Hints for stitching with hand dyed threads…

August 13th, 2012

I’ve had many people ask about the hand dyed threads and how to best use them so I thought I’d just share a few hints with all of you.

Whether you choose subtle colors or dramatic colors, hand dyed threads are a treat to use!

Whether you choose subtle colors or dramatic colors, hand dyed threads are a treat to use!

First and most important, you cannot depend on the hand dyed threads to be color safe so approach all your work with that in mind.  You may well not be able to wash your piece after stitching so keeping it clean is the most important thing you can do to insure a successful project. Even using too much steam in pressing can cause bleeding problems so be sure to press your fabric to remove any fold lines before stitching.

Some thread companies recommend soaking out the excess dye before using the thread. I’ve not done that but if you’re really concerned I suggest you follow their recommendations.

Now don’t decide you will not use hand dyed threads because of bleeding! There are ways to rescue a piece where the threads have bled and it’s a simple process.  The bleeding you may see is merely the excess dye rinsing out of the thread. Not a problem unless you allow the piece to dry before taking care of it. The most important thing you can do is catch the problem before the piece dries and the dye sets, so before the piece has the opportunity to dry out, immerse it in ice cold water and soak out any of the bleeding color. Change the water and add more ice a couple of times per day as needed until the excess color has soaked away. This treatment will not damage the piece so long as all the materials are cold water safe as most of the materials we stitch with are.

Once the bleeding has been soaked away wrap the piece in a thick towel and let it set for an hour to allow the towel to absorb some of the moisture.  Check again to be sure color is not showing on the fabric where dye might have bled. If you have more color soak again and repeat the process. When the color is controlled, lay the piece face down on a thick pad (I use a double terry towel) and press it dry. You may have to change the pad a couple of times before you can get the piece dry but pressing this way will remove any wrinkles from the fabric and allow the stitches to raise above it nicely. Do not press over the stitches on the right side of the piece as that will flatten them.

If you don’t have a problem with bleeding you’re ready to press your piece after completion and before adding embellishments. If you bring your pieces here for framing you don’t have to worry about pressing, we’ll do that for you. If you frame yourself or take it somewhere else for framing be sure to press before hand. Lay the piece face down on the pad and press until you’ve pressed out the wrinkles in the fabric. Take real care with steam as it can cause the threads to bleed. If you’re taking your piece to a frame shop be sure they know that you’ve used hand dyed threads with the potential to bleed in case they decide to steam the piece.

Now that we’ve gotten the problems with hand dyed threads taken care of let’s talk about the fun of these great threads. The effects you can achieve with them are exciting. If you complete each cross stitch as you go (English method of cross stitch) you will see fun striping in the larger areas. Subtle color changes will create subtle stripes and distinct color changes will create distinct stripes. Stitching cross stitch with the first half across a line and the second half back (Danish method of cross stitch) will create a more mottled effect. Other stitches give other interesting effects, give them a try and see what you can create with this fun thread.

See how the colors change in the words and the carrot? This is an example of the English method of Cross Stitch

See how the colors change in the words and the carrot? This is an example of the English method of Cross Stitch

The hand dyed thread companies we stock are Caron Collection, Weeks Dye Works, The Gentle Art, Rainbow Gallery, ThreadworX, DMC, and Soy Lustre. Also available by special order are Dinky Dyes, Crescent Colours, and Gloriana.

Still have a question? Just give us a call at 866-862-2239 and we’ll share our love of this exciting thread!

What is all the fuss about Copyright?

July 20th, 2012

Today I want to talk a bit about copyright as it applies to the needlework world. The National Needlearts Association, a trade group I belong to, has put together an information sheet for shops to share with their customers. I thought I’d just share it here so you can come back to it any time you have  a question regarding this confusing issue. Remember that I am not an attorney and if you have a legal issue related to copyright law you should find a good attorney. However, this information may help if you just have a “can I do this…” type of question.

TNNA copyright logo1_C

UNDERSTANDING COPYRIGHT

AS IT RELATES TO

NEEDLEWORK CHARTS

AN ORIGINAL COPY OF A PATTERN THAT YOU HAVE PURCHASED MAY BE:

  • COPIED ONLY TO SERVE AS YOUR WORKING COPY TO MARK AS YOU STITCH AS LONG AS YOU OWN AND POSSESS THE ORIGINAL.
  • SOLD, TRADED, LOANED, OR DONATED.
  • STITCHED AND YOUR FINISHED, STITCHED PROJECT MAY BE PHOTOGRAPHED AND THE PHOTO MAY BE SHARED ALONG WITH THE NAME OF THE PATTERN, AND THE PUBLISHER’S NAME WHO HOLDS THE COPYRIGHT.
  • COMBINED WITH ELEMENTS FROM OTHER PUBLISHED PATTERNS, CHANGE COLORS, FIBERS, AND EVEN STITCHES WHEN STITCHING ITEMS FOR YOUR OWN ENJOYMENT OR AS GIFTS.
  • STITCHED AND THE FINISHED PROJECT DONATED TO A WORTHY CAUSE.
  • STITCHED AND THE FINISHED PROJECT SOLD AS LONG AS IT IS NOT BEING MASS PRODUCED.

