Thursday, March 03, 2016

Ask Vonna & Spring has Sprung & The Market....

~ Greetings and Warm Welcome Friends ~
thank you for all the kind comments on my 
"Afternoon in Paris" 
that made my heart smile :)

We have an "Ask Vonna..." question today!
This question comes from Amanda Lowery and she asks:
"Hi Vonna, my question is this - when you are substituting over-dyes for DMC, do you have a chart for substitutions or do you just eye-ball it?" is how I do conversions from DMC floss to Over-dyes (or vice versa really....)

I have one of those old DMC floss card books...
the kind that has actual floss wrapped around the page inserts. They sadly, no longer make these, the only kind you can get are printed color cards, but since I've been a long time stitcher, I have one.
So I take this color book...


and let's say we are looking for an over-dye for green 731, I look at my color card to see what green color it is, then I go through my Over-dye collection and pull random greens by eye-balling what I think looks close to the green I'm going for. I lay it on the card to match. 


I realize that many people are probably saying PHOOEY! I don't have one of those cards!
Well never fear! I also do it this way and you can too!

Now remember I am a hoarder stitch enthusiast and I have a very large collection of all three of the leading over-dye company's threads. You will remember from THIS POST how I organize and store my over-dyed threads. Many people may not see the positivity to storing your thread like this, but when you are doing a conversion, it sure is a positive thing because my threads are all hanging straight and I can visibly see each skein and the color it is by easily sliding my files of threads.


So we are going to do a conversion...
the pattern calls for DMC 356 which is a rusty/Terra cotta color.
I have my three boxes lined up and I quickly sort through each box pulling off to the side the colors that are rusty/terra cotta color. (SEE THEM HANGING OUT ABOVE?!)

Then I go through with my carded DMC 356 and lay it right on the skein. 
Is it GAST Copper...
no, that's a little too pink.

Is it GAST Woodrose...
nope that's a little too brown.


Is it WDW Shiny Copper?
Not bad...a little dark...but close...I'm going to leave that hanging out for final selection.


Is it Classic Colorworks Persimmon?
Nope too pink.

Is it Classic Colorworks Clay Pot?
Hmmm...not bad I'm going to leave that hanging out too.


Then I go to the pattern calling for DMC 356. I look at the pattern picture, and I'll also search on google images for a picture of a stitched piece that maybe a stitcher uploaded to a blog, etc.
I look to see which of the two skeins I have chosen as possible maybes work best...
Would a pinker variety look good?...
would a more orange coppery look good?....
do I need to start all over?....
do I need to stay with DMC 356?...

Sometimes if I don't find exact color matches, I will pull what I think best suits for ALL of the colors that I'm converting for a piece. And I lay them out and I look at them together. 
Do they work?
Then I'll again look at the photo of the pattern and ones that I've found online.
Do I like the way my palette that I've chosen matches up?

Sometimes I switch things in and out based on that...
Sometimes I don't....

It also depends on the look that I'm wanting to achieve for my piece. 
For instance. If the over-dye is not heavily mottled or variegated then, I sometimes will stay with the DMC. Typically I want a variegated look if I'm going to use an over-dye. Or I want an aged, worn look, therefore a heavily variegated skein color is what I want.

I hope this helps you Amanda and any other stitcher out there that is wanting to know how to get started in building their over-dye collection and converting DMC palettes into over-dye palettes (or vice versa). 

There ARE some files of lists of DMC to Gentle Arts to Classic Colorworks to Weeks Dye Works that people have created and shared on the Internet. Just google "DMC to.....(whatever thread)" and you'll find them. 

Here is my very first DMC to Over-dye Conversion that I did. I used a mix of all three company threads: GAST, WDW and CCW

This is "Thomas" by Notforgotten Farm
stitched on 40 ct. Light Vintage Mocha
He's a goodie and makes me smile :)

Thomas by Notforgotten Farm

Thank you Amanda for your question!
If any other stitchers out there in Internet land has a question, click on "Ask Vonna..." on the tabs above and leave a comment with your question and we'll see what we can do!

Spring has sprung in my house....

Tulips and Eggs Dining Room Wheelbarrow The Urn The Living Room Stairway Sping Frames Stockings on the Pie Safe

It makes me smile :)
even though it's cold and rainy/icy outside today...

Now Let's talk Nashville TNNA Market!
What's on your list? 
You got any must haves?

I was going to be strong...
I was NOT going to fall into the trap...
I have a whole, entire Needlework shop in my basement.
But...if this is the worst thing in the world, then so be it. I'll be a hoarder stitch enthusiast with the biggest hoard collection. 

My list is:
Miss Kelly's Needlework School Repro from Lindsay Lane Designs 
(this was the first one to ding my bells and whistles) and I've looked at her blog post about it about 50 (million) times. I adore everything about it. 
Liberty Welcome from Plum Street Samplers
(I have all the other welcomes languishing excitedly waiting their turn, three makes a collection so there you go, have to have it!)
Little House Needleworks Exclusive
Classic Colorworks Exclusive pattern and three new threads.

