Thursday, April 14, 2011

Just Another Spring Day in Alberta

This morning it started snowing.  Just when almost all of the snow had melted and the streets weren't quite so muddy. :(  No surprise though.  It does this every April and sometimes in May too.  So who wants to move to Alberta?   I should probably call Susan to make sure that she and her family have not  escaped back to Quebec. ;)

Here is the view from my kitchen.  Somewhat bleak.

This morning was grooming time for Gus and Maggie so I had a very slippery drive on very slick roads.  Passed two accidents and what should have been a 15 minute drive turned into a 30 minute drive. :(  But, the day got better as I escaped to the studio to work on my next LO for The Scrappiest.  While working on this LO I got the brain wave to post some tips on hand sewing!   It is really "sew" easy!! hee hee

Here is what I know about hand stitching.  I learned these tips from cross stitching magazines, back in the day when I was passionate about cross stitching.

~ Try to use DMC floss.  It is the best quality, has the best sheen and the best variety of colours.  It just feels better to stitch with it.

~ Cut the length of your floss 18 inches maximum.  I don't even cut mine this long.  Probably more like a foot.  Longer threads get tangled.  The thread will also wear a bit as it is sewn with so then the stitches made using the end of the floss will appear thinner.

~ Before threading your needle, take apart each of the 6 fibers in the thread.  Then put then back together, using however many you desire for the look you are going for.  (I usually go for all 6.)  By taking the time to do this, your thread will knot up less and your stitches will look smoother.  I have to admit that I have been a bit lazy with the stitching on my LO's and have been skipping this step.  Today, I did it the right way and my stitching looked better.

~ Every once in a while, or if you feel that your thread is knotting up a bit, just drop your needle.  It will just spin around and this will allow the threads to go back to where they should be.  Seasoned stitchers know how to do this little "one quarter twist thing" for each stitch they make.  This ensures that they never get a knot.  I never quite mastered this move. ;)

~ Don't worry if the stitching doesn't look perfect!  Take a good look at my stitching and it is never perfect!  I'm more about the "homespun" look!  That's my story and I'm sticking to it. ;)  Trying to pierce holes for a circle or make x's for stitches with a certain little "Lady" on my lap sometimes has something to do with this.  ;)  I'm fine with it not looking perfect.  I call it artistic license!

So this is all I know to share.  Now ask me about machine sewing and all I could tell you would be to keep your machine under your desk far out of sight and use it as little as possible to avoid stress.  hee hee

I hope you will consider giving hand stitching a try.  It is an economical way to add some dimension and detail to your LO.  It may take a bit of time, but I never want to rush through my LO's.  Far better to slow down and enjoy the process.  Stitching is very relaxing once you get the hang of it.

Now if you want to be totally amazed, check out Kinsey Wilson's blog here!

Happy Scrapping!!  Jen :)


  1. Still here. ;-) Although I have to admit that I didn't venture out today. Nice stitching tutorial you did. :-) I love stitching on my LOs and just finished stitching a circle on my latest. Such an easy and economical way to add some dimension and a personal touch to layouts.

  2. Awesome tips Jen...I have only sewn around the edges not directly on the LO itself. Will give ut a try someday soon.

  3. I really need to do this more.. stitching. I used to do a TON of cross stitching! I have many a project framed and hanging around my house. I have some started that I haven't finished too.
    Wishing I could escape. it is windier than all get out and the snow is supposed to be making its way down tonight and snow again tomorrow. Yuck. Tuesday, it was 70 out!! Now it is 30.

  4. That tip about taking all the strands apart first is a great one - it really does make a difference. I was doing a little bit of cross stitch on a page today

  5. great tips here , hun ! thanks for sharing !!!


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