Looking ahead to 2012!

New Metallic Colors
Its been a great 2011 and Kreinik thanks you for your support.  Looking ahead to 2012 we have some fun new products we are working on.  This post will focus on some projects we are working on for 2012.
  1. New Facets & Petite Facets colors.  We have added Copper and Pearl.  These colors are amazing.
  2. New Metallic Thread Colors.  We're not sure how many colors we will have but we have a sneak preview below of some colors tying to make the final cut.
  3. Dyed Silk Gauze.  Look for several colors of silk gauze dyed in colors like dark green and red.
  4. New Stitch-A-Pen designs.  We are working on several new designs for our popular Stitch-A-Pen Series.
  5. Signature Series Assortments.  Available in most metallic and silk threads, these color themed 4-packs will feature the top selling colors in each color family.
  6. Piping.  A product fly fishers/fly tyers will love.  We can make our piping in just about any metallic thread color.
  7. Glow In The Dark Dubbing.  We will have 6 colors of dubbing for our fly fishing/fly tying customers.

New Facets
Glow Dubbing

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Holiday Giving

Years ago, we stopped giving each other gifts at the annual Christmas Party and began collecting different items to give to various agencies in the Parkersburg area.  This year, the employees decided to collect for two different local organizations.  Nearly seventy-five pounds of canned goods and pasta were donated to the Catholic Charities of West Virginia.  As well as twenty-five sets of mittens and toboggans were donated to the Parkersburg Neighborhood Network.

Hope you all have a Happy Holiday and see you when we get back in January.

Pictured Left to Right:  Cynthia Hudson of Catholic Charities of West Virginia, Beth Judy and Julie Boyce of Kreinik Manufacturing.

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Hanukah or Chanukah or Hannukah

Hanukah or Chanukah or Hannukah – there are many ways to spell the holiday. This is a fun time of eating greasy food like latkes and fried donuts, having family get-togethers, and of course exchanging gifts. As a special Hanukkah spotlight on the Kreinik web site this year, we partnered with Michele and Renee at the fabulous needlepoint shop Gone Stitching (www.gonestitching.com) to offer new projects featuring Menorah and dreidel designs. The first four projects are stitch guides for painted needlepoint canvases (available through Gone Stitching), brought to gorgeous life with Kreinik silk and metallic threads. Click on this link to see the models and download the stitch guides: http://www.kreinik.com/kshop/home.php?cat=399 .


The 8 Projects of Hanukkah on www.kreinik.com also includes four Stitch-a-Pen projects.  The designs are from Gone Stitching, one from Jonathan Siegel (the renowned graphic designer whose art appears on the redesigned movie poster for Sony’s Taxi Driver) and one from our own Dena Lenham. These projects stitch up so quickly, you have time to order the supplies and stitch them for gifts or for yourself for the holidays this year. My mom, who is in her 90s, stitched a pen project in one evening, She especially liked the pen because it is easy to hold and uses a Parker Pen refill.  The pens are fast and easy projects, all using Kreinik Metallics and/or Kreinik silks on perforated paper. Watch for new and exciting designs this next year. 

Have fun and enjoy the season.

Doug Kreinik

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25 Days of Free Christmas Projects

It truly is the most wonderful time of the year. Yes, it is time for family, friends, food, and free Christmas projects from Kreinik!

Last year's calendar of 25 Days of Christmas Projects on www.kreinik.com was so popular, we brought it back to celebrate this year's season. Handmade gifts mean so much more than generic, mass-produced, mass-marketed, store-bought gifts — and they can save you money, too. With 25 fresh stitching, sewing and crafting ideas on www.kreinik.com, simply run, Rudolph, run to your local needlework store to get anything you may not have on hand. No local needlework store? Buy anything Kreinik from www.kreinikmall.com, or from many other online retailers.

Five new projects will be released each week until we get to 25, so check back often on www.kreinik.com. Merry Christmas!  Click here to see them.

PS - Look for the 8 Days of Hanukkah Projects right here.

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Karen Boutte: quilt designer and friend


One of the best parts of attending a quilt market or festival is meeting designers, who, in our world, are celebrities. Karen Boutte is one such person — she is a fabulous designer who always carries a smile, hug and great idea. At the last show, she brought us a stunning butterfly quilt, made using our threads for surface embroidery (like ribbon, braid, 3/8" Trim). Read on to get to know Karen and discover her tips for using decorative threads.

Artist Profile: Karen Boutte (left in picture)
Specialty: Designer and Teacher, Quilts, Wearable Art
Web Site: http://www.karenboutte.com/
Blog: http://delightfuldiva.blogspot.com/

Q: How did you get started as a quilter?
A: I did begin sewing as a child.  My mother made all of my clothes and she would let me play with her scraps.  I made some doll sized accessories, but not doll clothes.  This started when I was about 6 years old and then I was hooked.  By Junior High, I was making dresses for myself. I didn't start quilting until much later. It was after a family reunion in 1989 that I got interested in quilts when I saw a Cathedral Window quilt that my Great Aunt Nora made.  Another "oh my" moment; I was hooked on quilting.

Q: Tell us about the butterfly quilt you made for Kreinik. What was your inspiration?
A: Couching Butterfly was inspired by a Robert Kaufman fabric for the "Grandeur" collection.  I guess you can call me the "Fabric Whisperer".  When I walk into a quilt shop, some fabrics just talk to me.  I am always on the lookout for exciting bold prints.  To compliment these I search for tone on tones that offer texture and movement.  The background for the Butterfly quilt is a Northcott "Stonhendge".  I saw the Kaufman fabric and it just said ..."buy me, I am beautiful and you will find a way to make something out of me" so I bought 3 yards (my minimum for a beautiful print since I can make a jacket with that amount of fabric).  The fan shapes in the fabric reminded me of butterfly wings, so I just started cutting and arranging.  Most of my garments are fabric collage, so the more action in the print, the more holes it will have in the end.

Q: How did you use the various Kreinik threads on the quilt?
A: Embellishing with the Kreinik threads was the fun part! After cutting out the wings, I stitched them in place using the Kreinik High Speed metallic thread around the edges in Antique Gold.  I then began playing with the 1/8" metallic ribbon to cover the edges of the wings.  I then took the 3/8" Trim (a wired ribbon), wrapped it around a cuticle stick, slid off the coil, laid it on the butterfly wing and flattened it to look like rick-rack.  I sewed this down with a decorative stitch using Kreinik's silver high speed metallic thread.

I used the gold wired 3/8" Trim and wrapped it around a flat ribbon and stitched it down with Kreinik's gold high speed metallic thread.  The antenna, body and tail of the butterfly are 3/8" wired Trim in Hot Chocolate color.  I twisted the top wire, stitched in place and hand stitched beads in the centers.  I wrapped the center body thread around a pencil and gently stretched it over the center seam.  I added drop crystal beads for accent.  The end of the tail in strung through a 1/2" copper bead.  I added several rows of hot fix crystals to enhance the print of the fabric and add balance to the wings.

