Embroidery and Thread Eye Candy

I got captured by the Kate and Rose embroidery patterns and I notice she has a Pinterest board for embroidery which includes lovely little bags or reticules, my favourite small things. Folk purses, folk clothing, I have three large books on this type of embroidery in history.


I don’t have the patience for satin stitch but on her web site she has a tutorial for using a leaf-type stitch to fill shapes rather than satin stitch. I love using variegated thread in patterns.

She really got me with these examples, and she is encouraging about this not being too complicated—only two stitches. It just takes time but I like to take time for hand work.

I’ve got two redwork patterns to finish for a quilt I’ve been making since the 1990s, but I have a lot of embroidery thread and would like to do something else one day. I have a few current embroidery or cross stitch projects on-the-go, including some dollhouse French knot rugs and a miniature needlepoint rug all done with two strands of ply. I was missing shades in a brighter palette so I went and bought some brights for the circular dollhouse rug. I’m also still working on the cover for the memory book for my yellow Lab Abby who died two years ago.


Most of my thread is DMC cotton with a few silk plied floss and silk twist threads from Vicky Clayton, but I think Kati uses perle cotton, so I might like to try that. I prefer #12 sized thread but others like #8 which I find a bit thick.

DMC has #12 perle cotton in plain colours and heavier threads in soft variations. They cost about $3 each here in Canada, although I think Anchor brand is less expensive. I don’t want to replace all my existing threads as I’ve got hundreds of dollars worth, but a couple of variegated balls might be nice to mix in. Finca Perle cotton has 33 beautiful variegated shades but it’s more expensive and has to be ordered from the States. The beautiful hand-dyed silk Gloriana Princess Perle Petite thread is really, really expensive (about $8 a skein) as is the silk thread from Weeks Dye Works or Dinky Dyes, but I did find a couple of Canadian distributors. Way out of my league financially but silk threads work up so wonderfully.

Oh boy, look at the colours of Gloriana Silks. I’m a colour person and love a big palette in any material whether it be thread or fabric or coloured pencils or watercolours.

Ah well back to DMC cotton plied floss. At least I can afford their colour variations floss although I find the gradations a bit too subtle. I could afford the lovely Sullivan’s Overdyed cotton floss or the Weeks Dye Works cotton floss—they have lovely variegated shades, but I’d have to mail order.

It inspired me to go through my threads and get most of them on cards with their numbers. In this picture my regular trays are on the left and my mostly silk floss and variegated colours are on the right, looking very messy and needing some new cards and organization. I ran out of cards today so I’ll buy some more before tackling the silk reorganization.

Keep in mind, these are in ADDITION to the threads pictured above. It’s a palette that took me 30 years to accumulate. I feel rich just looking at this.


It makes me wonder why I want more. It was the glory of the Gloriana palette that caught my eye. Yes, there is just something about colour for some of us.

Lost in the eye candy today, it made for a pleasant, happy time.


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2 Responses to Embroidery and Thread Eye Candy

  1. ironwing says:

    I can spend days doing embroidery, but after last year’s coat binge, I had to limit my sewing time so I can finish other projects.
    I use a lot of perle cotton in various sizes and find it very easy to work with, especially for threaded and insertion-type stitches. The larger sizes need heavier needles which can be hard to find; I got lucky when a neighbor gave me her 1960s sewing box, complete with several packets of English embroidery needles!
    I just picked up a big bowl of embroidery thread at a yard sale. It includes several packets of silk ribbon, which I’ve never tried. It’s used for flowers etc. in combination with perle cotton. There’s enough to share, so let me know if you’d like to try some.

    • JJ ColourArt says:

      Whoa, that coat was amazing, I’m not surprised you had to take a break.

      Vicki Clayton at Hand Dyed Fibers has some large needles for silk ribbon if you need them–she calls them chenille needles and they work great.

      Thanks for the offer of silk ribbon. I’ve actually got quite a bit of 4mm and a small bit of 2mm, including plain white for dyeing purposes. When I used to sell tarot bags I embroidered a lot of them with silk ribbon, so gathered a collection.

      You will love using it!

      Isn’t that great to get your neighbour’s sewing box? When we sold my Dad’s house I got my Mom’s old sewing box and keep it in my dining room.

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