Pussinpatches by Tam’s Creations

A beautiful design created for hand-dyed floss and fabrics, and a giveaway!

Tam's Creations - Puss in Patches

From the Designer

The Patches series are designs using DMC Color Variations. I choose a strong contrast colour for the background. I love to play with the colour schemes on these designs & can spend days shunting the motifs around until I am happy with it, before starting to stitch them up. The motifs are monochrome & I have varied them for each Patches design.

Pussinpatches in the 2nd one in that series. My model stitcher Linda has a cat called Mr Pomerol, but that name is a registered champagne & as they didn’t answer when I asked if I could use the name on my design, I decided to go with the name Pussinpatches.

I like floral & leaf motifs as I am very into gardening, and I have added some other motifs based on the theme, for example: Hippocampusinpatches has anchors, shells & fish, Humminpatches has birds and Buddahinpatches has orchids which are prolific in Thailand as well as gold metallic thread as people stick gold leaf onto the buddhas. Sheepinpatches has balls of wool & knitting needles. A lady asked me to design Deerinpatches as she wanted to sew it for a friend in Arizona which is why it has a desert & cactus feel to the plants.

Why this chart?

As you could guess I love cats and many cat designs, so when Tam of Tam’s Creations created Pussinpatches as the second of her “Cross Stitch Patches” series, Kay Jones decided it was the perfect gift for me. I am ashamed that I have not stitched this up yet.

I adore the motifs in the Cross Stitch Patches designs. Almost pictures within pictures like a mosaic; I don’t know any other designer that has attempted something like this.

Pussinpatches is a relatively easy design; only whole cross stitches. The cat background is stitched in one dark brown shade and then all the motifs in varying colour variations.  This is a great project if you want to start using hand dyed floss.  You can try out any colours you want by filling in differing motifs.



All of Tam’s Creations designs, including PussinPatches are available as PDF downloads and printed charts.  I only have PDF downloads  in my stash, so I will be reviewing that.

Pussinpatches is a PDF file which has my name on every page and “Tam’s Creations”on every chart page.  These are anti-theft measures and do not interfere with the stitching in any way.

The PDF download file contains:

The front cover which has a large photo of the finished cross stitch and a large text informing us of the model stitcher.  I think this is a very nice practice!  The front cover also lists which fabric the model stitcher used.

The second page has the stitchcount, size of the project on 14ct or 28ct and instructions on how to stitch the design.  This page also gives a view of the entire project and a diagram of how the pages fit together.

The third page in and we come to the floss list. This lists the floss, gives the key for each symbol and lists the floss usage. I would like to see this information on the back of the printed chart or on the website, so I can purchase the floss at the same time I buy the chart.

The chart itself is 13 pages long. This is because Tam uses a very large grid,  47 x 60.  This produces a very large symbols, very easy to see and read.  The symbols are mainly capital letters and typographic symbols (the ones you see above the numbers on your keyboard). These are in discrete sections in between the main symbol used for the cat background, so they are very easy to distinguish.

The chart is thirteen pages instead of twelve, because Tam adds an extra page at the start of the chart.  Many stitchers like to start in the middle of the design, especially one such as this which does not have any stitching in the corners.  The exact centre of the design is at a junction between pages, so normally you will need to flip between pages as you start.  Except in her charts, Tam provides an extra page that is the middle of the chart; no need to flip between pages! Each subsequent page in the main chart has a two-row overlap to help maintain your place.

Pussinpatches is stitched in DMC floss and DMC Colour variations floss on beige or tan Aida. As the design uses only whole cross stitch, it is suitable to stitch on any type or count of fabric you choose.

Materials Required

To stitch the charts exactly as designed, you will need:

