This month I want to share with you 5 things I couldn't live without! Ok, maybe that's slightly dramatic - 5 things I couldn't stitch without. Do you agree?
The Right Scissors
Maybe it seems obvious, but a good scissors can make all the difference! And it took me a while to figure out that there are different scissors for different jobs! Your regular stork embroidery scissors are perfect for cutting threads, but you want to make sure they're sharp enough. You don't want frayed edges that make it even more difficult to thread the needle!
My favourite scissors at the moment are these curved ones you can get from the RSN shop. Again, perfect for snipping threads, but they also allow you to get in close to the fabric with ease.
If you do Goldwork make sure you're using a goldwork scissors. There is a serrated edge to make it easier to cut through metallics. This also avoids blunting your regular thread cutter.
Probably the most important! Plenty of natural light is ideal, but if that's not possible you really should invest in proper articial lighting. This can either be high wattage bulbs for your ceiling fixtures (if you have a specific room you work in), or daylight lamps to move around with you. These come in all shapes and sizes - desktop, floor stands, flexible, stationary.
A Hoop Stand
This little gadget changed my life! A hoop stand frees up the hand you normally hold your hoop in, allowing you to use both hands to stitch with. Your french knots will never look better! You can find these in seat frames, table clamps and even floor stands. Most of these come with versatile clips too, so you only need the one stand even if you're working on multiple hoops at a time.
A Range of Pens
I was going to just give you one, but realistically you need a few. I mostly use mechanical pencils for drawing on fabric as long as the marks will be covered by stitching. Mechanical pencils (as opposed to regular pencils) are ideal because they don't go blunt and create thicker lines. However if you're sketching a design and want the lines to disappear afterwards, you definitely need either a water erasable pen or a heat erasable one. These are incredibly handy and come in different colours for different coloured fabrics! You can check out all of these pens and pencils right here.
This might seem like a strange one, but bare with me. The majority of the hoops I use have a screw on top for tightening the hoop, and this will normally have a slot for a screwdriver (either flathead or phillips head). With every piece I hoop up, I tighten this screw with a screwdriver to keep my fabric taught for longer. And taught fabric makes a massive difference to the overall look of your work.