Posts Tagged ‘thread’


September 25, 2013

I’ve been thinking about what lies underneath – what is unseen, but necessary for future growth. I wanted to show hibernation for my November calendar project. Starting with floral prints in browns and grays, I strip-pieced a base and embroidered dead plants and roots.

The earth below

The earth below

Stitches with variegated thread

Stitches with variegated thread

My idea got a jump-start with Laura Wasilowski’s hand-dyed embroidery threads.

Color + texture = fun!

Color + texture = fun!

For all the notes, sketches and supplies I keep stacked in the sewing room, my ideas are a lot like roots and seeds hiding under the ground. With the right amount of rain and sunshine, some of them poke through and flower. Others wait for the next season. It’s sort of like magic, until the hard work of growing the project begins.

Twilight of the Thread

April 4, 2012

I gave myself permission to get rid of thread this week. Some of my thread is very old, some of it was meant for techniques that I don’t use, and some of it has been waiting for a special project that will never come. The old stuff I threw away – it’s stressful enough during an election year without trying to keep smiling when my thread breaks. I boxed up some of the rest – I’ll give it one more chance, in case I use those techniques in the next six months, then it goes to a good home. The special thread that I won’t ever use is going to my friendship groups in hopes of finding someone who will appreciate it.

The thread that was left went into two small-ish cases that I can keep by my sewing machine:

It may not be the most elegant solution, but it really works for me. I used to keep thread in a couple of small chests on the shelves that would often get blocked in by other stuff. Also, the thread would hide in the drawers – yes, I know the drawers are small, but thread is sneaky – which is why I have six spools of red.

Next came the embroidery floss. I have been finishing up cross-stitch kits that I acquired so long ago I no longer remember whether I bought them, was given them, or found them on the doorstep. While I felt a sense of accomplishment when the last stitch was crossed, I also felt a sense of oppression when I saw how much floss was left. I decided I would make small things for my brother’s soon-to-arrive grandchildren:


Boat on a bib


Bird on a bib


Booties with gull and shrimp

With what was left from the leftover embroidery floss (and an extra skein of purple) I decided to experiment with a tote bag:

My first attempt at a purple and black rose didn’t quite work, but that’s okay. The embroidery floss served its purpose, even if it is now living in my trash can instead of on the tote bag. Using the free stuff instead of the good stuff let me experiment, which helps me learn and grow. Now I’ll keep going until I create the rose that I want – and I’ve cleaned out one more pile in the sewing room!