I used free motion stitching on the background to tie the piece together.  I used an echo stitch near the sides of the wings, followed by what I call my small ballon stitch.  Around the antenna I added my "rock" stitch and used my "wondering meander" stitch around the tail.

Q: As quilters, we often focus on the piecing of the quilt, rather than the top-stitching or embellishing part. But your quilts and wearable art designs show people how much fun the thread play can be. Do you have any advice for people who may be intimidated by picking embellishment threads, or don’t know where to start? (Would it help to have a “quilt diva” attitude? How can we become quilt divas?)
A: We all have an inner Diva that is struggling to get out and play! When I teach my classes, I request that my students leave the "rules" outside the door and just play with their thread and decorative stitches.  We buy sewing machines for several thousand dollars and for the most part use only the straight stitch and zig zag and maybe some free motion thrown in.  My mission is to show students how exciting the most mundane stitch can look when combined with decorative thread, like Kreinik's Fine Twist, Fashion Twist and Metallic High Speed thread.

If you are a little timid about using glitzy thread or decorative stitches, pick one fun stitch (example, a scallop satin stitch), pick a print fabric and some contrasting thread.  This could be a 4" square to test.  Cut two 4" squares and set one aside. Iron a stabilizer or use batting on the back of one square and stitch a line of scallops across the fabric.  Go back to the beginning and stitch another line of scallops, right next to the first or mirror image the first line of stitches.  After that, maybe run a straight stitch on the outside of each row of scallops.  You have just created a ribbon stitch that no one else will have!  Look at this 4" square and compare it to the plane square, I bet you will like the outcome.

The worst that can happen is that you don't like the combination.  You've only used a 4" square of scrap fabric and a little thread.  Toss it out and try another combination or keep it as a reminder of what you don't like.  I keep a notebook of my stitch combinations and samples of the ones I like noting the stitch number, length, wide and thread used.  It's fun, easy and a good way to play with the wonderful threads and all those lovely stitches on our machine.

Q: Is there a rule of thumb, or advice for how to pick fabric prints that will “embellish well” with decorative threads?
A: There are no hard and fast rules for fabric that will embellish.  If you tend to like a hint of glitz, use thread that blends with your fabric.  If you are like me, you go for the highest contrast you can find.  I love bling!  When a fabric is talking to me, I will look for areas that will "pop" with the addition of decorative stitches and threads.  Large prints are a blast to play with.  You can outline a motif, cut it out and collage it to a tone-on-tone fabric or pick one element of the design and repeat the stitch whenever it appears.  Again, there are no rules.

Q: What are your suggestions or tips for using a metallic thread in the needle of your sewing machine?
A: When using metallics I always use a new needle suited for metallic thread (Metafile, Metallica Sharp, Jeans Denim, Top Stitch). They need a sharp tip and a deep shaft for smooth sewing.  I place my thread on a vertical spool pin so it glides through the tension discs without twisting.  I admit, I have to slow down a bit for my normal racing speed, but not that much!

Q: Do you have any tips or a top technique for couching thicker threads like Kreinik 3/8” Trim or Kreinik Braids?
A: I love to couch threads and fibers.  If your machine has a couching foot, this is the time to play with it.  If not, use your open toe embroidery foot so you can see where you are going on your piece.  I like to couch with a decorative stitch (of course) and not just a zig zag.  I'm not saying never use a zig zag because sometimes it is the best stitch for that project.  But try some of the other stitches like the feather stitch.  It makes a fun pattern and you can see the Kreinik braids peaking through the couched thread.  When using a wired thread, I will use a blanket stitch so the I can curve the wired ribbon and only catch a small "bite" when couching it down.

Q: We all just returned from the big quilt industry trade show, International Quilt Market in Houston, Texas. Did you see any trends at the show, anything we can look forward to - or dabble in - in coming months?
A: There were so many tools out there, I almost didn't have time to see them all.  Going to Schoolhouse helped a lot so I could zone in on the vendors that had new items that fit my needs.  I make quilts and garments using raw edged applique and specialize in embellishing.  There were a lot of tools for making dimensional flowers and leaves.  I played with an updated tool for making custom buttons and another for adding snaps.  Sparkle and bling are still in (Yeah!) with thread, beads, crystals and fiber.

I fell in love with several lines of paint and stencils.  Now I must use my holiday break to learn to add these new elements to my designs.  Just think, you can take a stencil, paint a flower and embellish it with Kreinik metallic thread, creating your own fabric.  This would be great for a handbag or tablet cover.  That was another hugh item, new bag patterns featuring cell phone, tablet (Nook, IPad,Kindle), laptops and cute little dressy bags.

Q: What’s next on your schedule? Or what’s on your sewing table now?
A: I am currently working on Jacket patterns for 2012.  My book, Delightful Diva Designs, Wonderful Whimsical Wearables has been out for awhile and I though it would be helpful to have instructions for the newer jackets that I have designed.  These include a bolero, knee length and mid-calf versions.

Q: Where can we find out more about your designs, books, and classes?
A: Visit my website www.karenboutte.com for my schedule.  I do fall behind every so often, but you can check me out on Facebook or my blog, delightfuldiva.blogspot.com.

Note: Karen will be teaching at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival in February 2012. Check out this web page to see Karen's classes: http://www.quiltfest.com/workshop_detail.asp?id=1076

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Mom's Tea Party

Side note: after the death of Jerry Kreinik earlier this year, his wife Estelle decided it was time to move out of their historic Victorian-era home into smaller quarters out of state. Estelle, a long-time Parkersburg resident, will be missed by everyone in the community, including the staff at the Kreinik thread factory.

My mom came to visit the plant before she moved out of town to her new place.  The employees wanted to honor her with an afternoon tea.  Work tables were covered with linens, tea pots were brought in, we served an assortment of cakes (angel food, apple and banana) along with fresh fruit, and then added lots of stories and laughter.  My mom told about the epic struggle of the first years, and of the hows and the whys of getting into the business. She told them that the banks had no concept about working with small businesses back then, and especially something so strange as the craft and needlework industry.  Their first year, they made $75 in total sales.  It was dismal in the beginning.

She reminisced about making golf club covers with needlepoint faces, needlework backgammon boards and early stitchery kits. Their first trade show was in Cincinnati were they had to fight to be recognized as a resource. Back then, the "manufacturing" was done by hand, and it was a very labor intensive industry: from the manual winders, to applying the gummy labels and handwriting shipping tickets and invoices to all of the bookkeeping. It was a very different business then. We had no computers, no internet, no faxes and no cell phones. The employees wrote down their work times on cards, everyone worked in my parents' house and my mom would watch soap operas at lunchtime.

Those were exciting early days for Kreinik Manufacturing Company. People working for us were all parts of families, and they would bring in their kids, cousins and friends. My parents would leave the factory in the hands of the employees for a month at a time and travel to Europe looking for products. They would come back and things would be on task.  Our employees have always been very dependable and we could not be where we are today if it hadn't been for that loyalty and good feeling of working together.

