selection easy and quick.

bead storage


That is how I have solved my storage problems. How have others done it? I bet people would love to know. Share your tips in  your comments or blog it and leave a comment so we can visit. I bet we are all nosey.