So, here's my solution: make "lace!" Once made, you can shape it into delicate bowls or use it as embellishment. Great on crazy quilts!
1. Materials: water-soluble stabilizier, threads taken off bobbins so you can wind a different color on (What?!? Don't tell me you wind OVER thread already on the bobbin??) (Yes, I know my mom did it, but it unbalances the bobbin and can cause jams), serger tails, thread that's too old for sewing, small scraps of fabric, scraps of ribbon--well, you get the idea. You'll also need a sewing machine with a full bobbin (and a new needle, but you already knew that).
2. Lay out a piece of stabilizer on your work space (Photo 1). Add your raw materials (Photos 2 and 3). Spread out the bits of thread and other materials so it looks nice. You don't want everything all lumped together, like in Photo 3.
3. Add a second piece of stabilizer on top, to form a quilt or sandwich (Photo 4)
4. Start to stitch. You don't need to drop the feed dogs or use a darning foot for free motion. You can just turn the piece. I like to start with a straight stitch and go around the outside and then diagonally across the piece to hold the sandwich together. (Photo 5)
5. Then I just go wild with the stitching. (Photos 6, 7, and 8) I tend to stitch in a spiral, but you can do it any way you want. You just want the piece pretty well covered in stitching. (Photo 9)
You can see in this series of pictures that I started out with blue thread and ended up stitching with a coral thread in the top and bobbin.
What if you don't have all these fancy stitches? It doesn't matter.....use whatever utility stitches you have, the result will be beautiful! (Photo 10)
6. When the piece is as fully stitched as you'd like, it's time to rinse out the stabilizer. You can see both pieces in my sink.(Photo 11) Keep rinsing under warm running water until the stabilizer is totally washed out and the piece is soft and flexible. (Photo 12)
like the embellishment piece I added to my new purse (Photos 14 and 15)