PLEASE RESPECT COPYRIGHT LAWS SO THAT YOUR FAVORITE DESIGNERS MAY ENJOY THE LEGAL COMPENSATION WHICH THEY HAVE EARNED. “COPYING AND SHARING” IN ANY FORM IS ILLEGAL. PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT, TO STAY IN BUSINESS, DESIGNERS MUST BE COMPENSATED FOR THE DESIGNS THEY PRODUCE FOR SALE.

IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS, PLEASE REFER TO THE EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES PROVIDED BY THE NATIONAL NEEDLEARTS ASSOCIATION ON THEIR WEBSITE:  http://www.tnna.org

Stitching 6 Fat Men

July 16th, 2012

This is a great project to stitch in all this heat! Watch my progress over the summer to see how it goes.

The first two Fat Men are done!

The first two Fat Men are stitched!

My edition of this Lizzie Kate collection is stitched on Toasted Almond Cashel from Zweigart with the Weeks Dye Works and Crescent Colours hand dyed floss. I’m having a great time with this, even stitching in the evening, something I’ve not done for awhile as I’m a morning stitcher. I’ll post updates as I complete each section.

Find the charts for this fun design here!

Custom Boxes and the Customer Gallery!

June 28th, 2012

We’ve been busy around here getting a special project ready to ship to the customer but thought you would like to see it before it leaves!

All cherry wood finished natural and ready for the stitched pieces!

All cherry wood finished natural and ready for the stitched pieces!

This is one of the bigger pieces Mr D has built for a stitcher and the first time he’s put a drawer in one of these caskets. The customer is stitching Jeanette Douglas’ “My Stitching Treasures” to go in the top of the box and will stitch her name for the front panel.  Won’t it be lovely when she gets her pieces mounted!

The Lizzie Kate Mystery Sampler should be shipped to us this week and I’ll get it on the way to those of you who ordered it just as soon as it arrives.  This will be a fun project stitched on Weeks Dye Works hand dyed linen with Week’s floss. I understand we can add to our orders as soon as this first shipment goes out so don’t despair if you didn’t get this ordered. Let me know and we’ll put you on the second round of orders right after the first of the month!

In the meantime I’ve added some new pieces from Filigram that you might want to take a look at. See them here. These pieces are stitched with the beautiful Dinky Dye threads and ribbons that we all love to stitch with!

We are participating in the Stitcher’s Village sale that will be in the July newsletter. If you are not yet a member take a look and sign up here.

Our Customer Gallery will run from the 15th of July to the 18th of August this year. Try to have your pieces to the shop by Saturday the 14th so I have time to get them displayed. You may enter any project you have not entered in our Customer Gallery before.  If you have questions just give me a call and we’ll talk about it. This is a fun event for the people who participate and a fun way for those who don’t to see what other stitchers are working on.

We will especially miss the pieces from Rose Holly this year. Rose was a consistent participant and a frequent winner in the Customer Gallery but she lost her battle with her health problems this spring. We miss visiting with her and we miss her beautiful work.

More info later in the week about the Christmas in July celebration for 2012, check back often!

Vacation, 2012

June 7th, 2012

What a great time we had in Colorado! Here are the highlights of our trip that included visiting Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Colorado driving more than 3,000 miles in the 15 days we were gone.

We stayed the first night in Dumas, Texas and had a great dinner there. Second and third day were spent in Pueblo, Colorado with a couple of new friends. Then off to the graduation!

Here we are with our beautiful Leticia!

Here we are with our beautiful Leticia!

The day was warm and sunny with a bit of a breeze that turned into serious wind storm with dust blowing in from Utah.  Fortunately it held off until after the ceremonies!

Can't blame a girl for celebrating!

Can't blame a girl for celebrating!

Kim and Craig cooked up a storm all afternoon and presented Shrimp Creole and Gumbo for dinner. It was great!  Of course the best part was that we needed to keep Kayli entertained while Grandma and Grandpa were busy!

Three years old and full of fun. We totally fell in love!

Three years old and full of fun. We totally fell in love!

She was so cute with her enjoyment in having a Great Grandpa! If he didn’t pay enough attention she would pat him on the knee and say “Talk to me Great Grandpa, talk to me!”  You know he did…

We left Delta for Tin Cup, an old mining town at 10,000 foot elevation. This is where Mr. D began to build log homes, moving from Kansas to Colorado every summer to cut, saw, mill, and build with house logs. There are many, many beautiful cabins around the area that he either built or remodeled in the years he spent there.

The Dugan/Buckles cabin in Tin Cup

The Dugan/Buckles cabin in Tin Cup

Mr D began this cabin and Jody, Gary, and Matt have continued to work on it. It’s cozy and cute!

Breathing in Tin Cup was a a challenge for these lowlanders! And we had both forgotten how cold it is in the Colorado mountains in May!!

We came upon a couple of moose while looking for a good picnic site. We chose another spot!

We came upon a couple of moose while looking for a good picnic site. We chose another spot!