Floss for Pussinpatches


1 skein each DMC 301, 351, 833, 3826, 3860


DMC 938 Very Dark Coffee Brown


3 skeins DMC 938 Espresso Brown


DMC 4040 Water Lilies
1 skein DMC Variations 4040 Water Lilies



DMC 4090 Golden Oasis


1 skein DMC Variations 4090 Golden Oasis


DMC 4100 Summer Breeze


1 skein DMC Variations 4100 Summer Breeze


DMC 4120 Tropical Sunset


1 skein DMC Variations 4120 Tropical Sunset


DMC 4124 Bonfire


1 skein DMC Variations 4124 Bonfire


DMC 4126 Desert Canyon


1 skein DMC Variations 4126 Desert Canyon

DMC 4128 Gold Coast


1 skein DMC Variations 4128 Gold Coast


DMC 4130 Chilean Sunset


1 skein DMC Variations 4130 Chilean Sunset


DMC 4140 Driftwood


1 skein DMC Variations 4140 Driftwood

DMC 4145 Sand Dune

1 skein DMC Variations 4145 Sand Dune



DMC 4150 Desert Sand


1 skein DMC Variations 4150 Desert Sand



DMC 4160 Glistening Pearls


1 skein DMC Variations 4160 Glistening Pearls


DMC 4200 Wild Fire


1 skein DMC Variations 4200 Wild Fire



14ct Beige or Tan Aida  (stitch count 125 x 226). This design can be stitched over 2 or over 1.

Zweigart - 14ct Beige

For 14ct Aida or 28ct evenweave (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 17” x 19”  or  43 x 47cm  or  a fat quarter (18 x 27″).

Approximate cost for Project

Approximate cost to stitch Pussinpatches using the recommended materials (prices are in $US, at recommended retail and do  not include postage):

Chart: $ 10.00
Floss:  $  21.15
Fabric: $   7.20

Total: $38.35  ($71.80 AUD or €45.90  or  £27.45)

Places to Buy

Tam’s Creations sells all PDF’s of all Tam’s designs and has prices in Swiss Francs, Euros, American Dollars and Pounds Sterling.  For everyone else I would suggest using a currency converter (such as xe.com) to find which of these four your currency is best aligned to.

Creative Poppy  Printed charts & wholesale to shops on selected designs only available via Creative Poppy.


Colours Down Under in Perth has all the threads and a variety of plain fabrics in stock. Jo would be happy to order in the chart, and offers a 10% discount on the package (chart + floss). Mention this review when ordering.

Colour Cascade Fabrics suggests Golddigger or FairyTale from her range of fabrics. Tammy offers a 15% discount for readers of this site. Code is: CSReview. Offer ends 27 February 2015.


Casa Cenina in Italy stock a variety of fabrics and floss for your unique creation.

United Kingdom:

SewandSo has  a range of floss and fabrics to make this design uniquely yours.

Crafty Kitten “If you want to keep to the proper colourway, I’d keep to an autumnal shade to stitch it on.  I’d go with fall foliage, Hint of Autumn or Fallen leaf.  I think Autumnal Woodlands would be too dark.  For a more neutral shade, Jurassic Sands or Oatmeal.  I might even consider Dawnblush for something a bit different.”

Polstitches “Heirloom linen a fabulous usable colour linen that has the effect of lifting colours .”

Sparklies “Doctor Smith’s Tonic for this one. I did consider several others, but nothing else seemed quite right.”

Chromatic Alchemy  “In my opinion PussinPatches will look his/her best on a fabric that complements the autumnal tones yet doesn’t distract the eye from all those wonderful patterns, this is why I have chosen Dune.”

United States:

123Stitch in Utah has the thread in stock and offers a variety of fabrics.

Black Cat Stitchery in Illinois has everything in stock to make this a project to remember.

Fiberlicious Fiberlicious has a 15%  off sale until Jan 11.  Nguyen offers an additional discount of 5% for readers of Cross Stitch Review (20% in total). Just let Nguyen know you read this site when you place your order.

“First of all I would like to say that I love Tam’s Creations. Her designs are very unique and lovely. For this Pussin Patches, I would suggest using Autumn themed threads such as Pumpkin pasties, Autumn Wreath and Fallen leaf. Gradation collection is also a great choice for those who prefer subtle color changes. ”


Tam of Tam’s Creations is kindly offering one free chart of your choice from Tam’s Creations website to one lucky reader. To enter, comment below which is your favourite Tam’s Creation design.

Contest is open to anywhere in the world. Whilst we love comments and sharing via social media, only comments on this post will be eligible for entry.

Mel will use her trusty digital magic eight ball to decide the lucky reader and then will contact the winner and Tam’s Creation.

Contest closes TWO weeks from Publish; midday, 26 January 2014, Melbourne, Australia time (UTC+11 hours).

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Last Updated: 20  January 2015
Removed the featured image as it was not in accordance with the size guidelines allowed by the designer.


St Patricks Gold by Pine Glen Designs

A 3D Christmas Ornament. May not get finished in time for this year, but you can get a head start on those new ornaments you’re planning to stitch next year!

