Posts Tagged ‘CharlesCraft Bright Ideas Aida’

Embroidery That’s Greek To Me!

Friday, September 21, 2012

It’s been awhile since I shared a bit of vintage DMC love with you – one of our readers, Kristyn, posted some tantalizingly mysterious images in our Facebook group, and she asked for help to determine their origin. I learned from a local expert at DMC that our embroidery leaflets have been published in numerous languages over the years – French (naturally), Italian, Russian, and as you see in Kristyn’s case: Greek!

I asked if Kristyn would be so good as to include a peek inside and she was happy to oblige:

Lovely, huh? I particularly love the sphinx pattern. And that Kristyn has plenty of Caprisun on hand.  My guess is these were needlepoint patterns that could also be used for cross-stitch or other counted thread techniques.

Now, my Greek is… not so great, but according to online booksellers, the words on the cover Kenthma Me Mounine Kai Koton Nepne translate to: Graphed Designs For Embroidery Needlepoint Cross Stitch. Is that right? Greek speakers, feel free to correct, as necessary! These pamphlets aren’t dated, but various online booksellers estimate dates of publication in the 1960’s for these numbered Greek pamphlets.

Kristyn also included a charming French color pamphlet of cross-stitched designs:

My French is better than my Greek, so I know “Point de Croix” means quite simply “cross-stitch” and “serie” (you guessed it) indicates it is one in a numbered series. This site estimates a 1970 printing and includes a few sample images from inside – I’m loving the bright colors, and if that snappy yellow fabric inspires you, I’d check out CharlesCraft Bright Ideas Aida in Lemon Twist.

Numbers 1, 2, 3, and 6 in this series are available on the wonderful Antique Pattern Library site, and check out number 6 for a real treat – my fave are the adorable townsfolk on p.13 – sweet!

And now I thought I’d turn the sleuthing over to you folks – have you any information on these pamphlets, or have you owned one yourself? How many languages have you found DMC embroidery booklets in? We’d love to hear your story!


Holiday Stitching: Interview with Emily of The Floss Box

Friday, September 7, 2012

In my stitching stockpile for this winter are quite a few patterns from Emily Wilmarth, a wonderful American-born needlework designer living in Sweden  – on her site The Floss Box, you’ll find all kinds of lovely embroidery patterns. As a child, Emily was taught by her mother to stitch, and she draws her inspiration  from nature, happy times and other stitchers.

Today, I’m interviewing Emily to learn more about what inspires her and to share some of my favorite winter-themed designs from her shop. I hope this interview gets you into a cozy, holiday stitching mood – enjoy!

I love with your sweet cross-stitch designs in particular – although you are gifted at all kinds of embroidery – Biscornu, Stumpwork, and freehand. Do you have a method for planning your designs?

Occasionally I have a clear idea, but often I don’t. I usually begin with something I want to be in the design and work to build a design around it. I don’t know ahead of time how it will turn out, but that’s part of the fun and adventure. You make lots of little discoveries about yourself and your subject as you go along!

What inspired the United States series of patterns? They are gorgeous – I love the bits of architecture!

It’s just my way of staying connected with my roots. I live far away from where I grew up, so it’s nice to think about places I’ve seen and lived. The houses are all based on real buildings from each state. I also plan on making a series of country designs too.

How did you plan your beautiful season samplers?

The best designs are those where I try to capture a feeling by combining colors and shapes and lines. As I said above it’s very much about building up a design. I start with something and try some different things, lettering, borders, little motifs and see what feels right.

I see a lot of winter and Halloween in your cross-stitch patterns – do you have a favorite season? Why (or why not)?

Spring is by far the favorite. The world is waking up. Full of new life and energy. The light green of new leaves is one of my favorite shades of green. The days grow longer, and each day brings something new to discover. And here I thought it was winter!

Is Halloween a popular holiday in Sweden? How is it celebrated?

Halloween is viewed as an imported holiday, so no, it isn’t so popular. It’s usually celebrated on the Saturday after Halloween and not the actual day. It’s pretty much the same spooky stuff. In some neighborhoods the children will come out looking for treats, but it isn’t at all common. Halloween was always one of my favorite time of year, so I do miss it!

Do you have a favorite color palette?

Hard question! I let the time of year influence me a lot. Right now fall is coming quickly, so it’s nice to think about the reds and golden yellows and browns.

