Archive for the ‘Resources’ Category

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A Walk Through a Stitched Village

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

This week I came across an extraordinary site, created by multimedia needle artist Janet Browne of the UK.

She has developed an unusual style of mapping the places she visits, working from a diary filled with observations and sketches, which she transforms into places, towns and landscapes worked in fabric and thread. Essentially, she creates a journal in fabric, needle and thread.

The image to the left is part of her Tour de France series, and features Day 1 of her journey. The image to the right shows an allotment with a garden gate.

Click the image to visit her web site, then select the image to see the details in a larger format. Visit the main page of her site to see a full list of the subjects she works with.

Janet selects cotton calico and silks to create her maps, often over-dying them to achieve the colors she remembers in her mind’s eye of the places, objects, animals and other things she saw during the journey she’s memorializing in needlework. Once the artist has the design perfected and pieced, she then works hand embroidery and machine embroidery to create the details.

I’ve featured a few of her designs here – click on the image to visit the page to see the designs covering each subject.

Janet has definitely inspired me to re-think the way I journal about a trip or adventure – I’m going to pull out my DMC Embroidery Threads, cotton Machine Embroidery Threads and some photo albums!



Shop Visit – Needlepoints, Ltd

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I’ve been on the road again… It happens every year around this time – sometimes it’s work-related, other times it’s just for fun. This time I was down in Southern California, and had enough free time to visit a few shops on my trip.

On a sunny Saturday morning I dropped in at Needlepoints, LTD in Garden Grove, located just a few blocks west from Beach Blvd and the I-22 Junction. I had an awesome visit with owner Diana Hardner and her daughter, and managed to find a few new goodies to bring home with me – but definitely wish I had room in my suitcase for a few more!

The shop is definitely a stitcher’s candy store – the selection of eye candy is amazing!

In addition for carrying a complete wall of DMC Needlework Threads (this image shows our pearl cotton), the shop carries a huge – make than gargantuan – selection of patterns for cross stitch, embroidery, needlepoint, counted thread and other needle arts.

Trust me – You can’t be in a rush to look through the patterns – it will take you a while because there’s so much to choose from. The wall of patterns shown here is chock-full of ideas and is just the beginning… wait until you see the binders. Oh my!

You’ll also find an impressive selection of fabrics and linens, plain and hand-painted needlepoint canvases, beads, buttons and charms, as well as stitching organizers, gadgets and frames – and don’t forget the necessities like scroll frames, needles and tools.

Needlepoints, Ltd also features a large, well-lit classroom area and offers classes from their own experienced instructors as well as top designers in a wide range of needlework types. Visit their classes page to see what’s going on before your visit.

Feel free to drop on by the shop the next time you’re in town as well. Bring your needlework and visit for a while… I’ll definitely be dropping by again on my next visit!


Tatting and Crochet Inspiration

Friday, August 23, 2013

It’s so inspiring all the different crafts that are possible with our threads – how many of you have had a chance to try Tatting? We have a wonderful section on our site devoted to this craft with stitch guides, illustrations, and tips for reading patterns- visit our tatting guide.

Tatting example by Ninetta CarusoNinetta Caruso is an Italian crafter who posts beautiful tatting projects on Flickr – she provides helpful step-by step instructions to guide you through her process, and many lovely free patterns. Her Flickr stream is a wonderful resource for tatting inspiration – visit her photos.

This lovely example uses DMC Tatting Thread in Size 80.

Tatting Overview on Thread HeadCanadian quilter Joanne provides a wonderful tatting overview on her blog Thread Head.

She mentions that her favorite thread for tatting is DMC Cebelia and gives you many useful tips, illustrated with clear photos to get you started.

For more inspiration, visit her overview.


Tatted Tulip and Leaf Doily by EvelynEdit: 8/26 – Our eagle-eyed readers are correct – the following photos are an excellent example of crochet, not tatting!

Evelyns Flickr stream features beautiful, clear photos of her work, along with the pattern source, size, tools and threads used. For some beautiful crochet inspiration, visit her photos.

This beautiful Tulip and Leaf motif is worked with DMC Cebelia in size 10.


Do you have any lovely examples of tatting or crochet using DMC threads? As always, be sure to share them!


Heading to TNNA? Drop by for a Dose of Needlework CPR!

