Feb 15, 2015

gumball toy capsules to the rescue

This may be the single most colorful, and certainly the cutest, solution to storing all those hand embroidery threads and lovely Valdani spools!

Where to start? Well, just whip up this zippered project bag. If I can do it, you can too. No need to fear the zipper.

This bag is loosely based on a pattern from By Annie. It has a quilted back and vinyl front. Its 17 x 17 inches.

The batting for the back piece is Soft and Stable (also from By Annie) - great stuff! And the front is a 16 gauge vinyl. The handle is made with a large decorative piping material (3/4 inch I think). Both the vinyl and large piping are from JoAnn's.

Now the best part. These 2 inch toy vending capsules are the perfect size to display and store my Valdani Perle Cotton size 8 spools.

And when I dump them all in my project bag, it looks like a gumball machine filled with wonderful toys.

As you can see below, I punched a small hole in the lid of each capsule so I can access the thread through the lid without opening the capsule. Next, I cut a tiny notch in the side of the lid to clip the thread after it is pulled through the top so it would not unravel while in the project bag.

The idea came from my quilt buddy Amy G. She bought similar capsules from a vendor at International Quilt Festival. Those capsules sell online for $8 for 10 capsules (the hole is pre-drilled). I found mine on Amazon for $15 (incl. shipping) for 100 capsules. Only took a few minutes to punch the tiny holes (used a leather punch) and cut the notch. These capsules are not as high quality as the ones sold specifically for thread use, but they are a whole lot more cost effective. I filled almost 50 of them immediately.

But wait, there's more!

I whipped up this little matching zippered 4 x 6 inch pouch to hold my scissors and needles and such. Who wants to dig through a ton of gumball capsules to find your scissors?

Oh... there is also some actual hand embroidery taking place ... in between tote-bag making.

This quilt is a folk art, 'improv pieced' Double Wedding Ring. All the fabrics (with the exception of the wool and cotton border) are imported from Japan and designed by Keiko Goke. More here.

I also made a zippered project bag for my quilt buddy Amy G. Same technique - quilted back and vinyl front. Love her fabric choices!

Now when I carry my quilt from room to room, or on trips, everything I need is in one place. This bag also happens to be the cutest storage system I own. Don't you agree?


  1. Absolutely adorable!! And so timely. I just purchased some of that vinyl for a project, and had tons left over. I hadn't even thought about a zippered tote. LOVE the gumball thread containers!!!

  2. Those little capsules are a great way to safely store your Valdani threads, also keeping the thread dust off other colours. I've not seen Valdani perle cotton in real life. Do you find ti superior to DMC perle cotton? If so, how do you find it better?

  3. That's a really great and funny idea!
    Greetings, Rike

  4. That is incredibly clever and colourful!! Perfect!!!


  5. The tote filled with colorful gumball capsules looks like a fun thing for big girls !

  6. These are great ideas. You've given me some great ideas for presents. Thanks.

  7. Great idea, I'm searching Amazon right now for the vending capsules. Congrats on being featured on B Annie.com!