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.

Organized? Maybe

threaddrawersOn occasion I like to look organized. This doesn’t happen often, so I’d like to share this rare moment with you. Here you see my hand dyed pearl cotton threads neatly stored in drawers. They are sorted by size (3, 5, 8, 12) and colorway. Organized, right?

threadtangledAnd then there’s this. Never wash your skeins of hand-dyed thread in the washing machine or people will think your are disorganized. How do you keep your threads organized?

Transformation of Old to New


Little Landscape (pre-stitched)

It’s not often you get a chance to transform something old into something new. But like a magician, I shall soon turn this old quilt (2005) into a snappy updated version. And all through the magic of hand embroidery.

littlelandscapestitch2Can you see it changing right before your eyes? Good, cause it’s taken me several hours and several TV shows to get it to this point. This is a small piece (9″ x 9″) so I’m using fine, size 12 threads on the rather small elements that make up the design.

In Search of Purple

purpledyeI dye fabric with Procion MX fiber reactive dyes and rely upon consistent dye formulas made by the manufacturers. But if they no longer make a certain dye color or change the formula, then my colorways must change too.


The famous Spice Road.

That is what happened with a purple dye that I used for years dyeing such wonderful colorways as Avocado Squash, Black Orchid, and the famous Spice Road. The search for a replacement purple is on meaning that my threads and fabric colorways will change slightly. Stay tuned. I’ll try to update the colorways in the Artfabrik Store as soon as I can.