Boho Stitch Along. Week 2.

Last week I began the Boho Stitch Along project that I’m going to take you through step by step so that you can see what is involved in an embroidery project using one piece of fabric. My hope is that you can see how simple this is and you will feel inspired to start your own project!

My first step, which I outlined last week, was to cut out the words “Magpie Dreams” with my Cricut Maker and adhere them to the fabric. The Dritz Spray Adhesive that I use works great for the first part of getting the letters to stick to the fabric, but that method is not a permanent way of adhering the letters. I planned to embroider the letters and whenever I adhere something with a spray, I make sure that I embroider that part first so that it does not begin to peel away from the fabric as I move the hoop around and embroider other sections.

I love the stem stitch for working with curves and adding beads. You can see a close up of my bead work. In some areas I added a bead to every stitch and in other areas I added it to every other stitch. And in some areas I just embroidered with thread. I hadn’t planned on the look that I was going for before I began stitching. I just started adding beads to the stitches to see what I liked!

The hoop that I am working with is 14″ and with a large hoop like this it can be tricky to hold the hoop while also embroidering. Add beads into the mix and you’ll feel like you need an extra pair of hands in no time!

I have typically managed to prop my hoop up on a pillow or a small table but it’s becoming increasingly cumbersome and so I was looking for something that could be my extra pair of hands!

I decided on this Universal Craft Stand after reading lots of reviews. Does anyone else get sucked into amazon reviews like I do?!

Let me just say…this stand is amazing. Seriously. It has a clamp to hold your work, so you are not tied to a fixed hoop size. The clamp is adjustable so I can also use it with my square frames that are thicker. And each section is adjustable, so there are lots of ways to adjust it to make it fit how you need to work!

(This is not an affiliate link…I just really like this stand and want to share it with you!)

So this week i’m going to finish up those words and hopefully start on either the birds or the feathers next week.

Thread Round-Up

As someone who works with lots of threads and always on the lookout for new colors and textures to try, it is one of my favorite questions when I am asked: “what threads do you recommend?”

So here’s a quick thread round-up for you if you are thinking of starting an embroidery project and want to try something new!


Hands down, my favorite everyday embroidery thread is Eleganza Perle Cotton. A collaboration with Wonderfil Specialty Thread, these colors from Sue Spargo are rich and saturated and match any project I am working on.

In the picture below, you will notice that size 5 is slightly thicker than size 8. With Perle Cotton, you do not need to separate threads, like you might typically do with regular floss. This is meant to be used directly off the spool, which might partially be why I like it so much!

You also get a lot of thread for your money with these spools! The size 5 comes in 40 yard spools and the size 8 comes in 70 yard spools.

This Dala Perle Cotton also comes from Sue Spargo, only this one is hand-dyed in small batches by her daughter, Kelly. The colors in these variegated threads are also incredible!

If you are used to using thinner threads but want to add a bit more texture to your work, I suggest giving this particular brand a try. It is easy to work with, does not need to be separated and also adds lovely visibility to your stitches. And notice the twist in the threads? That adds to the texture of your work and gives it a bit of shine. If you are going to be spending lots of time adding your embroidery to a project, you definitely want those stitches to stand out, right?!

Have you ever worked with wool yarn or thread in your embroidery? If you haven’t, these are my two favorite brands of wool yarn to use in my hand stitched projects.

On the left is Koigu Needlepoint Yarn which I picked up on a recent trip to Purl Soho in NYC. It comes in 11 yard hanks and is the weight of a fingering yarn. It does not need to be separated like regular embroidery floss. I have found that even though it looks thicker, it threads through Milliner’s Needles easily and I haven’t had any problems using it in my embroidery.

The Ellana wool thread on the spool is from Sue Spargo. Compared to the spools of Eleganza Perle cotton, this thread is thinner and wispier. I like to use it double stranded, but if you are looking to add delicate texture, then you can certainly use it as a single strand. This also comes 70 yards to a spool and the color selection cannot be beat! I could seriously find a use for every single color in this collection!!!

