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Workbasket Essentials

Supplies and Notions for Embroidery

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These are some of the embroidery notions you will need to have in your workbasket, as well as other handy notions that are nice to have. You may already have some of them on-hand.

1. Embroidery Hoops in Varying Sizes

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Embroidery hoops are used to hold the embroidery fabric taunt as you work, which helps ensure properly-formed embroidery stitches. They can be round, oval or square and come in a variety of sizes. A lap frame, table stand or tambour frame is handy for keeping both hands free for stitching.

2. Scroll Frame

F.A. Edmunds Company

A scroll frame is handy for larger projects, as the excess fabric is rolled into the frame instead of sitting in your lap. To advance the fabric as you work, loosen the tension nuts and roll the bars to move the fabric, and then re-tighten the tension nuts.

3. Stretcher Bars

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Stretcher bars sare used to keep a canvas or embroidery fabric taunt in much the same way as embroidery hoops and scroll frames.

4. Thread Conditioner or Beeswax

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These products help to tame unruly threads by coating the thread with a lubricant.

5. Retractable Tool Keeper

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Keep your scissors or other embroidery tools close at hand by attaching a retractable tool keeper. The keeper can be clipped to your clothing so your scissors or tools are always close at hand.

Warning: If you need to put your embroidery down and run errands, there's a good chance you'll get all the way to the grocery store before you realize you're still wearing it.

6. Magnetic Pattern Holder

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A magnetic pattern holder keeps your embroidery pattern handy, while the magnifying bar makes it easier to see and count stitches as you work.

7. Laying Tools and Awls

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Laying tools are used to help make your satin and flat stitches stitches lie smoothly and awls are used to pierce fabric when working eyelets. They are also handy to have on hand when working drawn thread embroidery, as the pointed tips make it easy to lift a thread from the fabric.

8. Marking Pens and Pencils

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Use water soluble marking pens or pencils, or washable transfer paper, to mark your fabric with a temporary ink.

For a permanent line, use an iron-on heat transfer pencil and or ready-made iron-on transfers. Learn how to properly use heat transfer methods, see the tutorial.

9. Thread Keeper

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Keep project threads that have been cut to length neat and tidy by inserting them through the holes in a thread keeper. Secure them with a simple overhand knot. Pull a new strand from the top loop of the knot, keeping the remaining threads in place.

10. Temporary Canvases

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Waste Canvas and water soluble canvas are temporary canvases that are used to embroider a counted design on almost any fabric. 

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