Have Your Say

10th March 2023

Orts of Thoughts

Orts can be defined as ‘leftover snips of thread that remain when you are done stitching’. This week we’re sharing some lingering snippets of conversations that resulted from things we’ve previously shared in All Stitched Up!, hence our orts of thoughts!

Following on from our conversation about worth in All Stitched Up! issue #363, Jane wrote in to let us know that the joy others find in her stitching is one of the ways she’s come to appreciate the worth of her time with needle and thread.

‘Perhaps I’m not the best at what I make with my hands… those points on my quilts aren’t perfect, I see a dropped stitch woven into my knitting, a colour choice that wasn’t quite right in my needlepoint, a counted cross stitch ornament that seems slightly wonky, the satin stitch not laying as beautifully as I’d hoped, and oh, so much is wrong with that Christmas stocking!

But wait! The grandkids love their knitted stockings and each of their spouses delighted in the gift of a stocking of their own. My sister is thrilled with the needlepoint ornament showing the National Park they visited, and my son is pleased with the belt I made for him.’

As Jane sympathised in her email, the list of our ‘faulty’ stitching can, at times, seem all too long, but she’s come to realise that life is about sharing the fruits of our labours with others, if for no other reason than to simply bring them joy.

Ann both asked and answered a question in her email to us.

‘How do I reward myself after finishing a project? By starting the next one! My projects take me so long that I’m really looking forward to the next new thing by the time I’m nine tenths of the way through the current one.’

There are times all of us need a little motivation to get through the stitching before us, and we can think of no better way than to look forward to starting what’s next for our needle and thread!

Marcia is hoping someone in the Inspirations Community is able to point her in the right direction as she struggles with a recent change in her eyesight – something many of us are all too familiar with as the years pass us by!

‘I enjoy embroidery and cross stitch, but recent cataract surgery has left me far sighted. I am now having trouble seeing well enough to stitch. Although I’ve bought magnifying glasses and a hands-free headband magnifier, I’m wondering what others do when they have vision problems with their stitching.’

We know Marcia would love to hear from anyone who’s found a solution to stitching through the inevitable changes in eyesight that eventually come our way.

In ASU #364 we helped Edna tame her sometimes untameable threads as we shared the ways in which the Inspirations Community avoid those all too easily created bird’s nests many of us have found at the bottom of our stitching bags on at least one occasion!

Edna wrote in with a note of thanks:

‘Thank you for the articles on storing threads while working. It is good to know that I am not the only one to have a bird’s nest when using multiple threads. I would like to thank all the members who took the time to answer and will certainly try many of the methods suggested.’

Sandra was also ‘pleased to read of all the solutions to birds nesting’ as she is ‘definitely one who creates nests!’ Sandra is also going to take the time to try some of the suggested methods she thinks will suit her.

But wait, before we close the conversation on taming threads, Chantal wrote in to let us know how she controls her cotton!

‘To keep threads from getting tangled, I make thread drops using backing board from my embroidery stash with a large die cut punch, which can be found in the scrapbooking section at craft stores.

At the start of each project, I look through the thread drops I already have and grab the colours I will be using. I then make and label any that are needed for new colours. I keep my skeins, spools, and bobbins in a separate zippered pouch where they can’t come into contact with the threads and get tangled.’

‘As I cut usable lengths of thread, I put them on the thread drops and strip the number of strands I need, keeping any shorter but still usable lengths in a smaller hole. I make sure I keep all the thread drops for a particular area on a jump ring so that they can’t move and get tangled. 

Although it takes time to set everything up, I figure that I spend so much less time looking for the thread I want and untangling things that I end up with more stitching time in the end!’

Chantal, we appreciate you joining in on the conversation and love both the form and function your solution provides to bring unruly cottons back under control.

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