Embroidery tools and orts

the daily sewing tools

There are certain tools you reach for over and over again.  In my case these are the daily tools.  I tend to use the same hoop for eveything, even when that is not easy.  It is just my favorite one.  I like two pairs of scissors, so I can have one on either side of me! The pewter needle keeper is handy for laying a needle down and not losing it.  And, hey, safety first. We don't want the cat to eat a needle!  The silver and lavendar pin cushion, that used to belong to Grandmom and then Mom, is now loaded with nothing but embroidery needles. The silk ribbon needle book, made by Mom, houses tapestry needles, larger needles for crewel, etc. And I use water soluble markers for transfering and when that is not enough, or not quite right, I get the pencil and add whatever detail I need. 

Orts jar

The other thing on the table is the orts jar. Orts is a word of Germanic origin meaning scraps or leavings.  Originally referring to leftover food,  people who sew use it to refer to leftover bits of thread.  Apparently, such collections of threads were thought to confuse and ward off evil spirits.  I started this one last year when we were not throwing anything away. But, I have discoverd that many folks keep an orts jar. 


I guess the question is do you dip into it when you need a short piece or is it just for filling up and looking pretty? (and it does look pretty).

I'd heard of orts in the food way but didn't know there was this kind too. I kind of love that folks were practical enough to find a spiritual protection use for our hoarding instincts :)

I do not have a plan. Bird nesting material? Some people mush them between dissolvable paper and sew over them, making a fabric of sorts for mixed media pieces.  Not my thing.  I do wish you could keep all formed somehow like rubber band balls! 

but it would take a lot of fiddling and maybe some glue?
i was thinking they might make pretty packing material for small jewelry instead of tissue paper or maybe with glue/paper mache paste you could mold them in to bowls or something?

or just appreciate their pretty in the jar :)

I love this glimpse into your tools! Ort. Ort. Ort. That's also fun to say.

We were looking at making bird feeders and other things to attract birdies for the shy kitty to watch through the window and one of the things was a "string feeder" for nest building. Basically any sort of mesh thing (plastic, metal) or other container filled with bits of string - made me remember the orts.

I bet this could be done very pretty and sold on etsy even :)

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