Stitch Journeys

Exploring life with needle and thread.

ForeWord Book of the Year Finalist!

Threads: The Basics and Beyond


I am soooo excited....Threads: the Basics and Beyond by me and Debbie Bates is a finalist in ForeWord's Book of the Year Awards in the Craft and Hobby category.

This is such a huge honor! The category includes all craft and hobby books not just quilting and fabric art. Wow...can you say thrilled?? I may need to tie weights to my ankles to keep my feet on the ground!

Passport for Threads Basic and Beyond


I am so delighted that I think this calls for a giveaway! Don't you? Leave a comment here and on April 1st ( no fooling!) I will use a random number generator to give away a copy of Threads: the Basics and Beyond! Tell me what you love about thread, your favorite thread or just cheer for thread!

And, for all you thread lovers don't forget that I have a FREE on-line book study in the forum on this site. Actually two FREE on-line book studies...Fabric Embellishing and Threads. We even have a few dedicated stitchers in both studies. Come on in and play with us. You don't need to sign up for the class but you do need to get a user name and password to participate in the forum...you can look as a  guest. Getting a user name takes about 1 minute and you can find the log in on the forum page.
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In Stitches Blog Tour...


Welcome you intrepid In Stitches blog tour followers, welcome to my home on the web! I want to tell you a little bit about my article in this jam packed issue of In Stitches. Conquering metallic thread is the topic...Metallic thread questions are the most frequent ones I get. It is a finicky thread but with a few tips you can easily become a metallic stitch queen! Here are my top metallic thread tips!


1. The thread you use in the bobbin is important. I find that a fine(50-60wt) or ultrafine (70-100wt)polyester thread solves a lot of problems. Metallic threads are wiry and often not smooth so pairing them up with a soft drapey poly thread eliminates a lot of tension problems.


2. Speaking of tension...reduce it! The upper tension dial is one of your best and often underutalized tools on your sewing machine! Reducing the top tension (lower numbers) means less tension on the thread so it will be less likely to break. When I am free motion stitching with metallic threads I set the top tension to zero!


3. The needle...A metallic needle is handy but not necessary. Depending on the type of stitching you are doing a size 90 embroidery (for free motion) or 90 topstitch (programmed and straight stitches) work just as well.


4. Slow down. Sewing fast creates more friction on your thread and friction causes heat and increased force on your threads...causing them to stretch and break. In addition, when you are free motion sewing and moving the fabric fast you are adding stress/tension to the thread. So often in our daily errands we do things in a hurry; slowing down allows us to actually get into the zen of stitching and relax!


5. Thread delivery. Some threads just need a bit more time and space to relax before they hit those tension disks...wow...I could go down this philosophical path on how we would all benefit from more time and space before we face our own daily tension...but let's get back to thread! Try using a thread stand or a jar placed behind and away from your machine. Make sure the thread path goes no where near your fly wheel! Also make sure that the thread is coming off a stationary spool. Dragging the spool along as it unwinds adds more tension.


6. Know your stabilizers! Every thread fanatic should have a wide variety of stabilizers at their fingertips! Stabilizers can make your stitch world so much more beautiful and solve so many stitch problems...and you will have younger looking skin as well. Ok, just joking about the skin but seriously...get to know your stabilizers. They are so valuable in the studio!




This ATC was created with metallic threads and free motion stitching on a heavy stabilizer
Metallic thread flag

You will find even more metallic thread info in the current issue of In Stitches and lots of great ideas and inspiration like:




  • Artist Profile with Marianne Burr, including a zoom slideshow with numerous art quilt images

  • A colorful stitched and painted camera strap project with Michelle Allen (perfect for my new camera!)

  • Insight from Lyric Kinard on using stitch as a design element

  • Pokey’s studio visit with art quilter Judith Trager, plus more from Judith

  • Tips for making a stitchery workbook with Debbie Bates

  • Ideas for making screen-printed fabric pendants (these are sooo cute!)

  • Deborah Boshert’s approach to using sheers for stitched silhouettes

  • Embroidered silk cuffs by Jackie Cardy (Gotta make some of these!!)


I wasn't sure if I would like an on-line magazine but was totally sold after I got the first issue of In Stitches! I love being able to zoom in on a photo, watch the videos...what a great way to get to know an artist! And, best of all I don't have to buy another book case to house all the back issues and we aren't using up our natural resources to produce them.

GIVE AWAY! Everyone loves a giveaway and I have a wonderful one for you! The winner will receive a copy of Threads: The Basics and Beyond Debbie Bates and myself plus a  packet of stitch goodies...including some metallic thread of course and some fabrics and some surprises! Leave a comment below and I will use a random number generator to pick a winner on Wed March 9th!

Here is the entire blog tour schedule so you can learn more about In Stitchesand these awesome artists! Pssst...a lot of the other artists have give aways too!! I love prizes don't you?

Monday (Feb 28): Jane Davila: http://janedavila.blogspot.com
Tuesday: Lynn Krawczyk (March 1): http://www.fibraartysta.blogspot.com
Wednesday: Jackie Cardy(March 2): http://dogdaisychains.blogspot.com
Thursday: Deb Bates (March 3): http://stitchtress.wordpress.com
Friday: Deborah Boschert (March 4): http://deborahsjournal.blogspot.com
Saturday: Michelle Allen (March 5): http://allendesigns.typepad.com
Monday: Lyric Kinard (March 7): http://lyrickinard.blogspot.com
Tuesday (March 8): A surprise guest on Lindsey’s blog will be the final stop of this tour http://www.quiltingdaily.com
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