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Archive | Stitching

CHA Mega Show 2015 | Fabric Elements by Fabric Editions

CHA Show Hot Product for 2015  | Fabric Editions Launches Fabric Elements with Mixed Media Artist, Rebekah MeierAt the CHA Mega Show 2015 Hot Products event, Fabric Editions launched Fabric Elements mixed media and fiber art kits with mixed media artist Rebekah Meier. (Fabric Elements was later announced as the winner of the Fabric & Needlecrafts category of the 2015 CHA Hot Products awards.)

Meier is well-known for her ability to create beautiful mixed media collages and fiber art pieces. Continue Reading →

Project | Cross Stitch Card

Long before I was a scrapbooker, I was into cross-stitch. I’ve long been familiar with the concept of adding small pieces of cross-stitch to my paper crafting projects, but up until now I’ve not done it because combining Aida fabric with my paper projects takes extra steps to protect the fabric from fraying and adhere it.

But then this book from Annie’s Paper Crafts landed on my desk, and I discovered that there is a material that I’d never heard of before that makes it easy to make a cross stitch card: perforated paper.

Easy Cross-Stitch Cards coverThe book was Easy Cross-Stitch Cards & Tags, which contains 27 cross-stitch projects that are designed to be made with perforated paper and then finished into cards and tags using paper crafting supplies. Continue Reading →

Review | Westcott Titanium Non-Stick 5″ Microtip Scissors

Let’s face it, all crafters want when we go to cut is a good pair of scissors that work. That’s what I get when I use my Titanium-bonded non-stick scissors by Westcott.

t390_91fee57bfa808f0d2d86df09891b5899I’ve had a chance to use these petite scissors recently and am pleased with their cutting ability. I’ve laid them out in classes as well so students could give them a try and the feedback I’ve heard from the students has been favorable too. Continue Reading →

Review | The X-Zone Cross-Stitch iPhone Case Kit by Coats & Clark

A new cool cross-stitch iPhone case kit that allows me to personalize my iPhone case is the latest trend in iPhone related crafting products.

iPhone Cross Stitch Case Case by Coats & Clark

Coats & Clark offers a fabulous one that lets me decide how I want my case to look.

First, lets review what comes in the box:

  • A silicone iPhone case (fits iPhone 4 and 4s)
  • An assortment of embroidery thread in six colors
  • An embroidery needle
  • An instruction and pattern book. Continue Reading →

DMC Glow-in-the-Dark Embroidery Floss

Reported by Susie Ziegler

This is another installment in my investigations of specialty embroidery flosses by DMC. Last spring I tried DMC Linen Embroidery Floss which I liked quite a bit. I was decidedly less enthusiastic about shiny and slick DMC Satin Embroidery floss. Up here where I live in the cold northern USA, these are the coldest and darkest days of the year, so I was inspired to test DMC Glow-in-the-Dark Embroidery Floss. This floss is part of the Light Effects specialty thread series which includes fluorescent shades and pearlescent colors. Although there are many thread colors to choose from in this line of flosses, Glow in the Dark only comes in this white:P1050781

This is a polyester thread, not a cotton like their traditional flosses. The first thing I noticed was that the cut ends loosened and frayed, and it was difficult to thread my favorite type of very small eyed needle. I had to dig around my sewing box to find a needle with a larger eye. You might not have this issue, as most people embroider with these needles already. As with all embroidery flosses, Glow-in-the-Dark Embroidery Floss separates into 6 strands. I stitched my little project with three strands. I did find the floss difficult to thread through the needle as the polyester fiber didn’t moisten as readily as cotton or linen floss.

Also, the threads really want to stay separated, although they weren’t nearly as wild and unruly as the satin floss I’ve used before.

This is a small tea towel project. Here at my house, we are bracing for another overnight snowstorm, so I thought a wee nighttime snowflake would be appropriate. Stitching on this went pretty smoothly, although I did find that the thread has a bit of a mind of it’s own. Since the threads want to separate from each other, I did have trouble with some knotting and slipping. Also, y’all, I make really perfect french knots. I don’t know what it is, but these sit up strangely and don’t look nearly as cute as I like.

Okay, but here is the real test. Does this stuff sufficiently glow in the dark? I was skeptical. But look! It really does! Even enough for me to get a fairly good photo in the pitch dark!


Pros:

  • Polyester thread is sturdy
  • Glow-in-the-dark products and projects are fun
  • Thread has nice “body” and fullness
  • Really glows!

