Sunday, May 22, 2016

Fabric Choices

I am a die-hard Aida stitcher. I also like beautiful hand dyed fabrics. I have experimented with dyeing my own fabric as well. I stitch a lot of Dimensions, Janlynn and Bucilla kits. I have noticed that the fabric provided in the kits does not always meet my needs. I have had some pieces of fabric that did not have a large enough non-stitched border for easy framing. I also like to have a sufficient amount of  fabric outside of the Qsnap and hoop while stitching.





I will replace fabric provided in kits with a larger piece or different color to suit my taste. I will also change the count of threads in a fabric to change the look of the final stitched piece. My preferred fabric is 16 count, which is 16 threads/holes per inch. If I want an even smoother finish I will use 18 count fabric. I just purchased two kits with fabric measuring over 36 inches; if I use the 14 count aida provided. I don't want the finished pieces to be that large, nor do I want to worry about running out of thread.  I will be stitching them both on 18 count fabric.

Not all designs are suitable for a hand dyed fabric.  I generally do a floss toss before making my final decision.  I like neutral fabrics for any design that contains wording.


Monday, May 09, 2016

Storing My Beautiful Threads

When I first started stitching I only knew about DMC. When I started buying cross stitch patterns on Etsy I discovered that the recommended threads were not always DMC or cotton. I found out about hand dyed threads, silk threads and metallic threads. One of my favorite projects even called for Wisper which is a furry thread, similar to fun fur yarn. I had to find an online source for these new beautiful recommended threads. I am a non-driver so even if there is a needlework store locally there is no way for me to get to it.

Of course, when you are buying online you have to order enough to justify shipping - right?! So I now have quite a thread stash.


I store my perle cotton threads and hand dyed threads in plastic bins. The handiest one I have found is this two sided bin in which I store my Prescencia and Valdani threads.



I store my DMC skeins on stitchbows in binders. I have the entire 400+ range of DMC colors stored in 6 binders which fit neatly into one Snap and Store file box. But of course I have extra skeins of some colors, those I store in small craft cabinets. I do not use bobbins. I don't like the folds and kinks the edges of the bobbins make in the thread.



I use a Plano 20 gauge ammo box to organize my Kreinik and other metallic threads.

I use a Super Stacker plastic bin store my specialty threads and cones.  I keep my silks and specialty threads in Floss Away or snack sized bags.

I use a bobbin box to store my Nymo beading thread.





All of these storage containers are stackable and sturdy.  It really helps keep my every growing stash of threads contained, clean and organized.

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Lets Get Started - Choosing and Preparing the Fabric

I love starting a new project.  I buy so many beautiful patterns and kits that I want to start them all.  The kits being all inclusive, don't allow for the thrill of the "kitting up" process.  Kitting up is what we call gathering needed supplies to complete a project.  Prepackaged kits include the required materials and supplies so they can be started right away.

I am a die hard Aida fabric user when it comes to cross stitching.   I also prefer to grid my fabric, which entails marking off 10 x 10 stitching areas on the aida fabric with a water soluble pen. I prefer the Clover brand. It washes away easily with cold water.


I have tried the pre-gridded fabrics as well.  The Easy Count fabric is gridded with thread and the Magic Guide fabric is gridded in red.


 Easy Count

















Magic Guide








I do not use markers which need to be washed out when stitching on hand dyed or hand painted fabrics.  I grid the fabric with a metallic thread, such as Sulky Sliver, which cannot be pierced by my needle.


 Sulky Sliver Gridding















I love shopping for the fabric, beads, embellishments and threads I will use on each project.  I prefer off white, antique white, beige and ivory colored aida for full coverage projects.  I like choosing beautiful hand dyed or hand painted aida for projects in which the fabric will be seen around the design in the finished piece.  My favorite hand dyer is Picture This Plus and my favorite hand painter is Fabric Flair.



 I have also done some ice dying on my own.  Ice dyeing can result in random patterning, like mine below.  You can tie your fabric in a way that the results are tie dyed and less random if you prefer.


Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Paletpc's 5 Favorite Tools Tag

The cross-stitch community on You Tube is growing daily. You can find numerous videos by searching the tag  flosstube. Not longer after I started my You Tube channel there was a tag to share your five favorite tools.

I chose:
  1. Carson Clip on Magnifier
  2. Clover Water Soluble Marker
  3. LoRan Needle Threader
  4. Ott Lite Slimline Lamp
  5. Pako Thread Organizer



  • You can find these items and many more by clicking my store link at the bottom of the screen or by entering this URL into your browser's address bar.
     http://astore.amazon.com/craftwaypo-20