Isn’t it amazing the number of tools you think you need in order to work on your embroidery? I started with just the essentials 40 years ago, you know, needle, thread, fabric and scissors. What else did I need? A hoop? I didn’t like them and for cross stitch on Aida, what did I need it for? After several years, I was working cross stitch on linen and a hoop really helped to keep my stitches even. I still didn’t like them as they didn’t stay tight, but then I found the Hardwicke hoops. They actually stay tight and now I use them all the time for my small pieces. If I’m working a bigger piece, I prefer stretcher bars. Of course, I’ve collected all sizes so I always have what I need on hand.

Next, I got interested in Schwalm embroidery. My scissors weren’t adequate for cutting the linen, so now I was collecting small embroidery scissors for doing drawn work. Then came goldwork and, you guessed it, a different kind of scissors for cutting the gold threads. Now you can’t take scissors on the airplane and of course, we all like to stitch when we’re flying somewhere. I looked and found some itty bitty scissors that have blades less than ½” long for cutting threads. Because the tips are blunt, they’re allowed on the airplane in carry-on luggage.

When I do canvaswork, I like to work with one hand under the canvas and the other hand on top of the canvas. So that meant I had to buy a stand to hold the canvas and stretcher bars. I tried scroll frames, but they didn’t stay tight enough. I was retightening every few minutes. I just couldn’t seem to find anything that worked for me. Floor stands, lap stands, under the leg stands, all had a problem and my arms were getting tired of holding the stretched canvas.

I was coping, albeit grumbling all the way, when I took Carolyn Mitchell’s class Off the Beaten Path at Seminar 2013. I saw a stand there that looked like it would be “the one”. It belonged to Lorene Salt and I spent some time talking to her about it. She obligingly showed me how it worked and told me where I could purchase it. It was perfect, an all metal Needlework System 4 table stand. One of the first things I did when I got home from Seminar was to order the stand from Traditional Stitches. It left me $300 poorer, but it is the first embroidery stand that works for me. I can adjust it to the height I need and it’s like holding the stretcher bars and canvas in my arms, just not as tiring!

So, here I am 40 years after starting to embroider and I have all kinds of gadgets to help me. Scissors, organizers, needles, stands, rulers, hoops, stretcher bars, linen counters, etc., you name it, I probably have it. If I don’t, I’m probably looking for it and will get it eventually.

Linda Brenner

1 comment:

  1. How true. I agree, I have over the years purchased so many "got to have it" tools
    Thanks for sharing


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The Embroiderers' Association of Canada (EAC) is a national non-profit educational organization whose purpose is to have a fellowship of persons who enjoy needlework and wish to learn and share their knowledge; and thereby to work towards maintaining higher standards of design, colour and workmanship.

Our aim is to preserve traditional techniques and promote new challenges in the Art of Embroidery through education and networking.

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