I cannot count my day complete
'Til needle, thread and fabric meet.
~Author Unknown

Sharing a common thread with those who love the art of hand embroidery

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Embroidery Floss....my palette

In my last post, some of you have asked me about the amount of embroidery floss I have on hand. I have a ton!{: For several reasons. I have been embroidering for 20 years for other people. From a clothing designer in Boston, customers in Georgia and Virginia, as well as local customers. Floss is my tool, just as a mechanic needs tools or a chef needs his knives and equipment. I also make sure I have more than one skein of the same color. I keep a list of the colors I have and how many. When I start getting down to one skein color only, I buy more to replenish it. Some also had mentioned wal-mart not handling floss anymore. The same has happened at the wal-mart I shop at. With other stores being 100 miles away, I have started ordering on line.

I don't want my threads to get tangled, so I keep them in large zip-lock bags, in which I have punched holes in the bag's side and place them in large notebooks. I have a couple of notebooks for new unused floss and I keep my used and cut skeins in a separate notebook.

I have a bag for each color group. Reds, greens, blues, pinks, ect. I have a list inside of each bag that tells me what color and color number are in that bag and how many skeins of that color I have.

I also have different types of floss for different types of work. The pearl cotton pictured above, I use for crewel work. I also have silk floss which I used a lot for the garments for the designer in Boston. I worked with them for 5 years, so I have quite a bit of that. To avoid confusion, I did not work in Boston. I would send my drawings and stitch samples to them, they would mark what they liked and send the garments to me. Some of my work has graced the "walkways" of New York. {:

I also have a color skein book on hand for a quick reference to color matching. It comes in handy when a customer is trying to decide on color. ....... Well, that's just about it. For all of you who are embroidering, I would just say, find the floss that you like to work with best. Does it go through the needle and material well without fraying? I prefer DMC floss. It is high quality. Most important..... Just enjoy yourself!


Pam said...

When I saw that first picture, I just thought "WOW!" All of that beautiful floss.....such possibilities!!
I'm so glad I found your blog; not only is it a joy to see the beautiful things you have made; you have really inspired me to dust off my hoops and get my hands busy again. I'm completely self-taught, so my work is not good, but I enjoy needlework so much.
I was working on a pillowcase yesterday, and my Grandson said he wanted me to make one for him....I replied that I'd see what I could find, as I knew he wouldn't want one with flowers on it (he is one of the most "rough and tumble" little boys you'll ever find!!)- He said he wouldn't mind if it had been made by me.
Thank you.

Kathleen from Yesteryear Embroideries said...

Hi Pam, I am so excited you are stitching! How sweet about your grandson. For something boyish, you can go to colonialpatterns.com and look over their Aunt Martha hot iron transfers. They have cowboy, horse and puppy transfers. Good luck and enjoy yourself! Blessings, Kathleen

Vintage Linen Treasures said...

OK, I'm impressed! Not only do you have a HUGE collection of floss in gorgeous colors, but you are so organized! If you saw my supply of floss, all tumbled together into a large plastic bag, you would cringe! (But it's not my fault, I found it that way at a garage sale and it just sort of stayed that way...)
Patricia :)

Domestically Inclined said...

Beautiful! I have loved using floss on velvet to make samll gifts mostly for family as heirlooms. I have never enjoyed crosstitch, but truly enjoy freehand embroidery making up my own patterns as I go along. After finishing my current project I would like to begin a replica of a a tea set that pattern that I saw on a table cloth that my MIL's Mother made in the 1930's. SO nice to come across someone else who enjoys such things...even if I envy your organizational skills. :)

Farm Chick Paula said...

Kathleen... can I come live with you? LOL
If I could only be that organized... problem is, when I "organize" my craft room, I can't find anything because I forgot where I put it! LOL

Linda said...

Hi Kathleen..you have a great system and I'm going to adopt it.

I bought tons of floss before Wal Mart closed out their sewing section and have put some on bobbins...takes a long time. I like your bag system and then putting the inventory inside each bag.

DMC is my favorite too but I just started a project using Weeks Dye and I really like it. Happy stitching. Hugs, Linda

Dani said...

You said you order online...what site do you use? I like the way you have things organized...I have two divided boxes and put all colors on spindles with the numbers written on each one..and then organize them by color...works for me but with more floss your way would probably work better.....just ordered a pillowcase and have to complete one I started some time ago....
thanks for encouraging everyone to start embroidering...maybe this will be the start of a movement..wouldn't that be great?

Katie said...

Such wonderful tools of the trade. What kinds of needles do you use and how do you store them? So wonderful to see a professional at work! I like to dabble now and then. I do try to put my partly used floss on those white cardboard holders to keep them from becoming a tangled mess. I'd love to see a piece of your work in person. Your pics are great but ....

Julie said...

All of that floss just gets me so excited! I get so happy seeing just about any craft medium!
That is such a great idea that you have for storing them! Alot of mine is wrapped around those little cardboard things, but it doesn't always work so well. Yours is a MUCH better idea and I thank you for sharing it!
Our Wal-Mart also quit carrying it and I don't know why???? Even our local Hobby Lobby doesn't seem to carry as much, anymore.

You're so talented! I just love looking through your beautiful creations!


shirl said...

Hi Kathleen, I love looking at floss, I have a hugh collection also. I have mine wrapped on cards in plastic boxes(6 strand DMC). THe pearl cotton and other types I have in different tins. I bought some really neat vintage floss on ebay from England. It's pretty, kind of shinny looking. I was thinking about doing a post of some of my threads. You would like the silver needle kits, they have a hugh variety of threads, suede, velvet, curly, fuzzy all sorts of types.
Wish we were neighbors, we'd have a blast!
Blessings, Shirl

Lea of Farmhouse*Blessings said...

I have dreams of swimming in floss ... happy, happy dreams!