More on thread organization

Organizing threads is an on-going project…

My SplendoOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAr, Watercolors, and DMC flosses and perles are sorted by number, the rest are mostly by color and then by number. If I found a chart for color families, I have a copy with the threads.  Splendor, Silk & Ivory, Vineyard silks (these are the ones that come to mind) also have color family lists that I think you can find on line at their websites…I keep a copy of these also with the thread.

I also have color cards for many of my threads and these are stored hanging, in my old wooden toy bucket, or in a notebook (these are all my Rainbow Gallery threads).  I need to update these too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let me add a note here…I use and store my threads UNCUT, since I do some of my own finishing… I want to be able to pull the threads to use when making twists. I do not cut my Watercolours either but that is a post for another day. ThreadworX (http://threadworx.com/) is one of the few threads I have that are cut; the other two that come to mind are Dimin Epic and Rosebud Studio Felicity’s Garden and that is because they have such great animal fur colors. Epic and Felicity’s Garden are stored by color.

Back to storage…Some of the threads are stored on rings in sweater boxes; these are mostly stored by color, then number on large rings; the exception to this is ThreadworX and they are stored by number.

Another added note: I use the Floss Keys; I got mine from YarnTree (http://yarntree.com/) and Floss Pak bags to store yarns that I have begun to use on these rings.  If the skein or put-up  hasn’t been opened it hangs on the ring as is, but once I go to use it I wind it on a card.: I try to buy threads I know that have changes in their dye lots in pairs, so I will have two skeins of most colors. Once I wind one of these skeins on a floss Key I will store both in a Floss Pak bag. Once one of the skeins is completely or almost completely used I will buy two more hang them on the ring next to floss bag.

I also use the storage boxes I get at Hobby Lobby with my coupons; each box is labeled to the contents. Kreinik, DMC, Trebizond, Kreinik silks, Painter’s threads. Some others that I have limited colors are stored in these boxes too one for cool colors V-B-G and one for warm colors Y-O-R. These threads are stored by company , then by color, then by number;  I usually have less than two dozen of these threads per company…otherwise they would rate a box.  I always keep the label with the thread!  I make a template to store in the lid with number info for all these boxes.

All the DMC floss, #3 and #5 perle are stored in Hobby Lobby boxes. I use floss keys to wind the threads; each is specifically marked and is stored with the labels as well (I wind the thread over the labels.) The Floss Keys are marked not only with the color number on the top right but the type of thread on the top left: i.e. DMC (floss), DMC#3 or DMC#5.

 

I have some threads hanging on a wall but the sun does not hit them and they are mostly threads I have made samples of myself and some are discontinued or threads I do not use. I would not store threads here I plan to stitch with, there is too much of a chance they would fade or get dusty.

 

When I started this re-organization, I decided I also needed to update my inventory sheets. I have kept (and I use this term very loosely) a spread sheet of the different threads in my stash for years. I am not very good at remembering to update these files and so as I started the physical re-organization of my threads, I also took the time to update and re list threads in the spread sheets. DMC was the file I had semi kept the best and it was fairly easy to update. Some of the other threads I had listed all their colors even though I only had a partial inventory; so I made a second sheet within the spread sheet for the thread and called it “my threads” and the complete list is “master.” I moved the color info for only the threads I have in inventory to the “my threads” sheet. Now when I go to use threads I will be able to see if I need to fill in families (if info was available).

It took me a while to set up but it keeps me on track. I have been a poor record keeper and so I have some threads that I have kept buying because I was not sure I had them. I have 7 cards of #820 red Splendor; since this is a Christmas red I think several of these are probably from classes I have taken but I probably bought several too. I am from the school when in doubt, buy two. I have a few others of these and I did notice they are all in my comfort palette so I know I have purchased them more than once.

I have promised myself now that I am pretty thread organized both in storage and on paper I am going to keep it up. Will let you know at the end of the year how I feel I did. I have also bought a small loose leaf notebook (5.5×8.5″) that I am going to adapt the spreadsheets to fit, so when I am shopping I have it with me. Probably won’t work as well as I envision but we’ll see.

