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October 04, 2010


Sue Bennett

Oh what fun the designs are. But you know the more you do of this type work the more you want to do. I have gotten hooked on it myself.


I love your Grandmothe's saying. Mine being from a very rural area always said....
"It will never be noticed on a galloping mule"
Great job on your stitching, your going to love this new hobby.

Barbara Anne

Love the Halloween and autumn embroideries!

I've always used DMC threads (3 strands) since I have so much from my counted cross stitch days, but I've also used Perle Cotton with delight, too.

Now I want to hurry to my thread box and get out all I need to embroider something.



Taking the plunge is the first fun far as stitches go, I tell people whatever you are more comfortable with, I personally love the back stitch it makes stitching mindless and fun to do in front of the tv at nighttime, but if you are more comfortable with the stem stitch then go for it, truly it is about what is more comfortable for you and makes it enjoyable. As far as floss goes, LOVE, ADORE and COVET Cosmo...glorious to work with, feels like silk, doesn't run and doesn't knot up and the best part is they make it in 2 strand spools, no separating involved!!! You can get a Cosmo to DMC conversion chart and have a ball. Weeks Dye Works is also working on colorfast floss, they have notations on the ones that are and from what I understand they are slowly converting all the colors to colorfast. Have a blast playing your new sport!!! Susan


I did my first redwork towel just recently so I am no expert, need to use the strands of thread that you want. If you want a finer look, use two threads. On my birds I wanted it to look primitive so I used a stem stitch with pearl cotton and really like the way it turned out.
I love your stitcheries!! You did an awesome job!!


Congratulations Nicole! Embroidery on quilts is beautiful! I prefer backstitch but my mum stem stitches. It is all about what you feel comfortable doing, then you get into other stitches like colonial and french knots, satin stitch and leaf stitch and you wonder why you never did this before! My first "quilt" was a stitchery and the next few after that- it's how I started and I have a few beautiful ones still in my cupboard to do. I'm going to enjoy your foray into embroidery! Thanks!

Nancy Watkins

Cute towels! Embroidery is something I haven't learned yet but after seeing yours, I think I'm getting closer. Where did you get those awesome towels?

Richelle in Texas

All so cute! I love to stitch and I first started using the stem stitch, but I prefer using the backstitch. I also use Aurifil Mako 12/2 for my thread (on the red cone) - that way I only use one ply, not 2 or 3.
Enjoy the process! It is so relaxing.

kim naylor

backstitch because i do it really well. other stitches not so good. I also can do a good french not. I had a great teacher Jo Ann from country loft. JAM patterns.

kim from san diego


It looks good! Embroidery and me don't get along, but these look really cute!

Sandie ~call me crazy

Very cute embroideries. I use 2 or 3 threads depending on the design, and I've used Perle cotton too. It is all about the look you want. If it is something really detailed, the less strands the easier it is and the better it looks. I like the stem stitch for quick easy lines and the back stitch for detail. You can mix stitches~ that is the way they did it years ago. ;-) Have fun!

marie beers

I use DMC two strands, but all time favorite is Valdani #12 (like pearl cotton but thinner). Their varigated threads are awesome. I use it on lots of my wool projects. It is also colorfast.

Deitra Mixer

I have this book called 'The Encyclopedia of Stitches" and I really love it. I don't really like the actual projects in the book, as they aren't my style, but I've used the techniques in the book in my own ways and with my own color interpretations and really had good results! :) Also...I got these books from Anna Griffin called "Decorative Stitchery" and have LOVED them. Really classy, pretty designs. She incorporates ribbon with the thread, and it is stunning. :)


Very cute. I did some red work last Christmas and I must pull them out and do something. Your's are super cute, love the witch!


Bravo on your first plunge into embroidery, Nicole! I've been doing it for eons, and love it more with each design I make! I prefer two strands of DMC or Cosmos - Cosmos is great because you can get 2 strand spools which don't have to be separated, but I've also begun to use a lot of Aurifil 12/2 - one strand gives the same look as 2 strands of regular floss and no separating! Country Carriage Quilts carries a lot of the colors of Aurifil - great when you're doing something like Winter Wonderland which I stitched last year! My absolute favorite stitch is backstich - easier on my fingers and hands and it, too, is forgiving. I also like French Knots and daisies! Perle cottons work better on wools. Also get yourself some Scarlet Today Embroidery needles - size 8 - you will never use anything else. Email me and I can tell you where to get them! Can't wait to see more stitching from you!

Patt Anderson

I have been embroidring for years..I love the back stitch also. You need to go to the Country Loft site and look at JoAnn's stitching projects and quilts. I have made several where you stitch blocks and make them into a quilt. JAM patterns ( which is Jo Ann Mulbry) does block of the month which is fun. Go to and hopefully she still has some listed otherwise I can download some pictures of the quilts and related items I have made that incoporates stitching and quilting. Stitching is so portable and I always have one by the sofa in case I am watching a program and need to keep my hands busy.