Pine Glen Designs Heirloom Ornament St Patricks Gold

What is it?

St Patrick’s Gold is one in a series of Heirloom Ornaments produced by Pine Glen Designs. It is so named as the colour scheme is Shamrock and Gold.

Why this chart?

I have absolutely no idea how this ended up in my stash. If anyone remembers please let me know. For years I have kinda promised myself that I would stitch ornaments to give away to stitching friends or to hang on my tree.  I have not stitched one!

I like the three-dimensional aspect of this one. You don’t need to back it with any other fabric, just stitch it and sew it together like a biscornu! I also love the texture provided by the Rhodes stitches, metallic thread and beads. This design uses Half Rhodes, Rhodes Hearts and Rhodes Diamonds specialty stitches.

Given the three-dimensional nature of St Patrick’s Gold, the specialty stitches and the beads, I would not recommend this as your first cross stitch pattern.  If you are an experienced 3 dimensional sewer (other ornaments, stuffed toys etc) then yes stitch this !

Pine Glen Designs - St Patrick's Gold
Pine Glen Designs – St Patrick’s Gold


All of the Pine Glen Designs Heirloom Ornaments charts are available as printed charts or digital downloads.  I have the printed chart in my stash.

The St Patrick’s Gold chartpack is presented as an eight page US Letter (or A4) booklet (made from a slight cardstock and a sheet of  paper both in US Ledger (A3), double-sided printed, stapled and folded.

The front cover includes a photograph of the finished ornament. The back cover lists the fabric used in the model.  Neither the outside of the booklet nor the website include all the materials needed to stitch the design. You need to purchase the chart first and then work out the items required.

The third page of the booklet lists the stitch count, size of fabric needed for one single segment of the ornament, the floss list and floss key.  Also there is a very basic diagram for the Rhodes stitch variations.  St Patrick’s Gold uses Half Rhodes, Rhodes Hearts and Rhodes Diamonds. Use the instructions here or in the following Youtube clip by MrsMilkyBarKid to learn how to stitch the Rhodes variations.

The stitch chart for this design, shows one segment of the design, with the comment “you will need to stitch up 8 of this chart”. As the segments are identical I can understand why they have only printed this once. However the fabric size lists only the fabric needed for one of these segments, not the whole ornament. This could be a trap for the unwary.

The Finishing Instructions are comprised of three pages of annotated black and white photographs that assumes the stitcher has an understanding of general sewing techniques. For example, stitchers are instructed to use whip stitch without providing any description of what it is or how to use it in this context. Items such as fusible interfacing and filling material are not listed until they are to be used in the finishing; there’s no preparation given for the beginner ornament maker.

However if you have stitched three-dimensional items before, such as other ornaments, stuffed toys or are a general crafter, these annotated photographs are suitable for your needs.

The model was stitched on 14 count Aida, however given the use of dense Rhodes stitches, I recommend that you stitch this ornament on an evenweave fabric.

Materials Required

To stitch the charts exactly as designed, you will need:

DMC 895 Very Dark Hunter Green


1 skein DMC 895 Very Dark Hunter Green


DMC 4045 Evergreen Forest Variations


1 skein DMC 4045 Evergreen Forest Variations



DMC E3821 Light Effects Precious Metals Light Gold


1 skein DMC E3821 Light Effects Precious Metals Light Gold


Mill Hill 00557 Gold


1 packet Mill Hill 00557 Gold Beads



Mill Hill 02054 Brilliant Shamrock


1 packet Mill Hill 02054 Brilliant Shamrock



Not listed, but used in the instructions:

  • fusible interfacing
  • large beads for hanging tassels
  • pony beads for securing tassels
  • stuffing for the inside of the ornament

14ct Zweigart Aida Gold/Cream (stitch count 28 x 30 times eight segments)

For 14ct Aida or 28ct evenweave (with 2″ border allowance and 1″ break between segments) fabric size is: 9.5” x 13”  or  24 x 33cm  or  an ornament cut (9 x 13″).  This assumes that the ornament segments are stitched in two rows of four.

Zweigart -14ct Aida Cream Gold Lurex

Approximate cost for Project

Approximate cost to stitch St Patrick’s Gold Heirloom Ornament using the recommended materials (prices are in $US, at recommended retail and do  not include postage or the extra materials for finishing):

Chart: $ 6.00
Floss:  $ 6.75
Fabric: $5.15

Total: $17.90  ($34.33 AUD  or  €18.45  or  £15.25)

Places to Buy

Pine Glen Designs sells St Patrick’s Gold as both a download PDF ($6.00) and a printed chart ($12.00).  St Patrick’s Gold is also included in the chart bundle Colours of the Crown which has four Heirloom Ornament Designs as a single PDF download ($15.00).