We will miss mom's smiling face here at the plant, but her traditions of business, family, and friendship will always be a part of Kreinik.

by Doug Kreinik

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Quilt Market report: Absolutely fabulous!

This year's Quilt Market (trade show for the quilt/sewing industry) went by quickly. We set up the booth, sold at Sample Spree, then spent the next three days so busy that we never got to walk the show. Dena and I did get to see the quilt exhibit one evening. For a thread maker, it is so exciting to see your threads used in designs. We saw many things stitched with Kreinik threads; there was even a piece with the rings of Saturn where the Kreinik Iron-On Ribbon was used. Side note: I had given a talk a few weeks ago to the judges from the National Quilt Association, and they were amazed with what could be done with the iron-on thread on fabric.  In fact, one of the judges related a story where she had judged a piece and could not figure out how the metallic ribbon had been stitched on to the fabric. Now she knows: the "magic" of iron-on thread.

 I always like to look at the dolls at the quilt exhibit, and this year's selections were outstanding.  Kreinik again sponsored the Gypsy Doll exhibit.  Those designers are so creative, their little critters really are life-like and fun to view.

Our demo teacher for this event was the inimitable Louis Carney - a showman extraordinaire, highly technically skilled and knowledgeable. The ladies love him, he is funny, truthful, and he will not accept whining.  He assisted us in giving our class on Creative Trims.  It was very successful, the participants did not want to leave and our class ran over by half an hour.  We covered cording, creating trim from bits, creating tassels, playing with the iron-on threads for trimming, and just having a lot of fun. We recorded several segments from class to post on our YouTube channel so all can share in some of the ideas.

Louis created some unbelievable effects with the Kreinik Micro Ice Chenille, the Kreinik high-speed sewing threads and Kreinik braids.  We will post two of his project ideas on our web site in December. I learned many new tips from him. He pointed out, for instance, that on the Baby Loc serger, you can use almost all of our braids, chenille and trims because of the jet threading system. Soon we will start posting videos from the show on our YouTube channel, so stay tuned: www.YouTube.com/Kreinikchannel.

Many designers stopped by to show us their latest creations, and we met many new people that we hope to work with in the near future. It was the best show that have I attended all year.  The shops were enthusiastic, their customers were happy, kit manufacturers that we spoke with were looking forward to producing new products, and this all led to a very upbeat market.
by Doug Kreinik

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Doug's Good Friend Lamb Stew

Doug Kreinik created this stew one day when the family got bored with spaghetti and needed a special meal for a good friend who was leaving town. It also makes a cozy meal on a cool autumn evening.

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb. Lamb shoulder cubed
  • 4 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 16 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 8 oz. can tomato paste
  • 16 oz. can garbonzo beans
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 medium onions diced
  • 1 cup sliced onions
  • 5 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1 large potato diced into 1" pieces
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. tarragon
  • 1/4 tsp. thyme
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 green peppers chopped/diced
  • 2 Hungarian peppers chopped (optional) diced
  • 2 tbsp. cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp. coriander
  1. In a large pan heat 2 tbsp. of olive oil.  Before searing the cubed lamb, flavor the oil with coriander and 1 clove of minced garlic.  This flavoring give the lamb a pleasing taste.
  2. Sear the lamb until lightly brown, then remove.
  3. In a large pot add 3 tbsp. of olive oil and saute the onions, mushrooms and peppers.  Add remaining cloves of garlic.  When all is nicely sauteed, add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste and water.
  4. Add all of the spices, garbonzo beans, peas, meat and potatoes.  Cover and simmer for two hours, stirring occasionally.
  5. Cool and place in the refrigerator for the 24 hours, heat and server over rice.

Serve with 3 cups of rice.  My favorite is Basmati rice.  It has great aroma.

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New Christmas Ornament Designs

New from Kreinik: Starlight Ornaments, a series of six counted thread designs by Kathy Holicky. Stitched in beautiful, easy-to-use Kreinik Silk Mori with sparkles of Kreinik Very Fine #4 Braid and Blending Filament, the ornaments look high-end but can be stitched in no time. We would consider these an intermediate skill level - but if you can count, you can make these ornaments. Very detailed stitch diagrams and close-up photos are included.

Our favorite part about the ornaments: no extra finishing costs and no 'extra time' needed to send them out to a finisher. The pillow-style finishing can be done at home, easily; simply turn fabric edges to the back and stitch together. Kreinik featured a series of pillow-style ornament designs from Kathy Holicky many years ago, and we constantly get requests to do them again. With this new series, Kathy is back designing and we have brand new ornaments to share with you.

They are perfect hostess gifts, to make as an ornament set for newlyweds, or simply to add another stitched heirloom to your family tree. Click here to see all of the designs: www.kreinik.com/kshop/home.php?cat=395

Look for the Starlight Ornament series in your local needlework store, or buy online at www.kreinikmall.com. With each design available as a full kit including threads, fabric, needle and instructions, you can stitch one or more right away for holiday gift giving.

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What's in a name? The story behind Two's Company

If you have driven through South Carolina, you know the charm of just about every city. Well, in a charming 1927 red brick building, in the charming historic district of Rock Hill (just off 1-77), you will find a delightful world of colorful threads, creative designs, and — yes — charming people ready to help you with your needlepoint projects. Two's Company Needlepoint has been in business somewhere for 30+ years, so they know a thing or two about needlework. But what do we know about their name? Who, or what, are the TWO in Two's Company? Read on…

SHOP NAME: Two's Company Needlepoint
OWNER: Jane Hardy Hudson
LOCATION: 351 East Main Street, Rock Hill, SC 29730
PHONE: (803)327-2967
WEB SITE: www.twoscompanyneedlepoint.com

Q: How long have you owned the shop?
A: I have been in business since 1976. I opened and operated in Lexington, Ky from 1976 to 2001. I moved the shop to South Carolina in 2004. I had to move here for family reasons.

Q: How did the store get its unique name? What does the "Two" represent?
A: I named the store Two's Company because the number two had many associations for me. I have a twin, I had 2 brothers, I had 2 daughters, and at the time I had 2 cats and 2 dogs.

Q: What is your shop specialty?
A: Our specialty is and always has been custom canvases. I had my wholesale line for almost as long as the shop - JHL and Company - now being distributed through Julia's Needleworks. We are strictly a needlepoint shop.

Q: Tell us about your staff. Who would we meet at the store?
A: The most loyal employee is Doodles - the 16-year-old cat. She takes her job as greeter very very seriously. She is worn out by closing time. Four others work here part-time: Linda (she taught chemistry for years at Tulane), Karen (native from here - a very rare species), Randi (new to the area from Texas), and my step-granddaughter Tasha.

Q: Which Kreinik threads do you carry?
A: We carry all sizes of Kreinik Braid, blending filament, Japan thread, 1/16th and1/18th ribbon. The displays take up 2 walls.

Q: Do you sell online, or by mail order too?
A: People buy through our store, by phone for mail-order and on-line.

Q: Do you have classes?
A: We not only teach here, we have every year an ongoing mail-order class - all my own original designs. Last year we did nutcrackers - this year is a Nativity set. Every month, my customers get a package containing the canvas for that month, all the threads needed, and a stitch guide with a picture.