Holy Cow! You did all those this weekend and it was your first time?! You are a natural! What great work!

I'm still loving the stem stitch and cosmo but I agree with other comments that you should find what works best for you. Sometimes I feel like I'm improvising and making up my own stitches on some designs!:)

I tried the Transfer-Eaze this weekend and have mixed opinions. The design transfered beautifully but it was just kind of tough/stiff to stitch through. Maybe my needle needs to be bigger but my thumb was sore afterwards! I can stitch much easier (faster) when I trace the design so I may stick to that method.

Love all the hints and resources from all the comments. I can't wait to get home tonight and stitch!


Hi Nicole . . .

I love your fall embroidery pieces . . . especially the acorn . . . that is adorable !!

I have done embroidery and cross-stitch since I was a kid . . . but 2 years ago my local quilt shop was having a redwork block of the month with santas . . . so I did that class . . .

she taught us to use Sulky thread . . . and I love the way is stiches up . . . and she also taught us to NOT use a hoop . . . this was her technique . . .

trace the design onto the fabric . . . then spray a piece of batting with a light spray adhesive . . . then press the design piece to the batting . . .

now you have something stable you can work with . . . and NOT use a hoop . . . it makes it easier to do all kinds of different stitches . . .

I'm right-handed . . . so I stitch with my right hand . . . and I roll the fabric with my left hand to the area I'm stitching . . . it works great !!

most of the time the thread does not come through to the back of the batting . . . but if it does it doesn't matter . . . and if you put these pieces into a quilt they will have added protection on the back side . . .

now I'm hooked on Sashiko . . . Japanese embroidery . . . I love that too !!

badlands quilts

I love the Q Snap frames as they don't crease your fabric so much...Good luck!


I love your stitcheries! I've been thinking about doing the witch one, too - I even have a teatowel to put it on. I usually use two strands of DMC floss. Recently I've gotten hooked on the Valdani pearl cotton. It's great if you're working with wool, but sometimes too thick for embroidery - it just depends on the look you want. Most of the patterns say to use back stitch, I've found, but I usually use stem stitch. I have trouble making my back stitch look as nice as the pattern makers do, and the stem stitch looks a little better, at least in my case.


Good for you! The designs look good! Isn't it relaxing?! Or it should be... With advancing age, I'm learning to grip/hold things lightly to prevent hand/thumb strain.
Currently, I'm working on a greenwork Noah's ark set for a quilt; before that it was a redwork set for a baby quilt. I am definitely ready to go back to mixed colors for awhile. Sixy-some years ago, I picked up embroidery from my mother. We embroidered EVERYTHING... dresser scarve, pillowcases, tablecloths, dishtowels, baby clothes. We used 2 strands of the available thread: DMC. You can imagine that all of these items saw the inside of a washer frequently. I don't ever remember bleeding/running issues. Since then, I have done crewel work, cross stitch, etc, but I always return to 2 strand embroidery. Backstich, french knots, daisy, satin stitch, crosshatch, whatever the design suggests to me. I use the directions as a guide, but "do my own thing." Someone mentioned making up her own stitches... that, too. Embroidery can be as creative as you want it to be. I've got to figure out an easier method of transfer though. That window trick is getting to be a bit uncomfortable. Surely there must be an easier way. Enjoy!


I've cross stitched for years and have always used 2 strands, I don't like the way it looks with 3. I use stem and back stitch but as I like other types of embroidary I know how to do buttonhole, satin & chain stitches.

My Mum has done some wonderful embroidary and she taught me.


You did an excellent job! I have never used Cosmos threads, but have used just about everything else under the sun. I like perle cotton when I want to do some fast stitching i.e. a christmas stocking done on a large count linen. For embroidery such as you are doing, I like DMC, The Thread Gatherer, Silk N Colours, and a whole lot more. For books,threads and fabric please go to the Nordic Needle website. They have just about everything you can ever dream of wanting. They have a wonderful newsletter that is sent out every Monday morning via e-mail. One week it will do a portrait of a stitcher, the next week will be on a technique, thread or fabric. They ship worldwide. It is so fun to put together stitching and quilting - opens up a whole new world of ideas. Happy stitching!


I haven't done any hand embroidery since I was very young...these tea towels are just too cute though. You may have just inspired me to start up again!


Congratulations on your great start. I've loved reading all the helpful hints this morning, hoops, no hoops, thread preferences, a needle suggestion and a good book to boot.....great post, great comments.

I think I need a class......are you giving that some thought?

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