Colours Down Under has all the threads and a variety of fabrics in stock.

Colour Cascade Fabrics has a variety of fabrics for you to make this design unique. Tammy offers a 15% discount for readers of this site. Code is: CSReview. Offer ends 27 February 2015.


Casa Cenina in Spain stock a variety of fabrics and floss for your unique creation.

United Kingdom:

SewandSo has all the floss in stock and a variety of fabrics to choose from.

Polstitches has a range of Dragon Threads and hand dyed fabrics for you to make this design unique.

Sparklies have a range of fabrics and threads to make this design sparkle.

Chromatic Alchemy  has some beautiful fabrics to make your design shine.

United States:

123Stitch has the thread and embellishments in stock and offers a variety of fabrics.


Have you made any of the Pine Glen Designs ornaments? What did you think of them?  Have you stitched any ornament that is stitched in pieces such as St Patrick’s Gold?  If so, please drop a link to your creations in the comments below.


Did you like this review? Did it contain all the expected information? Is there anything you would like added or removed from the reviews? Do you know of a particular chart or designer you want to see featured here? If so, please head to the Suggestions page and let me know.

Last Updated: 23 December 2014


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Christmas by jar Designs

A Christmas-themed mostly monochrome for Monochrome Monday. And a giveaway for TWO lucky commenters.

The winner of last week’s The Ursula Michael “Coffee” words chart by Imaginating is Clare Turner. Congratulations Clare.

jar Designs - Christmas
jar Designs – Christmas

What is it?

Christmas is a chart and hand dyed floss pack from jar Designs.  Although jar Designs still have their webpages up, there is no way to contact them to buy their charts.  Some cross stitch stores such as Colours Down Under do have a few copies of this chart still in stock.

Why this chart?

I was first asked to stitch this chart as a store model for Colours Down Under a few years ago.  The proprietor at the time was adding the DMC, beads and linen band fabric to make kits of this design.

The jar Designs hand dyed floss is no longer available but it can be substituted with any hand dyed floss in a red/green combination or in fact any colours you prefer.  Many people choose colour themes for their Christmas decorating and this design could easily be converted to your colours.

This is a relatively quick stitch but it does use back stitch and beads. The backstitched holly leaves and beaded holly berries are in isolation away from the main design, so you will need to know some techniques to start and finish these. If you prefer you can replace the beads with French Knots. Either way I would recommend this design for an adventurous beginner through to advanced stitcher.

jar Designs - Christmas


jar Designs were only ever available as printed charts.  Some such as Christmas also included jar Designs hand dyed floss.

The Christmas chart pack is printed on white US Letter (similar to A4) paper, folded in half.  The front page is printed on glossy paper and includes a colour photo of the design.

The back cover includes all the information you need to stitch the design, the stitch count fabric used in the model, and design size in a standard range of fabric counts. Also lists the floss and beads required and the special instructions for stitching the design. I wish all designers provided this information in such an easy to see format,

The chart is printed across two pages. Each page includes a five-row shaded overlap, so it doesn’t matter if you stitch from the top down or the bottom up.   The floss symbols are printed quite large and the blackwork lines are quite dark against the background grid so this is an easy chart to see and follow.

The stitching instructions even include a suggested floss colour to stitch the beads on. This floss colour, DMC 902 matches the Mill Hill 00367 beads quite well.

The only issue I have with the chart lists an incorrect stitch count and the vertical middle point is wrong.  The correct width of the chart is 49 wide, not 90.  The mid-point is 24½, not 28½. When stitching on a banded fabric, as I did, 4 stitches too far to the left is quite obvious.

My experience

I have now stitched this design twice.  Once several years ago as a shop model for Colours Down Under and then again this month for myself.

I love stitching the main body of this design. The letters stitch up very quickly and you can have a lot of fun with a hand-dyed floss choosing your starting point for each letter so the floss changes travel around the letter as if you were writing them.