Storage and record keeping of threads is an ongoing thing and a personal thing. I think you have to look and listen to how others do theirs and then incorporate what works for you. AND then you have to be diligent about using your method.  I have a friend who gives or throws her threads away after every class or piece she stitches…she says it is more trouble and aggravation to remember where the threads are, to get them, and she never has all the right ones. There is too much Scotch blood in me for that…

Now that I have my threads in 85% order…it’s never completely finished, I am starting on all the stitch diagrams and stitch patterns I have collected and want to put in my computer. I know there are a great many stitch books out there and this is just for my benefit, don’t plan on writing a stitch book. But I have lots of stitches I have written down that I think could be developed into quick little designs.

Thank you for stopping by… I hope you find time to stitch today

ttfn…sue

Needed to reorganize

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My office and threads got away from me last year and even though I DO NOT make New Year’s resolutions, I decided reorganization was needed. I spent some time thinking about how I wanted to do this and nothing jumped out at me, so I decided to just jump in and start.

I made some basic decisions: If a thread is discontinued, I was getting rid of them: Good-bye Marlitt; Rainbow Gallery has discontinued threads over the years and I still have them, good-bye discontinued threads.  I had a complete set of JP Coats and I don’t think they make it anymore and if they do, I never used it.  There are two exceptions to this rule: Orange Needle Necessities (now ThreadworX) Overdyed Rachel. ThreadworX does not produce this thread and I love it for carrots and carrot noses so I horded several skeins for my own personal use. And another Needle Necessities thread, an overdyed Madras in blues was perfect for my Peter Rabbit coats; so I horded it too. I have been to the ThreadworX website (http://threadworx.com/) and have noted a few choices to replace these threads. ThreadworX if you are reading this: would love a #5 perle cotton in Trick or Treat orange.

I also decided that if any of my DMC floss or perle cotton was cut I would get rid of it. If I use perle cotton for stitching a Temari ball, it cannot be precut because I use very long lengths when stitching Temari Balls. I did keep my Anchor perle cotton, although I have heard it had been discontinued (Anyone know anything about this?). And I do know that Colonial Needle (http://colonialneedle.com/) carries a full line of Finca floss and perle cotton thread (sizes: 3-5-8-12-16) in a great color range, so I’ll start adding that to my stash. 😉

My old threads are going to a friend who uses odds and end of threads and canvas to stitch hearts for a Hospice Home near her. A heart is placed on a patient’s door after they have passed away. This alerts staff and visitors to be respectful and quiet around this patient’s room. The family is then given the heart when they leave. If there are any threads she doesn’t want she will send them to a prison in Ohio that used them.

So I began. Then I had to decide if after I separated all the threads I was going to sort by number or color. I finally decided on using both and seeing if I prefer one method over the other. All the DMC is stored by number and I will continue to do this since I have a great color card. If I stored a thread by color then within that color I stores in numeric order. Watercolours overdyes I stored by number but others I stored by alpha name. I guess you just have to find a method that works best for YOU.

I also decided to wrap all my threads on large floss winder cards and so I ordered 1000 floss Keys and 200 Floss Pak bags from YarnTree (http://yarntree.com/) so I can start this process. I also purchased some storage containers from Hobby Lobby to store the floss keys. I have begun a slow wrapping process…as I need a new thread I will wrap it on large floss winder cards. I also use these floss winders for any thread that is skeined, even overdyes. This will be an ongoing process; otherwise I will not get anything else accomplished this year.
I finished my reorganization this week-end by labeling all the containers. I feel so accomplished. I have two boxes and a bag for my friend who stitches hearts. I got rid of 4 large sweater boxes from my closet and I still have a closet full of threads! And of course, we all know that when I go to stitch, I will not have all the right threads….Stitcher’s Law. 😉

I don’t know if this is the final reorganization or whether I’ll redo as I go, but it is sure a lot better than it was last year. And I am still looking for an answer to whether Anchor is doing away with their pearl cotton? I would love to hear from you on how you store your threads. Do you store by color by manufacturer, a combination? I think when we share , we learn and that’s what this is all about and having fun stitching of course.

