Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Floss-aholic

There is a reason to thread a needle, every day. (as far as I'm concerned) I am a sewist, and a stitcher, and I love it. And I was sitting around wondering why I love it so much. I've talked before about the differences we have in stitching as an art form--all that mixed-media we love--and sewing because it's 1911 and you're a factory worker in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. How my heart goes out to those women--I think of them often. I also think of the Titanic often. I just went to the museum a couple of months ago. Hmmm. There's something about my fascination with 1911 and 1912...I don't know what.

Click here to see why there's Ten Good Reasons to Thread a Needle Every Day.

Sew...hee did finally hit me what I love so much about the stitching I do. I am a floss-aholic! I'm pretty sure of this. Hi, my name is Sandy, and I just can't seem to get enough of those beautiful skeins of floss!

I love thread too--but my heart is with DMC.

I come from a family of sewists, crafters and stitchers. My Aunt Margaret taught me how to knit and crochet when I was ten. But it wasn't until I was in my twenties that I became fascinated with embroidery. Now, back then, you couldn't just google up "embroidery." You had to go to the library and get a book, or go buy a kit in a store. So that's what I did. I bought kits. I liked it a lot...but I still didn't really know what I was doing.

It was the 1980's and I met a group of ladies at my work who were bonified cross-stitch-aholics. What a great group they were! They taught me everything about looking for patterns, not kits, buying aida cloth and flosses. We had the prettiest cafeteria/breakroom at that company, and we would take breaks and sit around and cross-stitch on our projects, gossip, laugh, tell stories. Oh, those were happy times. Anyway, the next thing I knew, I was painting with floss, I loved it, and I never looked back. One of the things that was so great about floss was, it was cheap! Back then, really cheap. I came across an offer in one of my cross-stitch magazines--yes, I was now subscribing to them--and I ordered every single color of DMC that existed at the time, for $15. It was an amazing offer to get over 320 full skeins of DMC flosses! (bags and number stickers included) I was beside myself when they arrived in the mail! I organized them in the floss bags and filed them in a big plastic box.  This would be my floss foundation--my library--and I would keep all my flosses updated regularly. I was pretty good about it for quite awhile.
My original floss box.
All my beautiful flosses organized by number.
But then, after many years, I moved on to other ways of organizing my flosses--and they work well for projects. But I tell you, I still can find much of the floss colors I need for something in this box. It's amazing. And the price of a skein of floss has certainly gone up since I started stitching, so it's pretty nice I still have skeins and skeins of floss that I paid less than 20 cents for. I'm such a bargain hunter. And even now, if I have to go buy a lot of floss, I use a coupon to get a discount.

My DMC Stitchbow floss holder--I use this a lot
What I like about my Stitchbow floss bag is that it has lots of pockets and all zips up with a handle and away you go! So while my floss foundation is in numbered bags, I have the ole Stitchbow for projects, and then, here's my newest thing. This happened when I started playing with my linen flosses. Once DMC started producing beautiful new textures of flosses, like satin, linen, and all the sparklies, I didn't want to mix those up with my floss. I like to look at them! (that's a floss-aholic for you) So, I didn't want to put them in bags, or on the Stitchbows.

There were some clothespins laying around on my desk--and now, here we are. I just started wrapping floss around clothespins. It's kinda vintage looking! I like that. I can see and touch the floss. I can label it. And it just puts the fun in functional. I wonder if anyone else is doing this. Probably--it's even fun to wind it on there.

Who knew, when I was ten and had to help my mom hang up the wash in the backyard, that I would ever love clothespins this much. AND...clothespins are cheap. At least they are until DMC gets wind of this and brands them somehow. Ha! Flosspins!

This looks really cute in my stitching studio--it's a keeper. Seeing all the flosses out like this just gives me great embroidery and cross-stitch design ideas! Anything that you can do to keep your idea factory going is what you should do! Floss is now eye candy. It's getting dangerous though because I'm wanting to go floss shopping!

Eat, Write, Dream, and Stitch up some happiness for yourself.


  1. I really like the idea with the clothes pins. I have to try that. Love the post!

  2. Lovely to hear how you got into embroidery so much. I'm not surprised at hearing that seeing your floss all beautifully laid out like that inspires your creativity!