Q: Has anyone famous ever visited your store?
A: I have had several famous people that I meet after hours. They prefer to keep it our secret - I will comply.

Q: Here at Kreinik, we love good food. Are there good restaurants near the shop?
A: There are 5 restaurants on East Main within 3 blocks. They range from Thai food to New Orleans cuisine, a Greek restaurant, an Irish pub, and Kinch's (down-home country food).

Q: What is the best part about being involved in the needlework market?
A: My favorite part of being in this business - what keeps me in this business after so many years - MY CUSTOMERS. I love them.

Check out the Two's Company web site for more information on this fabulous shop. Click on "About" and you will see that they can design a custom needlepoint canvas for you. Another notice on that page caught our eye: "We will be happy to ship to you any order of fibres - no matter how small the order. If you have a canvas and need fiber and stitch suggestions, send it to us and we will kit and return it to you." That's great service! Check out at www.twoscompanyneedlepoint.com.

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New Designer Program coming to TNNA, sponsored by the CTE group

Kreinik has worked with professional designers all over the world for 40+ years. We are always amazed at how they use Kreinik threads in their design work. Their creativity inspires you as consumers, provides retailers with business, and inspires us to come up with new colors and products. In continued support of designers, we want to spread the word about an opportunity for counted thread and embroidery designers to bring their innovative ideas to a TNNA trade show. Read on for details.

THE ANNOUNCEMENT FROM TNNA/CTE:

Win exhibit space at a TNNA trade show

As a needlework designer, have you debated about bringing your counted thread or embroidery designs to a trade show? You know how important it is to be visible, but aren't sure how to get started. Well, the Counted Thread & Embroidery Group (CTE) of The National Needlearts Association (TNNA) is giving you a chance to WIN a trip to the Winter 2012 Needlearts Trade Show.

TNNA's CTE group will be awarding scholarships to five new counted thread/embroidery designers to exhibit at the January 2012 Phoenix trade show. This New Designer Program is a way to help new counted thread and embroidery designers with creative ideas and irresistible excitement reach national and international retailers.

Scholarship includes exhibit space, plus electricity, carpet, material handling, basic booth furniture (if needed). Designers winning the scholarship will share this exhibit space. This scholarship does not include transportation or lodging. However, a stipend to help defray expenses will be provided to each recipient. Winners will be determined by a juried process: a committee of TNNA/CTE members will be looking for quality design, presentation, and originality.

Don't delay; your portfolio is due by November 1, 2011. You have the ideas and talent, now let's get you to a major industry trade show. For a complete list of rules and application process, email CTE.TNNA@gmail.com.

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How to spend less and give more

The headlines are up already: "Holiday shoppers plan to spend less this year." (msnbc.com, 9/12/11) Some say online sales will boom, others are too uncertain to predict. Nevertheless, consumer spending is a hot topic right now.

When the holidays roll around, it is tempting to overspend on gifts for family and friends. We want to show people how much we love them, and often think that gift after gift will make them happiest. However, the realities are: 1. many people simply don't have money to overspend, 2. our loved ones would rather have us than things.

The holidays are really about making connections — spending time together (face to face or Skyping), making memories, and celebrating traditions. We still want to give presents, but we can be more thoughtful about them. One way to spend less and give more this holiday is with handmade gifts. Crafted ornaments, cards, and presents are as much a part of holiday traditions as, well, Santa Claus himself. Now more than ever they can show how much you love and care without breaking your bank account.

Here at Kreinik we have created new projects for you to make meaningful yet inexpensive gifts this holiday season. Check in with www.kreinik.com each week as we debut the new kits and products. If you have a local needlework store, look for (ask for) the new items. If you prefer online shopping, www.kreinikmall.com will have everything.

First up: Stitch-A-Pen kits that include a cross stitch chart, threads, perforated paper, needle and the pen to stitch a useful, beautiful, fun gift. Priced right, four designs are available. Easily stitch one in an evening. The pens write beautifully and use standard Parker™ refills. Check it out: www.kreinik.com/feature.htm

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What's in a name — Sign of the Arrow

In this case, the name does not say it all. In fact, you may not know that Sign of the Arrow in St. Louis, Missouri, is a needlework store. Check out the main photo on their web site, however, and there is no doubt (visit www.signofthearrow.com). We just had to ask the shop how they got their name. Read on to discover the people and mission behind this fabulous store that not only donates all shop proceeds to charity, but also has "belted" some people you've seen on TV.

Shop Name: Sign of the Arrow
Owner: St. Louis Alumnae Club of Pi Beta Phi Fraternity
Address: 9740 Clayton Road, St. Louis, MO 63124 USA
Phone: 877-869-7356 or 314-994-0606
Web Site: www.signofthearrow.com
Email: contact@signofthearrow.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/Sign.of.the.Arrow

Q: What is the story behind your store's name?
A: Established in 1966 by the St. Louis Alumnae Club of Pi Beta Phi, Sign of the Arrow is a philanthropic retail needlepoint and gift shop that donates ALL shop proceeds to area charitable organizations. “Sign of the Arrow” refers to the fraternity’s symbol, the arrow. Since its inception, Sign of the Arrow has donated more than $3.3 million to 150+ local charities. Shoppers truly impact the lives of St. Louisans by shopping at Sign of the Arrow.

Q: Wow, the shop has been around a long time!
A: 45 years

Q: Do you have a shop specialty? (like cross stitch only, or cross stitch/needlepoint, etc)
A: Sign of the Arrow, is a premier destination for needlepoint shoppers. We are widely known for an extensive selection of designer needlepoint, including hand-painted canvases, custom designs, custom finishing, furniture, fibers, trunk shows, and classes for all ages. Knowledgeable staff and volunteers assist both novice and experienced needlepointers. In addition, Sign of the Arrow offers unique gifts, including decorative accessories, holiday decorations, sorority gifts, baby gifts, picture frames, stationary, and more.

Q: Tell us about some of your staff. Who would we meet when we visit the shop?
A: Julie Filean, General Manager; Randi Hanpeter, Assistant Manager – Needlepoint; and Beth Hendzlik, Needlepoint Specialist, make up Sign of the Arrow’s management team. In addition to the management team, the shop is staffed by 90+ community volunteers who give 18,000+ hours annually to help run Sign of the Arrow.

Q: Which Kreinik threads do you carry?
A: Sign of the Arrow carries Hot-Wire, New Japan Thread Colors, and Metallic Threads.

Q: Can people buy from your store online or through mail order?
A: Shoppers can visit www.signofthearrow.com to shop online, or contact the shop directly to place an order. Sign of the Arrow provides an extensive and thorough mail order business to individuals and needlepoint shops country-wide. Services include finishing, stitching, choosing fibers and fabric for canvases, monogramming, blocking, and custom painting.

