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New Stitchville USA!

There isn’t much that’s more fun than going to Stitchville USA with a gift certificate! I got the rare chance to walk around, look and touch the different threads, see over 1,000 different finished projects on the walls and pour over various embroidery related accessories. Those of you who live near to any bricks and mortar embroidery shop are SO lucky!

The new Stitchville USA is in Minnetonka, a suburb of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The new store is 4200 square feet, more than double the size of the previous one.

stitchville1 001 New Stitchville USA!

Being a thread junkie I was, of course, in heaven! Thousand of skeins of thread. Threads I’d used and that I consider my go to threads for much of my surface embroidery and threads I’d heard of but never seen or used, and threads I didn’t know existed. It’s all there!

photo New Stitchville USA!Since I was looking for threads for my two future canvaswork/needlepoint projects, I made a beeline for the wall of wool and silk blend threads. Actually, it’s more than a wall, the threads continue around the corner! Trio silk and wool from Switzerland (one I didn’t know about), Planet Earth Fiber (100% silk and another I’d not heard of before) Vineyard Silk, Silk and Ivory, Caron Impressions and Watercolors were among the ones I chose for these projects but there are so many more!

Stillville2 001 New Stitchville USA!This cupboard is full of pieces of wool in a huge array of colors. I didn’t get any but i may have to return! Stitchville also has the widest variety of counted thread fabrics I’ve ever seen in a shop.

photo 0011 New Stitchville USA!

One of the highlights was finding a display of Valdini Vintage Hues threads. I’d read about Valdini threads but never seen this particular variegated thread. These colors called to me and those of you who read The Unbroken Thread regularly will know I have a weakness for fall or autumn colors.

photo2 001 New Stitchville USA!While I looked, my daughter took photos and here she’s caught me contemplating which thread to choose. I don’t know about you, but when I have the chance to see the threads my creative juices really get flowing! I call it my thread induced stupor!

photo1 0011 New Stitchville USA!

Above are the threads I finally decided on for the two canvaswork projects. You may be wondering about the lavender thread. When we got home I naturally showed my husband and son-in-law the threads. Both my daughter and her husband are graphic designers and have a wonderful eye for color. he helped me see that I needed a lavender for the reflection of the red gate in the blue water. the next day we all (yes, the guys too!) went back to Stitchville so we could find the perfect color for that reflected red in the water.

If you live within driving distance of the Twin Cities, you are very lucky indeed! if you are ever there and can find time to visit Stitchville USA it’s worth it!

Stitchville USA also offers classes and individual teaching for assistance on those tricky projects. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll be able to offer a class there and get to meet some of you!



Philipa ad 2 New Stitchville USA!

Shopping for upcoming projects

We’re going to Minneapolis to visit one of my daughters and her husband. For my birthday I received a gift certificate to Stitchville USA which is in the Minneapolis area so, of course,we’re going to visit the store. What will I be looking for?

I had such an interesting time – even sometimes enjoyable! – working up my canvaswork piece, that I decided I will do one, maybe even two, more.

3047 Hasui Snow Miyajima1 Shopping for upcoming projects
Kansau Shrine in Snow at Lake Tazawa – Hasui Kawase

The images are similar in subject matter, being of water, snow and Asian buildings and both are by Hasui. He is becoming one of my favorite artists. If you do an internet search or have a library nearby with a book of his works, you will see that his work evokes peace and quiet beauty.

image 500x375 Shopping for upcoming projects

Kansau Shrine in Snow at Lake Tazawa – Hasui Kawase

The thread I enjoyed stitching with most during my RSN Canvaswork course was Caron Impressions, a silk and wool blend. I know Stitchville USA carries Caron Threads so I’m hoping I can get some of what I need while I’m there. I also need to pick up some canvas and will be looking for a stitch fixer.

Jane, from Chilly Hollow Needlepoint Adventure recommended Vineyard silks to me earlier so I’ll be looking at those as well. The shimmer of silk on the water would be simply wonderful, wouldn’t it?

I know many of you are far more experienced than I in the technique of canvaswork or needlepoint so if you have any suggestions, please leave a comment! Or, if some new, fabulous product has come out that I don’t know about in Germany, also please let me know!

I’ll write all about my trip, including photos of their new (since I was there last) store.


Philipa ad 2 Shopping for upcoming projects

Levens Hall: Basketweave laid and couched work

Laid and couched work is one of my favorite things about crewel work. The multitude of designs, textures and endless color combinations are fascinating. I’ve tried working out how to recreate laid and couched work that I’ve seen in a photo or an old piece of needlework once. (successfully!)

In the Levens Hall Pillow Phillipa Turnbull had to figure out how some talented and clever embroiderer worked a basket weave pattern on the original Levens Hall crewelwork piece.

DSCF5160 Levens Hall: Basketweave laid and couched work

In the instructions, Phillipa explains how she worked it out and her solution is really clever and fun to do!

The first step is to lay all the stitches along the lines that are printed on the fabric. This is straightforward to do, the only critical thing is to ensure the lines stay parallel to one another and don’t begin to slant in one direction.

DSCF5164 Levens Hall: Basketweave laid and couched work

The next step is the secret to working this laid and couched pattern easily and beautifully: lay down guide stitch lines using red sewing thread between the parallel lines. These red lines are the guide for where to begin or end each of the short woven stitches.

DSCF5169 Levens Hall: Basketweave laid and couched work

As you can see in the photo above, the short couching stitches that are worked perpendicular to the long laid stitches just overlap the red guide lines. This ensures that the short couching stitches give the appearance of weaving in and out of the longer laid stitches.

DSCF5176 Levens Hall: Basketweave laid and couched work

When the entire area is finished I will go back and remove the red guide lines and the effect of a woven pattern will be complete! Clever, no?!