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. 23

Welcome back for Week no. 23! 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 picked up my Urban Artifacts hoop again this week after not stitching it for awhile. It’s like coming back to a comfortable old friend! I haven’t shown a full view of this hoop since I started stitching it back in January, so here is where I am so far:
I worked a little bit of couching this week and added some beads to coordinate with the variegated thread that I used.

This thread is beautiful. It is called “Fly a Kite” and is a mix of buttercup, spearmint, ice and bluejay blue colors and is from a Limited Edition color pack (which, P.S. it looks like is still available!) from Sue Spargo. I typically do not use much size 3, the largest perle cotton size, but I don’t know….i’m really liking the thickness of this size to stitch with.


As far as other stitchy happenings this week, if you checked out my Instagram stories, you’ll remember I was stitching up a Liberty pincushion from a kit that I bought from Nicole at Modern Handcraft. Have you seen her Hexie pincushions yet?! If not, check them out! I love, love everything that she makes!

I bought this kit ages ago and am so proud of myself for finally finishing this thing! And, bonus, it is just adorable in my workspace!


And lastly, I was really excited to attend Book Expo America, the largest book fair in North America, this week. I was there for a Boho Embroidery book signing. It was great to meet so many librarians who will be using my embroidery book as part of their summer program series and giveaways at their libraries.

My color/texture loving self could not get enough of this display! Made from recycled paper, each round of paper was hand lettered and illustrated by both artists and visitors to the booth. It was truly stunning and this picture only captures a small section of the display!

Between fan-girling at Book Expo (I saw Mo Willems from a distance!) and my book signing, I had a small window of time to run over to Purl Soho and geek out over the displays of Liberty fabrics and wall of yarns.

And spotted some wool Ellana in action too!

What a whirlwind day in the city!

Hope your week went well and don’t forget to check out the beautiful hoops being stitched up in the #Bohosal pool!

 

Boho Stitch Along. Week no. 22

Welcome back for Week no. 22! 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 am just loving this Outback Wife fabric SO MUCH. The fabric has so much texture pre-stitching and is slightly heavier than a quilting cotton, so it can withstand the weight of the beads and threads that I am adding! Here it is, in my garden….doesn’t it look like it belongs with the peachy-orange irises?!


And speaking of Outback Wife fabric, did you see the two limited edition color ways that were released at Quilt Market? I will be stalking my favorite fabric shops for yardage to be available because I think I need more!!!

Here is a picture of the limited edition colors from Ella Blue Fabrics:


We have so beautiful floral inspired hoops that are in the #BohoSAL feed and I thought I would share some of my favorites this week!

This is a lovely piece by @locowispsnwips and you can check out her feed for lots of detail shots!!

@beckymac1 has perfectly matched her Eleganza to this gorgeous floral and I can’t wait to see more pictures of this hoop as she makes progress!

 I just love hummingbirds and so when I saw this hoop from @handmadewhimzy, I knew I had to feature it! And I love how she is changing the flower with her embroidery!

Such perfect little stitches from @quilterathart and lots of other beautiful embroidery on her feed!


And that’s a wrap! Have a fabulous week and happy stitching!

Boho Stitch Along. Week no. 15

Welcome back for Week no. 15! 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!


You may have noticed that I tend to jump around a lot with my #Bohosal piece!! It’s really just to keep you on your toes and not at all because I have too many ideas to contain to just one piece!!!
This week I started and finished a project. When I have lots of deadlines and projects going, I find it works best to introduce yet another project, just to really make my week tricky!

I like to move around the art on my walls fairly regularly, which means that I sometimes end up with pieces that just don’t work anymore. I had a canvas picture of a bike and I just couldn’t make it fit anymore. So I decided to pull a piece of fabric that I really liked and embroider that and then staple it over the canvas picture. This is one of my favorite ways to change up art!

I chose a print from the Shiny Objects collection by Flaurie and Finch. I’ve worked with their fabrics a lot in the past and love the details that are included in each of the fabrics. This collection has metallic bits sprinkled throughout, which is so much fun!

