Our little needlework shop & studio
is located at
3530 Tye River Road
Amherst, VA 24521
ph. 434-263-6508
email - Notforgottenfarmwitch@gmail.com

****** FARM SHOP IS CLOSED ******
until September 22nd for our


Please visit our ETSY Shop ~ by clicking on any one of the thumbnail photos below...

Friday, January 2, 2015

"Random" Stitching & Beeswax ~

...are you all set to begin your 2015 stitching?
I am!!
{but then again, when am I not ready to stitch?}

when I first started my journey onto needlework,
there was no such thing as computer software for charting.
…nope, none.
Those of us that wanted to design our own,
 used a good old pencil {with an even-better eraser}
and a pad-ful of graph paper to chart out our ideas.
we started stitching first, with an idea in our minds of what we wanted to stitch ~
then graphed it….

I've learned from my 20+ years of designing, that new isn't always better.
yes, charting on a computer screen is easier, but somehow it seems funny to me to
use such a contraption to design something that will be worked entirely by hand,
and {in my case} designed to look antique, or at least primitive.
but I do it anyway ~ using software allows me to chart a design more quickly than
drawing one by hand ~ thus, giving me more time to actually design yet another!
{that is a good thing!}

every once in a while,
I feel the need to get back to my roots and just randomly stitch onto my linen ~
doing so {for me} produces a design a little less 'commercial' and honestly,
just plain feels good to my soul to do it that way :)

SO ~
I've chosen my linen, frame & threads:

the gold-gilt frame is an old one 
that has been bumbling-about here in my sewing room for a while ~

I think she matches the linen nicely, no?
{I may 'distress' it just a bit more though…}

of course,
I'll be choosing threads from my box of DMC colors ~
this is my favorite color palette, and if you like it and want to add it to your thread stash, 
here is a link to the actual numbers:

I haven't actually chosen any to begin with, 
but I'm leaning towards the paler shades of grey, green white & peach
{but that's at this very moment ~ in my brain, everything is subject to change!}

the linen color has a beautiful staining to it,
much lighter than my Old Farmhouse Linen ~
so I will take that into consideration when choosing my threads too…

As soon as I have some little x's made, I'll share my progress with you ~
this will be an 'in-between' project for me while I design new offerings for Spring 2015

…and now a little about using beeswax ~

most of you know by now that I wax my threads before stitching
{cross stitching, hand sewing NOT punch needle!}

I recently received an email from a follower,
regarding my use of beeswax in my stitching ~
here's what she wrote:

"I read your blog religiously and always learn a lot. 
In a future blog, 
could you talk about why you use bees wax on your stitching, 
what does it do, and how do you apply it to your thread, 

...is there any special KIND 
of beeswax we fellow stitchers should buy, etc.  
Your stitching is always so beautiful ~ 
it would be great to add some of that beauty to my stitching.

Thank you, Lori!"

I like the look & feel it lends to my finished work ~
in fact, I love everything about beeswax!
I love how it's made ~ those tiny little worker-bees do a fabulous job, don't they?
I love how it smells ~ sweet, clean ~ earth-y & bit smokey too
{Friendly Beekeepers use smoke to keep their bees calm…doesn't hurt them at all}

I keep many little cakes of it around, 
~ I even re-melt it once it gets too dry.

here is a small tart pan filled with re-melted beeswax,
a small cube of what I call 'dry' beeswax 
{used many times to wax my threads until it becomes almost brittle}
and even a sweet little beeswax sheep, where the beeswax was melted, stained a brown color, scented
and finally poured into a little sheep mold ~
**one problem with using colored beeswax on your threads**
it may or may not actually turn your thread a different color {darken it} 
OR it may/may not stain a lighter colored linen on which you might be stitching

my preference is plain natural beeswax.

to wax my thread,
 I hold the wax in one hand and pull the threads across it with the other hand.

I generally stitch using just one strand of thread on any count of linen,

but for this posting, 
I'm going to show you what 2 strands of waxed/unwaxed thread looks like
1 strand of waxed/unwaxed thread ~

the photo below shows:
on the top left ~ 2 strands of unwaxed, 
on the top right ~ 2 strands of waxed thread
on the bottom left ~ one strand of unwaxed thread
on the bottom ~ one strand of waxed thread

not a significant difference between waxed/unwaxed ~
But, the unwaxed thread is 'fluffier' than the waxed thread.
the waxed thread seems to lay 'flatter' to me, giving it an old look 
...that I love to incorporate into my work.

...the bobbin is there so you can see the scale of the stitches I've made.

Waxing my threads also keeps them from knotting while stitching,
and because I tend to stain my finished work using walnut dye,
 the wax helps keep any over dyed threads I may be using
 {not used by me often and sometimes aren't colorfast} from bleeding.

so ~ 
...to wax or not to wax?
great question that you'll have to answer yourself :)

like anything having to do with handwork/needlework…
I think it's a personal preference we make because using beeswax isn't for everyone!

it's simply a choice based on how we want our finished project to look ~
~ just find your preference and begin!!

* Blessings from the Farm *


Kathy L. said...

Thank you for the tutorial. I have stitched for 30 years and have never tried the wax. I think I will give it a go.


Pondside said...

Yes, I have a new project underway - a little 'Maison Famille' for my daughter's new house - and a couple of leftovers from last year. Now I can't wait to start something else new, and to try the beeswax on the thread. Thank you for this.....and Happy New Year.

annie said...

I have never tried the wax, but I do like the finish. Always something new to learn! Thank you!

Shuttle, Hook and Needle said...

I have been sewing and stitching for over 40 years and have never tried bees wax. My daughter does use it when she quilts. I'm never too old to learn or try something new. I'll give it a try on my next project.

Faye said...

Great visual of the threads as compare&contrast with the beeswax... I have it, just need to keep it closer in hand and use it! This is a wonderfully informative post Lori~ I'm a visual person, so thanks!

Rugs and Pugs said...

Thanks for the info.
BTW ~ I absolutely LOVE the scent of beeswax.
Happy New Year.

Monica said...

Thanks for the info! What happens when you press the wrinkles out with an iron?

Queen Bee's Musings said...

Love the explanation so very helpful. I had been wondering about the change when staining. Next question best options for obtaining beeswax.

Deb~Paxton Valley Folk Art said...

Thanks for the explanation Lori, I love the look of the waxed thread!

Previous Postings ~ So much more to see!