The holly leaves were a bit of  pain as I have not yet developed a mess-free technique to starting and finishing single strands.  The pin-head start which works so well for cross stitch looked a little too bulky for the singe strand back stitch.  In the end I did the time-consuming “leave a long tail and make your stitches cover it” technique.  Similarly I anchored the stitching thread for the beads under the back stitch threads.  It’s  bit of  mess but it works and the beads stay in place.

I discovered that the mid-point was off when I first stitched this design for Colours Down Under.  Of course I didn’t notice until I was stitching the holly leaves and noticed that some of the right hand ones didn’t quite fit, while there was masses of room on the left hand side.

I remembered this when I pulled out the second kit at the Melbourne Christmas Stitching Get together. I then discovered that I had already started the stitching way back when and I assumed I had fixed the mistake.  Reached the holly leaves this time and discovered, nope, still not centred. Oh well.  It’s stitched and I love it.  That’s the main thing. Plus this way, anyone who see it will stare at it for a few minutes not being able to put their finger on why it looks subtly wrong …..

My finished piece - now to turn it into a bell pull
My finished piece – now to turn it into a bell pull


Materials Required

To stitch the charts exactly as designed, you will need:

jar designs - Christmas


1 skein jar Designs Christmas.  Any red/green combination hand dyed thread would work. Can also use DMC 4042 Very Merry.

DMC 3362 Dark Pine Green



1 skein DMC 3362 Dark Pine Green (for the holly leaves)

DMC 902 Very Dark Garnet



1 skein DMC 902 Very Dark Garnet (to attach the beads – or to attach as French Knots)

Mill Hill 00367 Garnet



1 packet  Mill Hill Beads 00367 Garnet



Zweigart 28 count Sand Quaker Cloth  (stitch count 49 x 215). This design can be stitched over 2 or over 1.

For 14ct Aida or 28ct evenweave (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 10” x 21½”  or  24 x 55cm  or  a fat quarter (18 x 27″).

28ct Sand Quaker Cloth
28ct Sand Quaker Cloth

If you wish to stitch this design as a bell pull you need 4″ wide 28ct linen or aida banding, at 21″ length (the extra is to wind around the bell pull rods).

Approximate cost for Project

Approximate cost to stitch Christmas using the recommended materials (prices are in $US, at recommended retail and do  not include postage):

Chart: $    8.25
Floss:  $    3.55
Fabric: $11.85

Total: $23.65  ($40.95 AUD  or  €22.45  or  £16.55)

Places to Buy

jar Designs no longer seem to be in business, however a few stores have old stock such as Colours Down Under.


Colours Down Under has the chart and all materials in stock.  Jo offers 10% discount on the package (chart + floss). Mention this review when ordering.

Colour Cascade Fabrics has a variety of fabrics for you to make this design unique. Tammy offers a 15% discount for readers of this site. Code is: CSReview. Offer ends 27 February 2015.

OzStitch  has all the threads and a variety of fabrics in stock.


Casa Cenina in Italy stocks a variety of fabrics and floss for your unique creation.

United Kingdom:

SewandSo  stock a variety of fabrics and floss, including the DMC 4042 Christmas floss for your project.

Polstitches suggests Colonial sampler linen from her range of fabrics.

Sparklies has a range of threads and fabrics to make this sparkle!

Chromatic Alchemy  “I can’t decide between Elsa and Candy Cane! Elsa is more subtle with the cool colours that make you think of winter yet Candy Cane is just so Christmassy it would make a perfect background for a festive decoration.”

United States:

123Stitch has the thread in stock and offers a variety of fabrics.


I am offering both of my printed charts of jar Designs Christmas. The first winner will get the DMC threads and beads from the kit (there was enough from the first kit to do both bellpulls.  The second winner will receive the chart only.

To enter, comment below what floss and fabric combination you would use to stitch this and why?

Contest is open to anywhere in the world. The only valid entries are comments below on this post.  Comments on social media will not be included.  Contest closes in one week from posting this review midday, 22 December 2014, Melbourne time (UTC+11 hours). Winner will be chosen randomly from the comments.


Did you like this review? Did it contain all the expected information? Is there anything you would like added or removed from the reviews? Do you know of a particular chart or designer you want to see featured here? If so, please head to the Suggestions page and let me know.

Last Updated: 15 December 2014


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Hand Dyed Floss

What is hand dyed floss and how do I use it?

Dinky Dyes silk

Hand Dying techniques

There are many different ways of hand dyeing embroidery floss. Broadly speaking these techniques fall into two categories:

Vat Dyeing – the skeins or hanks of floss are immersed or dipped into a container of liquid dye

Space Dyeing  – where coloured dyes are placed along different parts of the floss skein or hank.