Cons:

  • Threads separate
  • Not made from a natural fiber, so it has a synthetic feel
  • Only one color: white

I found DMC Glow-in-the-Dark Embroidery Floss at my local craft store in the embroidery section. Not all stores carry it. It is, of course, available at Amazon.com as well. It retails for about twice as much as other specialty flosses.

I can think of so many fun things to stitch with little glowing thread details! Are there any other specialty flosses I should test?

DMC Linen Embroidery Floss

I’ve been investigating the specialty embroidery flosses that are available. In my last article, I played with the shiny, modern satin embroidery flosses by DMC. This time I went traditional with the lovely linen threads offered by this popular manufacturer.

Linen is one of the oldest textiles in the world. It is a sturdy natural fiber from the flax plant, is stronger than cotton, and has a lovely natural luster. Linen is highly absorbent, and gets softer with washing. Linen does not “pill” as do many other fibers. The fibers of linen have a low elasticity. They do not stretch and are resistant to damage. You may have noticed this characteristic when ironing out stubborn wrinkles in your linen garments or table linens.
During my research for this review, I found that the United Nations declared 2009 as the International Year of Natural Fibers. I am not quite sure what to do with that information, but as Craft Critique Fabric Crafts Specialist I thought I should share that nugget of trivia with you.
This DMC floss comes in 24 beautiful colors, all coordinated, but limited to muted “natural” tones. I purchased a multipack at Michaels. The full price was $17.99 for 12 skeins. Two multipacks are available. I chose the one with more color variety… and pink. I like pink.

 

The multipack I purchased came with 10 cross-stitch patterns using their line of linen embroidery threads. I don’t have enough time as a Craft Critique reporter to finish an epic cross-stitch pattern like these, so I’ll keep these pretty patterns in my stash for some time in the future when my urge to cross-stitch returns. Still, it might be fun to try one of those butterflies or a single flower as an embellishment somewhere.

Instead I opted to use a pattern from this lovely book, Doodle Stitching by Aimee Ray. The muted tones and simple, whimsical designs in this beginning embroidery book will look lovely on the linen fabric I purchased for this project.

It is simple to trace a pattern onto your fabric. Since you will be covering up your lines, you can use a pencil, but if you make a mistake tracing, you might always be able to see your pencil marks. I prefer to use a disappearing ink marker and trace in a sunny window. The water soluble markers are preferable to the air soluble ones. You don’t want to lay your work down overnight only to find that your pattern lines have disappeared. Don’t ask my how I know this, but sometimes I am a slow learner.

It is not necessary to follow your lines exactly. No one will know that you improvised your stitching a little bit because the lines will disappear with a little spritz of fresh cool water.

My favorite stitch is the chain stitch, but I worked on some other stitches in this design like satin stitch and the long and short stitch. I found that this floss worked these stitches easily.

Sometimes the floss showed little thick slubs. They did not occur often and did not seem to show up in my work. This thread frays a bit as you work, so it is preferable to use short lengths (about 18 inches is what I prefer) when you stitch and not run the needle up and down the thread tail too often. In this photo you can see the little slubby “flaw” in the floss.

Unlike the slick satin floss I stitched with before, I found this floss to be sturdy and reliable. It behaved nicely and laid just where I wanted it to. My satin stitches were lined up nice and flat. I think it was even more cooperative because I was stitching on a natural linen fabric from the fabric store.

It took me two days to stitch this project for you and it looked perfect when I finished it, but I thought it was important to see how this floss stands up to the laundry. Into my regular washer and dryer it went with all my kids socks, kitchen towels, and other household laundry. I am happy to report that my piece laundered beautifully. All the fibers have the luster they started with. In fact, ironing enhanced their subtle shine.

Pros:

  • Natural, premium fiber is perfect for heirloom stitching that will last generations.
  • Beautifully coordinated colors.
  • Sturdy, cooperative threads with a soft natural sheen.
  • Launders like a dream
  • Multipack comes with inspiring, easy to read, large patterns
Cons:
  • Expensive compared to regular floss
  • Limited array of colors
  • Not easily found at all embroidery retailers
I found this package of floss at Michaels for $17.99. Individual floss skeins are available for about $1 each. DMC Linen Embroidery Floss is available online at HSN.com, JoAnns, or directly from DMC.
I still love my regular cotton embroidery floss collection. I set aside my slick rayon flosses for some time in the future when hell freezes over. I determined that these linen flosses are lovely for heirloom work, and I might purchase the second set color pack so I have the complete set of colors.

Have you used the DMC Linen floss, or do you have questions about the many flosses available? Tell us what other specialty threads we should look out for and test!

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