Sew and sew

Give Me a Chance, 2009, Gordana Brelih

I spent most of the day on the road today to see two shows before they closed: The Grand National and Threadworks. I’m so glad that I went… The work that these artists have created was more than just eye candy… it was food for the soul. At Grand National, I was lucky enough to catch up with Kathy Bissett, who was finishing final photography (having just arrived home from overseas only hours before!). At Threadworks, I virtually had the show to myself, as I was one of the last guests for the day. This meant that I got to spend time alone with the grand prize piece by Gordana BrelihThree Leaves. Gordana’s work is unlike anything I have seen in the fibre arts world. (Click through to the Threadworks catalog, page one to see this piece). She also won the curator’s choice award for her “Give Me a Chance” in the Grand National (pictured in part here… there are actually 3 pieces):


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But, I am also trying to catch up on my Thread Basics blogging duties. The first snippet of thread reviews is up with the posting of Coats and Clark, filed under Thread Basics (up on the blog navigation bar above).

Our book needed to remain fairly neutral when it came to discussing products, so Thread Basics  is where I would like to include my experiences with the threads in all their glory (complete with warts). I also hope to include a few tidbits that did not make it into the book.

I love thread… all thread. So, it is really hard to come out and say that one is far and away better than any other. I think that any thread that I can see at Quilt Market will be a good quality thread, and quality thread means less frustration. Less frustration means more sewing. In the end, the land of more sewing is where I (and you, no?) want to be.

So when it comes to evaluating threads, I do not think that I am looking for faults as much as I am looking for surprise discoveries. Coats and Clark was a surprise hidden in plain sight! It is one of those products that has been around forever, but maybe not thought of as much more than an ugly stepsister (okay… I sound cruel here, but there is a happy ending).  C & C has been a staple of sewing stores for years, but it tended to be hidden away in seams (stitched into seams). And then, there may have been a time when it was a less than ideal performer. The folks at C & C took that history to heart and went to work on improving their threads and their quality control in the development of their XP (‘xtra’ performance) line. Coats & Clark has turned into a Cinderella story with a refreshed product that offered consistent quality across a range of goods in a variety of weights. I was pleasantly surprised to find how much I enjoyed their matte finish polyeter for thread painting and more. (Have a look at the page to see more information.) C & C is a brand that is readily available to most sewers. But don’t let the household name fool you… I expected great things from the thread after speaking to the company, and it did not disappoint.

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In the end, no matter what the thread that you use,
the important thing is that you sew, and sew some more…

If it is what you love, that is what really feeds your soul the best.

I have to remind myself of this on a regular basis. But sometimes, the sewing mind needs to rest. That is when visiting shows can feed us (and fill the creative well- a key to continuing and growing in our work). Looking at the work of other artists is inspiring, soothing, maybe even intimidating. But looking at what you can do… that is when the threads can really sing.

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