Tuesday, 3 March 2015

February Thread Challenge Report

I really thought that February was going to be a bit of a bust for this challenge as I had welcomed quite a few new threads into my stash, so I was expecting to see my percentage of threads used go down instead of up!  My sister was crafty in introducing the percentage rule for this challenge that's for sure (see the tab at the top for more info on the rules for this little adventure) as I now find myself questioning how many new (unnecessary) hand dyed threads I want to keep adding to my stash this year!

Here are my Operation Threadporn specific projects for February, firstly my February Hardanger square as part of Mabel Figworthy's SOTW SAL:

Mabel Figworthy's February SOTW SAL
I used Caron Watercolours from my hand dyed stash for this one.  I think if I was told I could only use one brand of thread for the rest of my stitching life it would be Caron.  That way I would always have a supply of solid and variegated cottons and silks and some lovely metallics too!
The speciality stitch (I hate that phrase as it makes them sound like only especially gifted people can stitch them, which is rubbish - anyone can stitch them should they so desire!) used in this one is beaded edging (without the beads!).  It falls into the category of what I call "looped stitches", which are my least favourite.  They can be so difficult to stitch uniformly, they rely on you having perfect tension as most of the work is done on the front of the fabric and not via the holes!  Doves' eyes used to be my Hardanger nemesis for this same reason, but practice helps - they still aren't perfect :).
My freebie project for this month was one I had wanted to stitch for such a long time and it certainly proved to be worth the wait and lived up to my expectations!  It is from Olga Maxden's blog, whilst the blog is in Russian I think the language of stitching is pretty universal.  There are some phenomenal designs on this blog, if you love speciality stitches like me you will definitely want to check it out!  The design I chose for February was called Tree of Hope and I finished it into a cushion:

Tree of Hope by Olga Maxden
I must have been having a Caron fix this month as I used Caron Wildflowers (and a Threadworx stranded cotton) this time for this design.  I like using thicker threads for speciality stitches as it means you can get away with using a single strand for a fuller stitch, rather then wrestling with 2 or 3 strands of regular six stranded cotton and getting them to behave nicely with a laying tool (or a #22 tapestry needle in my case).  I love the way the spider web rose stitches turned out and I was also pleased with myself that I remembered I had some flower sequins in my paper crafting stash, so those got put to good use too.
This meant that the percentage of my hand dyed thread stash that I have used to date is now.........2.09%, so heading in the right direction, despite the fact I ended up adding quite a bit to my thread stash this month!  I'm not focusing too much on the numbers, the fact that I am using my stash is satisfaction enough, but the numbers help in motivating me to use it and not buy more threads!
I'm also keeping a running total of the number of different stitches I'm using in my pieces and so far that adds up to 16 different stitches over the past two months, so that makes me happy too.
I'd better get on with Plum Pudding otherwise Nic is going to be stitching circles around me!
Happy stitching!


  1. gorgeous stitching and finishes. The tree is absolutely stunning, love the colors and the beautiful stitching

  2. Some very pretty stitching here! X

  3. So beautiful. I love the little details on the tree of hope. I'm with you on Caron threads. I started stitching with them and they are divine.

  4. They are both so beautiful.

  5. Especially love the tree of hope. Your stitching is beautiful.

  6. Love the designs and colours you chose. I would also choose Caron if I was limited to one brand

  7. Stunning projects and colours as always. I am very tempted by the Mabel Figworthy set.

  8. Beautiful Hardanger! I have been practicing and last night almost had a perfect one till the last snip and I ruined it! Gonna keep at it because practice makes perfect!

  9. Excellent progress on Op Threadporn! You should be proud of that percentage. That cushion is a work of art, I love the colours/design/stitches and of course the sequins. I think I'd like to try Hardanger this year ... maybe. If I'm not too scared. I'm not sure what supplies I need other than that special count fabric (22 I think?). Maybe you could do a Hardanger supply checklist post for me?


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