My top 9 embroidery must-have – think gift ideas!
A question came to me via email the other day asking me how I go about holding my fabric onto the window while tracing, so I thought I would address that situation via a blog post and recommending which products work best for hand embroidery in general.
To properly trace your printed place in a comfortable position onto the window for your arms to reach and trace. Tape to the window with Scotch Tape. Then center your fabric on top of your pattern, and tape that onto the window as well. Being careful to keep the fabric stretched and as close to the window surface as possible to avoid shifting as you trace with your fabric pens.
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Now for my favorite 9 product recommendations
- My first favorite product is the pens I use. I’ve experimented with a few different brands and I find that for large patterns, it’s fine to use a regular tip water soluble marking pen.
While a regular soluble marking pen is great for most projects, it wont work for fine lines. When it comes to fine lines such as tracing eyes or hair, you’re going to need a fine-tipped pen(s). I really like the pens from iNee (see them here). They come in 5 different colors and they come with ink refills. When I ordered them I wasn’t sure they would work well because the reviews said the ink doesn’t rinse well, but I’ve learned you have to soak the finished in warm water to get the ink out. I haven’t had one project stay stained with the ink, it washes out with proper soaking and the tips are amazing to work with. The tips glide across the fabric really smoothly without pulling or stretching the fabric, and the ink transfers easily.
- Fabric matters! As much as I’d like to send you to an online source to buy good fabric, I’m going to tell you to get up off the couch and go down to your local fabric store. Read the labels there and FEEL the fabric. Buy what feels best for you and your wallet. I purchase white, or ecru colored fabric used for making quilts. I then cut the fabric into either 8.5′ x 8.5″ squares, or 6.5″ x 6.5″ squares all at once. That way I’m not constantly cutting a square every time I need one. I’d rather get it all done at once and have them ready for when I feel like stitching.
If you can’t buy fabric at your local store, Amazon has what you need. You can get muslin here: https://amzn.to/2XlJbas
- Floss matters too! Buy the type of floss that is sold near you. There’s nothing worse than running out of a color and having to wait 10 weeks to get a new skein of the color you need. I use DMC floss because I can purchase it everywhere near me and because I can purchase it on Amazon if I can’t find the color that I need. For me DMC floss works best for how I stitch, it doesn’t tear or tangle easily.
DMC floss – https://amzn.to/3zPReJX
- Hoops are as individual as the stitcher themselves, buy what works best for you. I have several different kinds of hoops, wood, plastic, and a few sizes. All are inexpensive. I’ve found that the hoops by Frank A. Edmunds work best for me, in the smallest size they carry. I’d rather move my hoop several times than have on a gigantic hoop that never needs moving because it’s easier for my hands to hold.
Frank A. Edmunds hoop – https://amzn.to/3kL3eYN
- A lightbox isn’t quite as cheap as a sunny window, but it’s much more convenient to use. This is the exact lightbox that I upgraded to https://amzn.to/3okJgGu It’s light, able to dim, portable, and uses a USB cord that you can use to plug into any USB outlet either at home or in your car when traveling. The light box has a ruler on two sides of the box, and you can tape your work directly to the box so it won’t move while you are working.
- Embroidery scissors are a must! They seem extravagant, but the blades are different than your kitchen shears, or the scissors that you use to cut paper. The blades will cut threads close to your work so that you don’t have a big thread mess in the back of your work. These scissors are super cute and come with a protective cover so you can put them in the bag with your work and carry them with you. https://amzn.to/39KaSfR
- Speaking of scissors… Get yourself a good pair of fabric scissors! I have owned this pair https://amzn.to/3m6bMJo for about 35 years and not once have I had to get them repaired or even sharpened. They are amazing! They keep their edge as long as you never cut anything but fabric with them.
- Thread organizer boxes – buy what suits your needs best. I use simple plastic boxes that hold my threads on bobbins. https://amzn.to/3kOPDzK I have had big ones and medium size boxes and find that the medium size ones work best for me. I say that because I’ve accidentally dropped the box boxes and let me tell you, it’s a challenge to organize them all again in a big box. That’s why I stay with the medium size box.
Need a quick and easy embroidery pattern to start? Try this one: Click Here