Thread is wrapped around a spool one of two ways: horizontally or criss-crossed (left and right, respectively when you click and consult the photo above).
The thread on the left feeds just fine from the vertical spindle on your sewing machine. The thread on the right will do better on a horizontal
spindle. Don't have one of those? Use a thread lifter.
Don't have a thread lifter?
|Try a large safety pin and small binder clip. Fit the safety pin on the vertical spindle and clamp the binder onto the safety pin. Feed the thread through the binder clip. It will lift the thread off the spool. Also great with cones of thread.
|No binder clip (or the safety pin won't fit on the spindle because the spring hole isn't big enough)? Flip the safety pin around the other way. It will wobble a bit as the thread goes through it, but it will work in a pinch.