Thrifty Stitching and Another Give Away


Home Again by Laura Wasilowski

This little hand embroidery piece made with felt measures about 4″ x 7″. It is what I call a thrifty stitcher. A thrifty stitcher is made from those odd ends of threads left on the needle when stitching a bigger project. What do you do with 6 or 7 inches of thread left on a needle? Throw the thread away? I can’t do it!


So I use those threads on a small project that I can pick and put down at will. In this thrifty stitcher example, you see a thick size 3 thread couched across the bottom to make horizontal lines. 


And it is several sets of size 3 threads drawn from these colors that I’d like to give-away on the blog. Care to join my “get rid of stuff” party? Just leave a comment below and you may be a lucky winner. (Please note that at some point I cut off the comment section, usually just before I announce the winners.)

Stitching Like a Middle Ager and the Winners!


It was my good fortune to happen across the Cluny Museum in Paris last month and discover an amazing exhibit called The Art of Embroidery in the Middle Ages. It was inspiring to see beautiful handwork from their European collection covering the 12th to 16th centuries. The exhibition, housed in the ancient Roman Frigidarium, is sadly now closed.


Too have seen the detail of this extraordinary stitching close was so inspiring. It gives me the chills! Viewing embroidery first hand rather than through books or on the web really brings it to life for me. 


And for my fellow stitch appreciators who left comments on my recent blog post, thank you. The name suggestions for my thread dyeing mistake above were a wonder. As in, I wonder why there were so many suggestions related to wine?

I’m not adverse to a good Bordeaux as a wine or as a thread title. Both Annette R and Jeri P suggested Bordeaux as the thread name and each win a size 8 skein of the new Bordeaux colorway. I also promised to give away a skein to a random winner. Congratulations Lea Ann F. you are my lucky winner! 

Soft Color for a Beautiful Quilt

wildricesample2It is always a thrill to meet up with those who use my hand dyed threads. Christie brought her beautiful quilt to a meeting of the Prairie Star Guild in St. Charles IL. Here you see a detail of her hand embroidery on the quilt using my Wild Rice pearl cotton threads in sizes 8 and 12.

wildricesample3She did an extraordinary job of stitching and picking out the perfect thread color to match the sashing fabrics. Thank you Christie for using my threads and for sharing your artwork with us!

Random Acts of Dyeing

dyedthread3It’s back to school time! And that means dyeing thread for all my fall classes. The threads you see above are destined for my students as part of their class kits. Whether taking a quilting class or hand embroidery class, everybody gets some colorful thread. Ooooooh! Aren’t they pretty!

dyebottlesThese threads are dyed using the “random acts of dyeing” method. I don’t following the repeatable color formulas for Artfabrik threads. Instead, I use up all my left over dye stock to dye threads in random colorways. It’s a great way to discover new color combinations and prepare for my classes at the same time. See you in the classroom!


Bold Threads and a Give Away Winner

loveatfirststitch5Pearl cotton threads come in a variety of sizes suitable for hand embroidery. Some, like Size 12, are fine and useful for small details like the stems and leaves making the flowers above. Other pearl cottons, like Size 3, are hefty. See the bold yellow threads? Difficult for a lot of hand stitching, Size 3 pearl cotton is perfect for Couching.

loveatfirststitch3Couching is a method of securing thick threads onto fabric with finer threads like a Size 8 or 12. In the Love at First Stitch project from Joyful Stitching, Size 3 threads are couched to make the ground for the garden plots. A Size 3 also slides under the tines of Blanket Stitches to add a heavy border to the heart shape.  Want a bold line on your design? Use Size 3.


Winner Announced!

And the lucky winner of the felt fabrics to make her own Love at First Stitch project is Jean E.

Congratulations! I’ll contact you soon.

Read more about the projects in Joyful Stitching here.

Most Versatile Thread and a Give-Away Winner

backstitch1Have you stitched with size 8 pearl cotton thread ? It is one of the most versatile threads I use. Here you see it used to make the Back Stitch, that dashed line outlining the apple and leaf shape from the Tasty Bite of Apple project.

astersthread1Size 8 is a medium weight thread and holds up well when stitching. It is fine enough to glide through tightly woven silk, tough enough for hand embroidery on fused fabrics, and heavy enough to show up on wool. Pearl cotton also has a slight sheen and lifts off the surface of the fabric for more texture. Nothing flat here!

giveaway2Winner Announced

And the lucky winner of this hand-dyed wool and a size 8 skein of Asters thread for the Tasty Bite of Apple project is Andee.

Congratulations! I’ll contact you soon.

Read more about the projects in Joyful Stitching here.