Category Archives: Tools

An introduction to decorative stitches

Hi everyone! Happy Sunday! It is so muggy here in NC it’s tough to be outside. Not to mention that it rained four times yesterday! If today is anything like yesterday, I think there is a lot of stitching in my future! Today on Stitch Style I wanted to share the new instructional booklet I’ve just written for Needlepoint.Com. It’s called “An introduction to Decorative Stitches.” It’s designed for any needlepointer who is looking to try out different stitches for the first time, or who wants to increase their stitch vocabulary!

The packet focuses on where and how to decide what stitches to use, and has lots of suggestions on what each stitch works well for! The booklet is $17.50 and can be found online here.

This booklet is a sequel to Needlepoint.Com’s book “How to Needlepoint.”

I hope you all find it useful!

You can shop all of our books online here.

Class essentials and favorite tools

Good evening everyone!

Earlier this year I decided to sign up to take a class with Tony Minieri! (If you haven’t heard of him… check out his website here). He’s supposed to be one of the needlepoint greats! I’ll be on my way to Gazebo Plus in New Hope, PA bright and early tomorrow morning. I’ve never had the opportunity to work with him before, so I can hardly wait to see what he has in store for class!

Naturally, I left packing to the last minute… but I thought I would share the essentials I’ve brought along for class!

Class essentials and tools
1. Tacks and Stretcher Bars

Absolutely a must! It doesn’t matter whether you mount your canvas on top of the bars or in the well (although some teachers prefer one to the other!) But working on bars keeps your canvas in the best condition possible as you stitch!

2. A laying tool

Sigh… I’m gonna be honest guys. A lot of the time I don’t use a laying tool. I find it to be super useful for ribbon work, but most of the time, I just make sure I have really clean hands when I stitch! Rumor has it though, that Tony is a big stickler for using a laying tool, so of course I packed one! Last thing I want is to end up the black sheep of the class… đŸ˜‰

3. A Bead Buddy Tray

I have no idea whether or not I will end up beading tomorrow… but I love these trays! They’re built just like little CD cases. The inside covers are super sticky and are great for holding many colors of beads, without mixing them together while you work. They come with lots of different designs on them… love these little blue daisies!

4. Scissors

Alright guys. I admit it. I have a scissor addiction. You have no idea how many pairs of scissors I own. But different kinds have so many different uses! (Or at least that’s how I’m justifying it to myself…)

I particularly like these new neon green Super Snips from Julia Snyder’s company. They come in hot pink and bright yellow too, and super inexpensive. (Plus they’re small enough to bring on an airplane, if you’re travelling too!)

5. Beeswax

Beeswax is a thread strengthener. I like to run my beading thread through it before I start to work!

6. Crystal beading thread

I know not everyone likes this stuff, but I think it’s the best! I’ve never had it break on me. It’s distributed by The Collection.

7. A Stiletto

A great tool for ripping out! They’re pointier than a laying tool, but you don’t have to worry about accidentally cutting your canvas like you do with scissors

8. Floss-A-Way Bags

Floss-A-Way Bags are the best for thread organization! They are also one of the most effective ways of making sure you don’t lose your thread labels. (Keep your labels- it’s the only way to make sure you can match dye lots should you run out of thread!) Plus these bags are hole punched in one corner, so you can keep all your threads for a particular project on a ring.

9. Magnets

I love magnets! I often have multiple on a piece to hold my needles. They are especially useful when you’re working with more than one color of thread at a time.

10. A book light

The more light the better! Obviously, natural light it preferable, but should you need more these Mighty Bright Hammerhead Lamps are great! They should clip right to your stretcher bars. No need to strain your eyes while you stitch!

For more pictures from class tomorrow subscribe to Stitch Style in the box on the right hand side of the page, and follow along on Instagram too!