Good morning, and a happy Friday all around!
Oh, joy! It’s the end of the week! This week is going out with a bang here in Kansas. Gee whiz. We had severe storms all night. I hope all my Midwestern buddies in the area are safe and dry this morning!
Today, I’m going to share a hodgepodge of embroidery musings here, including what’s going on in my Needle ‘n Thread life, some information on the Leafy Tree kit availability, and some answers to few questions that have come in lately – it really is just a hodgepodge.
Hopefully, you’ll pick up some tips or garner an idea or two for your own needlework adventures.
Grab a cup of coffee or tea (it’s definitely a tea morning here) and sit back with me for a bit while we chat!
We’ll start with this. You know this pumpkin & leaves design I’ve been working on? Well, one idea that was brewing in my brain was to work the design on a pre-finished table runner or table cloth, preferably one made of linen.
It’s not so easy to find embroidery blanks these days that are 100% linen, with nicely finished edges, but that are not the typical white, hemstitched pieces. I wanted something a little more rustic, a little more fallish, not white-white and not hemstitched.
I managed to find a supplier of finished 100% linen linens that are made for household decor and not really as embroidery blanks. As I stitch a sample on a smaller table runner, the jury is still out on how it’ll work out.
Here’s a close-up, so you can get a sense of the fabric.
I like the finish of the table runner. The runner 14″ x 36″, with a 1″ hem all around, and the hem is very simple – just a well-finished hem with very finely mitered corners. Nothing fancy. And in the natural colored linen, it has a little rustic flavor to it, even though the linen is quite soft.
The linen is rather fine, weight-wise. It’s not the best linen in the world, and I have no idea how well it will hold up over time.
I’m pleasantly surprised that it’s holding up well to the stitching, though. I’ve had to be careful with stitch tension, but it’s working out well enough so far.
We shall see! I’ll let you know how it goes and whether or not this approach is worth pursuing.
I finished the larger version of my pumpkins, leaves, and wheat … and wheat … and wheat. It was fun! Washed it up and ironed it and all went well.
I’m somewhat regretting the darker brown swirly bits. But hey! A little variety in approach now and then might be a good thing, especially if you’re stitching the same design several times.
The wheat is abundant on this version, but it stitches up so quickly that I found I really liked it a lot. I was afraid I was going to hate it by the end of that particular design.
Incidentally, I’ve heard from a lot of bread bakers who are really enthused over the wheat addition. I’m glad!
Keeping Track of Colors
I was asked recently if I keep a notebook that I fill out as I stitch, to keep track of all the colors I use on a project like the one above.
In fact, I do keep a notebook (or ten) of my projects, where I jot things down that I need to remember as I’m working on something, just until I can put that information in some kind of solid form on the computer.
But that notebook isn’t necessarily a color-stitch-guide-every-project-detail-type-notebook.
I know there are folks who keep hand-written notebooks that document their needlework projects in the minutest detail – notebooks that rival those of the Most Fastidious Researchers of the World.
But in fact, I’m not one of them.
To keep track of the colors I use for various parts of a design while I’m stitching, I utilize one very simple (or complex, depending on how you look at it) tool that takes very little time to use. And that’s my smart phone camera.
I usually place the threads, color code side up, on my stitching stuff in the general vicinity of the area I’m going to stitch with those colors and I snap a photo of them.
Then, a little later, when I’m back at my computer and writing up details, I flip through my photos to find the exact colors that I used for this element or that element.
Before I start stitching a project – and after I’ve pulled all the colors for the project – I take a photo of the line-up of threads, with the color numbers visible. As soon as I’m back at my computer, I translate that photo into a color list for the whole project.
The only time I jot in a notebook these days is when I need to remember something that I can’t take “visual note” of, with my camera.
The fact is, keeping a written notebook of a project while I’m in the throes of actually stitching it takes a lot of time. Because most of my projects translate into photos that I use here on the website, I have my cameras at hand all the time. Taking photos is essential, and it takes a lot of time. If I had to do both (photos and a notebook), I wouldn’t get much stitching done!
That said, if you have time and you’re inclined that way (some people just love keeping written notebooks of things), go for it! I think it’s a great idea!
Fabric Galore & The Leafy Tree
There are more kits coming for The Leafy Tree project that you can read about here. If you want to grab that kit when it’s next available (I’m shooting for just after mid-September right now, but a lot depends on the thread order), please drop me an email and request advanced notice for the kit availability. If you’re on that list, you’ll get an email that the kits are available, before it is publicly announced on the website.
While waiting for kit components to arrive, there’s a lot of fabric preparation going on.
And there it is.
See that bolt of fabric? That’s the last of the Alba Maxima. The original manufacturer is apparently no longer weaving it. Sad me. Hopefully, a replacement will be found for this exquisite linen.
Needless to say, that’s not all being used for these kits! That’s a lot of fabric! But I will find other wondrous uses for it!
Ready to Stitch Towel Sets
Some of you have been waiting for these ready-to-stitch towel sets, and there are a limited number back in stock in my shop. You can find them here.
The holly & evergreen ready to stitch towel set includes three cotton flour sack towels. Each towel has one of the three designs (small, medium, and large) transferred on it, ready for you to stitch it.
If you want to read more about these designs and see the stitches and colors used, you can find information on them here.
If you want to purchase a set of ready-to-stitch holly & evergreen towels, you can find them here.
The Floral Corners ready-to-stitch towel set is available here.
For beginners, if you’re just getting into embroidery, you can learn the process of stitching the Floral Corners design (and other similar designs), including all kinds of beginner tips for hand embroidery, in the e-book that takes you step-by-step through stitching the Floral Corners designs. The Floral Corners e-book is available here.
Please read the product descriptions. There’s a maximum of two towel sets (of any kind) per order – although if you want to order more than two, you can place more than one order and I’ll do my best to combine shipping and issue a refund for the difference, if there is one.
That’s All, Folks!
This weekend, I’ll be finishing up with the pumpkins, photographing some beautiful new tools, testing some tambour work, reading a new book for review, testing some video equipment (again), and staying out of the weather.
I hope your weekend is a lovely one!