Monday, February 25, 2013

The National Needlearts Association (TNNA) is having their much-anticipated trade show in Nashville, Tennessee this coming weekend, Saturday and Sunday, March 2nd and 3rd.

This trade show is not open to the public, but gives needlework buyers from your local needlework store (LNS) and chains an opportunity to restock their inventories with the very latest fibers, designs, patterns and more…

…and we’ll be there too, showing our beautiful threads and offering ways to help beat Needlework Tedium-itis.

Did you know this dreaded scourge is the number one killer of needlework projects in the US today, and can be easily avoided?

While visiting the TNNA show, drop by DMC at TNNA in room 418 to learn more about the risk factors and a visit to the Needlework Doctor for a strong dose of needlework CPR and a free cup of coffee.

Dr. Thread will show you how to breathe new life into a needlework project using DMC Embroidery Threads, and what activities you can use to help reduce the chances of you or your customers catching Needlework Tedium-itis.

Warning: Side effects may include serenity, lower blood pressure, dangerous levels of confidence and an overall sensation of satisfaction.

If you or someone you know suffers from this terrible affliction, let the DMC Needlework Doctors in room 418 get you on the road to recovery.  We also welcome “well visits” and look forward to seeing visitors at TNNA!


Tangle-Free Lengths of Pearl Cotton

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Have you ever tried to use pearl cotton and found that the thread tangled as you pulled out a length of thread?

Pearl Cotton does not come in a pull skein like our cotton embroidery floss does. Instead, they are rounds of thread that have been twisted and folded to make a hank of thread.

Here’s a tip that will make things easier.

To keep the thread from tangling when you are cutting a length to use in your project, pre-cut your embroidery thread.

Pre-cutting means all lengths of thread will be identical, with the next thread always ready.

The paper labels keep the thread tidy as you work.

Let’s look at a hank of pearl cotton (top photo). Notice that the upper end of the hank with the DMC logo has a single loop of thread, while the opposite, lower end with the color number has two smaller loops.

Locate the small knot on one of the lower loops. Using sharp embroidery scissors, clip off this knot and discard it.

Next, cut through the threads in each of the two lower loops (upper right photo).

Spread out the ends of the thread to make certain none of the loops have been missed as shown to the left. Skipped clips will cause tangling when lengths of thread are removed from the bundle.

Remove the individual lengths of thread by pulling a single thread from the upper loop.

As the bundle of threads gets smaller as lengths are removed and the labels become loose, pinch and fold the paper loops so they don’t come off.

The paper loops keeps the leftover thread tidy, and you’ll always know the color number or size of the hank of pearl cotton.


From Emma’s Collection…

Monday, January 21, 2013

My favorite way to spend a weekend is browsing for needlework treasures at antique stores and vintage fairs.  I’ve found a lot of very special pieces this way.

Today I’m sharing one of my recent finds – a batch of embroidered postcards.  They’re not terribly rare or valuable, nor are they very well made – but I love them just the same!

The threads and paper on my postcards are all in great shape, considering their age. The colors are bright and there’s very little yellowing of the paper, so they must have been carefully stored in a dark drawer for decades.

There is only a single card with a postmark date, featuring a child’s writing and addressed to grandmother, which dates this batch to around 1945.

…and this little collection proves once again that anything that a needle can penetrate through can be enhanced with hand or machine embroidery!

These cards mostly depict vintage scenes showing costumes from Spain including Madrid, Sevilla, Andalucia and Barcelona, but there’s also a North African costume from Mogador, now known as Essaouira in Western Morocco, and a vase of embroidered flowers in the set. It certainly sounds like this family was on the trip of a lifetime!

Postcards like the ones shown here were made en-masse, usually embroidered in silk or satin thread, and were popular souvenirs for the tourist trade during the 1900’s through 1960’s.

If making one today, a terrific substitute for the silk floss would be DMC Satin Floss, a 100% rayon floss with exceptional radiance and sheen that reflects light, much like the thread used in these vintage samples.

Metallic or jewel-toned highlights can be stitched in DMC Light Effects floss.

Use a strong, sharp needle, such as DMC Embroidery Needles to penetrate the heavy card-stock paper.

I just love the way the makers of these cards embroidered over some of the elements in the pictures, creating almost 3-dimensional pieces.

These cards inspire me to “think outside the box” when designing new embroidery projects. I’m going to search through my own materials and ephemera, and start experimenting!



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