Suggestions welcome and a stitched project

Spent the week end trying to put some order back into my computer; I am just not an organized computer user. Any advice on how you store pictures and stitching files would be greatly appreciated. I have stuff (pictures & files) everywhere and sometimes in more than one place; I have pictures of needlepoint in a blog photo folder that I think I might want to share; I have pictures of needlepoint in a sue’s stitched file and I have pictures of needlepoint in the unstitched file. I have a program that is supposed to organize pictures but I have never really read the book on suggested use; I did go to their tutorial site to read suggestions and got more confused than before.
This spring we lost a good local store front needlepoint store in our area; this is a tragedy for everyone too. It is a tragedy to the community that another small shop owner is no longer supporting the community, a tragedy to the store owner; and a tragedy that all of us who stitch… we have limited our resources yet again. Yes, we still have a needlepoint shop by appointment, one that is mostly knitting, and of course hobby and fabric stores (box stores)…but gone is the daily store front. Needlepoint is a visual and tactile art form and even though the internet is fine and great; there is nothing like picking your threads by touching them and seeing them together on the canvas. That is gone and I for one will miss it!
I started a new media…drawing, zentangles, doodles…whatever you choose to call this art; I’m trying to do this a couple times a week. I thought it would be a good catalyst for inspiration and creativity as well as relaxing and a good meditation. Since I know I learn best by reading and doing, I am well stocked in reading materials both books and internet and I have a large supply of art supplies as well as my computers.
I also need post about my stitching…I have four projects stitched but not finished. We’ve had a few innovative finishers in the last few years but unfortunately one God wanted to help in heaven and the other moved to England (I envy her so much…Royal School and all) for several years. So I need to find a new person or do it myself. I can do simple finishing but the cutesy, innovative stuff I leave to the pros. I really would like to find a great finisher that I can talk to directly; I wish she were close enough for me to visit.
This is my best creative offering for the week…


I saw this online at Adorn ( and Etsy ( So I bought it, have always wanted to make a bracelet/cuff and thought this would be a good way of learning a finishing technique. Orna kits her own threads with her own label which is different and I’m not sure how I feel about this. I had more than enough thread to complete the project but should I decided to frog stitch my mistake, I’m not sure I could have match the threads if I had run out. My braclet/cuff is a bit different (creative license) because I messed up following the chart and so rather than frog stitch I did the Marine thing and adapted, improvised and overcame. Then while 13-06-28 bead a finishing I forgot I had this great beading tool (Thank you NC) and while sitting on my patio dropped beads…opps…so my bracelet/cuff is sans beads on the edges. But at least it is a finished project.
And that’s pretty much what is happening here in the heart of the USA in the hot summer.
Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have time to stitch today!

Time does fly

Time must fly because I know I am not spending all mine. I blink and a week is gone; if I turn around the month has flown bye…can’t imagine what would happen if I fell down.

I have been working on documenting my pulled thread pieces and I’m also incubating ideas for the covering. I’m also stitching tombstone ornaments for my grandkids Halloween trees I started last year. One of my sons suggested I do stockings for them too…I think he was quite surprised when I told him they already exist; but since I do not do Christmas stockings for the little ones I figure Halloween would be a bit much. Anyway, I’m saving their teeth (they would expect me to stuff it with treats) and not stitching stockings.

orna framedBut today in a blinding rainstorm…it wasn’t raining when I started to the framers and he is a ½ hour away…I picked up the Orna Willis piece I won my mistake last spring (See my blog:

I originally was gong to put it in a box but then decided to frame instead. I really like the way it turned out.

Halloween stitchingOh drats, I just noticed I have a mistake in the tombstone…it is not centered.  I will be frog stitching tonight. But do you get the name: Kerry M Off (Carry ‘m off). I have Candy B. Good too… I think the names are pretty good maybe next year I’ll do Congress cloth and some of the epitaphs we have in a book; some are pretty funny. Okay I’m off to the graveyard to frog stitch.


Finished laying threads

I want to thank everyone for checking out the post on laying tools and how to lay threads. I have had lots of hits this last week. Thank you all.

Someone has even enabled me to add yet another laying tool to my collection. I will be adding a Zecca ( laying tool to my collection and maybe even a few other accessories. I will keep you posted.

orna-3  orna-5  orna-4





My Orna Willis freebie, Royal is almost completed; except for the beads that I will do today and tomorrow, but all the floss has been laid!  Then I need to find a box with an 8  inch opening. Sudberry has one but I am open to other suggestions. Just add a comment or email me with your ideas. Thanks, I will post a picture when the piece is finally completed.

I think my next project will have few laid threads!

I Lay, I Layed, I will Lay…threads


Oh yes, if you could wear out a laying tool I am giving it a good shot. I am stitching an Orna Willis piece I won by mistake. I thought since I won by mistake the least I should do was stitch it…I also have a good home for it when it is completed. If there is one drawback to this piece it is that it is all stitched in floss and that means…”Strip, Stoke and Lay.”

But I have given quite a bit of thought to laying threads and laying tools this past two weeks. And by no coincidence, not only do I have a scissor collection but also have a laying tool collection. Remember, if you have three you have a collection and I would have a collection just in the three I use all the time.