I began with a running stitch in several varieties of thread: Eleganza Perle cotton, Silk Thread and even some yarn. Next up I added beads to the running stitch. I finished up with satin stitching around the flower and a neon leaf or two to really make the flower pop off of the fabric.

I’m thrilled with how it turned out!

Next week i’ll share some of my favorite #BohoSAL posts from our ever-growing pool! How exciting to look through all of the pictures and see so many hoops in progress!

Have a great week and Happy 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

Boho Stitch Along. Week no. 11

Welcome back for Week no. 11! 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 think by now you know that I love to switch between projects a lot! I have several #BohoSAL hoops going and I work on them depending on what mood i’m in and what other projects I have going for the week!!

This week, I started on a piece of fabric from Flaurie & Finch. I met the ladies of Flaurie and Finch at Quilt Market in October and, besides being super nice, they haven’t designed a fabric yet that I don’t love!

I also really wanted to try out this stunning Silk ‘n Colors thread from The Thread Gatherer. This is a 12-ply thread which means you can use anywhere from 1-12 strands of it in your project. I chose to use all 12 strands just to see how well I could stitch with it. Let me tell you, this thread is amazing. I had no trouble with tangles, the thread easily went through my fabric and the end result was a noticeable raised stitch.


This particular deep purple fabric is from Flaurie and Finch’s Shiny Objects collection and it is called “Menagerie.” I love a fabric that has a healthy dose of metallic shimmer! Butterflies are always a bonus!


So there’s my #BohoSAL for the week. Here’s what else i’ve been up to…


I was excited to be featured on Sue Spargo’s site last week…you can check out the feature here as well as check out the thread pack that I curated in my favorite colors! P.S. You can also find my book on her site now too!


If you’ve been wanting to try Eleganza thread but aren’t sure where to start, the colors that I picked for the Wildboho Eleganza thread pack are a great mix of saturated colors that I use for just about everything!


It goes especially well with the brand new upcoming Alison Glass line, Chroma Handcrafted. Seriously, these colors!!!


Speaking of colors, I’ve had the chance to work with another gorgeous fabric line from Dana Willard (on instagram at @made_everyday) for Angles which is a new-ish division of Art Gallery Fabrics. Dana’s fabrics are just beautiful and colorful and everything you want as a base for embroidery! (P.S. you Boho Stitch Along-ers…any of these fabrics would be really fun if you are looking for a new #BohoSAL piece!)

Her line is called Fiesta Fun and you’ve seen peeks of the hoop I’ve been creating this past week on Instagram.

First off, check out some of these colorful prints! (These are just a few of the prints from this line. For more fabrics and some gorgeous inspiration, check out Dana’s page describing this new line here.)


These bright colors are just what I wanted to be stitching as winter winds down!


For this hoop, I began with the blue and white fabric and then added the first bit of color from flowers that I cut from the colorful version of the same fabric.

Now, I know some of you are all about fussy cutting and will see nothing wrong with what I’ve done here, but others will look at this cut fabric and see nothing but waste!!! It had to be done, though!!!

Once I cut out the flowers that I needed and attached them to the fabric, I could begin adding even more texture and color with my embroidery.

And here’s the finished hoop…I just love how this turned out!!!

I’ll leave you with all that color inspiration for today!

Have a great week of stitching!

-nichole

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

Boho Stitch Along. Week no. 9

Welcome back for Week no. 9! 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!


We had a preview of Spring here in the Northeast this week and everything about the colors on my Stitch Along piece makes me think of warmer weather! I added a few straight stitches to the upper portion of my hoop this week.

These threads are the BRAND NEW colors from Sue Spargo. It’s obvious that #ihavethisthingwiththread, right?! So I couldn’t wait to break out these colors: Soldier Boy  on the left and  Hoppytoad on the right, both in size 5.

Let’s see what our stitchers have been up to this week!


I noticed a geometric theme with some our our Stitch Along hoops this week and so that’s what i’m featuring today!