Thank you for stopping by… I hope you find time to stitch today

ttfn…sue

P.S. Someone asked me this week what “ttfn” means.  So for those of you who don’t know it is from Winnie the Pooh; Tigger says it all the time. It means “ta-ta for now” or “ttfn”. Winnie the Pooh books were my favorite growing up and my grandmother used to say this to me. So if Carol Burnett can pull her earlobe for her grandmother, I can ttfn for mine. It just makes me smile and we need to smile and make the world a nicer place.

Nelson Atkins Museum of Art Needlepoint

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We had 40+ for the holiday so we were very grateful for many things. Now it’s time to get ready for the Christmas holidays. It seems like I’ve done nothing this fall but put up Halloween and take it down; put up Thanksgiving and now I’m taking that down to put up Christmas. I think the older I get time passes quicker and I move slower.

Since I have more than one project going at the same time I have finished some other smaller projects while I was working on the blue bird. I really had to be in the mood to stitch the blue bird and so there were days I did not touch him. I did another big project while I was doing the blue bird…I don’t know why but sometimes I bite off more than I can chew.

KC Needlepoint, our newest needlepoint shop opened in June. (https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2015/06/16/no-stitching-todayjust-making-new-friends/) and they have local landmark painted canvases. And of course, one of them spoke to me right away and I had to have it. I could see it finished but was not sure how to stitch it but had an idea. So over the summer I looked at the canvas, made some decisions on what to do first and started on the canvas.

2015-12-08 KCAG1 unstitchI try to remember to take a picture of the unstitched canvas before I start stitching but I got ahead of myself on this one. I was so excited to stitch it I forgot. But I did get a picture before I had gone too far with my plans.

The other thing I try to do is research my projects if 2015-12-08 KCAG2 researchpossible. By this I mean if it is an actual place like the art gallery or a lighthouse I look them up on Google to see the actual place; this will give you a better sense of the actual colors of the area and the structure. I actually learned something about the shuttlecocks at the art gallery. There are three of them two on one side of the gallery and a third on the other side of the gallery; the gallery building is representing the badminton net (from the artist statement). I’m seldom on one side of the gallery and had not noticed it or did not remember it being there…but I thought it was an interesting bit of trivia…I’ll be good if I’m ever playing Kansas City Jeopardy.

First, I painted over the feathers on the birdie and let dry for several days. I stitched the background like there was no badminton birdie on the lawn leaving the ball of the birdie unstitched. Using one of the pictures I had I cut the birdie out and loosely basted an outline of the feathers. Then I stitched three feathers with Kreinik braid and then this project almost came to a screeching halt.

In my mind I had made three stumpwork feathers and attached them to the canvas. I had gotten some white wired braid and #12 and #16 braid from Kreinik and tried making a feather. My first attempt failed miserably and I decided maybe I should read about making wired stumpwork. Like I said before, sometimes I jump in with both feet and realize I have bitten off more than I can chew.

I kept mulling this idea over and over, and the canvas looked good with the three feathers I had already stitched on the canvas but I could see it with these three dimension feathers too. I knew I would not be happy until I figured it out. I took it to a gathering where a group of stitching friends were going to be and showed it to them. They all liked it just as it was but I told them what I saw…then one of them offered a piece of advice she had learned in a class…use a piece of voile or any light weight fabric to stabilize the stumpwork. Voilà, the light was flickering; I would mull this around and figure out what to do.

2015-12-08 KCAG3 ribbonI was heading for the fabric store when for a piece of voile when my daughter in law suggested voile ribbon (great idea then I will not have to buy 6 inches of fabric); and as a matter of fact we have some in the gift wrapping area of the basement… This turned out to be the lightbulb on moment I had been waiting

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

for. The ribbon was perfect.

My next hurdle was all the needleweaving books said you needed to uses one piece of wire for the outside. I have no problem with this but I also wanted a piece down the center for stability. After one miserable failure I just kept playing around until I got what I had envisioned in my mind. I used Kreinik #16 wired braid and #12 braid for weaving. It worked great after I got the hang of what I wanted it to do.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

These are the finished pieces. Yes, I did Stitch a second one for the shop without the neddleweaving but with the same overstitching technique…they’re going to have to use a frame.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Hope everyone is finding time to stitch this time of year…it is so relaxing .

