Moonwishes Sewing and Crafts

Moonwishes Sewing and Crafts
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Sunday, July 17, 2016

Hand Embroidery - Part One: Threads and Flosses

I have way too many hobbies for someone that has had to slow down ALL my activities as I get tired so quickly these days. I like to quilt and after years of using for the most part my embroidery machine, a Janome 300e, to do embroidery, I have reverted back to trying to do more hand embroidery with the embroidery machine doing quick or else very long projects. Part of this has to do with having to limit my time with my feet down which of course limits my time in my sewing room.  I have a rolling cart with most of my embroidery supplies on the different shelves. It is a different type of cart that I picked up at a yard sale or the thrift store; I don't remember which, but it was worth every penny. Now while watching TV or a movie if my hands are up to it I can embroider or work on my hexagon project.

All this meaning that I have become very interested in hand embroidery resources which include books and magazines. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find an embroidery magazines that aren't devote to counted cross stitch? I had found one called Inspirations which is the cream of the crop and is an Australian magazine that is rather expensive, but I found out this month that they do have a much cheaper electronic version that you can download and have it forever (some magazines are only on your Kindle or tablet for 6 months and then they disappear. Not a good thing if you are in the middle of a project! The other magazine I have found is Stitch, a Great Britain publication not be be confused with Stitch a US publication from Interweave Press which is a good magazine in it's own right but not devoted to embroidery like the British magazine. While finding a link to the US Stitch magazine, I discovered that it will cease publication in the fall of this year 2016 but some back issues are still available. If any reader knows of another purely embroidery magazine, I would love to know it's name and where it is published.

I'm more or less done with counted cross stitch at this point. I started doing hand embroidery in junior high and made a pair of pillowsaces for my hope chest. Now I want to get back into regular hand embroidery with all sorts of nifty stitches that can encompass embroidery, crewel work, and needlepoint.  I don't have much experience doing crewel work with wool or needlepoint. With needlepoint, even though I have picked up many books on the subject at library used book sales, I haven't found any that really show how to use the many different stitches instead of the boring tent stitch. Crewel work with wool I did from a pillow kit many years ago and since that time I haven't had any wool to work with until now. I have found a wonderful website that anyone that does handwork needs to read and sign up for regular blog posts. The site is called Needle 'n Thread. The woman named Mary Corbet is a supremely talented woman and has a marvelous wealth of information on her site and links to many different sources of supplies.

In my years since doing a lot of counted cross stitch, many new types of threads and more colors of threads have been developed. These past few months I have found a gold mine of embroidery floss, needlework kits and crewel wool at the thrift stores and yard sales. On top of what I have found for cheap On the Needle 'n Thread website, I have found links to some folks selling marvelous floss of different  types: cotton, rayon, silkd, regular embroidery floss as well as perle floss. One of the sites is called Colour Complements located on Etsy. The seller hand dyes her threads and makes varigated  floss in the yummiest of colors! The yellow/orange pack in the photo above is one of her sampler packs that you can get that has an assortment the different threads she makes and they all coordinate for your project. I'm still looking for the perfect project to use these on.

Another site I found was Threads Be Gone where I got the above assortment of SILK embroidery floss, something I had never owned much less stitched with. They also have a lot of other popular thread brands on their site. Yet again, I'm looking for the right project for these threads. I bought the colors that I did as they appealed to me and most were 'all purpose' colors that can be used in many different applications such as leaves, branches, sky, etc.

I also found some wonderful DMC floss called Color Variations that are simply gorgeous. Are you starting to see what my favorite type of floss is? Yes, I love varigated floss! When I'm in a store by in the embroidery floss isle, I want it all to scoop up and just play with all the threads there. They look like jewels to me. Be assured that if you are starting embroidery for the first time, or coming back into hand embroidery after a long absence or someone that has been doing it all along, I can assure you that there is a plethora of threads and supplies available out there for the choosing! Until next time, Happy Stitching!


Mari said...

I'm so bad at embroidery. I guess it's all practice. Your embroidery (those birds) is so beautiful - I never get those stitches even... :/ I also love those potholders...

Moonwishes said...

Thanks Mari! Compared to some embroidery that I have seen here on line (see my Pinterest Hand Embroidery board and I look like a total beginner! I learned how to embroider way back in Junior High School, moved over to counted cross stitch in my 20-30's and then got a machine that did my embroidery for me! Now I switch between hand embroidery and machine embroidery. Unfortunately so often my hands won't cooperate or I'm just too tired to focus. I think I could deal better with RA if it was just the pain, but through in the just about never ending fatigue and that takes away so much hobby time! I appreciate your comment and hope you come back to visit!