One of the things I really love about cross stitching (and embroidery too) is how little you need to get started. Some fabric, embroidery floss, a needle, and a hoop is really all you need to get started. However, once you’ve been stitching for awhile you might want to start treating yourself to some nice little extras that help make things a little easier. Here are a few of my favorites.
99% of the time I use DMC floss, mainly because I have all 454 colors. It’s just so convenient to use because it’s inexpensive, extremely easy to find, and there are so many colors. But the small percentage of time I am not using DMC thread, these are a few that I really like.
While I think regular DMC floss is great, I cannot stand their metallic threads. Kreinik has an incredible selection of metallic and glow in the dark braid that is so much easier to work with. Most of the time I really like using the fine #8 braid, but the blending filament is really fun too, it’s like Christmas tinsel. Since it’s a braid and not a 6 strand floss, it doesn’t fray and snag the same way that the DMC metallic does. Kreinik also has a nice selection of glow in the dark colors which I like a lot too.
Awhile back I was sent some Aurifloss and I really love it. It comes on these incredible wooden spools and it’s amazing to stitch with. It’s a divisible 6 stranded floss and I have found it so incredible smooth and wonderful to work with, I haven’t had any snagging problems at all. The only downfall is that my color collection is limited, so it doesn’t get used as much as I would like! I need to work on building up a bigger collection so I can use it more.
Sulky 12wt Cotton Petites*
When I was following Wendi from Shiny Happy World’s tutorial to make a mandala I noticed the thread she was using seemed to be one thin strand of floss. I asked her about it and she pointed me to Sulky 12wt cotton petites thread. It also comes on a spool and it is the thickness of two strands of floss. I’ve bought a few packs and I really like working with it a lot. I’ve only done embroidery with it, not any cross stitching yet.
Other Great Tools
Gingher 3.5 Inch Stork Embroidery Scissors*
I resisted embroidery scissors for a really long time even though I thought they were extremely pretty. I always just used whatever scissors I had laying around and that seemed fine. But when I finally took the plunge and splurged on a pair of Gingher scissors, my life was changed. The tiny tip makes it so much easier to cut the thread close to the fabric. I have since developed a bit of an addiction and have a ton of different pairs of scissors. When I go out I keep each project I’m working on in it’s own pouch with all the supplies and each pouch has a pair of scissors.
DMC Water Soluble Cross Stitch Canvas*
I get a lot of questions about water soluble canvas, especially where to get it. Last year Joann’s had it on clearance for $3 and I went to 4 different stores and bought all of them that they had. Ever since then I haven’t seen it sold in their stores. Michael’s used to sell it but I’m not sure if they do anymore either. Amazon has it for a pretty decent price, but keep in mind it is a pretty small sheet. I like using it for smaller projects so I can get quite a lot of use out of one of the sheets. I actually feel that it’s really hard to work with a big sheet, I just had to scrap and entire project because the canvas was bubbling up.
Water soluble canvas lets you cross stitch on any fabric which I absolutely love. I’ve used it for quite a few projects and I wrote a tutorial over at &stitches on how to actually use it.
Sulky Printable Sticky Fabri-Solvy Stabilizer*
I only recently tried Sulky Fabri-Solvy and I immediately loved it, I used it for stitching on felt. I really like embroidery but hate the process of tracing patterns and this eliminates that step completely. You can print the pattern directly onto the paper and it just sticks to the fabric. An added bonus is that it gives you a stabilizer, I’m always torn on if I should use interfacing of some sort for embroidery. You stitch over the pattern and then when you are done it dissolves away.
Thread Heaven – Protectant and Conditioner*
Thread Heaven is amazing, I absolutely love it. This is another product I used to easily be able to find at Joann’s but they don’t seem to carry it anymore. I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I find that certain colors of DMC thread snag and break more than others. Specifically red and black, they always give me problems. But running my thread along the Thread Heaven before I start stitching really minimizes any issues.
I would always see adorable needle minders in people’s Instagram photos and as cute as they were, I did not understand them at all. I was placing an order with Dragonfly Lotus to get some pretty thread and decided to give in and I ordered one of her needle minders and I fell in love. It’s such a simple concept but so revolutionary! You sandwich your fabric between two magnets (one of which happens to have an incredibly adorable design) and then you can set your needle on the magnet. Amazing idea right?
There are tons of super cute ones out there but my favorites are from Dragonfly Lotus and Beadeux.
Dandelyne Mini Hoops
I feel like a broken record always bringing this up, but I am seriously in love with these mini hoops from Dandelyne. I have made a bunch of necklaces with them and I love them all. I got some of her new oval hoops that I still need to try out, I just can’t decide on a design!
Clip On Booklight*
This is a recent discovery for me and a total game changer! I do a lot of stitching in the passenger seat but I always have to stop when it gets dark. I had the realization that I could clip a book light to the hoop and keep stitching in the dark. I’ve had a few people on Instagram tell me they use a headlamp for the same purpose.
I would love to hear if you have favorite tools that I haven’t included. Especially anything for transferring patterns. I usually use a water soluble pen but I still haven’t found one I absolutely love.
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