Thank you for stopping by… I hope you find time to stitch today and all through this holiday week-end.

ttfn…sue

Blue Bird Flowers: Rest of the Flowers

Please keep France in your thoughts and  prayers. Our world needs more peacemakers and less hate mongers.

I’m running a few weeks maybe a month behind in my postings verses my stitching. Most of these flowers were stitched during Major League playoffs and World Series but I can’t write that fast. I don’t know how some of the needlepoint ladies post almost every day…I’m lucky to do one a week. But that’s a whole other story.

2015-18-12 BB o stitch guide

2015-18-12 BB j green flower 1I started the green flowers (#7 Stitch guide above) by stitching all centers first in French Knots with yellow floss. Then around the French Knots I used blue #12 perle to make Cast on Bullion Knots. If you all have been following me for any time you will remember back in February I told you about the new needles I bought

(https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2015/02/08/hari-kuyo-broken-needle-celebration/). They have been lying around my stitching nests

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

waiting to be tried. So I decided this was a good area to experiment with these not so new needles. I used the Chenille needles to make these Cast-on Bullions in the green flowers. Cast-on Bullions are different from Bullions Knots: Bullion Knots you just wrap the thread around the needle; with Cast-on Bullions you twist the thread like you were casting on stitches for knitting. Depending on how you do this casting on decides how the Cast-on 2015-18-12 BB d Cast onBullion will look. Casting on the same turn every stitch will make the bullion twist in a corkscrew like manner. Casting on every other turn will give you a more jagged turns. These knots were fun to do but time consuming. Then I filled in the green areas with Woven Plaited Stitch and then more Bullions in white perle. I think these flowers took me the four American 2015-18-12 BB e BullionLeague Games to stitch.

 

 

 

2015-18-12 BB f Cast on 1 2015-18-12 BB g Cast on 2 2015-18-12 BB h Cast on 3 2015-18-12 BB i Cast on 4

 

 

 

 

 

2015-18-12 BB k green flower 2The other green flower on the wing was French Knots and the Woven Plait …the Bullions had done me in by then. This flower was stitched with Kreinik green and Confetti pink, perle cotton and floss.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Another night I stitched the large yellow flowers on a wing and small side piece. I used yellow silk ribbon again to stitch French knots on stick for the petals and then filled these in with either White perle (small side) or Confetti pink French knots and embellished both with pink beads on the white and green beds on the pink.

 

2015-18-12 BB m spider webAnd then I was down to the three small yellow flowers. I had cut too long a yellow ribbon and so I decided to make spider web flowers with
yellow and pink silk ribbon. I made the base out of perle. These were fun to stitch while
watching the Word Series.
Finally I was done with the flowers but still needed to go back and fill in blue areas around flowers with more basketweave. Next week is Thanksgiving and we will finish up the Melissa Shirley Blue Stitching Bird…

Thank you for stopping by… I hope you find time to stitch today

ttfn…sue

Blue Bird Flowers: More Flowers

I am really not liking these flowers now. I think it is because I am ready to move on to other stitching and the blue bird has a bunch more stitching before it is ready for the finishers.

I was working on a piece at a time but that seems kind of counterproductive. I don’t seem to get into a rhythm, so I’ve sorta decided to work by color and get these flowers stitched.

2015-11-12 BB aThe pink stitches were first in this new method; there was just a single pink flower  (#4) on the large side piece. I stitched the green area in a woven stitch using #4
Kreinik Braid. Truthfully, this is a green no longer being produced, but I think this is an excellent way to use your stash and should I run out of #4 I’m sure I also have a spool of #8 2015-11-12 BB b pinkbraid and who but me is going to notice. In fact if you look at the pictures, the magenta Kreinik I used is Confetti Pink 042 and I believe this is one of the colors Kreinik is phasing out. I happen to love it and have it in every size so if I ran out I used another size. I have even been known to twist ribbon in the needle to use as braid.