@willowandtroutmakerie added some fun texture to this hexie fabric with silk ribbon bees…how fun are they?!

@leighbee279 is highlighting those hexie shapes with a neon green backstitch! Love that additional pop of color!

This is one of my favorite Anna Maria Horner fabrics (although I don’t have this color way!!!), and @mamacesare is adding the Fly Stitch and Palestrina Knots to her hoop. Love the addition of red!!!

The Trellis Stitch that @stitchingkat is adding to this Kaffe Fassett is just…WOW! I love every bit of this!


Remember last week I said I had been working on a hoop for Heather Givans? Well, here it is at QuiltCon!


I used the center section of the Reading Circle EPP pattern from Heather to create this 10″ hoop and I made it using the mock-EPP method that I demonstrated in my book.

The Grafic fabric from Latifah Saafir is seriously amazing and I was looking for an excuse to use it in another project!

Make sure to check out the #readingcircleepp hashtag so that you can see the gorgeous roundup of (full-size) projects created for the Crimson Tate booth at QuiltCon.


Now before I go, how about a challenge for all of you Boho Stitch Along-ers out there!

Are you nosy….I mean curious like me and want to see the tools, threads, cases that other stitchers use on a daily basis?

Here’s what one of my stitchy ArtBins looked like last week while I was knee deep in three different projects!

And scrolling through the stitch along feed, I came across this little gem from @andreatebs.

So there’s your challenge. An easy one, right?!

Now, back to stitching….

Have a great week!

-nichole

Blithe Fabrics Blog Tour


I was honored to be able to work with Katarina Roccella’s beautiful new fabric line, Blithe for her blog tour. Katarina is a designer for Art Gallery Fabrics and I am a huge fan of her fabric designs! A muted palette of grey, teal, pale pink and even a few metallics mixed in…this is the perfect end of winter, hint of spring fabric line!

You can read more about Katarina’s inspiration here and you can see the Art Gallery Fabrics look book here. Follow along with her on Instagram and check out each of the other stops on the Blithe Blog Tour!

For all of the hoops, I used size 5 Eleganza Perle Cotton from Sue Spargo. This hoop was made using the Bird Songs design from Blithe.


 I added lots and lots and lots of French Knots in pink, orange, white, grey and black to the buds on the branches. I picture this tree blossoming in early spring with the greyness of winter far behind!

For this hoop, I used a background of Winterberries in Snow which has metallic gold berries flecked throughout. The butterfly was cut from the Arcadia Bliss in Shine pattern. I used large teal Lazy Daisy stitches on the butterfly and I added grey Feather Stitch details to the background.


This snow bunny was also cut from the Arcadia Bliss in Shine fabric and the background is Winterberries in Gold. A teal Chain Stitch border and offset Lazy Daisys in hues of pink and orange and teal add to the spring like feel of this hoop.

I love the lacy, almost doily-like, pattern of the Arcadia Bliss fabric and I tried to replicate that with additional stitching on the bunny.


This is the only hoop that I used all wool thread to embroider on the fabric. Ellana Wool Threads from Sue Spargo / Wonderfil Specialty Threads are delicate and yet vibrant in color. On this motif from Joy Wreaths, I introduced brighter colors as I embroidered Bullion Knots, Cross Stitch and Lazy Daisies. It was a delicate balancing act…embroidering just enough to let the fabric shine through and not going too crazy with stitchery!


For my final hoop, I used several fabrics, including this beautiful quote on linen from the Eternal Nature fabric, to weave a pattern. Using my trusty Wefty Needle, I used the fabrics listed above and added several strips of the Evergreens in Dusk for a lovely, woodsy feel. I also added a snowy owl from Bird Songs and embroidered him in whites and greys.

I love working with Art Gallery Fabrics and especially enjoyed working with these gorgeous Blithe fabrics as winter winds down and spring is not too far away! I hope you enjoy these hoops as much as I enjoyed creating them! 


-nichole