Stitchqueries: Do You Still Recommend Silkweaver Fabrics?

This post was hard for me to write because I supported the original Silkweaver Fabrics so strongly, but here it is.

I noticed when you post photos of projects you mention that some of your fabric was “original Silkweavers” and I’ve seen so many ladies in Facebook groups complaining about not receiving orders and having issues with things. I was wondering do you still recommend Silkweaver as a fabric resource?

Original Silkweavers I never had a single problem with an order, they were fast, the fabric was amazing, and I even joined two fabric of the month clubs for long periods of time. They were once upon a time hands down my favorite fabric supplier, my stash was (and still is) made up of much of their beautifully created fabric, and I frequently recommended them here at Stitching the Night Away, on our old forums, and in the weekly newsletters.

Unfortunately it feels like since Zweigart bought them and took over, everything has gone down the drain and the customer service hasn’t been exactly nice. I think that maybe Zweigart was so used to selling prepackaged standard fabrics that they weren’t as prepared for the individual care and attention a hand-dyed product would need in the long term, so the Silkweaver brand has suffered.

I stopped ordering from them a few years ago after some poorly handled customer service and ordering issues that myself and some other stitching friends experienced with little to no response to service inquiries. While it’s my understanding that these issues are slowly improving, they’re certainly still not up to the amazing service level that the original brand had and I frequently see people wondering out loud in stitching groups if their orders will ever arrive or if they’ll get a response to their inquiry.

So, at the end of the day, while Zweigart still manufacturers excellent quality base fabric in mass production, I don’t necessarily recommend Silkweaver, especially if you’re looking to start a project right away. These days I have much better customer experiences buying my hand-dyed fabrics from small independent dyers, Etsy sellers, and small brands like Picture This Plus or Stephanie’s, and has some hand-dyed selections in their inventory as well. And for our UK friends, many of the stitchers I talk with highly recommend Polstitches.

I’m always on the lookout for new independent sellers as well, so if you happen to get your hands on some great fabric, let me know about it! Leave a comment below, email me, or share the info on Facebook.

Happy Stitching

Tips for Stitching on Black Fabric

Stitching on black fabrics can be eye-straining, frustrating, and down right difficult. All that said, why do we even do it? Because the results are always stunning and awe-worthy. Here are my tips and ideas for making the process less painful.

Tips for Stitching on Black Fabric (headline image)

Good Lighting, Quality Lighting, More Lighting!

The number one most important thing you can do when stitching on black (or any dark colors) is to have good quality light, and a lot of it. I’m not saying you have to rush off and buy an expensive Ott Light or anything, though they’re certainly nice to have.
[Read more…]

Stitchqueries: How Many Strands?

This question from Amy made me so happy, because I love it when stitchers try new things!

This is my first time stitching a project that isn’t from a kit, it’s also my first time using an evenweave fabric (28 count). The sampler pattern I’m using doesn’t specify how many strands of floss to use and I’m a little nervous about starting. How many strands do you recommend?

First of all, I just want to say YAYYYYYYY ~ seriously happy for you stepping out of the aida and kit comfort zone to try a new format, that’s awesome, I think you’re going to enjoy it.


So the number of strands generally depends on how much coverage you want from each stitch.

  • 1 strand gives thin coverage and can sometimes be used for minor fill details, like the sky or a background.
  • 2 strands seems to be the go-to number of strands for basic average coverage on most fabric counts.
  • 3 strands is for very full coverage and sometimes used to make things stand off the fabric more.
  • 4 strands is sometimes used in stamped cross stitch and on larger count fabrics where the X is a lot bigger and has more fabric to cover.

All that being said, you can use as many strands as you’d like. There is no right or wrong.
[Read more…]

Stitchqueries: Spot Cleaning Linen

stitching questionsThis week’s question came in the form of a lovely note I received in my email from Madeline. I won’t paste the whole note here, but her question was about spot cleaning linen …

What do you use on linen to spot clean it? I don’t intend to submerge the entire stitchery in water for fear of the colors running. What can I use to clean some of the soil that accumulated where the roll bars were? Is there something at Hobby Lobby that is specific to safely cleaning linen or do I just use very cold water with some Woolite and a little brush?

