Monthly Archives: September 2017

Wish I had Remembered This Earlier!

  All of us who embroider and sew love the tools that make the project go “easier”. I for one have accumulated all kinds of tools relating to my hand embroidery as well as machine sewing through the years. Now, for the interesting part… I do organize my tools of the trade so I can find them and/or see and grab them at a quick glance… whether they are in a drawer/case that is specifically labeled or just hanging around on a shelf out in the open. I am very fortunate to have some wonderful furniture passed down to me by my mother-in-law who was a fantastic sewer and very talented. So many of my items that I stitch are on the shelves being displayed including tools that are unique and used in the embroidery craft.  

   So a number of weeks ago I went to a class with “Alison Cole” as the tutor, and had a fabulous time. All of the elements are stitched with a hoop. I basically “hand held” my hoop for the class.  I did have an small Irwin clamp (need a much bigger one) to attach it to the table but the clamp was just to weak to hold the hoop. So I suffered holding it.  We only worked on just one element at a time so it was not to bad. Came home and started to work on the elements to get them finished. Ummmm…fast forward and guess what …my hands started hurting! This was unacceptable so had to take a few days off for recovery.  In the meantime I am in my “handwork area” and reorganizing things. Then something said  “Look Up”…so I did and then it hit me… I have this sit on frame up on the very top of my furniture that I could of used for my class as well as here at home. It “CLAMPS HOOPS”! I remember thinking ages ago how do I use this embroidery stand….never once thinking that it would work for the class I took…(not going to tell you what I was thinking when I realized I could of used it at the class…some major mumbling went on) .   Sooooo…now you probably know I am using it for finishing the embroidery and therefore less stress on my hands and arms.  Such a relief…thank goodness for “tools of the trade”.

   This is a Sonata Frame and I remember purchasing it, but when….that’s a blank…. What is neat about this frame it raises and lowers, tilts, clamps fairly wide hoops and best of all you can spin the hoop over to the back when you need to fix something or end off.  There are “wing nuts” and they even supply a wooden tool to tighten these down so you are not going crazy and hurting yourself…Here are some pictures of the hoop…. I am estatic to have this in my tools of the trade now that I know how to use it. Something wonderful that I wish I had remembered earlier to make my stitching life easier! I was so disappointed in myself in having forgotten this tool. I already have other projects I will use it for in mind!

Lots of knobs for twisting and turning to get it so you can be comfortable stitching!

And “yes” that is one of my cats lazing on the deck ! She is now 14 years old. My other one is going on 18…

This is the frame flipped to the back… 

A Different Way to “Store” Floss

   Over at Mary Corbett’s Needle ‘n’ Thread awhile back there was a neat way to store your floss. If you click on the link you can see it. It was mentioned that maybe one could use just the ‘metal hangar bars” that are used for file folders to put the “Comb Binders” on and then hang your floss from them. Well….I really  really liked the idea of getting my floss hanging and more organized using a file box. My thinking cap went on and I came up with the following…(it took some trial and error) Once you make one of these it does go rather quickly. Just thought I would share. I thank the lady who came up with this as mentioned in Mary’s blog. A light bulb went off for me.

  This first picture are the items needed to make the comb binding floss hangars. You’ve got the 3/4 inch comb binder, a piece of fiber core board cut to about 5/8 inches wide by 10 1/5 inches long and the metal file hanging bar. These hangars fit inside a standard size file box ( I used a plastic one with a top) Plus you need “double sided permanent sticky tape. (Glue would just be to messy.) 

  Now you take the foam core and place a piece of sticky tape half on and half off one of the long edges. The part that hangs over gets folded over and stuck to the upper top of the foam core. I know the tape is hard to see but it is there!

Now place the metal file hanging bar on the lower half of the double sided sticky tape at the very edge of the top of the foam core.

   Here comes a bit of a tricky part. If you haven’t pressed the upper half of the tape down do it now. This is where you push the whole thing through the “comb binding” being careful that you keep the upper sticky part from attaching to it along the way. It worked well for me to keep the sticky part to the open part of the comb, less to stick to. 

   When the metal file hanging bar and the foam core is all the way through…line up the foam core with the front (the side that will open to hang your floss. Press down hard across all of the “comb binding”. If you have used permanent sticky tape there should be no worry that it is going to come apart with the lightweight floss.  See how the metal bar is pushed up against the plastic solid piece…You may need to figure out a way to balance the thing because it is wobbly. I have it stuck here on some tape to hold it for taking a picture.

   You can use a labeler or just a sharpie or whatever works for you to number each individual plastic binder. Then you can just slip each of your flosses on the correct number and them them hang all protected! For me I know this will make my life easier in the long run especially as getting older it is harder to remember where things are. I had begun labeling things long ago because I just do not want to have to think about all of it…There is way to much stuff up in the old brain as it is. If it’s labeled I can find it. Below is what it looks like finished. I plan on doing as much as I can with all my threads so they are all stored in a nice manner. You will also note I put rings on my floss so I can take them out and then put them on a bigger ring that will be used for a specific project so everything stays together. I even put more than one skein of the same color on a ring. I even pull my floss from here with the ring on. Here is a link to the article on how I use my rings for my floss. Using rings on my floss. I got these rings from a company called The Ring Lord..They supply these nifty plastic snap rings for people who make chainmail for those who are involved in the Medieval role playing …they can be painted etc. Works great for what I use them for.  

Chloe the Cat..Steps 11~13

    Finally sat down and finished the next section of “Chloe the Cat”…designed by Trish Burr …There is “padded satin stitch….overcast stitch…split stitch and long and short stitch” used in this section. I am still struggling a bit with my long and short stitching. Not neccessarily afraid of it at all, it is just a matter of having not done it in a while so skills and hand memory need to be exercised again! 

    What is interesting in this section is the overcast stitch. You need to pad it with a “double running stitch” underneath to help give it a raised effect. Overcast is just basically  a “satin stitch” that is used to make a line. You can see it in the photo below. It was hard to get all the stitches even. I think the “real thing” looks better.” The long and short stitching actually look pretty good here. I tried not to overthink what I was doing.  The “split stitch”, used for the outlining, I generally do as a “back split stitch” so I can control where my needle goes more easily. Makes sense to me even if one uses more floss to have it look neater. 

    Now for a peak at what I have finished so far….then onto the eyes….and rest of the head! I think when the head is done I will be about halfway!

    I’ve been working on reorganizing my floss so it is protected and then will more easily find what I need. I will share that probably later this week. I feel “joy” when I see the final result so that is a good thing!