Vat Dyeing is where you make up a liquid solution of pigment or dye, and then you dip part or all if your floss into it, or when you drop your floss into it, giving it a bath. You can tie loose knots in your floss so that the dye penetrates some areas more than others. This is the easiest range of methods for mottled threads or subtle dye variations.

Space Dyeing  is where coloured dyes are deliberately added to specific sections of the floss skein or hank. Usually the dye solution is added to the floss. Space Dyeing methods are mainly used to create colourful rainbow threads.

Dye Types

There are many different types of dyes and pigments used to dye floss.  Some are powders that must be mixed into water or oil, some are already liquid, some are derived from plant materials, or squished insects, others are made in a laboratory.  Some require a “mordant” to hold the colour to the floss, others do not. Often different dye processes are used on synthetic fabrics such as rayon and nylon to those processes used for cotton, silk, cashmere, wool etc.

Every different dyer uses their own type of dying process and dyes or pigments.  This is why some hand dyed threads are colourfast and others are not.  Read the label carefully if you are planning on stitching a large design or a small travel piece, as the threads may not be washable at the end.

Classic Colorworks

Cleaning tips

If you do need to clean an item that has non-colourfast threads on it, here’s how to do it.

  • Turn on the tap over your basin or sink.
  • Use tepid or cold water.
  • Do not put the plug in.
  • Rinse your fabric under the water, thoroughly wetting it.
  • If any colours run, this is usually excess dye leaching from the thread. Leave your stitching under the running water until the water runs clear.

If you put the plug in or swirl this fabric through a basin of standing water then that excess dye lands on your fabric and stains it.  If you leave the water running without a plug then the water carries the free dye down the drain before it can land and stain.

Caron waterlilies

Photographing floss and Colour Vision

The same issues we discussed in the Hand Dyed Fabrics article apply here. There is no possible way for either monitors or printers to accurately reflect the full range of colours that our eyes can see. However, you can often get a good idea of the range and variation in the shading.

Carrie's Silks

Hand Dyed Means Unique

Again as discussed in the Hand Dyed Fabrics article, there are just some variables in the hand dying process  that you can never plan for:  The minerals in the water used in the dye bath, the temperature of the water versus the temperature of the ambient air on the day, the humidity levels or how the floss was dried.  All of these factors can these can subtly change the characteristics of the final piece.

If you are buying variegated threads for a specific project, ALWAYS BUY THE WHOLE AMOUNT OF FLOSS AT THE SAME TIME . Wherever possible, ask that the skeins are supplied from the SAME DYELOT.

This is particularly important if you are planing to stitch a large piece in hand dyed floss, By requesting skeins from the same dyelot, you will know both the shade and patterning will be consistent throughout your piece.

Gentle Arts Sampler Threads  - Reds and Blues

How do you stitch with hand dyed threads

The way you stitch with hand dyed threads makes a significant difference to the finished effect. To show this, I have stitched a sampler to illustrated some of the more common stitching styles.  I have used a skein of Carrie’s Jelly Fish as there are many colour changes.

2014-12-12 16.36.46

Left block and first long strip were stitched:

\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  then ///////////////// (yes I was taught by a left-hander)

In both the block and the row, some of the colours are barely seen because they are used on the bottom  \\\\ and others are shown more because they are solely used as the top ////,  This can create an unusual look for your piece. I do like the interplay of colours with the yellow over pink add the purple over green.

I’ve only see one pattern that deliberately asked to be stitched that way; “Is it my Eyes” by Susan Saltzgiver. Most of these blocks have the bottom \ in a different floss to the /,  Usually light over dark but sometimes dark over light.

Is it my eyes - Susan Saltzgiver

Middle block and middle strip are stitched one full stitch at a time, so \ then / then \ then /   The rows are stitched:

01, 02, 03 … 09, 10
20, 19, 18 … 12, 11
21, 22, 23 … 29, 30
40, 39, 38 … 32, 31   etc

Although it doesn’t look much different in the block, the row shows how this can lead to a stripey stitched effect.  This method best reflects the real patterning in the hand dyed thread. One such as this:

Fire flower finished

Right Block and third strip were stitched via my way. I’ve developed a habit of stitching two stitches, then going to the next row and stitching the same two stitches, and then back up to the previous row and stitching another two stitches, then down to the next row and stitching two stitches etc.  So the block was stitched like this:

