Sep 13, 2013

Great balls of Valdani

Greetings.  It's freezing, gloomy, rainy, like a switch was turned off after the 90 degree temps.  We're not getting things accomplished as we had planned on his week off of work, but managed a white knuckle ride to Mercer PA for my first visit to The Gallery.  It's a quilting shop with machines, parts, accessories, kits, lots of fabrics, specialty items, and I saw my first ball of Valdani.  Nice.  Very nice.  I planned on checking a few punch needle designs and making a trip back for needed colors.  After visiting their website, I realized not all balls are the same.  Just as other companies, there is pearl cotton in 12, 8, 5, 3-ply matte cotton floss for punchneedle, and 6 strand floss skeins.  Now what?  So I called and found that their balls are pearl cotton, mostly the finer #12, 108 yards, and $6.  I would prefer starting with the 3-ply.
This punchneedle heart was found on Pinterest and I can't locate the source to give credit or ascertain the designer.  Love it.  I have several of Lori's designs and watched her video tut, but I'm not sure if now is a good time to try something new, adding to my pile of things I'm not accomplishing.
I bought a few new fabrics that I hadn't seen at the smaller shop I visit.   I have a thing for script fabrics and sort of hoard them.  When I really like a fabric, I hate to cut it and use it, the same as I feel about a yard of linen.  A quirk or serious fabric disorder? 
They also carry Sullivan brand of floss, and explained to me that it is long-staple and colorfast, whereas DMC is now short-staple and not colorfast in every shade.  So I came home with one skein to compare. 
There is a slight difference in appearance of a single strand, which separated much easier than the DMC.  In each photo, DMC is top and Sullivan bottom.  Hardly noticeable by eye, but closeup, you can see the thicker twist which I think would be better for the dreaded over one stitches.  The first photo is loose, and the second slightly stretched.  When I ran my nail along the strand, the DMC frayed a little and the Sullivan did not.  It's too bad I have at least 3 DMC in every color, but my next visit I will purchase Sullivan for a project and test it.

This house mess has had me ishkabobbled for a while, and then the accident kind of wiped out three weeks of the end of summer.  A few designs have been roaming in the noggin, I'm trying to work out the labels on the new printer, line up people to complete the house projects, stitch when I can, bitch about the end of summer, worry about upcoming tests, and be thankful I can do all that.  There is a young mom with an adorable baby whose blog I recently found, that is dealing with the unimaginable.  She is always on my mind.
 
The heat pack is on, the Advil is chewed, and I'm hoping for some serious stitching tonight.  Wishing you a peaceful and safe weekend, enjoying your family and the little pleasures we take for granted.
Thanks for visiting.
 
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20 comments:

Debi said...

Hi Marly, interesting info about the threads. I'll have to look for these Sullivan threads. The punch needle heart is from the blog birdinthehandprimitives-robin.blogspot.com. It's called something like 'colonial hanging heart'. I have forced myself NOT to try punch needle because I have too much stuff already so it's 'nice' to see someone else struggling with the urge! Have a good weekend. Debi M

backporchcarver said...

Punch needle might be a good thing to do on those days when Your fingers aren't quite co-operating. I love doing it and LOVE the Valdani three strand floss. If you decide you like the sullivan floss better than the DMC, you can always use up the DMC on your punch needle, only it is a bit of a job separating it down to three strands unless you use shorter pieces, achk.....just go with the valdani, much easier and really gives a great finished look.

Barbara Shores ~ Village Folk Art said...

Interesting about the threads. Since I live out in the middle of nowhere...we just do not have the choice of shops as you do. I have tried punch needle once and did enjoy it. Am already selling patterns I bought and know I will never get to them. So for now I too will pass on punch needle. Love the heart too.
Have a Blessed weekend all, Barb

Tracey said...

We're experiencing the same crazy weather here in South-western Ontario. I do admit though, that today was perfect knitting/stitching weather :)
Thanks so much on the pics/info comparing Sullivan's floss to DMC... will have to check it out.

Rugs and Pugs said...

