Boho Stitch Along. Week 3

To catch up, you can check out each week of the Boho Stitch Along right here!


Before I show you what I’ve been working on for my Boho Stitch Along this week, I wanted to share my upcoming classes for the summer! If you’ll be on the East Coast from June-September, you just might be able to catch a Boho Embroidery class!

Here is my summer schedule:

June 16, 2018: Finch Knitting and Sewing Studio, Leesburg, VA

July 6, 2018: (Just for TEENS!), Pennington Quilt Works, Pennington, NJ

July 6, 2018: Pennington Quilt Works, Pennington NJ

August 5, 2018: Sew Inspired Quilt Shop & Studio, Simsbury, CT

August 11, 2018: Alewives Fabrics, Damariscotta, ME

September 29, 2018: The Old Country Store, Lancaster, PA


So this week, besides a mad cleaning of my studio (more on that below), I focused on the center medallion of my project.

Using a combination of straight stitches and beads, I have almost completed this medallion!

The center of the center is a small mirror that I attached with a variation of the Shisha Stitch (I cover this stitch in my upcoming book!)

For next week, I plan on finishing up the center and then moving on to the feathers above the center medallion.

I’ll also be stitching some projects for Quilt Market and so i’m not sure how much i’ll be able to tackle…maybe it’s overly ambitious to think i’ll be moving onto the feathers! We’ll just have to see what the week brings!

The thread that I love to use for beading and embroidery is from Sulky and is called Sulky Petites. It is a 12 wt thread, which is about the thickness of 2 strands of a dividable floss would be. I love the variety of colors that it comes in and I can always find a match to the beads and fabric that i’m working with!

The beads that I used on the center are size 11 seed beads and are smaller than the size 8 beads that I used on the words “Magpie Dreams” from last week. I find my beads online and my favorite shop is Fusion Beads.

The adorable bird needle minder is from Alison Glass.


I have a tiny stitching studio in my home and the size forces me to constantly stay on top of how organized my projects are! When I finished writing my second book in the Fall, I transitioned right into Quilt Con prep and then in the February, attended Quilt Con. Before I knew it, Spring had arrived and I had a lot of chaos to deal with in my studio.

This week I decided I needed to tackle my space before starting on the next big project. Today finds me feeling much more organized and with room to breathe and work in my area!

I was also super excited to set up my brand new Daylight Company Slim Line LED Table Lamp. I have great afternoon lighting in my space, but morning and evening is a different story! I’ve been working with an Ott-Lite bulb in an ordinary desk lamp from Target. I have gone through 3 different Ott-Lites, each covered by warranties, and this bulb has been temporary solution until I found a lamp that I loved and that wouldn’t die on me when I needed it most!

Enter the Slim Line LED Table Lamp. I finished the Great Studio Clean-Up of 2018 yesterday and that was when my new lamp arrived. Hello perfect timing!

By last night, I was all set up and wanted to document just how awesome the light is and how i’ve probably been killing my eyes with my previous lamp!

Here’s the before (notice the Ott-Lite bulb sticks out further than the lamp shade?!):

And just look at the after with my new Daylight Company lamp!

I can clearly see every single thread color now!

A special thanks to Sariditty and Daylight Company for this lamp and if you want a coupon to save 20% off of your lamp purchase, use SARIDITTY18 at checkout!

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. 16

Welcome back for Week no. 16! 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!


Well, the stomach bug has hit our house hard this week, which means I did a whole lot of cleaning and disinfecting and then some more cleaning and disinfecting and not as much stitching as I had hoped!!!

I did have wits enough to put together this Tula Pink piece that is slightly larger than I normally work with, though, and I am considering it my Boho Stitch Along piece for the week!

This citron color is from Tula Pink’s Prince Charming line, which might just be one of my  all-time favorites…I still have decent cuts of all of the color ways from this one! I also added elements from AcaciaBumble and Slow and Steady.

I found this lap embroidery hoop for a whopping $2.50 at the thrift store and picked it up even though I wasn’t sure if I would like using it. Let me tell you….I definitely like this hoop! For large pieces of embroidery, it is so handy to not have to hold the hoop while i’m stitching. I feel like I can stitch faster than if I were wrangling a large 14″ hoop while trying to stitch!


In non-Boho Stitch Along related posts, I want to tell you about a new (to me) thread that I have been using for the past week or so. Sulky sent me a few things to try out and these Cotton Petites were among the samples.

