Sunday, March 11, 2012

My New Ort Bags

I have been using my new Purple Travelling Bag of sewing accessories to take a project with me when I leave the house. I always have something that I can do with those random moments when I am waiting or between tasks. I was able to find a tool set to add to my kit that seemed to be just the right thing. The Donna Dewberry 12 in 1 tool even came in purple. It seemed that it was "meant" to be (or at least I could justify the purchase).

But taking this kit with me to work and waiting rooms, I knew I was still missing a vital component. What could I be missing, you ask? The answer is an ort bag. What is an ort, you ask?  Meriam-Webster defines ort as a noun that came into being around 1500 A.D. that means "scrap" but I personally like the definition that can be found at Needle

Everywhere I go I am looking for a place to put the little left over pieces of thread. I haven't been keeping them but rather just throwing them in the trash. I have changed my mind, however, because in addition to the tidiness issue there have been several times when I needed a piece of thread for just a stitch or two. I've also heard suggestions that the thread pieces can be used to create new fabric, fill a clear ornament and be used in tassels.

What to do with these thread pieces is not a new problem.  Needleworkers have always faced this dilemna and there have been some creative solutions proposed. Mary Corbet at Needle'nThread has a cute blog entry about those pesky pieces that I enjoyed reading. I was able to find a popular style of ort bag from The Scarlet Thread, and Merriment Design. I also found some for sale at and and at Nordic Needle available for around $20. 

Triangular Thread Catcher or Ort Bag
But it was the Triangular Thread Catcher at Needling Things that I knew I had to make.  I saw a picture of this on the Internet and it was my friends at StitchMap that located the tutorial.  I made two of them this afternoon.  The instructions were clear and easy to follow.  I think that this may have been one of the easier sewing projects I have done. It was also very appealing in that I could make one to match my new Purple Travelling Bag.

I have to laugh.  I am remembering a discussion on a newsgroup a few years ago where the name for these left over pieces of thread was a topic for debate.  We had our "Ort" camp but there were also some "Snippet" followers.  Humorously we agreed, that at least for a little while and among ourselves, they would be known as Snorts!

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