30 March 2018

Thread Matters and Easter Joy


My enchantmnt with embroidery continues unabated. Who knew?! I recently finished this 14" square; my interpretation of a pattern from Kathy Schmitz' book "Stitches From The Garden". She has another new book coming out soon called "Stitches For The Yuletide". I like her books because the designs can so easily be made your own. I have been working on some original designs (my own) lately and am looking forward to trying one of them soon.

For quite a few years now I have been a fan of Wonderfil threads. My delight began innocently enough when I tried their luscious cotton thread called Konfetti. It's a 50 wt and is comparable to Superior Threads Masterpiece 50 wt cotton and Aurifil 50wt cotton, Konfetti has a lustrous, silky feel. For the record, I am also a fan of Masterpiece and Aurifil threads, but Wonderfil has developed some really unique thread lines and I cannot help jumping on their fan-wagon. I think that they have a unique line up of threads with weights suitable for embellishment and embroidery (my thing is hand work, but they work just as well for machine embroidery. I plan to write a series of posts about their threads as I add to my collection (aka my thread palette).

Wonderfil is the company that produces some of Sue Spargos thread lines. Eleganza is a radiant perle cotton embroidery thread on wound on spools rather than the familiar ball format. Their perle cottons are also offered in the familiar ball style as well. Eleganza is offered in sizes 3,5 and 8 and is available in a wide range of solids and variegated. It can make your project sing. I fell in love with the threads several years ago, but never anticipated that the ultimate "trophy thread collection" would one day live with me! I am now pursuing a rayon line called Dazzle that will be perfect for highlighting areas.

Red Thread Studio is also an excellent thread resource. They offer a Sue Spargo Eleganza monthly thread program with quite a few options. This kind of monthly program makes collecting this thread easier financially

My favorite weight threads to use for embroidery are 12 and 8. I have been using Sulky Petites in size 12 for some years now. It is excellent quality and I love the spool size of their 'Petites'. I will soon be adding some of Wonderfil's brand of 12wt cotton to my collection - they call it 'Spaghetti'.

Below is an example of the 8wt Eleganza thread on the left and Sulky Petite size 12 on the right

The thread in the picture below is another new favorite. It I enjoy twining it with a 12wt thread onto a single needle. It adds just the right am unit of sparkle...not too much and not too little. What can I say? I cannot help myself! I bought my small spools at Red Thread Studio .
Below: The full extent of my small Shabon-Dama collection
Wishing everyone a very happy Easter weekend.
I hope that the Easter Bunny fills your basket with joy!


03 March 2018

Sometimes Doing Nothing Is Productive

A bag of soon-to-be-divested fabric and books

I have not produced much lately, partially because my small sewing area is just too messy and chaotic right now. I have always preferred tidy, but in the past I have been able to work amidst clutter and fabric piles. The older I become, though, the more my "clutter-piles" bother me. Although I cannot control anyone else's clutter (i.e. DH), I can try to control my own! I feel strangled by "stuff" and so it is time for ......

...... another round of serious "clear-the-clutter". I am bagging fabric and books that need new homes and I am trying to be a bit more ruthless than I have been in past. My tastes have morphed, and I think that I have identified the new directions that I want to explore. The photo above is a nearly filled bag, with another 3-4 bags in the works, of things that will soon be re-homed. I enjoy taking my "no-longer-needed" things to our monthly guild "Sewcials". We generally have an "aweful-raffle" with the proceeds helping to offset the room rental fees. I enjoy giving things away.

I was tired after work this week...it's only two, much enjoyed and appreciated, days a week, but two days can sometimes feel like five days used to. It takes me some time to regain energy. I decided that I would take this week "off" and just let the days unfold. A break from feeling as if I needed to accomplish anything. I embroidered, I cleaned, I baked, I read, and I took a delightful nap.

This afternoon I went into my sewing area expecting to simply fill bags with 'no-longer-needed' things. I need space more than things right now. As I put some woven cotton fabric with trees into one of the bags I paused and thought "that would make great kitchen towels". I took it back out of the bag and set it aside. I have had this fabric since the late 80's or early 90's and I have no idea what I thought I would use it for or where or when I bought it. I also uncovered and set aside yardage of vintage 1950's Sears toweling that I had purchased several years ago.

One of my least favorite sewing tasks is hemming...of any kind. Can you believe that this was the only reason that this lovely toweling had gone unused?! With all of the new high-tech micro cottons, micro-fiber, and new forms of super absorbent fabrics that are available these days, nothing, in my opinion, beats flour sack, or other forms of all cotton, old school, kitchen toweling. Look at this lovely, thirsty, vintage toweling! The new stuff just does not feel the same.

I have had a really relaxing week. No plans meant no pressure. No pressure meant just doing what felt right at the time, and doing what felt right garnered me a half dozen new, thirsty, feel-good, kitchen towels...along with some much needed divesting ...which is still under way.

I think that we can all benefit from 'not-doing' sometimes. I think we all need to take some time, once in awhile, to day-dream; to simply be in the moment with no plans, no pressure, no feelings of being obligated to anyone or anything. We need to allow some time in our busy lives to simple unfold as they will. I have found this to be a very satisfying few days. I have accomplished more than I thought I would and I feel happy and relaxed. I am ready to divest some more......maybe tomorrow...or then again maybe not?

  • Do you take time to day dream?
  • Do you enjoy letting a day unfold without making or having any plans?
  • What are your favorite ways to relax?





I am working on an embroidered piece that has been time-consuming..but completion is in sight. I seem to have fallen deeper in love with hand work. It makes me happy and keeps my hands busy during the evening "tube-time".