Q: Do you have in-store classes, special events, online classes, or offer one-on-one teaching?
A: We have a variety of classes for stitchers of all ages and abilities, including specialty stitching classes, such as turkey work and other decorative stitches, as well as children’s classes, specialty fiber classes, and one-on-one classes. Classes are offered in person at Sign of the Arrow. In addition, expert stitchers are available to help with a specific question.

Q: Has anyone famous ever visited your store?
A: As the “needlepoint belt capital of the world,” Sign of the Arrow’s custom artists paint a variety of belts for customers all of the country, including a variety of sports-themed belts. As a result, a number of St. Louis Cardinals trainers frequent the shop and sport a variety of these custom-painted Cardinals belts at every game. In addition, a variety of St. Louis news media have frequented the shop and wear their belts and other needlepoint items on set. Sign of the Arrow has also designed a number of pieces for important people, including the Prie Dieu (prayer kneeler) for the Pope’s visit to St. Louis; a variety of custom needlepoint items for celebrities, including Beverly Sills, Barry Manilow, and a prominent Hollywood producer; and some items for politicos, including eight belts for Karl Rove; many items for the Bush family; and for Ohio’s Governor Harry Ott.

Q: Here at Kreinik we love to talk about food. What's the name of a good place to eat near your store?
A: Directly across Clayton Road is locally-owned and award-winning Red L pizza, with the famous meatloaf pizza; and Companion Bakery for breakfast or lunch. Lester’s is also right down the street.

Q: What is your favorite part about being in this business?
A: Sign of the Arrow is a fun, relaxing, and creative place to work at and visit. At the same time, all proceeds benefit deserving charitable organizations, with more than $3.3 million donated to 150+ agencies. Sign of the Arrow truly impacts the lives of St. Louisans by providing high quality specialty needlepoint and supplies, as well as gifts. Who could ask for more?

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The Wedding of Danielle and Jon

Weddings can be traumatic especially marrying off your first and only daughter. Danielle planned and executed this event culminating 16 months planning period from the time of engagement. It was perfect. Santa Barbara was a great destination; cool nights, cool days, sun, no rain, ocean breeze, good food and great venue.

The colors for the wedding were orange and green and my son-in-law, a graphic artist, themed the affair with seagulls, a play-on-words of his last name. The bridesmaids were all in green, the mother’s were decked out in gold and magenta; the Dad’s wore black tuxes and groomsmen grey and the grandmothers were elegant.

After the service, there were pictures, appetizers, champagne and many congratulatory greetings. My Mom got to see relatives who live in California for the first time in ten years. That was truly terrific.

The dinner was salad and salmon. The salad had red and white beets along with cranberries, lettuce and other greens and a citron vinaigrette dressing. The Salmon was served with parboiled green beans with salmon covered in a delicate sauce. Very tasty served with French bread to sop up the sauce.

Just before the Father/Daughter dance, I gave my “three minutes of fame” speech roasting my daughter, as a good Dad should. She loved the barbs and the references to her love of being in charge.

Danielle knows that I enjoy a good surprise, so she and my son plotted together. Charles is very musical, plays guitar, banjo, ukulele and other stringed instruments. She knows that I have always enjoyed the Israel Kamakawiwo’ole ukulele rendition of “Over the Rainbow”. Charles soloed playing the ‘uke’, the singer sang the tune, and I danced with my daughter. Wow, what a wonderful moment.

Danielle and my wife, Myla, used a lot of Kreinik 1/8” braid to decorate the hang tags on the welcome bags and the wedding program handed out to those attending. They both love the holographic colors and used the colors 026L and 008L. Myla also set up the table numbers using the 6250 orange and 6425 green Iron-On threads. by outlining each number-front and back in the wedding colors of green and orange. Finally, Myla handmade 100 Thank You cards and gave them as a gift to Danielle. Some of these also used the Iron-On threads to give a little “bling” to the cards without having to mess with glue or glitter.

Finally, My Mom made the ring bearers pillow by taking two monogrammed handkerchiefs that she had from her Mother with a “D” (Dorothy) for Danielle and from my Dad with a “J” (Jerry) for Jon-Something old, something new and something wonderful.

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Tree of life-like stitches

The Embroiderers' Guild of America will meet this September in Naples, Florida, to embrace embroidery of all kinds - goldwork, beading, ribbon embroidery, mixed media, Hardanger, blackwork, counted thread, applique, needlepoint, doll making, stumpwork. Take a look at the event brochure to see the range of incredible designs that will be at seminar: www.egausa.org/files/seminar/2011/Sem2011_brochure.pdf. If you want to learn a new technique or perfect your skills in embroidery, the EGA national seminar will be a perfect opportunity.

At least one classroom will have students planting roots and branches on a Congress Cloth ground in the "Tree of Life" project from talented designer and teacher Lynn Payette. It's a beautiful blend of different types of Kreinik metallic threads, from Braids to Ribbons, from basic to Hi Lustre and Holographic, from light to dark shades. Here Lynn gives us a sneak peek of this stunning design and tells us a bit about how it comes together.

Lynn says: "The base (root system) of the tree is padded first with felt in single and double layers, as are some of the branches, and the initials (on the left side of the tree – each student will have their own initials formed in the branches of the tree). Some of the branches are not padded but are stitched directly on the (Congress Cloth) ground. Most of the metallics are couched down using either a fine matching color cord or invisible (waxed to make it more user friendly) invisible thread (monofilament type as used for the sewing machine). Some of the metallics are actually stitched in back stitch or, in the cases of thinner (Kreinik Very Fine #4 Braid) metallic, they are stitched using an outline or stem type stitch."

Lynn used all of the Kreinik Braid and Ribbon sizes to create texture, shadow, and dimension in the design: Very Fine #4 Braid, Fine #8 Braid, Tapestry #12 Braid, Medium #16 Braid, Canvas #24 Braid, Heavy #32 Braid, 1/8" Ribbon, and 1/16" Ribbon. (Note about our numbers: the smaller the number, the thinner the thread; ie, #4 Braid is half the size of #8 Braid.) "The threads are laid out with the darker colors first to form a meandering type line on the branches, roots, etc., and then are ‘filled’ in using a variety of sizes and types of metallics," Lynn says.

The design is also a wonderful example of how to use the various degrees of metallic to create a realistic design. Some of the threads are Kreinik High Lustre colors (meaning they have a bolder metallic look), some are basic metallic colors (with a softer metallic gleam). She also used some of the new holographic Kreinik colors. "It was necessary to balance the shiny's with the not so shiny's, so that the piece was more interesting," she notes.

Whether you are a beginner to embroidery or a seasoned stitcher, designs like this can inspire you to play with different thread thicknesses and colors. If you want to make this particular design, take the class from Lynn at the EGA national seminar, or when Lynn teaches it in various places next year. Email us at info@kreinik.com and we will get you in touch with the designer for more information.

One side note: don't be intimidated by a "guild" like EGA. With talented teachers, in a setting like the EGA get-together, you will be lovingly taught, inspired, and encouraged. There's nothing like being in the midst of people who have a passion for your passion. For more information on EGA or the national seminar, visit www.egausa.org.

