DIY Cone Thread Holder

If you do a lot of quilting your own projects, you can really start burning through a lot of thread. And because you can never have enough thread, it doesn't take long to realize that buying the larger cones is more economical.

But you've got to have the right holder for cones of thread. They feed thread off the top of the spool. A vertical spool pin won't work, and the newer horizontal spool pins/holder aren't really made for cones and won't fit the really large cones.

Horizontal spool pin on the left, vertical spool pin on the right.

The Janome Skyline S5 has a nifty spool cap for the horizontal spool pin for use with 1000M cones, which is just absolutely brilliant! They work on other Janomes with horizontal spool pins, which is all but the lowest end machines, though I don't know if these little things are available individually yet.

My previous machine, the Janome 6600 already had cone thread holders built into the machine and so I have a ton of cone threads. My new 8200 doesn't have cone thread holders! There is a 2 cone thread holder accessory for this machine that screws into the back of the machine. I have one ordered, but in the meantime, I'm making do.

You can buy a separate cone thread holder and they are handy--IF the base is nice and heavy. There are some really cheap plastic bottomed ones that just don't work well.

I rigged up a temporary solution, and while it's noting new in concept, I thought I'd share it with you in case you find yourself needing one.

  • I used a wide-mouthed pint Mason jar, but you can also use a coffee cup. Then came the ugly part- a wire coat hangar and since I couldn't find any wire snips in the house, I couldn't make it pretty. 
  • First I straightened out the hanger (sort of).
  • Then I determined the height I needed to bring the thread above my machine. It needed to be high enough that the thread wouldn't get tangled up in the foot storage area on top of my machine or cut by the bobbin thread cutter (a handy feature when winding bobbins!) 
  • I bent a curlicue into the end for the thread, not a closed loop as I just want to hook the thread into it, not actually thread it through.

  • Then I wound up the excess around the jar to create a base for the wire. It doesn't stay tightly around the jar, but is somewhat self-supporting.

  • Finally, I used my handy-dandy painter's tape to secure the upright portion to the jar.
It sure isn't pretty, but it works perfectly!

Now I can use my large cones of thread with no problems. Off to quilt!


  1. I buy the come holders that sit behind the great

    1. That's what I use at the shop, but I don't have one at home.

  2. Amy you are so creative. It is amazing how inventive we become when the need arises.

    1. Necessity is the mother of all invention! You’re quite creative yourself!

  3. Superior Threads have a great thread stand for cones.
    Diane in Wyoming

    1. I've heard great things about that stand and I might pick one up while at the AQS show next month.

  4. Amy, I have a janome cone stand that screws to the back of the janome horizon. I purchased it either from a vendor on Amazon or eBay. It has made a huge difference for me & was worth my investment!

  5. I just went back & actually read some of your blog and noticed the comment that you have one coming. Sometimes literacy helps. 😳☺️
    I'm sure you will appreciate the cone accessory.😄