Friday, January 15, 2010

January 2009 Chilly Hollow Newsletter Article

When we are trapped inside in bad weather,
but are not in the mood to stitch, it is nice to browse the Internet and learn about new techniques or tools to enhance our stitching.

Ever heard of tubular mesh?  It looks fascinating and makes wonderful leaves.

Interesting in crewel embroidery?  Watch Mary Corbet as she designs and stitches a crewel rooster as a way of testing various wools and embroidery stitches.  This is the latest posting as I wrote the newsletter.  Check the end of the article for earlier postings or search Mary's site using "crewel" to read more.

Want to learn some new techniques on CD?  I've already talked about the Amy Bunger How'd You Do That? series but there are two new CDs out on needle painting by a master of this art.

Janet Perry just reviewed black metallic canvas for those who are interested in trying this type of canvas.

Judy Harper shows photos of the new DMC memory thread and satin floss colors on her blog.

Finally, if you are just in the mood to sit and watch someone else stitch, Madonna's working on a gorgeous elaborate Caela Conn Tyler project called "Red Kerchief".  Note what she says about using Angelina, a product I've never heard of!

All this will keep us busy until Valentine's Day!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at
Archived Yahoo 360 postings at

False Teeth Help Your Stitching

Watching me mutter to myself while I try to figure out how to arrange the beads in the outer bead border of the Kimberly laying tool case is boring, so I've saved up some things I wanted to mention.  First of all, I wanted to mention the tools I use for beading.  In the photo above you see my newest Tacky Bob, which is a little box that opens like a compact with two sticky sides inside, in light/dark colors where you pour your beads to keep them from running away while you add one at a time to your canvas.  I love Tacky Bobs!  They really help keep beads under control. If you can't buy one at your local shop, the Flying Needles folks will sell them to you.   They come in an assortment of colors.  Actually, I've never seen two that are alike!

I'm attaching my beads with a ply of silk (usually the darker red Soie d'Alger I used on this pice) that is waxed.  I need to go through the beads 2-4 times as I attach them, so the more usual two plies that needlepointers use won't work.  Therefore I'm using silk instead of Nymo beading thread as one ply of silk is small enough to make it through the bead holes many times.  Since beads will gradually work through a thread after time, I'm waxing my thread before I put it through the needle's eye.  The little heart shaped cake of beeswax is from Michele Roberts.  Her website is no longer up but you can find it many places online.  I take mine out of the little plastic bag, run my thread over it 2-3 times and then thread the needle.

The final tool I want to draw your attention to are the little blue plastic loops in the photo. These are called "orthodonic floss threaders" and they are for cleaning false teeth.  They are perfect loops for pulling heavy metallic threads like my colored twist to the back side of your canvas.  First, enlarge the hole where the thread should come up/go down in your canvas.  I use the tip of a scissor blade for this normally, but awls work, too.  Then put the bottom of the floss threader through the hole, leaving the loop on the top of your canvas.  Lay the end of the heavy metallic thread you are going to couch inside the loop and pull on the tail. Your thread will go to the back side of your canvas to be tied down securely.  If you need to pull your thread to the top of the canvas, then put the tail on the top and the loop on the bottom.  Pulling on the tail will bring the thread up out on top.  To succeed in using this technique, the hole must be large enough to let the thread through without damaging it, so be careful.

These floss threaders come in a packet of many, making them a perfect gift to hand out at your next guild meeting.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at
Archived Yahoo 360 postings at