My favorite threads for adding beads to my work are these Sulky Petites and Sulky Blendables. When compared to a DMC type floss, these are the weight of 2-strands of floss. Each spool is 50 yards. I like using these to add beads because the colors are subtle enough to blend with my work and I rarely have problems with the thread tangling. This is a nice, lightweight addition to my embroidery toolbox!

Boho Stitch Along. Week no. 10

Welcome back for Week no. 10! If you are just beginning a piece for the #BohoSAL, check out my previous posts here. And if you are new to embroidery and want to learn the basics, check out my embroidery book, Boho Embroidery for everything you need to get started!


I’m so enjoying taking my time on this Anna Maria Horner Fibs and Fables hoop. This week, I started one of my clouds. I’m not sure what my plan is for all of the clouds yet, but I feel like this is a really fun start for this piece!

Let’s see what our stitch along friends are up to this week, shall we?!


Check out the tools that @stitchalongwithjen keeps nearby for her stitching project! I’m all about Elmer’s Washable Glue for just about everything!!!

I love the what @andreatebs is doing here. To achieve perfectly spaced stitches, she is using Tiger Tape. I have never used this, going the route of chalk or pen lines and a ruler, but I am now curious and want to give this technique a try!

Melissa is working with some teeny tiny Dandelyne hoops…my favorite mini hoop designer!!! These are beautiful earrings!

I love watching this one by Ann take shape. And how about that adorable needle minder?!

Another fabulous work in progress by @yondergirlie with a fabulous pair of scissors (I have and love those!) and her floss on a wood bobbin!!

And it looks like @belladar58 has new threads from @thethreadgatherer on those adorable mini spools!!!

I am asked a lot about needles and so (hopefully) midweek, i’ll be doing a needle round up! Stay tuned and until then, happy stitching!

-nichole

Cosmo vs DMC vs Eleganza

As a stitcher who has used, almost exclusively, DMC floss for years now, i’ve been excited to recently add some other floss and thread brands into my stitching arsenal. If you’ve been following along on Instagram, you already know how much I love the Sue Spargo Eleganza perle cotton…if you haven’t tried that yet, I definitely recommend it.  It comes in a saturated color palette and adds extra shine and texture to your stitching.

Here you can see pictured from left to right: Cosmo, DMC and Eleganza.

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Cosmo floss is not as easy to find in the US.  In fact, there are not any stores local to me that sell it. It would be nice to actually see the colors in person before deciding what to buy, but, alas…. Fortunately, there are online shops that carry Cosmo floss.  DMC floss is stocked at every craft store, from Joann Fabrics, to Michaels, A.C. Moore and Hobby Lobby.

Pricing is a factor that you may want to consider also.  DMC Floss costs $0.40-0.50 a skein.  Cosmo is around $1.30-1.60 a skein.  And Eleganza is about $5 for a (70-yard) spool.  With DMC and Cosmo, you are able to separate the 6-strands into however many you like to stitch with.  Eleganza Perle cotton does not separate into strands; it is about the thickness of three stands of the other varieties of floss.

As far as stitching difference, I would say the most noticeable difference is the feel of the threads.  Cosmo has a silkier feel when compared with DMC.  It is also slightly easier to separate the strands and there are fewer tangles.  When stitching with all 6 strands, Cosmo provides a slightly thicker line of stitching than DMC.  Eleganza rarely tangles and also has a silky feel.  DMC comes in more colors and is easier to find, but Cosmo and Eleganza are well worth shopping online to find.

If I had to rate them in which order I would choose a thread to stitch with, I would start with Eleganza first, Cosmo second and DMC third.  All are excellent threads, though, and I certainly won’t be giving up DMC when I need a quick floss fix!

Let me know what other differences you’ve noticed between these threads or if you have another favorite that I didn’t mention here!