Handwork and the train
Like I said the last time I was blogging, I always like to take along a project to work on when I go on vacation. A few weeks ago, my husband, Mike and I took the train to Halifax and back. What a wonderfully relaxing way to travel!! We had about 24 hours on the train each way, so I spent the time reading, playing on my iPad AND learning some new embroidery stitches with my Razzle and Dazzle threads from WonderFil. I brought along a new embroidery book that I’d ordered online, and used some of my pins on Pinterest for inspiration. Now I have a whole repertoire of new stitches to add to the backstitch, blanketstitch and French knots that always use.
These embroidery stitches are very useful when you want to add a little accent to your quilting blocks, adding interest to your overall quilt, and you don’t have to add a lot of embroidery either.
But let’s see how these embroidery stitches work and how well the Razzle and Dazzle threads performed on wool.
Picking the fabric
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to stitch on wool, so of course, I wanted to bring along wool to stitch on. I used my die cutting machine to cut hearts, stars and circles and used my favorite 505™ Spray to stick them together. I tried to pick wools that were in the same colour family as the Razzle and Dazzle threads that I had on hand, so I used lots of bright colors like purple, red and teal and accented them with the beige wool that I like to use for backgrounds. I also brought along an assortment of bright coloured buttons and the thread conditioner that works so well with the threads.
Learning new stitches using my WonderFil threads.
First I decided to try the cable stitch and right off the bat I decided that this was my new favorite stitch. Why had I never known how to do this one?? Check out this video on YouTube to see how to do this stitch. Using the Dazzle threads really made it pop!
Dazzle thread and the closed blanket stitch
I use the blanket stitch A LOT for both wool applique and fusible applique, so when I saw this version I HAD to give it a try. I also tried out using the lazy daisy stitch to make designs OTHER than flowers – I quite liked them. Both of them looked awesome with the Dazzle threads – I’m really loving the metallic accents in the threads!
Fly stitch and scallop stitch
The fly stitch is fun and can be done in a row, either on top of each other (like I did around the edge of the background circle in my sample) or beside each other. I used Razzle threads to do a scallop stitch along the edges of the star – it’s a nice change from my usual blanket stitch! Here are YouTube video of how to do the fly stitch and scallop stitch.
Cable stitch with Dazzle threads
I found the cable stitch on the internet and just loved how it looks like the chain is lying on top of the fabric. It’s a little tricky to start with, but once you do a few, you get the hang of it. Using the light grey Dazzle thread made it look like a real chain! Here is a video showing you how to do this stitch.
My finished projects
I tried to do one little embroidery piece for each day of my vacation – and I ALMOST succeeded. We were gone for six days, and I came home with five finished projects. I haven’t decided what to do with each of these – maybe I’ll incorporate them into some little bags, journal covers or pillows. I’ll keep them up on my design wall and one day inspiration will hit!
I’m loving these threads
I really enjoyed learning these new stitches and can’t wait to use them in my new designs. These stitches can also be used on your quilting projects to add a little interest.
Handwork is so relaxing and gratifying to me – especially when the products I use give such nice results. The only thing about my WonderFil threads that I don’t like, is that I can’t keep them from unraveling!! I’m going to work on fixing that problem – if I come up with something, I’ll be sure to let you know.
This week on QUILTsocial I’m going to be using the Spagettiand Fruitti threads to make a fun summer pillow that will spruce up my back deck. Hopefully you will join me – I promise it’ll be a quick and easy project using only small pieces of fabric and will showcase these great threads.
2 things that might help with the unraveling:
A slightly larger needle to create a bigger opening through the fabric and therefore protect your threads from excess wear and tear.
Use a shorter length of thread than you do for other threads. Some threads cannot be fixed so you try to use up gte length before too much damage.
Hope this helps.
Those are great suggestions Liz – Thank you!
Great post! Stitching small projects is my favorite thing to do when on a long-distance trip too! I have project bags ready to go for whenever I need them. Love your projects. Great choice of thread and stitches : )
Your creations and stitching look so nice. I, too, can stitch on the train. Not in the car tho’ and I always feel I am wasting so much time that I could be working on a project. But I get carsick pretty easily.
I wanted to ask about your train ride. Did you have a berth, cabin, etc? What kind of accommodations did you have, meals, etc? Where did you get on the train? How did you book your tickets? Thanks for your help.
Thanks for your comment! We loved the train to Halifax and someday we are planning to go on the cross-Canada one too!
We caught the train in Brockville, and then had a layover in Montreal where we boarded the “Ocean” train for our trip to Halifax. We had a cabin for 2 with shower which was quite comfortable. We opted for the “Sleeper Plus” class so that all of our meals would be included. The meals were good, but we hear the meals on the cross Canada train are much better because they are actually prepared on board. Our meals were pre-made and warmed up on the train. We booked our tickets online on the VIA website. Here is the link to the info on our trip and the reservations:
Let me know if you have any other questions.