01, 02, 05, 06 … 17, 18
03, 04, 07, 08 … 19, 20
38, 37, 34, 33 … 22, 21
40, 39, 36, 35 … 24, 23
41, 42, 45, 46 … 57, 58
43, 44, 47, 48 … 59, 60 now there are three rows left so
86, 85, 80, 79 … 62, 61
88, 87, 82, 81 … 64, 63
90, 89, 84, 83 … 66, 65

This produces more of a mottled effect instead of stripes:


Or you can throw all of that out the window and cut your hand dyed threads so that you choose where each section of colour goes.  In this case, I stitched the left project using my usual two stitches method.  On the right, I cut the thread so that the colours went where I wanted them to.


Hand dyed thread will always produce an effect that is guaranteed to be unique. No two stitchers will create exactly the same outcome and often this variation creates some truly beautiful finishes. Ultimately, you can stitch with your hand dyed threads any which way you please. It all depends on the effect you want for each project.

Stitched Sampler

Places to Buy

World Wide:

These are threads that are available in most cross stitch stores:

Anchor Multicolours. Anchor Embroidery Floss is spun from the world’s finest 100% Egyptian cotton. Anchor offers you 24 multicolours that are completely washable and offer outstanding colorfastness.

Caron Waterlilies Hand-dyed 12 ply spun silk. 6 yard skeins. Easily divided, use two plies for cross stitch over two threads on 28 count fabric.

Caron Wildflowers A single strand hand-dyed cotton in variegated colors. It has more of a matte finish when stitched.  36 yard skein.

Classic Colorworks (formerly Crescent Colours) A hand dyed floss that begins with 100% cotton DMC six strand floss and gentle fabric dyes designed specifically for cotton. Available in a variety of beautiful colors that work well with cross stitch. 5 yard skeins.

Classic Colorworks (formerly Crescent Colours) Belle Soie Silk Floss These silks are hand dyed with the same creative eye and flair you’ve come to enjoy in their cotton flosses, with a softness unmatched in other silks. They start with a 12-stranded spun silk, and package them into 5-yard skeins.

Dinky Dyes Now based in the United States, Dinky Dyes started in Western  Australia.  Luxurious hand-dyed 6 strand spun silk sold in 8 meter skeins.

DMC Color Variations These give you the look of hand dyed floss with the added quality and reassurance that they are made by DMC. Twenty-four beautiful multi-color and tone on tone shades that are colorfast.

Gentle Art Sampler Threads Six Strand hand over-dyed floss. Sold in 5 yard skeins.

Gloriana This spun silk has silk’s beauty, luster, and shine but doesn’t catch on your hands. Gloriana Silk is soft and remarkably easy to use. 12 strand silk, 6 yard skein.

Gloriana Florimell Au Ver a Soie Soie d’Alger artisan-dyed 7 strand silk by Gloriana Threads. 5 yard skein. Hand-washable in cold water.

Needlepoint Inc Northern Lights 8 Strands. Colourfast. 100% Pure Chinese Silk. Overdyed to create this wonderful range of multicolour silk threads.

Thread Gatherer Silk N Colors 100% silk, 12-ply, 6 yard skeins. Silk N Colors initially separates into 3 groups of 4-ply. Before stitching, separate and put together the desired ply. Cross-stitching: we recommend 1-ply on 30 count or finer, 2-ply on 28 count linen.

Threadworx Overdyed Floss A premium quality, six-strand embroidery floss made from the finest long-staple, 100% Egyptian Giza cotton. Sold in 20 yard skeins.

Threadworx Vineyard Silk Artisan dyed by ThreadworX. 100% Pure Chinese Silk. Twisted. 20 yard skeins.

Valdani  Superb Hand-Overdyed colors in Cotton Floss for the “matte” look. Embroidery Floss Skeins in 6-ply cotton for cross-stitch

Weeks Dye Works Hand Over-Dyed Floss. 5 yard skeins. The colors are variegated enough to be noticeable, yet subtle enough to blend naturally. Because it is pliable, this fiber is perfect for cross stitch and needlepoint on many counts of fabric and canvas.


Colour Streams Colour Streams hand dyed embroidery silk threads are available in 50 glorious overdyed colours.

Cottage Garden Threads Our passion is to produce hand dyed threads inspired by the diversity of colour among the flowers and foliage of a cottage garden.

