Friday, October 21, 2011

the sweetest dress, a helpful site, and the perfect hoops

florecitas embroidered baby dress by elizabethpalmer
As you may have already suspected, a lot of my future posts will be concerned with embroidery - supplies, stitches, experimental pieces, items for my (future) shop, interesting embroidered pieces I run across, and so on. I do so love embroidery :) Possibly my favorite thing about it is its versatility. The possibilities really are limitless. A beautiful piece I discovered earlier today is the florecitas embroidered baby dress from elizabethpalmer on Etsy. I love the bright colors, perky flowers and detailing. How perfect for a little girl on a warm summer's day or in early fall with a little pair of leggings. And this is only one example from an extensive collection, creative needlework embellishing every piece.

If you're interested in learning how to embroider or in expanding your practical knowledge of embroidery, I highly recommend you visit Mary Corbet's extremely helpful site: Needle 'N Thread. It has free patterns, tips, pictures, an Ask & Share section, how-to videos (my personal favorite) for stitches and various projects, and lots more. Honestly, if it were not for the how-to videos I probably wouldn't be able to do much more than a running stitch, seeing as I can't decipher stitch instructions from illustrations and pictures worth a darn. If you really like her site, Mary Corbet also has a Facebook page where she will keep you updated on current projects, new articles, reviews, videos, and great giveaways.

In my own little neck o' the woods I am in dire need of embroidery supplies, specifically wooden hoops and a greater variety of fabric. I have quite a bit of floss, I guess, but is there really such a thing as having too much floss? I think not. So we'll add it to the list as well :)

Frank A. Edmunds & Co. embroidery hoops,
available from 12" in diameter down to 3"
My quest for the perfect hoop began several weeks ago. I was looking for a company who makes hoops out of solid wood with quality metal hardware but with not too high of a price tag. Easy peasy, right? Ha. I searched from one end of Google to the other and found a lot of wonderful hoops along the way; the problem is that hardly any of them are within my budget and if they are, they tend to be produced in places like England, meaning shipping and handling charges at least double the initial cost. After a week or two of searching I recalled having seen a solid wood hoop at Hobby Lobby hanging on a hook all by its lonesome, but I couldn't remember the brand. I went back to Hobby Lobby as soon as I could and discovered Frank A. Edmunds & Co. I inquired about HL's in-store stock of Edmunds hoops, as I had seen only one on display, but the department manager told me she's only allowed to keep one on hand at a time. So I decided to order directly from the company.

I found the Edmunds & Co. website and discovered it is a small business in Chicago that has been manufacturing embroidery and sewing supplies (among quite a few other things) for over fifty years. I had a couple questions about their hoops, and while the website is functional it is a little slim on detailed descriptions, so I called the number at the bottom of the page. I was immediately on the phone with a very nice lady who told me the gentleman who could answer my questions was out, but she would take a message and have him call me back within half an hour. And he did! He was extremely friendly and helpful, answering all of my questions and telling me that if I ever had any more to please call back and he would be happy to help me. I don't care that much about a company's level of techy-ness, but the quality of the customer service will always be very important to me, and in this case it was so outstanding I wanted to place an order then and there. Reality being what it is I had to wait a bit, buuut...

It was worth the wait and I was able to order Edmunds hoops earlier today!! Can you tell I'm excited? :) I purchased a selection of 4", 6" and 8" wooden hoops, as I think that will be a nice variety of sizes to start with. I can't wait til they get here and I will be one step closer to creating things.

Good night, all, and cheerful dreams!

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