Friday, October 8, 2010

Favourite Things Friday: Embroidery Floss

Take your needle, my child, and work at your pattern; it will come out a rose by and by. Life is like that – one stitch at a time taken patiently and the pattern will come out all right like the embroidery. –Oliver Wendell Holmes

There are very few things I buy just for the sake of having them. I'm careful about every penny I spend and if I can't find a use for it, I usually can't justify buying it. I do not have a huge fabric stash, because it seems a waste, no matter how pretty the fabric, for it to just sit in boxes not being used. I really try to only buy what I can think of a use for {and I fully intend to use everything I buy, although my quilting projects are really getting out of hand lately :lol:}. There are very few exceptions to this; Fairy Frost is one {and I even try to keep that in check} and DMC Embroidery Floss is another.

I kept my nice little box full of embroidery floss from the Precious Moments blocks and a few other cross-stitch things I did in my teens. I've held on to that box for a long time; probably 20 years now. When I got back into sewing, and quilting especially a few years back, I decided one day that I wanted to have every single color of DMC floss available so that I would always have the color I needed on-hand for doing appliqué or embroidery. I started watching for floss to come on sale for buy-three-get-one-free at JoAnn's {usually around Memorial and Labor Day and one other time during the year}. They almost always have a 10%-off-your-total-purchase coupon when the floss is on sale {double bonus}, which takes about 30% off the price and makes the floss four-for-a-dollar :clap:.

I think it has been about 2½ or maybe 3 years since I started collecting. By my calculations, I have 403 of the 460 solid colors of floss. 318 of them are neatly wound onto plastic bobbins labeled with their appropriate number. 266 of those are filed away in numerical order in big boxes {pictured above}. And the other 52 colors wound onto bobbins are being used in embroidery and appliqué projects. I put them on hinged binder rings while I'm using them to keep them together by project and keep them from getting lost. Look how pretty! Doesn't it make you want to do some stitch work?!

Look at these beauties; 85 colors waiting to be put on their bobbins.

I figure by the time I'm finished, I'll fill up one more large box {like the two pictured above} and this small one {again}. It was my original floss box. Right now I'm keeping empty-but-numbered bobbins in it until I can wind the floss on them. You see, the neat, tidy numbered stickers I bought to go on the bobbins lost their stick and started falling off the sheet {and the bobbins I'd already wound :rolleyes:}. Still, it was neater than I could do with a Sharpie in such a tiny space, so I've been making due with glue {I figured the stick would just dry up on a new batch of stickers too, so no sense wasting, right?}. So far, I've only lost two stickers #704, which fell off a bobbin that was already wound {I'm hoping it turns up in the box somewhere} and #3352, which fell off the sticker sheet and was lost forever {and the only reason I discovered it was missing is because I need it for a project but couldn't find the sticker or a bobbin wound with that color anywhere}. I hate to buy a whole new sticker sheet for just those two numbers. We'll have to see which wins out – my need to not be wasteful or my need to have all 460 bobbins of floss numbered the same way :rofl:.

Now that you're all inspired to do something pretty with embroidery floss, go check out my giveaway {which ends tonight} for an adorable embroidered witch hat.
Zelda's Fancy Hat Giveaway {closed; congratulations to the winner, JaiCi. Pattern available here.}
[Editor's Note: This pattern is SO CUTE that I decided that I needed one for myself. This may or may not have involved a bit of pattern :pirate: piracy. That largest ring of floss pictured above, the one with all the pretty graduating colors, is for Zelda' Hat.]

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Michelle said...

Ooh, your embroidery floss collection is soooo pretty. There's just so much potential for beautiful creations lying there in those boxes. In fact you've been making good use of it with your last two labels. I can see why it's among your favorite things.

Marg said...

I love DMC embroidery floss. I have two containers full of them all in numerical order. I keep them on cardboard bobbins and write the number on the corner, that way I don't have to worry about the number coming off. I was going to try buying every colour, but i hardly use them any more. I just use what I have now.
I wish they were that cheap here!!! I love the idea of keeping them on hinged binder rings whilst you are using them. They look so pretty all laid out in the photo. I can definitely see why you have chosen these as one of your favourite things.

Larri said...

I cannot hand-stitch well at all. Looking at your gorgeous floss collection makes me want to give it a try again! :o) Wonderful favorites! Thanks for sharing. Happy FTF! :o)

Just JaiCi's Crafts said...

I am loving the collection!! I have a ton, but not nearly as much as you do....I use it for EVERYTHING :)
Isn't it all pretty when the colors are all together and in order?!?!?!

Unknown said...

ohh this is just like we see at a museum!!
So perfect, complete(almost) and pretty!
I can hand stitch, but most of the time I only purchase the colours I need! I am so inspired!
Thanks for sharing

Shay said...

I think embroidery floss is one of those things that looks far more fabulous when you 100 colours . All browns wouldnt look very thrilling would it, so I completely understand your need to collect as many as you can.

I have a reasonable collection myself, although since I dont cross stitch anymore and havent yet managed to convince myself I would be great at stitchery, theyre sitting there all lonely.

Love your collection. Thanks for showing it!

Helsie said...

What a neat and orderley person you are. I am about to begin my first applique project - a Christmas banner. Don't know if it will be finished by this Christmas but it will be good to have some handwork to do when it is too hot to crochet. At the moment it is rainy and cool so I'm crocheting.
I don't have much in the way of embroidery cottons at the moment but of course I will need some quite soon BUT only the colours needed for the Christmas project !!!

Paulette said...

Whoo-ey, that's a lot of pretty floss! Makes me want to cross-stitch or embroider something!

pinksuedeshoe said...

Looking at these I realize I need a better system of organization for my patheticly small collection. I'm totally jealous! And as far as I'm concerned, anything that is 4 for a dollar is absolutely worth buying in every color. :o)

Angie said...

I made it a mission to have every shade of DMC floss when I was a teenager. lol I lost my grasp on it through the years but still have the collection. I may need to break it out and update it. ;)

Anonymous said...

hello i have been searching the internet looking for images to go on my website ( and i love your images you have taken. I would like to use your images but ask permission first to see if i can use them, thanks Bev

Elizabeth said...

They are nothing special, but you are welcome to use them. Your e-mail is not attached to your profile, so hopefully you will find my reply here as I have no other way to contact you.

xo -E