Monday, February 8, 2010


Lovely mail surprise today! Jennifer H. sent me these absolutely gorgeous silk BelleSoie floss colors. Oh, how special I feel!!!!!

What a sweet, sweet (way too much but I love it!) surprise!

Seriously, the card was so pretty and when I opened that floss, OH MY! LOVELY colors and soft! I can't thank you enough and will definitely use these. I don't have but about 5 silk colors and now, this is an awesome and luxurious stash addition.....THANKS, Jennifer H. I so appreciate this.

A happy dance!

Now, I can share with you this linen and floss. I ordered this pattern from Vicki Clayton's website because I had used the regular silk floss there before once. The pattern is Exemplar from the Heart and is an old reproduction Dutch sampler in a monochromatic tone.
Today, I brought my stitching for lunch at work and sat in the sun outside and stitched.
Well, first frustration was that I tried to stitch in hand, no frame and usually I can do that for short periods of time. Ummm.......not this way. I don't know if it was the type of linen, the premium (bigger) floss, or the fact I didn't have a qsnap frame but all in all I was so frustrated I could scream.

This is the first time I ordered the linen on the website and I know there are various kinds but I'm used to Belfast and this is so .......soft, not in touch, but like no structure that I couldn't stitch too good, at all.

I tried, I really did for 45 minutes. I stitched with 1 strand, because the Premium floss (not standard) is supposed to be a little thicker. Well, my linen is 32 count. One was not enough. Two was too much.

Here's one over two.

And here's two over two and I see that it's way uneven.
I have two choices. I'm fixing to go starch and iron the heck out of this linen (not on the stitched part) and see if it gets a little firmer, then I'll use a qsnap.
If I'm still frustrated, then I give up and will scrap the fabric and try 35 or 36 count with 1 strand.
The 2 strands were too much I think. I like 32 count fabric but recommend if you order V. Clayton silk floss, get regular not premium and use 2 strands regular.

And to top it off, when I unfolded the chart it started to tear in the creases, making it hard to read already.........and I'm one rough chart handler, so this will be fun.

Nice picture though.

This is the Premium floss vs. the standard. Vicki Clayton.
It feels very cord-like to me and not like Belle Soie. I know I'm confusing this but I like firm linen with soft floss.
I got limp linen with firm floss.......LOL

And last night I did another happy dance......I had been looking for this for about 3 years, going through stash boxes on rainey days many times with no avail.
I found it incidentally in the basement for some odd reason.
But, anyway, I found it! I had it kitted already with the 18th Century Brown R and R and the blue Belle Soie silk for a monochromatic piece. Little House Needleworks, Always and Forever.

My heart stopped beating when I found it. I love this little piece.

But, I resisted starting another one till I finished with Emma sampler.

I'm not sure I want that V. Clayton fabric to be as stiff as R and R fabric here but I'm fixing to put some starch in this piece.

Do you iron your linen before you start stitching? Is it ok to starch the linen before stitching?

I'm heading for the ironing board right now.


  1. What great surprises! Both the threads and then finding your kitted pattern!!

    Isn't it so frustrating when starting a new piece and it just doesn't flow - whether it be the fabric or the floss. I usually iron my linen before hand - I've never tried adding starch - and sometimes I wonder why I bother to iron it as I stitch in hand and it always gets wrinkled up again anyway!

    I hope you figure something out that will work for you!

  2. Looks like you have some pretty colors to stitch with soon !!! I don't iron before stitching ... please ... I hate to iron as it is. LOL


  3. Ugh, I feel the same way about VC silk and fabric. In fact, I'm ready to junk a project I made on VC linen because it just doesn't look right. I suppose you can starch the linen since Wichelt starches theirs. If you try it, let us know how it worked out!

  4. Jennifer,

    Beautiful colors of floss. It is always nice to get a little langiappe (an unexpected surprise).

    Thanks for sharing the info about the linen. I wanted to pick up some linen for a couple of projects, but was confused by all the different types of linen (much less all the colors).

    I have a piece that was recommended for silk, I will look for the Belle Soie.

    Good to see BG up and about and Abbie growing so quickly.

    Best wishes with your linen and floss dilemma.

  5. I'm so glad you like the silk. You deserve it!

    As for the fabric, I know exactly how you feel. I feel the same way about 30ct Weeks Dye Works fabric. It is especially "loose" after dealing with an almost "crunchy" R&R. (Nothing against R&R.....until I found Lakeside Linen I was an exclusive R&R user.)

    Here's a suggestion I received from a designer for use with your fabric. Use Sizing. It is similar to starch, but I don't think it is as heavy. I found it at the grocery store right next to the starch. I believe the one I found was made by Niagra. I wish I could tell you that the trick worked beautifully, but I didn't find the sizing until after I had finished fighting with the project. (In case you were wondering......I beat the project down! LOL!) However, next time I come up against this fabric I'll be sure to get the sizing out first.

  6. Sorry about the fabric problems. i use sizing instead of starch. I also only use 1 strand of floss (silk or DMC or overdyed) on any size of fabric. I like the more antique look it gives. The colors are softer older looking. My VoHRH and CaHRH appear more softer than bold. It's something to think about. Live with 1 strand for a while then look at it again.


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