Friday, October 17, 2014

Top 4 tools for Stitching and Embroidery and Cross Stitch....

WE received many emails in the past week regarding NEEDED and USEFUL tools :
Whether you sew, quilt, stitch, embroider or cross stitch....all these tools will help you.
We took note of what you would like to use - would love to know  about and how to use....wink...

#1 As VISUAL AIDS seemed to TOP the LIST as most NEEDED! ....Let me share my most VALUABLE STITCHING TOOL . They are called READERS ! Although I wear glasses for distance, I never needed READERS ( magnifying lenses) until I began working on linens  such as this...

Here are couple of my favourites..They suit me fine for this season:

What you will love about this company READERS.COM 
( can I just add..their customer service is over the top)

1. The variety of choices.....over 600+
2. The strengths that are often hard to locate over +3.0- 6.0
3. Their PRICE.......so affordable world wide...shipping is very reasonable.
4. They have tools to assist you in what strength works for you, what style...all so easily found!
5. You can choose by colour, and if you want bifocals,   where a half reader is needed , the rest of the glass is clear..Ideal for when we look up and things don't go fuzzy in the night....

They have it all!

Don't know your  strength, they make it easy for you...go to LINK and print off copy...follow
easy directions...VOILA ....my desired strenght is +2.50

 What best style for your face, check it out here...and they provide links of all the desired READERS for your face....YES THEY DO..... 

( we will be needing these for our next hop that will be announced VERY SOON) 

speaking of magnifiers....

I have a magnified glass you can hang on your neck… I don’t like it… I cannot get my stitching close enough,( chest in the way, and mine is not that big) but it is awkward….SCRATCH that off your list and save your money..it doesnt’t work… and very hard to work around ...

Now what does work....this UNIQUE lamp by H.A. Kidd.--floor and so versatile it can also be used on your table. What is nice about this as noted below it really magnifies your work and has led lights all around the inside... When I am spending an evening stitching this is a perfect  solution that allows comfort, versatility and perfect stitching...

They will let you know where you can find one ...
The versatility that it can be a desk lamp or floor lamp is wonderful. 
This is one TOOL that was worth every cent. 

#2 Lighting was your second requirement

NEXT TOOL for LIGHTING that I recommend and use almost every day....
I attach my BEAM N READ to my frame, using just elastics..or velcro, that would work too..
( I removed the straps...btw, this beam n read can go around your neck and sit on your chest) I just prefer to attach it to my frames...

Even in darkness....your BEAM N READ works well....
it is very bright and never gets warm.... A very VALUABLE TOOL
that is cost effective too.


Let's talk FRAMES, whether you like q-snaps...and I do....when I am doing a small project they are perfectly suited...and very reasonable in cost...Your best source is on Amazon or some local hobby shops.  

Now if you have a larger  project whereby you require both hands...

My first one was the one with my Santa Needlepoint ....it is lightweight and very large- it sits on your lap quite comfortable and is easy to use. This was one of Harry's original models...

 And then I was looking for more versatility and I added this to my must haves...A flip top model this is what my top 2 photos are.... I have a variety of frames that I can easily switch from 10 inch right up to 12 inches. They are lightweight, and this is one tool beside my readers and beam n read and floor lamp I just could not do without ....

#4 Needles and Thread….
welllllllll I love DMC and Piecemaker embroidery needles I use both with ease….YOU need a NEW needle for every new project…Nothing worse than a dull needle and ladies they do go dull…so give yourself a treat…PURCHASE some new Embroidery or tapestry needles…I like size #7 or #8 , they have a large head so it is easy to thread. 

When using DMC threads or any of your choice….do not cut them any longer than 18 inches..this will stop them from tangling …. I have used wax..but I don’t like it…I find it messes up my canvas….OLD FASHION spit works well here…

DMC is easily found and has the largest selection of colours.

About reading Patterns....just a tidbit that works for me....

There are 2 ways in which to follow a pattern…

1. Take a photo of your pattern and open it any software and mark it off as you go..
I load mine in Photoshop and I magnify it and strike of stitches as I go….


2. Make a copy of your pattern, don’t do it on your original…If ever you mess up,
you don’t have a back up…I use a coloured pencil to strike stitches as I go…AND
I use a magnet button to hold my pattern to my frame of my work…..
Here is a photo of what I mean....
Fold your pattern of the area you are stitching and glue a magnet
on your button, and voila  a perfect solution ...
I have tried all the stands that were a must have...let me add.
they are not...all you need is a magnet....and this really
increases the ease of following counted cross stitch...
( more on how very soon) 

YOU know I don’t share information unless I am 100% on board….I have wasted enough money on things people told me I needed only to be terribly disappointed…EVERY THING I mention here, I stand behind or it does net get the MDM SAMM stamp of approval…

We will be announcing our first hop of the year soon....some of the tools will prove very valuable
and will certainly address your biggest concerns about VISUAL and LIGHTING.....  