But first, here are the others in my collection: I have tried all of them but seldom use any but my three favorites.

laying-tools-31 I love these two, they were gifts and so I always think of the giver when I see them. I have used both of these, but I don’t take them out of the house anymore because I would hate to break them,  lose them or leave them somewhere. The top one is a Micheal Ernst Glass Laying Tool from Stitch Elegance ( This laying tool is so smooth but I am always afraid I will break it. It also does not have a sharp point on the end that I tend to prefer. It is beautiful! The wooden one is also a beauty and it has a sharp end but I definitely am afraid of breaking this point. At one time I know you could find this type laying tool at M’s Canvashouse (  

laying-tools-6 These I think are suppose to be bone or ivory but I think they are synthetic. All of these are part of a scissor/laying tool set.




Two more wooden laying tools and their cases. These laying tools are about 4 inches long.





These are all very different: The top one has a metal tip that is rounded on the end. I have found it good for laying ribbon type threads. The next one  is wooden and the pointed end was used to lay the thread and then the larger bowl end is suppose to be used to rub over the laid threads to flatten even more. I think this tool had a name but I don’t remember it. And the lower two are Wooden Cable Needles. I find these great to use when I want Turkey Tufting loops to be uniform.



Necessity is the mother of invention…these are other examples of what may be used as a laying tool. I have used these tweezers as a laying tool. I have a friend that uses this type all the time, she grabs the threads between the prongs to keep the threads flat and lays them very nicely. I never got the hang of this but then practice does make perfect.  The next laying tool is really a “hair pin”. It is painted wood with a jeweled end. And the last one was a kit I bought…one of those impulse buys. It is a doll needle with a beaded end I made . Other things that I have used are my finger, collar stays and Large #18 Tapestry needle.


laying-tools-2These are traditional type laying tools I use. The top one is a “tekobari” inserted into holder made especially for the tekobari. One end had a gel like substance that was suppose to be used to insert the point to keep it from getting damaged. Well, I didn’t know that and since I have large hands I put mine in handle side first so I would have something extra to grab. I am very careful about putting the lid on the tekobari. Some of these holders do not work as well as mine did but you can try . The next is a laying tool that was made with the laying tool inserted into the handle. It is from Rainbow Gallery (  and was my laying tool of choice but I only use it at home now because I have left the top someplace two or three times.  The bottom one of three I carry with me. I showed it here  because it is a laying tool in a case. The top of this case not only screws on over the tip but it screws on the back to make a longer handle (shown here) so I don’t forget it this way either. The husband of a stitching friend made this for me out of a pen base and a laying tool. I have shown this in two other pictures also.



 These are my laying tools of choice, I carry these with me in my stitching tools. The  Trolley needle I have had for years…it is really a large tapestry needle on a finger ring. I use it when I do not have a stand or it is a small take along project. It is not my laying tool of choice when doing a large project or working on a stand.  The middle laying tool is the an aluminium tool, but I am not sure which brand or who marketed this laying tool. I like it because it is lightweight, long and fits my hand nicely. The bottom one is the same one from above, shown with the top not attached. I like this one because it is long, fits my hand nicely and has weight to it. I use the bottom two laying tools most often.


laying-tools-1b laying-tools-1c 

Laying tools need protection, not only to protect their points but to protect you and your work. All my laying tools have some protection. Some have their own cover like the tekobari and case pictured here. I use red case for my long aluminium tool. (Red case  is a bookmark needlepoint. It comes with the canvas inserted. Some canvases are painted others blank…this one was blank and I added this design. After stitching needlepoint I lined and stitched up sides and left top open.) All the other laying tools have one of the tops pictured in 2nd picture. The three caps on the left of 2nd picture (pink, blue, & yellow) are knitting needle protectors. I like these knitting protectors but I lose them with great regularity so I am now using…clear rubber tube. The two protectors on the right of 2nd picture are clear rubber tube from the hardware store. It is inexpensive and comes in about 3-4 diameters and will fit most laying tools. I love the hardware store!

 Now if you are still with me…breif lesson laying thread…

lay-1lay-2Thread coming up from back of canvas. Using laying tool keep plies separated and laying side by side. I prefer to lay threads toward myself (top to bottom). But if I am in a class where teacher prefers that the threads are laid away from you (bottom to top), I do it.


lay-3  lay-42                                   I keep a firm tension on the thread as I return the thread to the back side of the canvas and is firmly set.




lay-5 This is a thread laid using a Trolley Needle.  Laying threads with any laying tool is like anything, it takes practice (and I am getting practice), at some point becomes second nature and is easier to do. I tell people it is like learning Basketweave…at some point it becomes second nature.  I also think your preference of laying tools is personal; it is what works for you and that can be anything as long as the threads are properly laid.


Okay, I need to get back to laying threads…


Sue is computing and stitching

I have been finishing up a couple computer projects. Took a piece to the framer that I want to display at NAN (  Guess maybe I should fill out the entry form too…oh fiddle-dee I worry about that tomorrow. Have been trying to visit my 91 year old uncle every day since he is not doing well. And then there is my family that likes to eat occasionally.

And in my spare time I am stitching the piece I accidently won from Orna Willis ( I showed the kit and explained how I came to win one on my blog Jan 30. orna-1So far this is two days of stitching but I bet the outer part is more time consuming. It is all floss, so everything is laid. But I needed a piece that told me where and when to do what….I think these kits are good when you need something to stitch but just don’t have the energy to select threads and stitches. It keeps you stitching and all you have to do is read and stitch.


I need to go read my bookmarked blogs to see all the wonderful things everyone is stitching.

I’ll be back later this week-end…