Thank you, Emily, for taking the time to share a few words and thoughts with us!

A few fabric suggestions… If you’d like to get stitching on one of Emily’s holiday designs,  Charles Craft Aida cloth boasts a huge palette of subtle shades – for winter patterns I’d suggest Light Blue or Beige 14 ct Aida. For a gorgeous heirloom look, try 28 ct Monaco in Glass Blue or for something vivid and modern, try Bright Ideas Aida in Polar Ice (a nice turquoise-y shade).


Needlework Fabric – So Many Choices!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Being a fanatic and collector of all things needlework, I was amazed by the selections laid out in front of me while going through my fabric stash recently.

I was selecting the perfect fabric for yet another project…  and there are just so many fabric awesome choices available from DMC and CharlesCraft for needlework enthusiasts – with a variety of thread counts and colors, and even patterned backgrounds!

So, I thought I would share some of this information with you, and explain a bit of the terminology you’ll encounter when selecting needlework fabrics.

Evenweave Fabrics:

The term evenweave refers to the fabric having an even number of weft and warp threads per inch.  The thread count for evenweave is determined by this number – for example, 22-count linen has 22 vertical *(warp) threads and 22 horizontal *(weft) threads per inch of fabric.

*(The warp threads run the entire length of the fabric, while the weft threads run side-to-side, from selvage to selvage.)

Evenweave fabrics for embroidery can be made of linen, cotton or blends.

Linen evenweave fabrics are available in a wide range of thread counts. For example, Irish Linen (shown) is available in thread counts ranging from 20-count to 32-count, while Carolina Linen is available in 14-count and 28-count.

In addition to linen, cotton and blended evenweave fabrics are available as well and include 28-count Monaco (shown – with range of colors), while DMC Evenweave is available in 25-count.

Aida Fabrics:

Aida fabric is a popular choice for cross stitch, as it’s easy to use and allows for perfectly-spaced, foolproof stitching. It’s available in a wide variety of colors (shown), counts and styles.

Thread count for Aida is based not on the actual number of weft and warp threads in the fabric (as it is for evenweave) but instead is based on the number of stitchable blocks of thread per inch of weave.  One cross stitch is worked over each block of woven threads.

Thread counts for CharlesCraft Aida and DMC Aida ranges from 11- to 18-count, and both are available in assorted colors – including Stardust with sparkling metallic speckles, and Bright Ideas in fun blasts of color. Aida is mostly available in cotton, but DMC also has it in a beautiful, rustic linen.

DMC also has created an awesome twist on plain or colored Aida by offering Marbelized Aida and Impressions Aida, featuring gorgeous floral and trellis designs, or fun hearts, stripes or gingham backgrounds.

Fiddler’s Cloth is a type of Aida with a rustic appearance, and is perfect for stitching reproduction samplers and needlework. It is available in 14-, 16-, and 18-counts.

Specialty Fabrics:

Monk’s Cloth is similar to Aida, as the count is based on blocks of threads, but is a larger-scale 8-count weave that is perfect for afghans and Swedish Weaving. The ends can be easily fringed.

Hardanger is a 22-count fabric used for traditional openwork and Hardanger-style embroidery.  Thread count for this cotton evenweave fabric is based on 22 pairs of threads per inch running in both directions.

Vinyl Aida (shown) is available in 13-count, but is made from vinyl rather than cotton. It can be cut, shaped and folded, and no edge-finishing is required because it doesn’t unravel. It’s perfect for placemats and outdoor projects, as well as tree toppers, gift tags and ornaments.

To find these fabrics near you, you can use our store locator, or shop the DMC Store online.

With so many options, it can be hard to choose – which is probably why I have so many projects going on at the same time!



Itsy Bitsy Button Spider

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Have you noticed that it’s spider season – both outside and in? I just walked through a web yesterday while getting the mail … icky!!!!!!

But, like most of my daily experiences, it sparked inspiration – in the form of this fun pattern for a button spider in his embroidered web.

The embroidered area measures 4 x 4 inches square, and is attached to a 6.5 inch square of fabric.

To give the project some kick, I used CharlesCraft Bright Ideas 14-count Aida in Lemon Twist.  The Aida adds a bit of texture to the piece, as do the button spider body and Memory Thread legs. (more…)


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