I recently shared we do not do giveaways anymore ( they do not benefit our sponsors bottom line) ...but we do have  many sponsors  who have embraced our new plan. Those of you who participate in our hops and have been in our top 2 will be pleasantly surprised at what they  will find in their inboxes very soon.... 

So who again needed READERS and LIGHTING?

( black cat crossing begins next week)
Wicked Wendy is sooooo ready for us all..


  1. I'm very excited to give these reader tips a try. I am finding that even at my sewing machine I fight seeing clearly anymore. I'm taking the power reading glass page down with me today and see what strength I need! Thanks!

  2. I need readers these days for reading and close stitching and just got bumped up a number...I'll be checking out this website! Thanks for all the sewing accessories to make stitching easier!

  3. Very valuable tips you shared with us. Thank you! I am self taught, no one in my family does handwork except me. I'm going shopping for some new toys! And I am READY for a wicked hop! Don't faint.... my post is already set to go up on my day, the 29th...unless I make one more last minute project....

  4. Great ideas. I need to look into that light which clips onto the frame. Looks like it might solve my issues!

  5. Thanks for the information. I am most definitely in need of some lighting that I don't have to fight the hubby for.

  6. This is a great bit of information! yes, I am one of those that need magnification and lighting for sure!!!! So this is a huge help!!!
    Thank you!!!

  7. Terrific review of these resources, thanks! I always appreciate the Mdm. Samm stamp of approval! Love the idea of sticking a magnet button right on the hoop to hold the pattern - and those stitchery projects are stunning! Can't wait to see the final product!

  8. I will need to be checking out these websites...love that flip frame and I am curious to see how the reader site judges what strength I need, I believe that I need to go up as I find I can watch tv with the ones I have now :) ...and I love those lighting suggestions.

  9. ooohh I love that flip lap frame! Thanks for reviewing the light that hangs around your neck. I had seriously thought about getting one of those but now I won't. Maybe a Beam and Read is what I need. Thank you for all of the tips. :)

    Welcome home!

  10. I love it when someone I trust does the research work for me.


  11. Thanks for giving us these endorsements; I know I can always count on them as being spot-on. Wowza - Readers has up to 6.00 mag!! I do find using a larger magnification reading glasses for my stitching works so well. Unique lamps...I'm going to have my eye out for one of those. Have a great weekend.

  12. Cool! Thanks for the information I will check this stuff out ;)

  13. Thank you for the reviews. Always fun to see the products that get your seal of approval. I'm thinking I need to get a Beam N Read and love how you attached it directly to your frame.

  14. I don't think I need readers yet, thank goodness, but I would love to get some better lighting, if it isn't daylight then I can't stitch, so I don't get much done in winter time. I love seeing what you recommend and I am so happy that I have a local shop that actually sells DMC, yippee for DMC!

  15. this is a good post. Nice suggestions for anyone that may want to dry a new product. It's always nice to know what an experienced sticher like. I have a light (3 actually) that are similar to the one you describe. I use them constantly and cannot "anything" without them whether hand or machine stitching or reading. Since I wear trifocals, I don'at need "readers" but I did 12 years ago before I got glasses! But how about that timer on the sidebar? I'm having an awful time finding an acceptable one. I'll go read those posts and see if you mention it.
    Have a great weekend.

  16. Great post. I have one of Harry's original too. I need to look into getting a flip top, that would come in handy. Also I need more lighting too. I have found that stitching by the sun's light I can use a lower reader. But, at night I need a higher reader.

  17. Wonderful tips Samm - and oh my who doesn't need more lighting and a better way to see! I went to the eye doctor yesterday...he increased my prescription and changed the astigmatism factor for my contacts (which I mostly wear for putting on makeup) and gave me a prescription for bifocals, which I am ordering today. Maybe that will help. I love the lamp but one problem I have with floor lamps is that they do not bend enough to get right above my work....does this one adjust in height? I think my favorite chair must be lower than they anticipate. Sitting it on the end table presents the same problem. I need for it to get really low! I can't adjust the height of my end table or my chair so it has to be the lamp. I use a 6" embroidery hoop but I'm going to try a lap hoop and attach a beam n read to it. Thanks for the tips! blessings, marlene

  18. I go WAAAAY back and actually remember when the Beam & Read was first intruduced. I bought one and have loved it! I never thought of rubber banding it to my frame...genius!! But you will NEVER guess where I've found mine so uniquely useful????...The Storm cellar!! My in laws have a very old storm cellar built in 1973 with no electricity. Trying to walk down slippery steps during a tornado with a flashlight in hand is quite difficult...ask me how I know! But with my Beam n Read around my neck, I'm good to go. I am the most envied person sitting in the storm cellar with my cool light. LOL!!!
    I am anxious to try out these hoops! And readers.com is a winner! I can get 4.0 readers which I can not find locally. Great product review Samm!!
    Gmama Jane

  19. Dear Mdm Samm,
    thank you for sharing your experiences.
    I got perfect lightning and i wear readers AND my Glasses too - at the same time ;-)
    That looks crasy but it helps *lol*
    Have a nice weekend!

