let's begin from the beginning shall we? it all starts with tools...i've been stitching now for several years and have found a few tools that make the process go *so* much more smoothly...and some tools- not so much. so long story short, our first post will be all about tools...namely, the tools that work best for me and why :] keep in mind, these are the things that work best for *me*...they might or might not be the best for you. my advice here; find what works best for you. handstitching is a time-consuming, labor of love and the proper tools are VITAL.
the making memories piercer is my favorite...their newer piercers are alot lighter in weight than their older version from several years ago...i like the heavier weight.
heidi swapp makes a short version that i've been using quite a bit lately as well...mainly because i can change my grip on it as needed for the more involved sewing projects...your hand will get tired from holding your piercer in the same position.
tip: because of the repetition involved with paper piercing, i've found that using pencil grips on my piercer makes a huge difference...oh and one more tip...if you don't have a paper piercer, you can use a push pin, my good friend wendy swears by it :]
love this version by bazzill that features gridlines...the most important thing for me is the thickness of the pad. you don't want to damage your work surface by poking tons of tiny holes in it :] trust.
i've heard of people using mousepads as well...i tend to get a little over-zealous with my hole poking so it doesn't work so well for me :] ha! some other pads you might check into: ornare, stampin up, nordic needle, or you can also create your own by layering several sheets of kid's craft foam or by purchasing a piece of upholstery foam padding. you basically just want a dense foam pad.
***edited to add***
can't sew without thread right?! but seriously, all flosses are NOT created equally. i've tried tons of different varieties to get the 'look' i was going for (detailed, not chunky, clean stitches) and my one and only floss is dmc needlework threads...a thousand times over. love their color selection, the texture, their splitability (yes, i made that word up i think...but it's a true story...one that we will go into in more detail soon.)
i'm not really up on the needle brands but i do know what i like and that's thin needles with long eyes. sounds like a personal add right, haha! but seriously, the main reason...because they are easier to thread. especially for when i'm doing stitching that i want thicker (this goes back to the 'splitability' issue to come later).
purchasing needles- i usually just buy mine from walmart or any big box craft store- think michael's, joann's, or hobby lobby...i recommend trying different sizes at first to find what you like best :]
just a few more things that are super helpful with handstitching on layouts...
scissors- if stitching is something that you are wanting to include in your layouts on a regular basis, i recommend investing in a good pair of 'thread only' scissors. there's nothing worse than having to saw through a thread :] i am partial to the spring loaded scissors...not sure if that's what they're actually referred to as but that's what i call them, ha!
ruler- any straight edge will do in a pinch but for regular use, my go to straight edge is an 18 inch metal ruler with a cork backing for grip...it doesn't slide and the piercer doesn't take it's toll on one of these babies :]
tape- i've found that the red label scotch tape works best for me (more on this later...) it's thin and crystal clear...both are good things.
so that's that with the supplies i think...haha! i'd love to hear what works for you guys so don't be shy...comment away friends! oh yeah, and questions are always welcome...i have email notifications set up so i'll get answers to you asap :]
be on the lookout for another post later this afternoon/evening :]