Crazy weather in Ohio, too! I'm with you on not being ready for summer to end.
Punch needle is a good diversion when you need something totally mindless (once you get the hang of it which is fast). It's very portable and doable while riding in a car. I only do the 6 strand using DMC that way you don't have to separate threads and can punch large areas without having to re-thread.
Hugs :)
Lauren

Margaret said...

Very interesting about DMC versus sullivan. Also about valdani. I still haven't seen those in person. Oh -- and you chew advil? Ewww. lol!

Penny said...

I love Valdani threads - perfect for punch needle. I loved not having to worry about the needle running out of thread. Quirk, or serious fabric disorder - I have it too. :) The Sullivan threads sound nice.

cucki said...

Very interesting about the threads ..we only get dmc thread here in South Africa..
Enjoy your weekend
Hugs x

Beauty Bonnet said...

Hello! Glad things are settling down a bit for you. I did punchneedle way way back for a school project but just couldn't get into it. The Sullivans thread sounds interesting. We don't get that here.. I will check it out when I visit. I think I know whose blog you mean.. she and her little family are constantly in my thoughts

Three Sheep Studio said...

I am in love with the script fabric ! What is it with us that we gather fabric and then don't want to cut it ?? I like to tie stacks of it together and "display" them here and there. Crazy !
Rose

Primitive Stars said...

Morning Marly, that's very interesting about the threads, ......Love the heart, beautiful.....Blessings Francine.

Pam in IL said...

Oh my goodness, that heart punch needle is ADORABLE! I've only used Valdani a couple of time, but I really liked it.

I have also compared the Sullivan thread to the DMC. I didn't notice much difference between the two and have used Sullivan's next to DMC without any issues. I've never ever had a problem with DMC not being colorfast. Our Hobby Lobby is carrying a few of the Sullivan thread now and much less of DMC. They've filled in with their own brand, which I don't like.

Lori from Notforgotten Farm said...

I'll stick to my 6 strands of DMC and over-dye it to my desired look...I like the look and the ease of punching with all 6 strands ~ don't have time to fiddle with separating threads anymore! awesome weather here in VA ~ got down to 47 last night YAY! perfect for those blasted hotflashes and night sweats= ugh.
L

Carol said...

You've been through so much lately with the house in uproar and the accident, Marly...It probably did you good to get out a bit! Love that punch needle hear that you are thinking of making. I've never tried it myself, but I love the look of it. Maybe when I retire I can manage to start a few new hobbies :)

At least it is sunny today and is supposed to warm up a bit--I'm working this afternoon anyway so I guess it really doesn't matter, but at least the nice weather tends to keep some of the crazies away from the library!! Enjoy your day...

Robin Hager said...

Punchneedle is great fun, and I love doing it when I want something different. Cross stitch is still #1! I love my DMC floss. I also use Valdani, which is great! Weeks Dye Works also makes a three strand ball that is used for punchneedle as well. Try it, you'll like it!

Bertie said...

Thanks for the info on the threads, I never really think about them to much, just stitch which is mindless on my part. I love punch needle but cannot start another class,just looking.
Oh yes the cutting, it is a serious fabric disorder!! they are lovely and you are too funny:)
Keep well Marly!

Myra said...

Hi Marly ... I love, love, punchneedle. You might want to visit Rebecca Lindquist's blog the simple quiet. Click on all her past posts. She uses #12 Valdani two strands, med. needle set on 1. She has finishing ideas and techniques ... you'll love her blog. I know the young woman you speak of. All things pale in comparison with what this woman is dealing with ... heart breaking.

Ginny said...

My daughter is going to teach me how to do punchneedle. I told her I needed to finish the Christmas ornament I am working on and then she can get me started.

I am so glad I'm not the only one who hates to cut into fabrics I really like. Only with me, it's not just fabric - it's scrapbooking paper or ribbon or any crafting supply I really like. Silly, I know.

Ladyfée said...

j'adore le coeur ! je pense que j'en ferais un aussi, je connais cette technique et j'aime beaucoup ! bon week end ! Ladyfée

Margs Primitive Quilts said...

Ha Ha! Serious fabric disorder...we all have it: )Well, me for sure. Are we alone? I hope you start the needle punch. It works up very quickly and is something you can do anywhere. I use Valdani floss & I love how the dyes blend together.

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