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Welcome to my studio!! Since so many of us enjoy sharing the how-to of what we do, and I’ve embarked on taking you with me for the creation of Sinister Stitch, I thought you might be interested in some looks around the studio and how I’ve made a space for working. I’ve also included a few shots of my FAVORITE tools and some “process” links. Enjoy!



My trusty portable stitching book:

I used 3 pieces of cardboard & covered them with upholstery fabric. I stitched in some muslin pages to separate floss (though felt pages are great as the floss bits stick to it better).

My needles, scissors etc live inside the front cover, and my paints and brushes live inside the back cover!

There are muslin pages in between so I can lay my flosses in for safe keeping.

Visit Thimbles to see my glove solution to exerting heavy pushing & pulling power…




Stitching stuff lives on the work table in an old leather & wooden travel case:

Open it up:

and the lid holds my stitch book, with a box on the left for thimbles & scissors,

and a special Needle book on the right made of fabric covered cardboard to hold my needles — especially the 6 inch needles which needed a safe place!

My needles are Dritz brand, 3 inch Doll Sculpture Needles work great for one or two strands of floss,

and Quilter’s Basting needles are great for  a single filament… (remember – a single strand of floss is made up of 6 filaments).










I’ve also been busy sorting the HUGE thread gift from my thread sponsor, DMC Threads:

It took a little thinking (and trial and trial, and error) but I’ve finally figured out how to sort and make my thread palettes accessible. My studio is small and I need to be able to work anywhere, as well as transport threads for workshops.

I picked up several sheets of 1/4inch foam core board and stuck in straight pins in rows.

Then I just hung my skeins on the pins in groups that work together. Now, with this set of “floss books” I can just select threads and work in any color group by opening the book. They are free standing too, which will make tranporting and using them in workshops SUPER easy!

Guess it’s fortunate that I love books and it seemed a natural solution.

Now, about paints…

Lyra Aquarelle Watercolor Crayons – the BEST ever!

HEY!! Here’s some History: Created  in Nuremburg, the Lyra company’s origins trace back to Napoleon, who ordered an administrative restructuring of the conquered Bavaria, which allowed Johann Froescheis to open his pencil factory in 1806, a trade previously the exclusive province of the carpenter’s guild.  In order to make his products distinguishable from those of lower quality, Froescheis’ son registered the trademark LYRA from the old Greek instrument as the company brand.  The quality can’t be beat, and the colorfast thick pigment allows smooth application, and melts down like butter on both paper and fabric. *love*

Sometimes, I use Winsor Newton half pans to fill in, but my Lyras almost always do more than a great job.

Paintbrushes:from left to right:

a #26 round, and two large #12 rounds, a #10 round,  a tiny #2 sable detail brush which is perfect for moving color around on muslin, and my trusty 1/2 inch flat with a slightly rounded tip. I am totally on board with watercolor artist Ann Blockley (see R sidebar under favorite artists) when I say it’s best to begin with a BIG brush so you don’t get all weighted down with too many details. Come in later with a detail brush AFTER the broad forms are suggested — makes for GREAT depth in the overall composition, and helps you develop an eye for your style. I’m not brand loyal to brushes like I am to wc crayons, just a good sable is fine (though I’ve used this same assortment of 6 for YEARS) with great success.

Space-wise,  To make enough room in the studio, I had to remove several shelving units and relocate my sketchbooks:

It’s important to my process that I have a set PLACE for a project and its tools so I can go there and focus on the work without having to find or move supplies.  Having made space, that left a place to position the dedicated Wall of Thread-

Everything is now loaded onto 2 Walls of Thread: One North (above the work table) and One South

DMC Perle Cotton threads are now sorted (thanks to my son who arranged them into color groups and hung them on dowels)

If you want MORE, Visit Episodes 1,2,3 of the Sinister Stitch Chronicles where you explore more of my workspace and inspirations…