But back to the flowers…The border is a Freeform Satin using Neon Rays, so I had to lay the Neon Rays. But the center is my favorite. I love to do French Knots and so both the white and read areas are stitched in French Knots. I used the Confetti Pink 042 first and covered most of the area, then added a few white perle French Knots around the edges.
2015-11-12 BB d redThere are four red flowers: 2 large (#6: one on the wing and one on the large side piece) and 2 small red flowers (#5: one on the large side piece and one on a wing) I’m not wild about all the white around the flowers (see stitch placement picture) so sometimes I just stitch over these areas with the petal color. The small red flower is stitched using all French Knots (yes I am on a roll). I stitched from the center out with yellow floss, Kreinik Confetti Pink 042, and white perle; then added beads.

2015-11-12 BB c redAnd since I am on the French knot making roll, why stop? I decided that since I was not found of doing satin stitch, French Knots on a Stick would do nicely for the petals of the red flowers. In case you hadn’t noticed all the red flowers are really Confetti Pink, and guess what the Needlepoint Police have not shown up at my door yet…and if they do I’m not answering the door!  And yes the centers are filled with more French Knots using green Kreinik, yellow floss and pink beads.

Can you tell I’m losing interest in this piece? I’ll be back next week to finish up the flowers…I am bound and determined to be done with this piece by Thanksgiving…I have too many other canvases to stitch….not to mention the original ideas floating around in my head.

Thank you for stopping by… I hope you find time to stitch today

ttfn…sue

My Stitching bird.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I usually set the next un-stitched canvas I want to stitch out on stretcher bars so I can look at it as I finish stitching the last one. This usually gives me incentive to finish a canvas and not dawdle; but sometimes (usually) I get ahead of myself and stick the new canvas audition out to soon and it frustrates me that the canvas I am working on is stitching so slowly.

This is one of those pieces that had many side stories to it, or maybe it is just insight into my crazy thinking. At any rate, I will try and explain as we go…I am going to walk you through MY processing. It takes some turns and twists…so let’s get started. This canvas is painted on three separate pieces of canvas for easy of handling; so I have three canvases framed up and I am going to start the bird’s bodies first.

2015-08-05 MS Bird tear sheetThis Melissa Shirley (http://melissashirleydesigns.com//) canvas is another guild member’s canvas (Remember if you like this canvas ask your shop to see if the canvas is still available.)  She loved birds and stitched many of them…I have a couple turkeys she stitched but this was one that spoke to me, so I brought it home. I knew I wanted all the squares to be the same stitch: middle blue square are Reversing Scotch, lightest blue squares are Milanese; and dark blue squares are Byzantine.  The yellow bars are Slanted Gobelin and the little squares would be Smyrna Crosses. I had even decided to stitch the bird in Brown Paper Packages’ Silk n Ivory (http://www.brownpaperpackages.com/).

(1st twist). Yes, I know some stitchers think Silk & Ivory pills on 18 count canvas and it may; but I have never had this problem. I think if you are stitching something that is going to get a lot of wear (belts, purses, etc.); Yes, then you should think about using another thread. But remember any thread on a wearable garment will wear: perle cotton will lose its luster as will silk pearls, floss will not hold up to constant wear, and wool will pill too. So in my opinion, you should use what you like. Wearable stitching is not for a lifetime in most cases. Using Silk and Ivory on 18 count ornaments, standups and other decorative pieces works for me and I use it. The only problem I have ever encountered over the years is that large area of Silk and Ivory stitched in Basketweave tend to be tight (but I did it on this piece as you will see), but I have very little or no problem with decorative stitches. I do us a size 22 needle when stitching with Silk and Ivory, I think the larger needle opens the wholes of the canvas a tad more and helps the thread move smoothly through the canvas.

So I had pulled my threads (I originally intended to do the entire bird in Silk and Ivory and had pulled all the threads. Good thing I have my stash at hand…because the best plans usually change.)

