Thursday, September 22, 2016

What's in YOUR Threadbox?

Here's a little peek at the secret life of our thread... and a little discussion of our own color mantra.
We'd love you to join in with your observations down below!

Just a little look at our green drawer will tell you a lot... no, we're not partial to one brand of thread. Sulky, Madeira, Magnifico, YLI, and even AdMelody live in perfect harmony here. You've seen our bumper stickers... you know, "Coexist." Once, upon a time, an intern had them all organized by hue, shade, and tint, but that was days ago and this is where we are now.

The truth is, you can argue about the color fastness, durability, and strength of all of these brands, but to us, having the absolute perfect color needed at any given moment trumps all. We'll let the machine embroidery archivists deal with the faded, shredded mess of our stitch outs in 100 years--immortality was never a goal of ours, and in 1,000,000 years anyway our Sun will breathe its last anyway, thus turning the lights off on our little corner of the universe. So we're living for the moment.

Having a business where all this thread is a write off and sometimes even a gift is a big advantage, but even if you don't, we do find ourselves reaching for some of the same colors again and again. Here's the lowdown on our essentials.

Yup! Here's the perfect pair... although black and white in the purest form do not really occur anywhere in nature, they're are bound to be in just about every embroidery design... if only the highlight in an eye, or the darkest single stitched line in a shadow. So be sure to never run out! We buy the big spools.

Add a beautiful cream and a smooth, warm gray and you have a quartet. If these were the only four colors you could have, think about it... any design, from floral, to seasonal, to decor, could be reduced down to these four values and would stitch out, without fail, to be the classiest, simplest, most sophisticated thing you'd ever seen. Need proof? Here's our brand new Summer's End flower basket reduced to a fabulous four:


But in the end, ROY G. BIV was right. A little pop of color is a good thing. So for our next thread essentials, be sure to have the following always in your arsenal: a fire engine red, carrot orange, bright yellow, grass green, royal blue, and purple.

Now we're going to expand our rainbow... to your red, a little burgundy makes a great dark accent. And in general, a light, medium, and dark tone is all you need for some beautiful shading. Although not the greatest fans of pink, we have hot pink, medium pink, and light pink just for flowers.
 To shade through orange to yellow, pick a golden orange, then a gold, a bright yellow, and a pale one.
 Leaves can usually be stitched effectively with just two shades.... but who can resist a hunter green...
 To your blue, add a pale and a navy... purple is already a dark color, so just add a lavender.

 We are not big into browns, not being neutral types at all, but you do need a couple... we love rust, a light brown, and where would we be without chocolate?

So those are our essentials... just 25 in all. But quilters are allowed their fabric stashes, so embroiderers may have their spools... be sure to always have your favorite colors, in thread. A design stitched in YOUR colors will never go badly. Left to right, we love gold.  And yellow orange was my personal favorite crayon color from kindergarten on, back in the day before the 64 pack came out with the fancy names like Macaroni and Cheese and Mauvelous. Next, peach--- so much easier on our eyes and dearer to our hearts than pink, and our favorite fruit to boot... and why not try a variegated or metallic, too?

So what's in your thread box? Do you have lifelong favorites or do your colors come and go with the wind? Are you a brand snob? We'd love to hear about it!


  1. Not a thread snob. I laughed when I saw your drawer, because it's very much like my own. I've inherited other sewer's stashes (bittersweet) and just bought what appeals to me in color, texture and sheen in the moment. I love all my thread!

  2. Gosh, I have so much thread. Racks on the walls and 3 drawers too. Still find times I can't find just the right color. It is always fun to watch a design come to life. Shading and highlights really add the punch.

  3. Guess I am a brand snob. Isacord for embroidery, Aurifil for sewing/quilting. They are the brands my primary machine is happiest with. So, maybe I am not the snob, maybe my machine is! But I like your lines, "live for the Moment" and "Stitch in MY favorite colors". I will now !

  4. For a moment there, I thought you'd sneaked in and photographed my green threads drawer! Thank goodness you didn't discover my blue drawer, my pinks and purples drawer, my reds and oranges drawer, my browns and yellows drawer, my neutrals drawer not to mention the other drawers for threads that don't fit in these other drawers. Must say that I get great pleasure from simply opening the drawers and looking at the colours. How is it, though, with all these beautiful threads, I still don't have the exact shade of green or purple or whatever that I need??? No brand snobbery in my embroidery stash - anything goes. By the way, love the monochrome basket. Stunning.