Saturday, January 19, 2013

It's Hoops, Q-Snaps, Frames & Stitching In Hand

I know I said I would start with how to start and finish but this was just too good not to share.  First I'm going to be discussing whether to use a hoop, q-snaps, frames or stitch in hand.

Please remember that whatever is in here is MY opinion which may, and probably, will be very different from your opinion.  You might be sewing with a hoop and be happy, or a q-snapp or anything else I didn't like.  But remember I DIDN'T LIKE it - not you.  So if you like it great.  I just didn't like most of these things for the reasons I stated.

Wooden Hoops
Well if you want to leave marks on your work from the hoop then use one.  If you look at anybody who uses a hoop you will see hoop marks.  Hoop makers advise that you remove the hoop each time you finish your stitching.  But let's be honest most of us either stitch for so long in a day that by the time the hoop is removed it's too late and the marks are already there.  Although if you wrap white cotton bias binding around it, it might just help but I really don't know as I gave up on this hoop years and years ago.  I couldn't get the hoop marks out of what I had stitched.  Wish I'd kept some of these though because they make amazing frames for wall art.  I never thought of that though - wish I had because then I wouldn't have chucked them away but kept them for something else.

Plastic Hoops
Not much better than wooden hoops but they do have spring loaded ones and also Clover makes one that I bought a couple of years ago thinking it might just be better but alas it wasn't so I wasted yet more money.  So what else is new I hear you ask yourself.  Nothing absolutely nothing!!!

Plastic frame
Clover's Frame

Well I didn't like hoops so on to the next thing.  What is the next thing?  Well it was the British version of Q-Snaps.
And here it is in all it's glory.  It was a lap stand though I did buy some Q-Snaps from the US and they were all the same.  They work but if your fabric isn't large enough to be clamped by all sides it just goes slack really fast.  Even if it is big enough the cloth soon works itself loose unless you buy fabric that is way too big for the frame and you can put more underneath the clamps in which case it doesn't move that much but your fabric - guess what???  Yep you have it ---- your fabric is marked again!  I just thought that maybe if you add spare fabric under the clamps it might just work.  But I wasn't that smart way back when I tried these.  So again dumped they got!!  I'm happy to say that no way could I have used these for anything else.  Except for maybe plumbing but guess what??  I'm not a plumber so phew!!  That was close.

Now we are talking.  I joined The Sampler Guild and the women here were using this frame:
This is made by Needle Needs and you can buy it here
I know it's made here in England but I'm 100% sure that you can buy it and get it shipped to other countries.  When I first bought it I bought the floor stand too - I mean now would I do anything by halves .... I DON'T THINK SO!

Then I bought the lap frame which I love.  I sold the floor stand to a former friend because I just wasn't using it and it was just sitting around here doing nothing.  I prefer the lap stand because I can put it on the table and stitch two handed.  Which isn't hard to do once you get used to it.  Your non-dominant hand is on top and your dominant hand lives underneath what you are stitching.  So you bring the needle up with your non-dominant hand because you don't need to see what you are doing and bring it down into the hole with your dominant hand because you do need to see what you are doing.  
This is the Aristo stand which can also be used on a table top Stand
This is what I'm sorry I never bought:
This is the Light and Magnifier in one and is £93.86
but not to worry I have until August to save up for it because
that is when I'm going to the Quilting Exhibition in Birmingham
Now for the finale of my love of Needle Needs Millenium Embroidery Frame and all the other things you can purchase from them here they are in action for your delight:

I have to admit that I only use this for large projects of which I have many.  And They Sinned to mention my biggest sitting there doing nothing project.

If you want to see this in
all it's glory please go here
Stitching in Hand

To be honest this is my favorite way of stitching.  I love feeling the fabric and sitting on the couch with my stitching stuff all around me (DH hates it but never mind he has NEVER been a good compromiser it's his way or no way).  I LOVE stitching and have missed it a lot over the last couple of years but I've only just realised it.  You should only stitch in hand if your stitches don't look any different than if you stitch using an aid.  It is a much faster way of stitching because if you are using a single color floss you can stitch one row going ////// and go back doing this \\\\\\.  If you are stitching using a variagated thread like Caron Waterlillies or Cotton Sampler Threads by Gentle Arts (otherwise known as GAST) then you have to complete each stitch as you go along, but that's still easier in hand, for me anyway, than using a frame and that includes my lovely frame above of which I have two sets of side stretchers and numerous sizes of bars.

To finish this section I've realised a lot of things since my sister passed away and stitching was a huge part of my life for a long time and then I got angry over something and never stitched again.  What a fool.  You really only do live once so please don't muck it up.  Life is way too short.  Yesterday I was a newly married woman today I'm a grandma of four!  I hope this has helped at least one person see the options and from my experience realised what they want to do and/or use or not as the case may be.

Until Next Time
Lots of Love
Patti xxx

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Mayté-MagicXstitch said...

I mis to see the progress of your projects and be able to ahh and ohh when you show us the finished piecess. Please come back to stitching again.

I miss your posts a lot :)

Lindsay said...

I've got the floor frame and love it but have managed to master getting the tapestry frame set up but after watching the video I now know what I've been doing wrong.
Thank You for sharing it

Debbie said...

Thanks for another very helpful post!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing this - I have not stitched in a couple of years because of daily migraines & brain surgery. But like you said, in essence, get on with it !! I do miss it & will stop putting off something I so enjoyed. Have a great new year!