Hanging By A Thread’s top ten tips for successful stitchery:
1. Don’t do it drunk. Mistakes can be oh so easily and unexpectedly made. If you wouldn’t get behind the wheel of a car, don’t pick up your needle – you may not be about to inadvertently run someone over, but the guilt of wrecking countless hours’ beautiful work is just as crippling on the conscience.
2. Endless hours spent in silence can drive you to despair. Your choice of music will speed that time up, and time and fingers will fly along. I stitch to Slayer, but that’s personal preference.
3. Keep a small bin or tub beside you to collect scraps of thread and other rubbish in. It saves a lot of picking bits out of the carpet at the end. I have a Halloween tin and ‘feed my Frankenstein’ with all those unwanted odds and ends.
4. The combination of fabric shops and credit card can be a crippling, albeit inspiring, experience. Budget wisely!
5. Inspiration is everywhere. Friends, photos, experiences. Take heed. Consider a big cork pinboard to keep a visual record of your favourite things.
6. Sharing is caring! Talk to your friends, colleagues, fellow online enthusiasts…. you’ll be amazed at what marvels you can discover about other peoples’ and your own work.
7. Get OCD on that organisation. Keep threads and fabrics neatly stored in boxes or tins according to type and colour for ease of access and to keep them clean.
8. Buy a thimble! I used to find these more cumbersome than anything else, but now I’ve got used to wearing one I could never go back to shredding my fingertips pushing needles through tough patches.
9. Keep your scissors separate: tiny sharp ones for snipping fabric, separate larger ones for paper and fabric respectively. Threaten many forms of pre-meditated pain upon any housemates who repeatedly ‘just borrow’ your best sharp scissors to cut wrapping paper with. For goldwork threads, keep yet another pair as they’ll blunt far quicker than with thread alone.
10. Enjoy! Embroidery has its tangled threads, knots and many moments to drain your patience, but reap its rewards. Your devotion to your stitch will undeniably result in something spectacular.