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What's in a name - Amy's Golden Strand

Read the inspiration and story behind Amy's Golden Strand in Memphis, Tennessee

Amy Bunger is a talented needlework designer, author, and teacher both on and off screen (check out her DVDs). We don't know how she fits it into her schedule, but she is also a needlework shop owner. Check out our interview with Amy and learn about her "Golden Strand."

STORE SPOTLIGHT:
Amy's Golden Strand
Location: 3808 Summer Avenue, Memphis, TN 38122
Phone: (901) 458-6109
Web site: www.amybunger.com
Email: amys3808@aol.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Amys-Golden-Strand/
Twitter: www.amybunger.com/twitter.html
Fax: (901) 323-4701
Amy Bunger, owner

Q: What is the story behind your store's name (what does it mean)?
AMY: The first store that I owned was named "A Stitch in Time." There were problems with identification since there were other shops with the same name around the country. My customers would refer to the shop as "Amy's" when they talked about us with their friends, so new customers couldn't find me in the phone book. When I opened a shop in a different area of the country I knew that "Amy" needed to be in the name of the title. I was down to the wire on time to order business cards and signage when I saw a book on my parent's shelves: "The Golden Strand." Although the book was about the Gold Coast of Africa I thought the name would work well for my new shop...Amy's Golden Strand.

Q: How long have you had the shop?
AMY: I started my first shop (Owensboro, KY) in 1979 and the Memphis, TN location was opened in 1986.

Q: Do you have a shop specialty? (like cross stitch only, or cross stitch/needlepoint, etc)
AMY: The shop is all needlepoint supplies, services, and classes.

Q: Tell us about some of your staff. Who would we meet when we visit the shop?
AMY: Our shop team includes me (Amy), Candy (my sister), Eileen, Judy, Peggy, Jill, and Karen. Bob (my husband) runs our wholesale business situated across the driveway in a separate building.

Q: Which Kreinik threads do you carry?
AMY: Kreinik Braids in size 4, 8, 12, 16, 32, Kreinik Metallic Ribbon, Facets, Ombre, Embellishment Trim, Japan Threads, Cord, Beadlets, Treasure Tape (red liner tape), and more. If we don't have it in stock we are happy to order it for you.

Q: Can people buy from your store online or through mail order?
AMY: Yes, we offer online ordering, and customers can feel free to E-mail, call, or FAX orders to us. We make every effort to get orders for in-stock items out the same day we received the order. (NOTE: Amy's web site is www.amybunger.com.)

Q: Do you have in-store classes, special events, online classes, or offer one-on-one teaching?
AMY: Each week we have group classes (2 - 3 hours each) taught by various teachers. We offer private classes by the hour, half-day, or full day. Six to eight times a year we offer 3-Day group classes on canvas enhancement and once or twice a year Tony Minieri comes to teach either a project or technique class. We have mail order classes called "Home Study" that are on painted canvases by different designers. These classes are part project and part technique classes that range from 3 months (1 kit per month) to 12 month classes depending on the size and complexity of the project.

Q: Has anyone famous ever visited your store? (athlete, celebrity, politician, of local or national fame)
AMY: The cute, petite, blonde actress that plays the ballistics expert on CSI Miami came in with her mother one day - - wow that was fun. Barbara Bush called and ordered some thread from us and Jill practically passed out while holding the phone. She also sent us the nicest thank-you note and we have saved it carefully. I swear I've "seen" Elvis in the store, but I might be mistaken about that.

Q: Here at Kreinik we love to talk about food. What's the name of a good place to eat near your store?
AMY: Memphis is chock-a-block full of fabulous places to eat from the "heart stopping" Gus's Fried Chicken for casual dining to Iris or Erling Jensen's on the fancy end of the food chain. The closest restaurant to us is Cheffie's Deli which is a great place for sandwich, salad, or Gelato. If you don't like their menu, just pop next door to the local pizza parlor for a great pizza. Of course, Memphis is world famous for BBQ and we must have 100 BBQ restaurants and even the worst of them is still good.

Q: What is your favorite part about being in this business?
AMY: Hands down it has to be the people. We become a part of our customer's lives when we are involved with their hobby. Everyone that works in the shop is a member of the family and it shows in their interest in the customers. I think that we have a reputation for being as friendly as we are helpful and efficient.

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What's In A Name?

The scoop on needlework shops with unique names


On the outskirts of Houston, Texas, there is a needlework store called 3 Stitches. We love seeing store owner Pamela Brazell at the TNNA trade shows every year; she is friendly, fun, red-haired, southern-talking, and a smart business owner. After all of these years, we finally asked her, "What are the three stitches in the name?" See the interview below for the answer. Get to know this well-stocked needlework store with a fabulous mission: "We want everyone to know all they can about the needlework world." If you are in Spring, Texas, stop by to pick up your Kreinik threads, embellishments, and other needlework goodies. Live elsewhere? They also do mail order, sell on their web site, and on www.kreinikmall.com.


STORE SPOTLIGHT:


3 Stitches

Location 7822 Louetta Road, Spring, TX 77379 USA

Phone: 281-320-0133

Web site: www.3stitches.com

Email: 3stitches@3stitches.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/3-Stitches/126656676956


Pamela Brazell, owner



Q: What is the story behind your store’s name?

PAM: "3 Stitches" refers to 1. work, 2. hands, and 3. heart. You give of your hands and work with your heart to do needlework.


Q: How long have you had the shop?

PAM: 17 years.


Q: Do you have a shop specialty? The photos on your web site show lots of cross stitch and needlepoint designs.

PAM: We focus on needle arts including cross stitch, Hardanger, needlepoint, silk ribbon, pulled and drawn threads, and embellishment classes.


Q: Tell us about some of your staff. Who would we meet when we come into the store?

PAM: Come and meet the "SAPS" of 3 Stitches – that is, the Stitching Aide Problem Solvers. They will greet you with a friendly hello and welcome you into Stoneyville. Stoneyville is what the inside of the shop is called because Stoney (a grey mouse with big red ears) sits on the bench above the cabinets behind the 20-foot counter. He is the chief and boss of the store. Should you have any problems he is always here to talk to you as the SAPS are busy working.



Q: Which Kreinik threads do you carry?

PAM: Nearly all of them. The ones we don’t carry we will be happy to order for our customers.


Q: Do you also sell online, or through mail order for stitchers who may not be able to get to the shop, or don't live nearby?

PAM: People can buy from our shop online through our website, mail orders, phone calls, and emails. We also participate in Kreinik’s online mall, www.kreinikmall.com.


Q: Do you have classes or special events in your store?

PAM: We have in-store classes normally on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings. Special events include any event we can think of. We did an Olympic event in the shop with hoops for basketball goals with beads and threads. Saturday, October 1 we are having a Tucson Night. Buy a special glass that was made for the shop and receive a glass of wine. We will be learning how to stitch a Tucson theme chart which includes numerous colors of threads. Where do we start, what color comes next and why, etc. Great fun for all on a Saturday night! We always have one-on-one classes. We want everyone to know all they can about the needlework world.