Primke Threads are hand dyed cotton threads from Australia, they come in 72 colours.

Stitches and Spice is Australia’s only floss hand dyer. There are 56 colours in Naomi’s range and they complement her fabric colours. 5 metre skeins of Hand-dyed 6 stranded 100% cotton.


Annick Abrial creates beautiful hand dyed floss colours. 100% cotton, 6 strands stranded, hand-painted, which are capable of steam ironing. The colors are guaranteed in time and are 8 metre skeins.

Rainbow Fingers  I’m a fiber artist living in France that has a passion for dyeing also.

The Silk Mill Our silk is 100% pure Chinese monofilament silk thread. The thread comes in skeins of six strands of 6.5 metres long, with a total skein length of 39 metres. There are 700 shades of silk to choose from.

Romy’s Creations Overdyed DMC floss in beautiful colours.


Nina’s Threads 100% stranded cotton threads, hand dyed with professional dyes, for embroidery and cross stitch. 8 meters / skein. Rinsed in neutral scent after dye.

South Africa:

Chameleon Threads are individually hand-dyed in South Africa using cotton, rayon and pure silk.

House of Embroidery Un-dyed cotton threads are imported from Europe and un-dyed silk is imported from Japan. Our threads are dyed in South Africa, using European dyes.

United Kingdom:

Crafty Kitten These threads are dyed to match our fabric colour range.  Each skein is 5m in length. These threads have been hand-dyed on high quality DMC white stranded embroidery cotton.

Jodyri Designs Hand dyed cotton threads priced at 99p per 8m skein. These cannot be guaranteed to be colourfast

Polstitches Dragon Floss has some wonderful thread names.  6 strand cotton, 8 metre skeins.

Rainbow Girl Each item is unique, and cannot be reproduced. I use a low water immersion technique with procion dyes. Every item is thoroughly rinsed and washed in Synthrapol, after dyeing, but I cannot guarantee that they are colourfast.

Sparklies All my threads are full skeins of DMC, hand dyed to an overdyed finish. Currently these are mostly two-tone, but I hope to expand the range to include multi-tone colours in the future.

Stef Francis 6-strand cotton, length 10m.  12 strand Silk, length 6m.

Thread Pickerz Silkz Here you will find wonderful silks to help make your cross stitch projects stand out. Each silk skein has 50 single strand lengths of approx 0.96m in length.

United States:

Carrie’s Creation Threads All threads are 100% cotton DMC,  and available in either the 6 strand cotton, the premium weight floss known as Floche, or Silk!

Dragonfly Lotus Produces hand dyed silk and wool threads.

Fiberactive Organics Our Shop Specializes in hand-dyed organic cotton products. We use low impact Fiber-Reactive Dyes to achieve the most vivid and fade resistant colors for all your project’s needs.

Fiberlicious  is a Facebook only dyer. Cotton floss is 6 strands and 10 yards long (approx).Silk has 50 single strands of 1.2m long which is 60 m in total. They are dyed with variation of colors (not colorfast). My silk is Pure silk (Flat Silk, 2 plies), not processed silk with polyester so it’s pretty soft and delicate.

Garibaldi’s Needle Works is an ebay only store that produces beautiful mottled fabrics and threads.

Hand Dyed Fibers by Vicki Clayton. Silk floss comes in two sizes. Regular silk floss is about the same size as DMC. Premium floss is much thicker and has single strand coverage over 2 on 28 ct. – 32 ct. You can use the drop down box to choose which type of floss you would like. Vicki is swamped with orders and has taken down her floss pages for a couple of weeks.

Mo’s Sale a Facebook supplier that now has her own website. Often releases new colours in themes such as MockingJay and Harry Potter.

Rumple Beary Rumors On Facebook and Etsy.  My skeins are hand measured and dyed/painted, so each will vary.  10 yards each of 6 strand cotton embroidery floss  Most times you will get a bit more than 10 yards. My threads are hand painted/dyed on a DMC base white thread and are variegated.

Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe On Ebay and Etsy. My floss is 20, one yard pieces, per skein.


Did I miss any good dyers?  Please comment below and I will add them to the list. Also, what article do you want next weekend?


Did you like this Weekend Spotlight? Did it contain all the expected information? Is there anything you would like added or removed from this? Do you know of a particular chart, designer, stitch along or accessory creator you want to see featured here? If so, please head to the Suggestions page and let me know.

Last updated: 13 December 2014


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