2015-08-05 MS Blue Bird square counts usedI don’t know why I picked a center square to start must have been Stitching Angel intervention, but somewhere I got it in my head these were not perfect squares. They are 16 threads to each square separated by 3 threads. But I made a mistake and stitched the Reversing Scotch Stitches over three threads instead of four. I could have taken it out but 2015-08-05 MS Blue Bird scotch squarefor whatever reason (I hate Frog stitching) I kept going.  I assumed the squares were off, but if I added a fourth thread to the dividers I could continue…I later went back and charted the Reversing Scotch and I liked my mistake better, so I kept it. After I played around and decided this mistake would work there was another twist: I have decided to change some of 2015-08-05 MS Bird rev scotch used 2the threads.

2nd twist: I have a list from Kreinik (http://www.kreinik.com/) of the threads they are no longer stocking (some you can request others have been discontinued) and I had spent a day separating these out so I would not use them for designing. I had lots of 042 Confetti fuchsia; I had used it to teach a class years ago when I was in certification for teaching. I use discontinued threads only in pieces for my personal use. So I decided to take yet another twist…

2015-08-05 MS Blue Bird copic marker3rd twist: A few years ago I discovered Copic pens (http://www.copiccolor.com and http://www.copiccolor.com/) and now I can’t get enough of them. While playing with the Copic pens and an air gun I realized I could color areas of white canvas to simulate any color canvas I could want to purchase…hummm…but that’s another story. But I have used them to color canvas backgrounds if I need a larger or different shaped background.  I wonder if I can change the color too?  So I stopped stitching and changed all the yellow to sorta pink so I could use the Kreinik Confetti Fuchsia.

So now I am back on track, well at least my track. I am stitching the blue squares and looking at the wings and sides too

2015-08-05 MS Blue Bird chin aAnother turn came (not really a twist but a stitchers/finishers decision) when I went to stitch under the beak. Since I have been doing some of my own finishing I am more aware of these sharp, small turns that do not finish well. So here, under the beak I made another stitchers choice. See that one stitch that is unpainted, it went away; not the finishing there will 2015-08-05 MS Blue Bird chin bbe easier. As you are stitching and you see this little opps, you can cover them with a stitch and finishing will be much easier

So for now I am stitching along on the blue bird bodies…I will be back with the sides and wings soon. .

Thank you for stopping by… I hope you find time to stitch today!  ttfn… sue

Stitching updates

15-02-24 temari aSorry about last week but the week got away from me and before I knew it this week is almost halfway over too.

15-02-24 temari bI have been trying to finish up a heart and move on to St Pat and Easter and poor Mardi Gras just blew by like a cold breeze (hummm it was cold.)  But I did make two Temari for the occasion,  just didn’t get them posted.  Used Kreinik blending filament in purple gold and green togive color to base of ball and stitched with #5 DMC Perle in Green Gold and 15-02-24 temari cPurple and a Kreinik braid. Simple 6 division but the Obi bands are different.

My creative juices are keeping me awake; I even got up one night to stitch…What can I say…didn’t have a pencil and I was awake so it seemed logical to me. I don’t think dog and DH had the same thoughts… and 15-02-24 heartsall I did was play with the Kreinik wire braid for a few minutes, okay maybe 30 but in an eight to ten hour night that’s only a few minutes. Didn’t even stitch it down during that time…and the light was only on my stitching.

15-02-24 stitches aAnd then Jane at Chilly Hollow (http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com/2015/02/lets-make-ribbon-flower.html)  posted this new type of knot that was taught at TNNA winter show (https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=656298941158846&set=o.108537025890131&type=2&theater ) and I had to try it, seemed perfect for this design. Colonial Knot, French Knot and Ruching. Plus the flowers are another decision I haven’t decided on yet either: Ribbon flowers, beads…decisions decisions!?!?!?!?!

15-02-24 stitches bAnd before I stitched the leaves on the heart I wanted to play with stitching picots. Needed to decide whether I wanted to use wired braid or just braid; whether I wanted two, three or four legged picots;  would one work better than another and did I want more than one style? You get the idea questions, questions and more questions.

But last week I did get this playing accomplished and this week I am really putting effort into finishing up the heart. Should get some great stitching time in as it is supposed to be cold, cold, cold and only have only a couple outings planned.

Thank you for stopping by to visit, I hope you find time to stitch today or do whatever helps you be creative!

ttfn…sue