Saturday, April 29, 2017

Some Stitching Thoughts (New vs. Old)

Some stitching thoughts for today.

Since retiring, I have picked up my cross stitching needle again. It may be the best thing I have done. I have fallen in love with it all over again. I don't have room for any stitching in my house as I was once an avid stitcher and filled up my walls.

I have a farmhouse though, so I can stitch samplers for it. I have projects lined up and work every night on them while Hubby watches TV.

I had probably put away stitching for a decade. I think I did a couple of things for my son's room in the early 2000's.

I felt so out of the loop when I started back. Thank goodness for the Internet and blogs and Youtube. I discovered Q-snaps that way. I like them so much better than my embroidery hoops. My biggest reason is now I can put a magnifier and light on them. Those two things are amazing. Thanks Arlene.

I have seen so many things to inspire me and get me rocking on my favorite past time. I love how many people finish their stitching rather than framing. I especially like this for seasonal items. Oh my, I have SOOOO many things I want to stitch that are seasonal.

Now, for as many things that have been awesome to learn about, there have been some things that have made me question myself as a stitcher and some things that are all the rage that I am not so sure I like.

For example, embroidery thread and different types of cloth.

Embroidery thread to me in the 1980's and 1990's was DMC. I have lots and lots of it. I see that have extended their color list because way back then I was pretty sure I had all the colors.

Y'all I love DMC thread, but now we have these overdyed threads... Weeks, The Gentle Arts, and Classic Colors.

Now, I do know that some of these have been around since the 90's. I just didn't know about them then.

This lovely cottage is from a magazine published in the fall of 1993. It uses Gentle Arts Threads.

Also back then was Aida cloth in different counts. Now, every type of linen and other things you can imagine. Aida cloth seems to be a thing of the past.

I have been pondering all of this as I have picked back up this hobby. I am a second guesser of myself anyway, so it is no surprise that I would spend time thinking about all of this.

First up is what I have decided about threads. A big ole strike for me on the newer threads is the fact that they are not colorfast. They are all the rage it seems with the big time bloggers and stitchers who seem to take this hobby of mine and make it job. I don't want it to be work, just a fun hobby.

However, being the researcher that I am I have read a whole bunch on it and there are far more of those out there who love these overdyed threads than those who don't. Well of those who talk on blogs.

I came to my opinion of them quite by accident. You see I did this sampler last year and literally loved it.

It had a bunch of color names I had not heard of, but I thought nothing of it because they had the DMC numbers beside them as well much like the old days patterns had Anchor next to DMC. I thought nothing of it. However, several of them had two colors of DMC and you had to use one strand of each.

I did just that and it was one of my favorite stitches.

I then read about all of these new colors and so recently when I did this bunny, I ordered the new kinds of thread. I noticed quickly they were real pricey.

I paid for it and this bunny was quite expensive. I even paused before I ordered and found all of these substitution guides for DMC conversions.

Gentle Arts to DMC
Weeks to DMC
Classic Coloworks to DMC

I decided I would try the new stuff out. I am now on a second project with these new threads.

I have reached my own conclusions on whether I will use them in the future.

I really don't like that they could run if they got wet especially if I use them on seasonal projects that I am not framing.

I think they are quite pricey. If I loved them, I would probably find a way to work around the price, but I don't just love them.

I think they are more knotty and break more easily.

I also don't think they stitch as evenly. Which would make me second guess my talent, but you know i have been stitching a long time. I have my ways and they work for me and I really like my past stitching, so I won't allow myself to think I am inferior stitcher. Probably not the best, but not the worst either.

My sampler that I used the conversions on by accident is a favorite of mine.

***There are a couple of colors where there is such variegation that there is no DMC substitution as in the Weeks Clam Shell.

I have decided that I will use DMC for most projects.

In this cottage (thanks again Arlene), it uses Clam Shell.

You can see Clam Shell on the side of the cottage.

I am unsure at this point if it is worth it. I think in this case it might be, so I will do a case by case basis. I think I will know if I think it is worth it at the end of this project. I am truly not sure I like the look. I see where they are going with making it look aged.

I will let you know my thoughts on this when I am finished with this project.

I also have decided I don't love all of the linens out there. Some are a big YES! I loved my books of the Bible on the linen.

However, y'all I still like Aida!!! I don't go around the house and think how awful my old ones look. In fact, I really want to do this blue house on Aida even though it has been stitched on linen in the model. This was something I purchased from eBay.

I guess I was out of the loop back then as well.

Anyway, I love stitching and plan to continue using my instincts and loving the process of stitching which will mean I never produce the number of finished pieces that many of these bloggers are doing.

I am loving the process and the gift of relaxation it brings me.

That's a wrap on a long thought out post for stitching.

Off to enjoy the weekend.
See y'all Monday.


  1. I agree about the threads....DMC for me most of the time. I did pick up some Weeks colors for an old Prairie Schooler Village I am stitching. I did it mainly to bring the 1980s village to the 2000s. It will be framed so I think I am ok. The color fast thing has always bothered me as you never know when water might get splashed on something...would it leave blotches etc. And I just love DMC...thanks for sharing that I can find conversions online. I like Aida as well. For things I am folding and finishing myself, it just works better for me. I TOTALLY agree about those who make a hobby a job. One big time stitcher was touting her method of stitching in her floss tube the other day. It is like a sewing machine....I just love the process of hand stitching. I do not know that I could explain that to her. I love all your stitching and I do like the variegated thread on the side of the houses in Freedom. I did not do that and now I kind of wish I had!!:)

    1. I will let you know if I like the Clam Shell on the Freedom houses. I am not really sure right now. It seems a bit much, but it may all come together on the finished thing.
      Those girls are missing out on the hobby and love of hand stitching in my opinion, but I have learned tons from them.
      I love ALL of your stuff. I think we just have to remember to be ourselves and love the hobby. Learn what we can, but bring it back to what we enjoy and like. I am bad about second guessing myself.
      All I know is I enjoy it and I had all these plans to sew, but I have really found myself stitching more and I am good with that!

  2. That was interesting to read. I sometimes wonder whether the dazzling range of crafting materials available is a blessing or not. It makes crafting more accessible but you are not as challenged to be creative. Haven't decided yet.

    1. I like to try new things, but then I like to make sure I follow my heart and not get carried away with what I see out there. We don't want to all be cookie cutter representations out there. Love seeing individuals and their talent shine through.

  3. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, Sandy. I much prefer stitching on Aida. My eyes are not what they used to be and even with a magnifier, 18-count is as small as I could handle. I won't even attempt linen or stitching over multiple threads. There are too many other challenges in life ... I have no intention of challenging myself in an area that should be relaxing to me. I much prefer DMC floss ... I am very frugal for one thing, and have loads of it on hand. I also can't fathom the idea that if something splashed on a stitched item, the floss could possibly run and ruin the item. If I put that much work into something, I am not intentionally going to take chances.

    And I agree with you ... I don't go around the house thinking how awful my old stitched pieces look. I still like them a lot!

    Thanks again for sharing your thoughts on this subject. A very interesting post!

    1. I am glad you liked hearing my thoughts. I definitely will not spend the money on the more expensive new ones. I know now that I could achieve even that real variegated one with mixing threads now that I have worked on it a bit. I have a few more to finish in linen, but I am going back to my love of Aida. That is the danger of watching too many videos and reading too many blogs. You have to be true to yourself. Ok to try new things, but then make your own decision.


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