Beginning Embroidery Floss Tips

I’ve recently picked up my embroidery projects again and I’m loving the simplicity of stitching while I watch TV at the end of the day with my husband. I’ve got my big zenbroidery project that I’ve been playing with again which meant I needed to pick up a few new colors of floss to round out my collection that I’m using.

That got me to thinking about the way I’m organizing my stash. Originally I had my floss collection all wrapped around some plastic Darice bobbins and tucked away in a clear box that was falling apart and looking pretty shabby. I mean, to be honest, it was the same box I used as a teenager to make friendship bracelets.

With my new floss in hand, I sat down to declutter and organized my collection. I’m a huge believer in using the plastic Darice floss bobbins* because I find that these are more sturdy than the cardboard ones.

I also don’t write my floss ID number on the bobbin. Instead, I cut the number off the floss and wind it with the thread.

It makes for simple identification of each color and also makes organizing super simple.

I added those hearts when I was younger and I’m thinking of sticking to it. It adds a little pizzaz to each bobbin.

I have an adopted set of floss from a friend and those are wrapped on cardboard bobbins and a pen and/or pencil was used to mark the colors. Those, I’m finding, are fading and can be hard to read. A good example of why I choose to mark and store my floss the way I do.

By some luck, my husband had some clear plastic cases in his new tool kit that he wasn’t going to use. They are meant for nails and screws. I took one look and realized they would be the perfect fit for my floss stash. And they are smaller so I can take them away with me and carry them in my purse rather than hauling along the big ol’ plastic cases.

Ah! There is something so satisfying when I see all those well wrapped and organized colors lined up. Very comforting.

Well, hobbyists, if you are a beginning embroiderer, these might be some worthy tips to consider. Now if you search on Pinterest, there are LOADS of other tips so use your fingers and do some Googling to find the methods that work best for you!

And if you want to see more on my reorganization of craft room and all my supplies, check out my Youtube video on my recent decluttering! Don’t forget to subscribe that you don’t miss any new videos!

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Interview With My Dad Episode #79

Can you believe it? We finally have a guest!
My dad joins us to chat about Frankie!

Yes, this was how they sat together.

Too cute!

One of Dori’s little stitching projects. So adorable!

My brain!

This is my AVID wall in my room. It’s slowly coming together!

And my husband is proudly sporting a new look this fall. He is wearing his handmade Friendship Quilt! Only took me 2 years to finish this bad boy (the quilt, not the husband)!

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I’m In Heaven!

Or should I say Heaven and Earth?  That’s the name of the design company from which I bought my most recent cross stitch chart and spoke so passionately about in episode #71.  Talk about instantaneous gratification too!  I paid for the chart with my PayPal account, then downloaded the PDF file to my GoodReader app on my iPad.  Because this chart is an all-over design, it’s presented in “pages”.  As I stitch each ten-stitch by ten-stitch grid on the page, I have the ability to highlight each stitch completed in a chosen color, and with another color, I can highlight where I’ve “parked” my thread in the next ten-stitch by ten-stitch grid.  My favorite part is the ability to pinch my iPad screen and enlarge as much of the chart as I want.  SCORE!

Here’s an example of both the grids and how the threads are parked:

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The photo below shows my first completed grid! I chose to use a mechanical pencil to lightly mark my grid, instead of stitching it with fine fishing line.  Most of the marks will be covered up by stitching.  The remaining lines will be carefully erased, and the rest will surely disappear with a gentle washing after the stitching is completed.

This type of cross stitching blew me away.  The designs are stunning, intense and so gratifying to stitch up.  But….I had to let go of some of my died-in-the-wool cross stitching rules.  I’ve always stitched as though the back was just as important as the front.  I wanted it to look neat.  Stitching by grid and parking my threads, meant that a neat back was impossible.  In the linked video below, Carolyn Mazzeo gives an excellent tutorial on how she parks her threads.  When she mentions that she doesn’t carry her threads more that twenty-five stitches on the back of her work, my eyes bugged outta my head lol!  I was uncomfortable carrying my thread more than THREE stitches!  I’ve actually been freed….whether I complete each stitch individually or stitch multiple stitches in a row of a particular color (cross country stitching), it all works!

Here is Carolyn Mazzeo’s video on her parking technique from her YouTube channel.  Thanks to her excellent tutorials and inspiring works of art, here’s the design I bought and am stitching now.   She’s a mini chart-225 stitches by 337 stitches, called Mini Andromeda.

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Mini Andromeda

I’d loooove to hear what you think.  Would you like to give an all-over crossed stitch design a try?  I’ll keep you apprised of my progress.  Wish me luck!

Hugs and happy stitching,

Dori

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Dori’s In Stitches! Episode #71

Stitching, floss, and needles, OH MY!
Dori has been dying to share with us her newly rediscovered hobby, counted cross stitching. It’s been a love of her’s for years but it’s recently come back around to the forefront of her mind.

I shared with Dori a hack for storing all her DMC floss. This was shared in the Twilters group on Facebook. It’s from a post on Mary Corbet on how to use comb binding to hang your DMC floss in a file box.

Photo Courtesy of Needle ‘n Thread.

Dori has been playing with cross stitching monthly boxes. Her first box was from the Fat Quarter Shop called Hello There! Each month she gets a new piece of linen, buttons, and a needle minder all to make these adorable stitched projects.

She also gave StitchyBox a try and loved what she received from them! Originally she was on a waiting list but a spot opened up and she received a box full of stitching yummies.

All of these goodies has really fueled her passion for stitching to reignite and burn brightly. She wrote about her newest projects like band samplers and patterns by Heaven and Earth Designs.

She’s also discovered a new app that is really turning out to be a useful tool to read her patterns. 

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Stitch It Up!

It’s been almost thirty years, and I can still hear it now….

The unique sound of dial-up on my new computer and those infamous words…YOU’VE GOT MAIL!

Our first foray into the realm of the Internet was through AOL.  The whole family would gather around, excitedly waiting for our Dell computer to connect….and voila! we were in uncharted, wonderful, scary waters.  Through that simple connection, I found a wealth of information relating to my then obsession, counted cross stitch.

I made a new friend, who guided me to chat rooms and message boards relating to all sorts of needlework.  She introduced me to a whole new level of stitched art, called “band samplers”.  Worked usually on linen over two threads, the band sampler consists of rows or “bands” of intricate stitches that often included beads, cotton, silk or perle cotton thread, and various other textures like braided metallic threads.

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Photo Courtesy of Joanne Perry of Serendipitous Stitching

Fabulous, yes?

I was also encouraged to buy a reference book called “The Proper Stitch” by Darlene O’Steen.  Ms. O’Steen gives the long and rich history of samplermaking which she documents back to the 1500’s, as well as detailed instructions on each stitch. She concludes with two stunning sampler charts, The Proper Stitch Sampler and Our English Heritage Sampler. I have yet to choose which one I’m going to stitch….I need to practice the various stitches first!

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Thanks to my friend Lori a.k.a. mrskvlca on Instagram, I now have a HUGE stash of linen, Lugana and Aida fabric, silk and cotton threads, and beads to choose from. Having a standing frame to work on also lends to the creative and authentic setting.

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And finally, for your viewing pleasure, a video from YouTube that gives you an idea of what a band sampler is. This one is unique….the bands are normally stitched in horizontal rows. The rows on this video, are diagonal! Thus, this sampler is called a Twisted Band Sampler.    

Do you have any experience with this type of stitching?  I’d love to know!

Enjoy!

Dori

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