I am always game to try a new thread and I discovered that these threads work really great when I am adding beads to my embroidery. In the past, whenever I added beads, I just used sewing machine thread because I wanted something thin that wouldn’t take away from the embroidery. I would inevitably have to deal with tangles and it just never worked great. So when Sulky sent me this, a lightbulb went off and I was excited to use it with beads.

Each spool has about 50 yards and is the thickness of about 2 strands of floss, but you don’t have to separate it…you heard me right! You can use it directly from the spool!!! I love when I can use a thread that doesn’t need to be separated because it lets me stitch more and work less!!

I haven’t seen these in any craft stores that are local to me, but you can check them out at Sulky and they come in both solid and variegated (or bendable) colors.


Have a great week stitching!!

-nichole

Boho Stitch Along. Week no. 12

Welcome back for Week no. 12! 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 continuing along with my Flaurie and Finch “Shiny Objects” hoop this week for the Boho Stitch Along and first of all, I promised the thread sources that I used in this hoop! From left to right they are:

Lion Brand bonbons, Sue Spargo Eleganza Perle Cotton and Silk n’ Colors from The Thread Gatherer.

I love the variety of textures that these threads lend to this project!

These are the Lion Brand Yarn bonbons which I found at Joann but Amazon also has them in all of the colors. I’ve found that the colors in store vary and they can be tricky to find (usually hanging somewhere in the yarn department but sometimes closer to embroidery supplies).

I originally picked them up because they are cute and tiny (and yes, I fall for stuff like that all the time!) but I wasn’t sure how they would work with embroidery. It turns out they work awesome! I use a Milliner’s Needle and easily embroider with this thicker-than-floss-thinner-than-yarn bonbon!

This week I also picked up, but didn’t test out yet, this Dritz Non-Stick Pressing Sheet. I have found that when I am working with Batik fabric, my usual Heat n Bond method does not always work great…sometimes leaving behind the texture of the Heat n Bond on the fabric itself. Hopefully this extra layer will help with that problem. I’ll let you know when I actually try it out!

And lastly, we had quite the snow/sleet storm this week and, eager for winter to be gone already, it made me pull out this neon Cotton + Steel hoop that I had prepped awhile back and stitch it up!

I echoed the shapes from the background fabric (a Cotton + Steel print from Alexia Abegg) and layered several other fabrics from the same line before embroidering in my most neon colors! A painted neon hoop completed it and it’s finally available in my shop!

Have a great week stitching!

-nichole

Secret Tool Stash

I have a secret tool stash. There, my secret is out. Just don’t tell my husband, because he doesn’t know about them. Well, he kind of does, but he doesn’t know where I stash them.

I move things around a lot, hang things and then change my mind and hang them again. I staple fabric to things, then change my mind, pull out staples and re-staple different fabric. I do a lot of this hanging, re-hanging, stapling and re-stapling when he is at work. I can only do this when I have my tools and the aforementioned husband might not be the best at putting tools back where they belong. Hence, my secret tool stash.

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I have a very old chair (and extremely comfortable) chair in my studio that I recovered once when I bought it about 4 years ago. I decided on a whim that it needed freshening and after a quick trip to JoAnn, I had a yard of navy fabric that screamed “new chair cover!”

This was one of the easier chair recovers I’ve done. It was simply undoing staples, removing the old fabric and stapling new fabric onto the seat.

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15 minutes later and I had a new seat! And some re-stashed tools, safe until next time.

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Made In Japan

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I have an affinity for any drawing and/or stitching book that is from Japan…whether it is a book that has been translated to English or it is in Japanese and I cannot read a word. I’ll take them all! The simplicity of the designs appeals to me because most of my work is bursting with color and pattern. Something simple is welcome to contrast to that.  Japanese sewing notions are another love: Tulip embroidery needles, tiny little scissors…it doesn’t matter, I love them. And speaking of “made in japan,” another love of mine is vintage ceramic figurines and stoneware. In a house of boys, these can be a nerve wracking addition to my decor, but I just. can’t. resist. Like these two little Indians in moccasins.  I mean, really, Indians in moccasins? I snatched these up quicker than you could say $3 for the pair!

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And how about this stoneware mug with a house on it?! I like coffee! I live in a house! Win, win on that find!

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