Any advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

Always a good question. We’ve talked about cleaning finished stitching here before and it’s always a good topic to discuss in regards to stitching because there are so many different options and everyone has their own preferred way of cleaning their finished pieces and washing away any stains that might have occurred during the project. [Read more…]

Stitchqueries: Can I Wash Finished Cross Stitching on Black Fabric?

stitching questionsThis week’s stitchqueries comes from Jolande about washing a finished piece of cross stitch…

I have stitched Girl With A Pearl Earring on Black Aïda. I would like to know if it is safe to wash my ‘masterpiece’ with detergent, before it will be framed.

Washing or not before you frame is up to you, some people always wash their finishes and some people never wash them.

There’s an article about what type of soaps and detergents to use here: Washing Your Finished Cross Stitch Piece. That might help a bit. [Read more…]

Looking for Cross Stitching Podcasts

This week’s Stitchquery comes from me! It’s my turn to ask you a question 😉

I love a good podcast. I was looking at my current subscriptions and I suddenly realized none of them are stitching related. I have business podcasts of all sorts, and a few fun podcasts, and a few geeky podcasts, but not a single cross stitch podcast in my listening file.

I went looking for some and I’m coming up with an empty basket here. [Read more…]

Stitchqueries: Does Floss Ever Become Too Old?

This week’s stitchquery comes from Mary about some old stash she has waiting in the wings.

I’ve been away from doing cross-stitch for some time and am wondering how old is too old when it comes to the quality of floss. I’ve had some of my floss stash since the early ’80’s, kept clean and dry in a plastic covered bin.

Should I just toss it and buy new?

Good question, Mary. In this case it sounds like the floss was well stored so my advice is to just dig in and enjoy it! As long as the floss hasn’t been damaged in any way by moths, moisture, or other elements of storage you’re all set. [Read more…]

Stitchqueries: Should I Avoid Cashel Linen?

This question came to my email from Lisa about stitching on Cashel Linen.

Hi, Loretta. When you were stitching your snowflake pattern you twice mentioned that Cashel was not your favorite fabric choice, but you were using it from your existing stash. I’m new to evenweave/linen stitching and mostly just curious if there is a reason you don’t like the Cashel fabrics and if maybe I should avoid them in my stitching projects?

Good question. It’s really just personal preference on my part.

While I’m happy to stitch on just about any evenweave or linen fabric, Cashel is probably among my least favorite. I just find it to be very thin and have too many uneven threads [Read more…]

Stitchqueries: Which Way Does the Hoop Go?

This question comes in from Sharon here on the blog and it’s a really good question!

I have a question about using the Q-snap or a hoop. Do you stitch on the top side of the fabric or the bottom as it lays in the frame? [fabric to hoop U shaped or inverted U shaped]

I started stitching on the bottom (U), because it was easier to anchor the threads on the back side, when that side was “on top.” My mother, however, thinks I’m doing it backwards. Just curious.

(I know that there is a right and a wrong side to some fabric, but what I’m talking about is the way it lays in the hoop. Is the right side of the fabric on top or down inside the hoop?)

People ask me about this all the time, usually when they see me stitching – because I do as Sharon describes when I’m using a hoop and snap it on in a way that most people would consider to be upside down. Here’s a picture to give you an idea… [Read more…]

Stitchqueries: Can I Use a Hoop to Stitch on Linen?

This question comes from Christine in our Facebook Community about stitching on linen.

I’m just getting back into stitching and want to try stitching on linen but I read that you don’t use a hoop when stitching on linen. Do you use a hoop?

First of all, always great to see someone getting back into stitching! 🙂

Yes, you can use a hoop, a Q-Snap, a scroll frame, etc, whatever you’re most comfortable with. [Read more…]

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