Family Trees: thread spool garland

I’ve just about finished decorating the Pocketful of Posies tree for Family Trees: A Celebration of Children’s Literature at the Concord Museum. Early Monday morning, I’m driving everything up to Concord, the day after my Open Studio, which you can find out about here. I have to remove my decorations and take the tree apart on Sunday night and reassemble it again in the museum. There will be over 30 trees set up around the museum, all representing different children’s books. All of the trees, except for mine and another illustrator’s,  are being decorated by museum volunteers, who have been preparing for months.  So the museum will be swarming with industrious volunteers. They’ve promised lunch for us all!

My tree is dotted with little vignettes  that serve as stages for the nursery rhyme doll characters. I added a garland strung with old wooden thread spools and beads. I used some J&P Coats and Star brand cotton thread that my grandmother had about 50 years ago. To supplement my supply, I bought some empty wooden spools and wound them with yarn.

Hung in loops on the tree, the spool garland breaks up the space, almost like doodles in a notebook.

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23 thoughts on “Family Trees: thread spool garland

  1. Oh Salley, waking up to one of your wonderful posts makes my day, your tree decorations are enchanting and the spool garland is delightful, only you could think of that! Thank you for sharing, now my creative juices are flowing.

  2. I love your spool garland…it is very charming and perfect for this particular tree. I sure wish I was able to see it in person but am very grateful that I get to enjoy it via your blog. Love everything you do, as you already know! 😉

  3. How beautiful – what a wonderful idea. I’ll be sure to come to Concord. During my years of sewing and crafting, when plastic spools came in, I’ve been hoarding my wooden ones. With my new K-8 reading list, “Make Way for Reading”, perhaps I should do a children’s literature tree for my home this Christmas.

  4. Oh Salley! How I wish you were closer to my town! I would live to see your beautiful tree in person. Thank you for more inspiration!

  5. Oh Salley,
    I love everything on that tree. The spools..are the “Threads that Binds” the entire theme together. Wonderful..
    Salley, if you choose to sell off any of the ornaments on the tree, Please let me know. I started following your blog at the time you sold out of fairies and stop making them. You will never know how saddened I was..My birthday is in January so I would love to own one made by you. All you visitors is going to have such a Magical time at your studio. I am sure you will be a Wonderful Hostess too…Oh where is that winning lottery ticket..

    GOD Bless,

    • Rebecca, Thanks for your interest in purchasing an ornament. Sorry, but I won’t be selling anything from the tree. After many years of mass producing and selling small things, I have decided to hold on to what I have. It’s a good thing, because I’m using some houses, dolls and purses that I’ve kept from other projects, like my book, Felt Wee Folk. Otherwise, it would take far too much time to make everything new to fill the tree.

  6. Your tree looks delightful! You also gave me a WONDERFUL idea of how to use my mom’s old thread on spools that I inherited when she quit sewing. The thread is so old that I only use it for basting things so making a long garland is a great idea and it looked so cute. There are several hundred spools so it will be great when I get them strung. What did you use to string them? So enjoy your blog!!!

    • Sounds like a great plan, Cate. I’ve been holding onto these spools for decades, thinking they’ve got to be useful for something! I strung them with insulated electrical wire, but you can use any strong cord or string.

  7. Hi Salley,
    With you standing beside the tree it really shows the size of the ornaments … so much larger than I first thought. Beautifully decorated tree! The spool garland is so delightful with all that handmade goodness! It would be great if you posted more photos of the ornaments … my curiosity is positively peaked! Wendy

  8. This seems to be a great idea for people who sew a lot and always goes to the store to buy more spools of threads. Maybe I should suggest to my DH to buy me a bunch of different color of threads for the tree (small one), and that would be part of my christmas present from him. Thank you for sharing your photo of the spool wreath!

  9. Can’t wait to see it all on Sunday!! Anne will be there too, and hopefully Karen! Love, Maria

    On Fri, Nov 16, 2012 at 8:12 AM, Salley Mavor

  10. ciao Sally! il tuo blog è favoloso come sono favolosi anche i tuoi lavori fatati.
    mi interessa la realizzazione della scritta che adoperi per addobbare il tuo albero di Natale….puoi gentilmente spiegare come fai???
    a presto!!

  11. ‘this tree is just adorable. I love that house with the wooden twigs and interesting roof! Such a darling tree with so many clever decorations…love the spools!! You are the best!!!

  12. Salley, you have out done yourself! How I wish I could visit your studio and see your tree in person! Thanks so much for sharing your work. It’s a joy to see what you do.

  13. I’ve been lovingly putting together felted little fairies with my granddaughters who are 5 and 2. We enjoyed them so much. Now I’m making them a fairy house from one of the kettle gourds I grew 2 years ago. You’ve inspired me and continue to with your blogs. Thank you, Salley. Have fun with your exhibition!

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