After another day with Jody and Gary in Parker we went to Johnstown to visit my Dad and step-Mom. Got a nice surprise as my sister and brother-in-law decided to drive over from Wyoming to visit while we were there. A niece I hadn’t seen  in many, many years also dropped in to spend an evening. What fun that was… And it was a beautiful evening to spend out on the front porch sharing family stories and laughing over special memories.

The moon was awesome the evening we sat out!

The moon was awesome the evening we sat out!

On Sunday we spent the day with all the clan that could come at Jody and Gary’s home enjoying a barbecue for Mr D’s 80th Birthday. It was a little early – his birthday is the 9th – but no one cared as we celebrated him!

We always enjoy the visits home and this one was especially fun as we saw many who we hadn’t seen in several years but 15 days is a long trip and we are both glad to be back home again!

A New Beader Shares!

May 4th, 2012

Just a few short months ago a new customer placed a bead kit order with me, then another in a week or so and then another with a note saying how much she was enjoying the process! Take a look at the great pieces she’s created just since the first of the year:

Balmy Beach Fob by Fern Ridge Collections

Balmy Beach Fob by Fern Ridge Collections

The Buzzzzz from Fern Ridge Collections

The Buzzzzz from Fern Ridge Collections

Honeycomb Fob from Fern Ridge Collections

Honeycomb Fob from Fern Ridge Collections

Cattitude from Fern Ridge Collections

Cattitude from Fern Ridge Collections

Cattitude she made for a friend, I think you’ll agree that we all need a friend like her! Thanks for sharing Sandy

You can find all of these great kits and more on the site, just click here.

10 Minute Table Runner

April 27th, 2012

I learned this project from Jeanette at Needlework Hideaway Spring 2012 retreat. What a great way to learn new things and see new projects as well as hear some incredible stories!

Thanks Jeanette!

Thanks Jeanette!

Materials list:

12½” x width of fabric main color

18½” x width of fabric background color (be sure to purchase more than 18″ so you have trim – mine finished 17″ because I didn’t)

2 buttons for trim

Cut fabric. My main color is a stripe that runs the length of the fabric so I purchased 1½ yards and cut it 12½” x 44″ centering the stripes in the 12½” and cutting on the straight of the print rather than the straight of the grain. I trimmed one end after I got the side seams sewn.

With right sides together and using a ¼” seam sew the fabric together on the long sides.

Turn right side out and arrange until the borders are the same width then press.

Fold the piece in half the long way with the main color to the inside of the fold and stitch the ends closed using a ¼” seam.

Open the fold with the flaps to the front and work them out evenly. Fold the points down over the front of the runner and tack them in place or sew the buttons to the points to secure and you’re done! (I made yoyos with the main color and sewed the buttons thru the middle of the yoyo and thru the point to the back of the runner. I like the dimension the yoyo adds.)

Took me more than 10 minutes but it was quick…

Let me tell you about…

March 5th, 2012

Last July I showed you the colors I chose for the Tree of Life pattern from Abi Gurden of Stitch Specialists Yahoo Group. I haven’t had as much time as I would like to stitch on this but I hope you enjoy seeing what’s happening on this fun piece. The theme I chose was to move through the seasons as you move around the tree starting in the lower left part with Winter and moving up into Spring, Summer, and then around to Fall. The color I chose for Winter doesn’t show up in the photo but does show up well on the piece. I really like the way the Fall color is stitching up. I’ll put in another couple of sections in the Winter color and then begin Spring. All my threads are Waterlilies from Caron Collection and the fabric is Weeks Dye Works hand-dyed 30ct fabric.  I’m loving stitching with these!

Just a start.

Just a start.

Did you know that you can see what’s new for leaflets each week by logging on to Hoffman Distributing and signing on to their Friday Update? Just click here and then click on E-Newsletter on the left side of the page to sign up. There is no advantage to marking that you’re a shop! Each Friday you’ll receive notice that they’ve posted the Update and you can go there to see what’s new that week.

While you’re on the site take a look at the “Friday Feature” where they interview designers about how they go about creating their work. These interviews are interesting, helping you connect to your favorite designer.

Until next time!

Pat

Christmas in February

February 23rd, 2012

Our generous customers, those who visit the shop and those who shop online, have made it possible for us to donate a big box of food to the Salvation Army! You are awesome…

Thanks to all of you some families in need in south Arkansas will have more to eat!

Thanks to all of you some families in need in south Arkansas will have more to eat!

You also did a great job of shopping. That means we’ll get even more new things at Market. Watch for posts!

Let me tell you about … The Flag

February 12th, 2012

In January last year I posted a picture of a needlepoint American Flag that I stitched for Mr. D and gave an explanation of how I created the piece. Since then he framed the flag and his eagle and it’s been hanging in the shop. Yesterday I realized I’d never shown you what he did with the piece so here it is.

I love this piece!

I love this piece!

He did an awesome job of framing this design and including the flag just made it all the better. He has such great ideas about how to compose a piece!

As you probably remember, the flag is stitched on 18m canvas with Trio by brown paper packages and Kreinik Braid. Let me know about pieces you’ve created for unusual applications or just because your best friend wanted it!

Pat