Sunday, October 28, 2007

Frame Weight

With the weight restrictions now placed by airlines on luggage, it's a challenge to pack everything one needs for stitching classes and getaways. By the time I get all of my clothes, toiletries and stitching equipment packed, it easily exceeds the 50 lb. limit.
The heaviest item is the floor or table stand. In addition to their weight, they take up a lot of room. I find frame weights work well in a classroom, but a decent one weighs several pounds.
So, I tried to figure out what to use instead. I thought about buying a bag of rice, or beans, or foodstuff from a convenience store when I got to the class city. Then I came up with another inexpensive and completely disposable alternative: a bag of pebbles. I packed a couple of gallon size plastic freezer bags and a flannel bag similar to the ones on heating pads. When I got to the hotel, I went for a walk, picked up pebbles to fill the bag, sealed the bag, put it in another plastic bag and then in the flannel out bag. Presto! A very user friendly frame weight. When class was over, I dumped the pebbles and packed the bags in my suitcase.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Usual Stitching Supplies

Last weekend I attended a class and was embarrassed that I hadn't brought something the instructor expected one to have in their "usual stitching supplies". Here's a list of things I'll take next time. Now all I need is a steamer trunk to put them in! Let me know if I've missed something important.

Category 1 – Absolute Essentials

  • Good embroidery scissors
  • Tapestry Needle

Category 2 – Intermediate Needs

  • #18, 20, 22, 24, 26 Tapestry Needles
  • Tweezers
  • Needle Threader
  • Scissors for Metallics
  • Laying tool/Tekobari/Trolley Needle
  • Thimble
  • Binding tape
  • Stretcher Bars or Scroll Frame
  • Tacks or Staple Gun
  • Magnets
  • Everyday scissors

Category 3 – Specialty Items

  • Chenille needles
  • Curved Needles
  • Sharps
  • Bouillon Needles
  • Milliners Needles
  • Stitch Fixer/Do It Tooly/Snag Repair Tool
  • Awl
  • Bunka Brush
  • Boo Boo Brush
  • Tape Measure
  • Small Hammer
  • Needle Nose Pliers
  • Dental Floss

Category 4 – Beading Supplies

  • Thread Wax/Conditioner
  • Beading Needles
  • Beading Needle Threader

Category 5 – Metal/Goldwork Supplies

  • Mellore
  • Chipping Box

Category 6 – Writing/Marking Tools

  • Pen/Pencil for Note taking
  • Note Paper
  • Pigma Marker
  • White Acrylic Paint and Brushes
  • Ruler
  • Scotch Tape
  • Sticky Notes
  • HB 4 Pencils
  • White Pencil
  • Gum Eraser
  • Fabric Eraser
  • Glue Stick
  • Colored Pencils/Pens
  • Graph Paper
  • Tracing Paper

Category 7 – Just in Case

  • Bottle of Water
  • Energy Bar
  • Mints
  • Aspirin
  • Eyedrops
  • Hand Conditioner

Category 7 – Lighting and Magnification

  • Good light
  • Magnifier, if necessary
Category 8 - Nice to Have
  • Telescoping wand with magnet on end
  • Baby Toothbrush
  • Thread drops/Floss-aways

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Tapestry Needle Eye

The eye of a tapestry needle has a convex side (kind of like the inside of a funnel) and a concave side (like the outside of a glass). Threading a needle from the convex side is a little easier because the threads are "funnelled" through the eye.