  20. Thank you for this wealth of knowledge and personal experience with each. I never knew sew many options are available for Stitching Bliss. First I shall check out the "Readers". Then I can "see" the rest. Creative Tools Bliss...

  21. Great tips Samm. Thanks for sharing. I have pptn glasses for reading/sewing, but I use "readers" for the computer. I have had a Beam n Read for years and wouldn't be without it. Amazing light. Now I better get some new needles, never thought to throw one out unless it broke.

  22. I've recently started wearing bifocals. Wow what a difference I thought I was going blind when hand stitching. Thanks for all the tips, I'm new to embroidery, I haven't done it since high school.

  23. Well, I'm not quite needing readers yet, but lighting is always important. I might have to invest in one of those flip top hoops. I am always traveling around with my stitching and that just looks perfect.

  24. Thankfully I don't need readers yet either but I'm sure one day I will and I will keep this company bookmarked for when that day comes. Now my Beam N Read...it is a favorite tool that I use often and wouldn't want to live without it. And I got it because you recommended it. Thank you for that. High marks from friends always helps when looking for new gadgets to help the stitchin.

  25. Have you ever tried an Ott lamp?
    They come in so many models from a portable flip up table top model (fantastic for travelling to a class) to floor models which have 'necks' that are totally adjustable for direction and angle. The best thing is that these lamps give you true to daylight lighting. With them you can tell the difference between the darkest brown DMC stranded cotton (floss) and black with the greatest of ease. And they also come in decorator models so you can have them as part of your décor. My husband uses mine for work on his coin collection!

  26. Thank you for the READERS info. I was worried when my last pair of readers was not strong enough and I had to move up. My drugstore doesn't carry many more strengths after this one, and I was afraid I would have to have them custom made.

  27. Such fabulous information, and I am sew excited about the New Hoop to try, Readers, etc. Thanks for putting this all together for us!! As with so many other things you do and give of yourself I am so grateful to learn something with great instruction and tools!!
    Huggs, Nancy

  28. The Ott lamp now has a floor model with leds and a magnifier. I had used the daylight one for years, that is until my sight started to give me trouble. Love the way you attached your Beam n Read to the hoop. My Ophthalmologist gave me the number I would need for my readers, so will check out the site. Thanks for all the valuable info.

  29. Fabulous info...loving the lap hoop; hands free is the way to go for x-stitch, but not for bicycle riding lol! Thanks for the scoop! Love your image of cat dusting *wink*

  30. OH! I love the beam and read light!! I thank you for the link as I will track one down :) I've got glasses I wear every day so I'm not able to be fashionable with the readers ... but dang they are way cool! :) I have done a lot of cross stitch and yes, that's probably why I'm in glasses now, but I will have reason to use the really cool light by finding more cross stitch to do real soon! Bless you and thank you for sharing!!

  31. Great tips here! I have bought my mother the Beam and Read light in the past and recently gave her one of those lighted magnifers on a stand. She loves it and my dad even pulls it out for some of his reading.
    I've never used a hoop. Maybe I should give it a try some time soon!

  32. Thank you so much for writing up these wonderfully helpful tips. Love the image of the lady dusting the cat :)


  33. Great tips. I must have missed this post earlier. My favorite bit of advice was about old fashioned spit for the thread. Laughed out loud at that. It is what I use too! Ha! Can't wait to see what this project will be. I think I will need a hand project in January as I recover. I may not be able to wrestle quilts at the machine for a bit then.

  34. I'm looking forward to seeing what this hop is going to bring. There's something cozy and relaxing about hand stitching, isn't there?!

  35. I am scared to click that Readers link. I love cute glasses, what if I get lost in the land of readers? I really like your hoops. I only do simple embroidery, not cross stitch, but am so frustrated by hoops from the hobby store that don't stay tight and hold my fabric consistently. I also like the thought of a lap stand. Sometimes my wrists just don't want me holding up anything. I appreciate all the info. Always nice to know what others think about different products. Real life opinions are so much better than product reviews. Thank you


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