Organizing Embroidery Floss and Project Binders

Over the years I’ve tried a few systems of floss organization.  For years, I used the little cards that you wind the floss around, and keep in small plastic boxes.  This system had the advantage of being neat and portable.  But there’s a fair bit of work in winding the floss.  The reason I abandoned this system in the end was the way it creases the floss – particularly as you get near the end of a skein.

Over the past few years, I’ve used the StitchBow system from DMC and I’m really loving the way it works.  I use 3″ binders to store my floss collection.

embroidery floss in a 3" binder

embroidery floss in a 3″ binder

my embroidery floss binder

my embroidery floss binder

The plastic stitchbows themselves are inexpensive and quite easy to use – you transfer the floss directly onto them without having to wind it, and the labels with the color ID number are easily inserted.

Once on the stitchbow, the floss slides easily in and out of the plastic binder sleeves.  I leave extra sleeves in my binder and space out my existing floss so it’s easy to add new as I purchase.

Another advantage to this system is that the floss is transferred easily into a project binder.  Like many, I prefer to work on several projects at once.  I keep each project in a “go bag” (more on that in a later post) so when I sit down to stitch, I can easily grab the project I want and everything I need for that project is at my fingertips.  Having small children, this system keeps projects accessible to me, but out of reach of little fingers…

As I was saying, each project bag has the needed floss.  Depending on how many colors and the size of the pattern, I often keep these in a smaller binder in my go bag.  Here’s an example.

a project binder with pattern and floss inserts

a project binder with pattern and floss inserts

the front cover: usually an image of the project or instructions

the front cover: usually an image of the project or instructions

Of course small projects don’t necessarily need a binder.  More on individual project organization and floss binders in a later post.

So that’s my system.  I’d love to hear what works for you!

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Confession of a bright color stitcher

I have to confess, I hate stitching in white.  Or, more specifically, I hate stitching colors with a low contrast from the background.  Seriously – it drives me crazy.  That’s one of the things that drew me to this particular project, called “Redwork Quilt” by Ursula Michael.  I love the idea of stitching primarily in those bright reds!  The entire pattern has only four colors: three shades of red… and white.  Sigh.  As you can see from the photos, I haven’t yet stitched all the white background within the quilt blocks.  I’ll have to do some soon.  I’m hoping the fact that I can just fill in the blank spaces with white without having to count or think too much will maybe make it a bit more satisfying.  We’ll see…

2 blocks of 'Redwork Quilt'

2 blocks of ‘Redwork Quilt’

When complete, the design is a border of 16 quilt blocks surrounding a backstitched birdhouse scene.  I am making it as a gift for someone whose kitchen is decorated in red.  However, I’m not totally crazy about the scene in the middle and may decide to do something different when I get to that point.  In the meantime, I’m enjoying stitching the blocks.

 

‘Tug of War’ Cross Stitch with 3 little girls

So to start off my blog, I thought I’d share a little cross stitch project I recently finished.  I made it as a gift for my brother and sister-in-law who have three girls and three dogs.  Sadly I forgot to take a picture of it all framed up, but it looked nice with a sand colored mat and a green weathered-wood frame.  Below are some progress pics as well as some pics of the framing in progress.

in progress - three little girls and the dog

in progress – three little girls and the dog

a close up of the cute little pup

a close up of the cute little pup

With some background added

with some background added

partially pinned

partially pinned

all pinned and ready for framing

all pinned and ready for framing

Pattern Info: “Tug of War” from All Our Yesterdays Cross Stitch Collection by Faye Whittaker in association with DMC