Let me tell you about Colour Streams

colour streams packageA couple of weeks ago I was kindly sent some of the Colourstreams products and agreed to write a review. Once I opened the packet I realised that I wanted to use their goodies in a project not just sample their threads and move on to other stitching tasks.  I decided to work a small project which quickly grew into a larger thing and a mini challenge running here on the blog, but that is another story.

The Colour Streams website has a slogan “let the colour do the work” and this is very much the case with this product. As you can see the colours of their lush colours and seem to energise and simply put I found them to be   inspirational.

When I assembled my hussif I used their silk rayon velvet  and the hand dyed habotai silk. When you are embroidering on a crazy quilt block, you are stitching through two layers of fabric as most crazy quilters use the flip and sew method to assemble the block. If fabrics are too thick and bulky it makes it difficult to execute fine embroidery stitches. The silk rayon velvet proved to be a dream to stitch through. So much so I had no hesitation in embarking on a large floral spray that covered a good part of the area.

colourstreams threads review I also had no hesitation using their Silk Floss to create the Chained Bullion stitch petals for the daisies. These bullions are 12 wraps of the needle. So using this stitch puts both fabric and thread to a good test and both passed well. I liked using the Silk floss. It comes in 6 meter skeins and think most crazy quilters would delight in this thread.

colourstreams-review2The stem of this vine is worked using Colour streams Silken Strands. Once again this thread is 100% silk and I took great pleasure in working the stem in rope stitch. The thread is soft, consisting of 6 strands that can be split like cotton floss or used as is, which is what I did. I also added the foliage using Chained bullion stitches and the thread behaved just fine.

The grapes are worked in Aurora which is a thread that comes in 6 meter skeins. For crazy quilters this thicker thread is harder to work. I gave it a tough test as I was using it for French knots! The thread works fine under an experienced stitchers hand but it was sticking a bit on the needle. This often happens with any silk that does not have a firm twist. It is a reflection on the fiber not the brand.

colourstreams threads review 3I then gave the Aurora thread and the Exotic lights thread a fairer test on canvas. I am sure many stitchers who use the even weave techniques and/or the canvas stitches would delight in the coverage of this silk thread. Both the Aurora and the Exotic lights threads worked up well and looked lush (not flat and uninteresting) on the canvas.

colourstreams threads review Out of curiosity I also tested the Exotic lights thread on Aida and once again the thread behaved well. I could see the 6 meter skeins running out quite quickly however.

colourstreams-review5My favourite of their samples is Ophir (although as I write this the Silken strands is also on my faves list) I used Ophir thread in creating these cast-on stitch flowers. Readers who know cast-on stitch will also know that this stitch involves lots of wrapping and plenty of opportunity to knot, tangle and misbehave which this thread did not do! The silk sheen is great and it gave me much pleasure.  Also the skein of 15 meters is a good length for me.

Apart from threads Colour Streams also have a range of interesting sequins  which every crazy quilter should check out. The small daisy shaped sequins in the second photograph are samples sent to me. They are delightfully small. The sequins in the photo are secured with a seed bead.

All up I really enjoyed these products. Please note that apart from the free samples I do not gain financially from this review. In other words I am not paid to write them and I am not affiliated in any way with Colourstreams.

A very unusual sampler Has anyone seen anything like this?

I found a very Curious sampler and I wonder if anyone has encountered anything like it.

In the Salisbury Museum which has some great lace samples, some stumpwork, costume and accessories one of the items that caught my attention was a Sampler that recorded the results of the Wiltshire election of 1819. Has anyone ever seen anything like this? Click on the image to see a larger view.

samplerIt was behind glass in a room that was not well lit and this is best photo I could do. As you can see each candidates name is recorded and the number of votes. The piece was works in cross stitch on what looks like linen.

There was no accompanying information and it has really sparked my curiosity as I cant remember seeing a sampler that recorded political results quite like this. If any of my readers know more about his or samplers like it please let me know.
My holiday is progressing well. If you are interested in our travels make a cuppa and  visit Tones and tints

Tutorials and Mini series on Pintangle

I have been putting together a list of resources and tutorials that are here on Pintangle. Many  people so not browse categories or tags so I thought I would start listing some resources I have posted in the past.

Crazy quilting and Hand Embroidery 

This series of posts on How to assemble a Crazy Quilt includes

12 Surface Stitches for Beginners This is a direct PDF download You need Acrobat reader to read it.

A tutorial on how to make a Ric Rac Rose 

How to make a 5 pointed ribbon flower

How to stitch a silk ribbon Farago Rose

How to Transfer Embroidery patterns to fabric 

 Studio Journalling

Some tips on choosing a Visual Journal

Adding pages to a wire bound journal 

Art Journal Technique Gesso as base 

From Studio Journal Design to Embroidery 

Dueling Fiddlers from photo to stitch

Other items

Tips for managing large projects.

How to make fabric from scrap thread (what I did with the contents of my Orts Jar)

Tips for using Chenille thread 

What is Ribbon Floss?

How to use transfer dyes to print on synthetic fabric.

Skeining and tying off threads to dye

Mistyfuse is fantastic a product review

Grip-n-Stitch embroidery frame review

Friday Freebie a free book online

screenshot of book coverI am having a tidy up of PDF files I have down loaded at various times and printing them out as I have found that leaving them on the computer means they get forgotten if I am not careful. So expect a few more pointers to gems like this over the next couple of weeks.

In the process I found another gem in the Antique Pattern Library. I think readers will enjoy but you might need to invest in some printing ink.

The full and wordy title is A Treatise on Embroidery, Crochet and Knitting with illustrations adapted to the use of M.Heminway and Sons’ Wash Silks (Oriental Dyes).

This gem was published in 1899 and is available  from the Antique Pattern Library. You will need Acrobat Reader to open and read these files. You can download  a free reader on the Acrobat site.

This  post is eye candy heavy but I hope people will realise that the book is worth downloading and enjoying.

free hand embroidery pattern

Embroiderers you will discover a number of different combination stitches in the first section of the book. You can see the influence of crazy quilting. I think crazy quilters will this section particularly interesting.

page15 of embroidery bookAlso this is the type of book where I find variations to stitches for instance I found an interesting variation of of “buttonhole feather stitching” on page 15. I will have to investigate it further because at first glance it looks like closed Cretan stitch but my point is that this is just the sort of source where I find interesting variations of stitches. it is easy to dismiss these books because the illustrations are hand drawn and they are old fashioned but they are a huge resource.

Thread painting patterns

 

There is a growing interest in thread painting. I thought I would highlight this a there are some lovely patterns in this book. Free thread painting pattern 2

Apart from some really lovely embroidery patterns also included are some alphabets which are always handy. These fantastic designs look as if they are classic botanical illustrations.

Free Thread painting Pattern

Sorry about the heavy eye candy but there is some very nice material in this book and I encourage you to look at it.

Free Thread painting Pattern

From page 56 onwards there is small section on Drawn thread work before moving on to Crochet, Lace and knitting. Since I am not a knitter I can not really say how useful some of these patterns are but I did like some of the sock patterns!

To find this book

On the  Antique Pattern Library Catalogue page go to the letter F and scroll down to approximately  half way on the  Since Anna Grayson Ford was the editor this resource is listed under Ford, Anna Grayson, ed., et al., Treatise on Embroidery, Crochet and Knitting with Illustrations