Q: Has anyone famous ever visited your store?

PAM: One of our famous people who has been in the shop is Doug Kreinik. Unfortunately we did not take a picture of him and Rebecca Maron who won first prize in a Kreinik ornament contest. Rebecca (Becky) started working in the shop when she was 17 years old and in high school. Shondra Boring who is an actress with the Arts of Houston Shows is a stitcher. Numerous cross stitch designers have taught classes in the shop. The shop was also featured in the Houston Newsletter under the Sports Section asking my opinion of sports with needlework.


Q: Here at Kreinik, we love to talk about food and restaurants. Is there a good place to eat near the store?

PAM: A great Mexican restaurant near the shop is La Maria’s. It is a family-owned business with good food. If you are in the area, just call 281-376-3739 and order.


Q: What is the best part about being involved in the needlework world?

PAM: Being in the needlework business is a great opportunity to meet some of the kindest, most thoughtful people who enjoy the love of the industry. Playing in the threads and pretending to create the design is very rewarding too.


Tidbits about Spring, Texas: Jim Parsons, the actor who plays Sheldon Cooper on the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory, graduated from high school in Spring. He is one of several actors from the town. MLB player Josh Beckett is also from Spring (source: wikipedia). The town got its name in the 1870s when railroad workers from the north arrived in the area; it was springtime and they were just so excited that winter was over (source: www.oldtownspring.com) they named the town Camp Spring.


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Which needle should I use?

Recently emailed question: “What needle I should use for hand embroidery on quilting cottons using a #4 Metallic Braid and #8 Metallic Braid?”

Needle selection is a major contributor to your happiness factor, whether you are hand or machine stitching. Using an incorrect needle will cause a thread to fray, knot, and otherwise misbehave. Many of the problems people have with thread can be solved by needle selection. The problem isn't necessarily the thread, but rather a too-thin needle, a needle with a bad eye, a needle with a too-small eye, or something similar. So "which needle should I use" is a great question.

The Education section on www.kreinik.com features an article about the best needle size for each Kreinik thread in cross stitch and needlepoint (click here for that chart: http://www.kreinik.com/shops/Needle-Selection-Chart.html, but we didn't have a chart for those of you doing embroidery, crazy quilting, or quilting on cotton fabrics. So we asked crazy quilt expert Allison Aller to list which needles she uses with Kreinik threads on cotton quilting fabric. Keep this chart handy:

Needle Sizes to use with Kreinik Metallic Threads

Allie says: As a rule, I use needles with eyes that are larger and shafts a bit thicker than might be needed for regular threads. Because these are metallics, I don’t want any tension to stretch the thread or too small an eye to cause them to fray as I am stitching with them. This also makes for easy threading — you don’t want a fight when you are threading up.

  1. Kreinik Cord—is very fine, but still I use a #8 Embroidery needle. I don’t want any tension to stretch the thread or cause it to fray, so I use a slightly bigger needle than I normally would for this weight of thread.
  2. Kreinik Very Fine #4 Braid: #22 Chenille. Again, the eye is larger than needed but the shaft of the needle makes a large enough hole that there is no resistance to the thread. This size needle is easy to thread as well—you don’t want to fight that.
  3. Kreinik Fine #8 Braid: #20 Chenille is good for this size.
  4. Kreinik Tapestry #12 Braid: 18 Chenille
  5. Kreinik Medium #16 Braid: #18 Chenille
  6. Kreinik 1/16” ribbon: I like a #18 Chenille or Darner.
  7. Kreinik 1/8” ribbon: #14 Chenille or Darner
Your goal is to have a clean (not rusty), fully operational (no burrs in the eye) needle with an eye large enough to accommodate the thread, but not too large that it creates too big of a hole in your fabric. Experiment on your own pairing Crewel needles, Tapestry needles, Chenille needles, and Darner needles with Kreinik threads and your chosen fabrics to find the perfect fit. For a helpful chart showing the difference between these needles, visit www.colonialneedle.com/html/about-needles.html

For more info on Allison Aller, visit her blog at http://alliesinstitches.blogspot.com/ or check out her new book from C&T Publishing "Allie Aller's Crazy Quilting: Modern Piecing & Embellishing Techniques for Joyful Stitching."

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What I Did On My Summer Vacation

After my wife Myla came back from a quick California trip where she was helping with preparations for our daughter’s upcoming wedding, we took a little “spa-cation” to Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. This spa town of 500 people is the oldest spa in the US. When folklore says George Washington slept somewhere, well, here he actually did. There is even a “George Washington bathtub” on the park property.

We enjoyed massage and acupuncture at a spa in Berkeley Springs. My back has hurt for years from an injury received during my retailing days. We went to Awakening where Lin Wang, a Chinese medicine doctor, needled me over a two-day period. This acupuncture, mixed with massage, made me feel like Jello. I was rather relaxed.

On this mini vacation, we took our dogs with us for the first time. Sophie and Tucker were well behaved, slept on the bed at night and walked more than they have ever walked. Tucker, the Shih Tzu, would simply stop and sit down while walking, for he tires easily. Apparently, he likes to be carried.

The next town we visited was Shepherdstown, West Virginia, which is along the Potomac River. We found it to be very dog friendly and charming. Shopowners invited us into their stores and even outdoor restaurants with the dogs. One of my favorite restaurants was the Blue Moon Café where we sat outside and listened to a very fast moving stream running through the center of the garden. Amazingly, the dogs did not bark at the other dogs and cats who were also visiting the garden. We were all very relaxed in the refreshing setting.

Every summer in Shepherdstown, which by the way is the home of the first steamboat, there is a theatre festival along with arts and craft exhibits with potters, jewelry makers, wood workers, painters and weavers. For history buffs, it is just a few miles from Harpers Ferry, Antietam, and the C & O canal. We plan to go back in the future to explore this Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. For now, it’s back to work for a few weeks, and then our daughter’s wedding in August. Summer certainly is for travel, fun and family.

By Doug Kreinik

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What is a Japan Thread?

We recently introduced four fabulous new colors in Kreinik Japan #7 thread. That prompted a few questions, such as: What is a Japan Thread, and how do you use it?

A Japan Thread is a gimp, meaning a wrapped thread. Historically, Japan Threads began with gold, silver and copper pounded down to a thin leaf, then wrapped around a core fiber and couched on fabric for surface embroidery embellishment. Today Kreinik makes Japan Threads that have a percentage of real metal in them, but are primarily synthetic so that they are long-lasting, non-tarnishing, inexpensive, and easy to use. They have a beautiful, bold, bright finish that resembles real metal.

How do you use a Japan Thread? Since it is a wrapped thread, needleworkers couch it onto a fabric or canvas rather than stitch in and out of the ground material. Couch with a coordinating color of very thin Cord, filament, or Japan #1 size. For interest, couch with a contrasting color of silk thread; just think of the beautiful patterns you can create.

