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A Surprise Sampler

Every time that I learn a new stitch, I try it out first on some bit of scrap fabric.  Over the past year, a 9 x 10” piece of fabric for test stitching has been floating around my hand stitching nook.  It resurfaced a few days ago, and I almost tossed it out.  Here it is:

After having it sitting on top of a pile of projects for a few days, I think I will hang on to it.  I am really enjoying the sampler look of it, while at the same time it shows the randomness that was inherent in its creation.  Adding to the long list of things that I want to make, I’d love to do a small series of pieces with many sections of different hand stitches.  I could have a lot of fun with this.

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Travel Journal – Granville, Ohio

Last week, my excuse for not posting was getting ready for a quilt show, this week, I’ve been recovering from it, mostly trying to put all of my inventory out of the way for the winter.

My trip to Granville started out with a journey an hour in the opposite direction to the Kreinik Threads factory and outlet store.  I am pleased to announce that I will have a selection of their unusual metallic threads, silk threads and scissors at future shows.  I always like to stitch out samples of the things that I sell, and at the outlet store, I found a sampler set of some of each of their threads.  Over next couple of months, I will be “testing” and reporting on each thread here.  I bought some things to take to Granville, and some other things for myself.

Then it was on to the last quilt show of 2019 for me, the biennial Heart of Ohio guild show, held on the grounds of the Bryn Du Mansion.  The house and grounds has an interesting history, more may be read here.   I was most pleased to see that one of the buildings is being used for a community arts center.  I will be looking into getting involved there in the future.

While the quilt show was good, I had some great food over the weekend.  In Heath, Ohio, I recommend Bombay Garden (delicious Indian cuisine) and in Granville, Mai Chau for equally delicious Vietnamese food.  I do not want to wait two years for the next quilt show there to go back to those two restaurants.  I’ll have to find some other excuses to head that way sooner.

The show was a successful one for me, thank you to everyone who bought fabric and thread from me.  Welcome to my blog, too!  I had a few ideas presented to me over the weekend, and I am working on developing them more.  One of these ideas was coming to a guild meeting with some of my wares to sell.  If you belong to a guild that might be interested, please contact me to schedule for 2020.

Next week, more on metallic threads and those index cards – they just won’t go away!


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Rethinking Metallic Thread

While I was vending in Athens, Ohio recently, I had a chance to try a new embellishment technique from Kreinik Threads: iron-on metallic thread.  The company had several make-it stations, and I opted for the greeting card:

The iron-on threads are available in a flat 1/8″ ribbon and #16 braid.  They adhered quickly to the coated paper, making tight corners was a little tricky, but possible with patience.  While showing off my simple card to my mother (who happens to be an important sewing advisor and art critic to me), we had a discussion about the possibility of iron-on thread being a bit of cheating, or at best a cheap shortcut.  My immediate response was, “how often do you sew with metallic thread, and do you enjoy it?”  We both agreed that we hardly ever use metallic thread by hand or by machine, mainly because it is difficult to work with.  I have found metallic thread to be unruly, nearly impossible to put through a needle, and it shreds easily.  With this new way of working with metallic thread, think of it as another embellishing tool, not a sewing thread.  The shimmer would add much interest to some art collages, a little goes a long way.

This new metallic thread option still has some drawbacks.  The mini tacking irons that I used in the workshop were a little dangerous, and I really have doubts about the Teflon press cloth stuck to the irons.  Hot Teflon is nasty stuff, and combined with the melting synthetic fibers, there was a noxious odor in the workshop space all weekend.  I’m searching for a safer tacking iron, and I hope to find a way to use these threads with parchment paper to reduce my exposure to the chemicals.  Of course, I will post about my quest here in the upcoming weeks.

Meanwhile, I normally avoid current events and social commentary, but on this 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, I have a simple request.  Next time that you have the chance, please thank your local first responders – police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians.  A few words of appreciation means a lot to them.  And of course, our military members, current and past.

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More on Those Lovely New Threads

I am continuing to have trouble keeping up with my planned daily and weekly projects, mostly because I keep allowing myself to goof off with other things and run off schedule.  Well, not everything that I get distracted with could be considered goofing off, I have many time consuming interests.  I’m simply ignoring my own goals for scheduling and time management.  I have been working on my art and craft… here are some of the sides for a series of pink and brown mini boxes:

These box sides are commercial print fabrics that I stamped over with acrylic paint, using rubber stamps and antique wallpaper stamps.

If you’re attempting a daily creative commitment, don’t overlook the obvious: start small.  Take ten or fifteen minutes a day at first.  When you can keep that up without skipping for a couple of weeks, add five more minutes.  I recently embarked on a daily stitch project that takes no more than fifteen minutes daily.  I am creating a series of postcards to document each color in the House of Embroidery line of perle cotton.  Each group of three colors stitched out in chain stitches, three color groups per card.  I am nine days into the effort:

This is a nice way to warm up into my creative groove, and when I finish the project, I will continue to do three lines of stitching each day on some crazy quilt squares that I assembled a few years ago.  One thing is certain, when I complete the House of Embroidery samples, I will be great at the chain stitch, not to mention really tired of it!

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Lovely New Threads

A NOTE ABOUT PRODUCTS IN THIS BLOG:  I do not receive complementary  products to review, nor do I receive any compensation for reviews or mentions of branded items.  Any products discussed here I have either purchased on my own or are items that I sell or use my art and sewing business.

I have done it again, the end of last week has rolled into the end of this week, and I promised to talk a bit more about House of Embroidery perle cotton threads.  It might be better to share what I am playing with this week:

Don’t those look luscious?  The words luminous, splendid, brilliant and elegant also come to mind.  They are a delight to stitch, take a look at this little sample:

This is definitely the librarian/archivist coming out in me, I am starting to stitch out a series of postcards that will have a line (in chain stitch) of every single color.  I will have these threads at upcoming quilt shows, and the company allows retailers to create custom color combinations!  As I have been working on my own color blends of dyed fabric, the ability to have matching thread packages is wonderful news for me.