Monday, May 27, 2019

Floss Swatch Project

This ongoing project has become my hands-down favourite new obsession!  I was looking for a way to showcase the floss colours I own and play around organizing them in different ways without having to completely pull apart the three boxes of numerically ordered bobbins that I store my floss in every time the whim catches me.

I own almost every shade of DMC's six-stranded cotton embroidery floss - that's more than 400 bobbins of floss and while the storage boxes I use are great for keeping my colours in numerical order, it doesn't make it easy (or all that fun or photogenic!) to play around with new combinations.  I own DMC's floss colour card and while it's a handy, irreplaceable resource, it too doesn't allow me to play around with putting different colours together - and (call me slightly crazy) but I do think that the colour of the floss just looks ever so different when it's stitched up than it does when it's wrapped around a bobbin or just hanging out in a skein - maybe it's the way the light hits the different direction of the stitch 'legs'?

I knew I wanted a stitched record of all the colours of floss I own, and I played around with the concept of one really big tapestry of each colour lined up in one big chart, just like the floss colour card - but quickly realized that wouldn't allow me to move things around and see how colours looked beside each other.  What I really needed were small, stitched cards of each floss colour - like an embroiders version of Pantone colour chips - and so the Floss Swatch Project was born.

I love 14 count white plastic canvas for my swatches.  It's cheap and so easy to work with - and best of all it doesn't fray or get bent or dirty.  You can either stitch your swatches on one big piece of plastic canvas and then cut them apart, or cut small blanks and stitch as you go.  Aida cloth would work too, especially if you used some Fray Check to keep the edges neat and tidy, but I must admit that the plastic canvas is my favourite for this project - it's just so easy!

Right now I'm just pinning the small number I have stitched up on to a corkboard so I can see them in all their glory - but once I have more completed I'll probably sort them by colour and store them in mason jars so they stay dust free and don't get strewn about the house.

Want to start a Floss Swatch Project of your own?  Guess what?!  We put together a resource so you can do that easily - and best of all?  It's FREE!  You can download the FREE PDF HERE  - it includes a chart and instructions to stitch your own swatches and a handy printable chart of all the current DMC 6-strand Cotton Embroidery Floss colours so you can check off your progress - and yes, it includes the new colours released last year.

Don't use DMC floss?  No problem!  You can still use the PDF tutorial to stitch swatches with whatever brand of floss you prefer - there are plenty of checklists available online for each brand of floss, usually there's a free one on the manufacturers website.

Please, please don't forget to tag us on social media (we're @weelittlestitches on Instagram, @weelittlestitch on Twitter, and Wee Little Stitches Cross Stitch on Facebook) and use the hashtag #flossswatchproject and #fsp so that we can see your progress. 

Happy Stitching!  xox J.

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  1. How are you storing them when your done?

    1. Btw Love the swatches!!! and I saw where you said you're going to store them in mason jars! cute

  2. Adorable and useful, thank you!

  3. I'm trying to download it but it just shows your logo

  4. This is amazing! Thank you for creating and sharing!

  5. Thanks a lot, it's a great idea! How do you secure the floss in the back?

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  9. I am late to the party, but I love this idea! I love the idea of being able to move swatches rather than flick floss around. I also like the fact that this is a quick take with me project - I can finish a swatch while i wait for an appointment or somebody I'm picking up. Awesome Idea!!!

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  13. Great job xox J.

    Good to see your project of embroidery digitizing project with Floss Swatch. Keep it up. Thanks.

  14. Very Good Article, This blog is always been my first choice to read, Thanks For sharing.
    embroidery digitizer

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