You can also use Japan Threads for other techniques as well, such as cord making, tassel making, crochet and knitting (as a carry along thread), temari, Japanese embroidery, and crazy quilting. We asked our friends on the Kreinik Facebook page what they would do with Japan thread, and here are their creative ideas:

  • Barbara V: I love adding Japan thread to my crochet yarn for that subtle sparkle. Though other times I do a surface crocheted slip stitch to add some glitz when the piece is almost finished.
  • Beth V: I love these colors for my canvas work!
  • Suzanne W: I think these would be awesome in a halloween needlepoint!
  • Cindy W: Love adding color and sparkle to my cross stitch pieces.
  • Carleen M: They would make spring flowers sparkle in an embroidery project!
  • DeAnn C: Ribbon Candy Stripes!!!!
  • Heather S: use it for sparkle in my fantasy cross stitch of my dragon
  • Erica K: I've got a Japanese kimono needlepoint canvas that is just dying for a fibre like that.....
  • Terri P: Definitely would use in a modern-styled personal sampler -- to add both drama and light to the story of my life!
  • Robin B: accents in crazy quilting embroidery!
  • Julie O: I'd like to use it as an accent in both my crochet and cross stitch. It would be gorgeous used to accent a pair of my daughter's capri's too!
  • Linda K: Beautiful colors...look delicious, would use in canvas embroidery. Am designing my own these days and would love to try them in my newest floral design.
  • Jane W: I would use some of the colors in a border. Wouldn't that be a marvelous finishing touch?
  • Carol Y: I've got an abstract needlepoint canvas awaiting just this type of thread! Love them! Want to stitch with them!
  • Lynn M: I would use it to enhance my stitching
  • Alessandra D: I would use it to illuminate my embroidery
  • Doris D: I would blend floss and/or replace floss with Japan Threads to make my stitching projects stand out!!
  • Connie T: I would use it with my cross stitching to give the piece some dazzel.
  • Cheryl S: I would use these threads on my Christmas ornaments that I needlepoint to give them that extra pizzazz. I have in fact already used the Kreinik Japan Gold in several of my ornaments and would really enjoy using other Kreinik Japan's bright colors in my needle pointing.
  • Bev F: My family calls my using Kreinik threads in all my cross stitch -- "bev-ing it" --Cause I like sparkle and shine.
  • Laura B: I would couch these threads to show off their true beauty, simply anchor them down in an ornate monogram for gifts to family and friends.
  • Dee C: I would highlight my stitches enhancing my project! I love using Kreinik!!!!!!!
We love the word "illuminate" to describe why you would use a metallic like Japan Thread in needlework; the beautiful color and metallic sheen adds so much interest to a project. Have fun and experiment with these threads.

To buy Japan Threads, visit your local needlework store, your favorite online store, or www.kreinikmall.com. Join us on Facebook to share ideas, photos, thread give-aways, and behind-the-scenes news from Kreinik. Click here to friend us on Facebook.

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Summer Vacay & Recipes

Beginning July 2, 2011 Kreinik will be closing its offices and manufacturing plant for a little summer rest and relaxation. We will re-open on July 11, 2011. Here's a couple of Doug Kreinik's favorite recipes to try during your 4th of July holiday.

Marconi and Cheese

I do not eat milk products anymore, but my kids, and they are grown, love this when they visit. They now even make it in their homes. I begin with a basic white sauce using a double boiler.

You will need the following ingredients:

  • Unsalted Butter (3 tbsp)
  • Flour (2 tbsp)
  • Half and Half (2 cups)
  • Sharp Cheddar (8. 0z)
  • Paprika
  • Macaroni ( 8-10 .ozs)
  1. Melt - 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  2. Stir in - 2 level tbsp of flour
  3. Blend well over low heat
  4. Stir in slowly 2 cups of half and half and stir constantly
  5. Bring to a slow boil and continue to boil constantly stirring. This creamy white sauce should be thick and smooth.
  6. Add 1 chopped up brick of Sharp Cheddar ( My kids like the sharpest possible selection)
  7. Add a dash of paprika
  8. Cook Marconi noodles & drain
  9. Pour cheese sauce over noodles
Eat and totally enjoy.



Tangerine Meringue Pie

I love to experiment. I had heard that you could take any citrus and make a pie. I use premade pie crusts.

Pie Crust:

Bake a 9", premade pie crust and bake it until it is done

Pie filling (Mix in a double boiler):
  • 4 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 tbsp clarified butter (I cook out the milk solids)
  • 2 tbsp tangerine zest
  • ½ cup fresh tangerine juice
  • 1 ½ cups boiling water

Meringue
  • 3 egg whites
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • 6 cup sugar
  • ¼ tsp vanilla
  1. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until frothy.
  2. Beat in sugar, 1 tbsp at a time until stiff and glossy.
  3. Beat in vanilla. Do not under beat
  4. Pre-heat oven to 400F.

In Medium sauce pan:
  1. Mix sugar and cornstarch and gradually stir in water.
  2. Cook over medium heat, stir constantly until it thickens and boils for 1 min.
  3. Gradually stir in half of the hot mixture into egg yolks.
  4. Blend into hot mixture in pan
  5. Boil and stir 1 minute
  6. Remove from heat
  7. Stir thoroughly: Clarified butter, tangerine zest, tangerine juice and pour into baked pie shell
  8. Cover the pie with heaps of meringue making sure to carefully seal the edges.
  9. Bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes or until a light brown then cool.


Eat and enjoy.

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From stash to schools

With my dad’s passing, my mom has decided to look through her massive stashes of “stuff” and give things away. With a career in textiles, you can imagine the treasure trove she has collected. She used to teach clothing and couturier design at different universities, for example, so over the years she has purchased many different types of fabrics and trims.

Recently, I attended a meeting at the fashion school at West Virginia University. One of the professors mentioned that the students often have difficulty creating their projects due to the cost of fabrics. That comment sparked an idea, so I went home and told my mom about the conversation. We both agreed that mom’s textile treasures could find a new home with the university. Here was a win-win situation where my mom could give her stash of 70 years of wools, velvets, and even the first thermal fabrics developed by the Navy in the 1950s plus her collection of Vogue patterns to a place where they would be loved, treasured and used.


So we set up a meeting for the dean of the school to visit my mom and see her collection. After a lot of oohs and ahs, we filled up the van with bolts and pieces of fabric, a large box of patterns which would go into the school’s pattern library, and original issues of American Fabric Magazine which contain actual fabric swatches.


My mom felt great about this project. It was a big move for her to take, but felt that instead of fabric just being placed in a plastic bag and given away to a charity, this meant that students would be able to benefit from the wealth of information that she could still offer young people. An additional outcome was that the dean asked my mom if she would consider visiting the campus and having a conversation with the students on her history working in the textile industry during the 20th century. She is considering the idea.


If you have a family member who has a fabric, trim, or textile stash, or you have a stash that you are no longer using, think about universities or school programs that could use these items to help build skills for our children and young people, helping them grow into the future.


By Doug Kreinik

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News direct from thread maker Kreinik Mfg. Co., Inc., located in Parkersburg, West Virginia. Visit our factory outlet store when you are in the area; call for hours 1-800-537-2166.

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