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

    ReplyDelete

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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.

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