The most exciting aspect of any hobby for me are the TOOLS! Yup, the little gadget thingys that make you look like you know what you’re doing.
So, I would like to show you my cross stitching tools. I may have forgotten posting some not so used items which I’ll just update as found. These tools are not the cream of the crop brands but more of what I have on hand and what I found to be the best so far that I bought locally and some internationally via online orders. I’m pretty sure there are more better than these which I have to discover still. But for now, they will suffice. Also, I stitch handheld without a frame so tools of frame users may be different from mine. So here goes.
Tadah! My floss organizer. It looks like an ordinary plastic organizer box which it is but I have gone through several boxes before ending up with this perfect one for me. The partitions are all removable and can be arranged however you like it. It fits all my stitching essentials in one handy box. I think I bought this at VCM Starmall Alabang for somewhere Php170.00. So whats inside?
DMC Stork golden scissors are very pointy and sharp. Bought for Php375.00 at VCM (sorry I bought the last 2 available!). Makes your box pretty to look at and makes you look like a serious stitcher but really you don’t need this. Best only for clipping thread very near the fabric and for frogging. Holes for fingers are small and quite cumbersome to use which is why I have this…
CHINESE SNIPS which I got for about Php40.00 at National bookstore and to add some flair I painted it with my Deborah Lippmann sparkly polish. The polish stinked up my box for a while but eventually the polish odor wore off after a week of aerating. Easy to use, sharp and always ready for action.
I have the Joy scissors as my fabric scissors. Cheap but sharp. Bought at SM office supplies section for 3-for-Php100 in 3 sizes in a pack. Now I don’t mind if anybody use it for something else as I got me 3 packs. Hihihi! 😉
Bohin needles are said to be the best in its class in most stitching forums. It is great. Feels solid when handled, eyes are big enough to pass thread without a threader, inside of eyes has no snag to fray the thread, body is smooth and makes you sew like you’re stabbing butter. However! Not so great for doing French knots. Why? The eye area has a slight bump from the body which catches the knot slightly when you want to make a close and tight French knot. Maybe its just me but I used a Japanese needle which got mixed with my stuff and it helped me create better French knots. But for the usual stitching this is indeed great!
These are size 26 which I prefer. It’s small enough to not create too big a hole on my fabric and parts the thread just right. This is the best local needle which I got for Php12.00 per 2 needles at Heavenly Stitchin’ Moment at Fishermall QC. Downside, it’s not as smooth to use. Maybe the nickel coating on the body is not as great and some packs I bought had tarnish hidden by the paper packaging. But it’s cheap and looks great. For 10 needles I actually use about 3 which has no snags inside the eyes. Overall, a 6 out of 10.
My needle minder owls which I made from scrapbooking supplies from National Bookstore. DMC needlecase and my voodoo-ish needle cushion which I got for Php80.00 at a school fair.
I have the heavy duty DMC for when I use yarn or more than two threads to a hole. And I have the ordinary threader which I folded and inserted to a hedgehog clip for better handling. Oh hey, hedgehog!
For lack of a better word to classify these, I call them thread helpers. These guys help me manuever my floss/thread in and around my fabric.
Star de tailor is my latest toy. Smooth to use. Pulls my thread with ease even in contorted positions. Maybe that slight twist at the end makes all the difference. Before this I just use my threader which does the job but with more effort and precision manuevering making me feel like a neurosurgeon at work. This makes it less stressful. Stitching should be fun, right?! Oh bought for P450.00 via online from 123stitch.com.
Stitch Catcher I use for the quickie simple thread pulls. But if you have the Star then you don’t need this anymore. Had this before the Star but is also a handy tool for quickie pulls. Got this from a huge stash I snagged.
The Snag-Nab-It (online Php350.00) I haven’t used yet but I imagine it for jobs like loose threads on top you want to push at the back to make your finish look better. It’s for touch ups finishing work. The little hook thingy I thought will be my thread hook but I rarely use it. Got my fingers to do the job quicker.
Trolley Needle Thread Controller is a laying tool that helps you lay your thread flat in the fabric for a more even and neat finish. Best when using a frame. Dreams Yarnshoppe sells this for Php350.00.
Thread Heaven is a kind of thread wax you glide your thread on before stitching to make it go through the fabric easily. Somewhat like a lubricant. No friction equals no thread snags and thread breaks. Best for metallic thread. I use it sparingly. Just in my toolkit when I need it. Also from Dreams.
Tweezers are there for some pulling action. Got the pointy tweezer from Heavenly Stitchin for Php40.00 but its not good so sometimes I use the Tweezerman but it’s quite chubby although has a good grip. I’m yet to find one I like. Tweezerman bought at Beauty Bar for hmm, Php900.00.
Told myself I’m a purist and would never bother with such shortcuts. Who am I kidding?! This will save your sanity. Try stitching then counting then looking at your chart then counting then stitching again and keeping your mind intact. Well, good luck! These guys are essentials with a capital E.
DMC marker is available at the DMC Megamall store. It marks a distinct blue color on the fabric, lasts long meaning no vanishing tricks after some painstaking gridding. Only downside is the tip is quite fat. So I use this to initially grid my fabric and for marks with no neighboring existing stitches as I’m afraid the marker might mark the thread and not the fabric. About Php140.00
For those in betweeners marking, I use this marker I got from Heavenly Stitchin. It has a finer tip and that’s all there is with it. The mark is faint and you have to really press the tip to the fabric to leave a mark. It also disappears by itself after some time so somewhat air soluble? Costs somewhere Ph120.00. Both markers removes well with water or even with damp fingers with slight rubbing.
This I use for black fabric. Marks well. It’s as good as it claims. Rubs off fine with water.
These are my ORT (odd random threads) jars from Daiso. About Php 33.00 each. Aren’t they adorable? They really aren’t tools but cute enough to show you. They hold the itsy bitsy thread left-overs. Why do I keep these threads when it should be in the trashbin? Well, it’s too colorful to throw away and my dear friends, when you are working on a stitching project for some time like years perhaps then anything about it has sentimental value. Like oh no! my threads! my beautiful threads! Well maybe someday they’ll be thrown away but for now they will feed these cutie patootie pepper shakers of mine.
And last but not the least.
My stitching bag! Grabbed this from SM school supplies department for about Php150.00. I like that its black so will be forgiving on floor dirt. The design is spot on without being too artsy fartsy. This goes with me wherever and whenever. It holds my current WIP (work in progress) and the floss organizer plus a pack of indispensable fragrance free wet wipes because I believe in clean hands equals clean stitches, and my stress ball! And an eye lubricant for dry eyes from staring too much at the pattern. I didn’t get a close photo because you should go to your eye doctor and get your own prescription, ye hear?!
So there you have it, my stitching toys eherm tools!