That was going to be it. I was smug. I was patting myself on the back. I was going to make it through NASHVILLE MARKET with spending less than $100 bucks. It was perfect. 
Then Brenda Gervais posted her offerings at With Thy Needle and Thread.

I struggled.
I was firm.
I begin to tremble.
I wasn't going to look.
Then I did.
And I caved.

So I frantically sent a FB text to my LNS owner saying: 
PUH-LEASE add the following:

With Thy Needle and Thread's: Gilmour House Sewing Tray (The Gilmour Bros were from INDIANA - I had to have that, I'm a natural born Hoosier and lover of my home state!) Brenda was right,  A Weaver's Work is the perfect compliment to Gilmour add that to my list.Then how can I deny those sweet birds in a nest...all I have to do is move Miss Robin over and add another baby head peeking out and I have my four babies in the nest, so please add: Where Hearts RestAnd that darling Good Deeds Live Long..that's like my life motto!! Can't do without that...And wouldn't that sweet...Needle and Thread look fabulous with my other themed stitches hanging on my wall? And that a Red Bird Fraktur? And you know my love for Frakturs...Then I sneaked a peek at Scarlett House's offerings...and well....

"Oh Honey, I love you!...what credit card bill...that must be a mistake!"

I'm worth it. That's what I'm saying and I'm sticking to it ;)

Until next time.... I'll be...
Keeping my hands to work,
and my heart to God...
while treating my neighbor with love, kindness and respect
~ because you just never know what they are dealing with, do you? ~and trying to be the best ME I can be.
It's hard, trying to do this...
every day.
And Lord knows, I fail, time and time again...
I may stumble and I fall...
but then I remember:
To thine own self be true...
I want to BE the change I want to SEEin this old world.
I pick myself up and I march on!
Because there is joy in my journey...
and there is joy in yours...
We are blessed!
Love and Hugs in stitches,
Vonna xxxx


  1. Your stitching is, of course, gorgeous, and your tutorial is wonderful, Vonna! I just love the way you decorate your house. It looks like you - so perfectly well put together!!

  2. I caved too. Silly but couldn't help myself. Good guidance for anyone wanting to convert floss. I feel so lucky to have one of the actual thread DMC cards! Love your decorations but that pie safe gets me everytime. Love, love, love it!

  3. Your home looks warm and inviting dressed in its spring-time finery, Vonna. I, too, have one of the actual floss DMC cards and so thankful for it. It has definitely helped figuring out color changes.

  4. Vonna, you can still get DMC floss cards with actual floss, current through 2009.

  5. Great post Vonna! I love doing my own conversions and find it so helpful having one of those DMC colour charts containing the actual thread samples. Failing that, like you, I just eyeball it and go for the overall look for the piece as a whole. So many gorgeous new releases at Nashville, I can't wait to see your final haul! Top of my list is French Woolens by Plum Street Samplers, but the list carries on for quite a bit after that lol!

  6. Oh Miss Vonna, you just make me laugh. We stitchers are a weak bunch, aren't we? I vow to not buy anything else (at least for a while) but . . . Something just catches my eye that I have to have. Ah well, there are worse things ...

    Your stitching is beautiful and your home looks so lovely, cozy and charming. Thank you so much for sharing these Happy Spring (almost) pix with us.

    xo.- Barb R.

  7. I love reading your blog, just thought you should know. It's always so informative and pretty! It makes me want to go home and break out the cross stitch! I am so jealous you have one of those old DMC color cards. My mom had one but when she passed away my sister-in-law nabbed it. I need to organize my threads the way you do, that's so awesome!

  8. Thank you for the tutorial. Goodness, you are an organized stitcher. Your house is so pretty decorated for spring.

  9. Great explanation. I find that no matter what I pick when I'm changing colors that I'm in for a lot of frogging later. Seems like the way the colors show after stitching may look a lot different from a floss toss before stitching. Occupational hazard I guess.

    You deserve to get the new patterns. After all, you are the trend-setter!

  10. He He He I had the same plan when I started making my Nashville Market shopping list and then I started looking at sneak peeks and the list grew and it grew and I think it is still growing

  11. Vonna: Thank-you for sharing your beautiful decorating pictures so sweet.
    Love the way you choose an Over Dye thread from DMC, sounds so easy and simple even I can do it.
    I love your Thomas Turkey he is adorable.

  12. I had to laugh about your determination not to buy anything from this market. I was the same but then I saw Liberty Welcome and realized I needed to complete my "collection." There are now seven other items on my list. year we'll both do better.

  13. Brenda Gervais's chart totally blew my budget out of the water. I MUST have that Red Bird Fraktur... and a couple more of hers and there was one by Niky Creations and darn...where is that list I made. Oh well... it is cheaper than therapy and I have something to show for it when I get done.

    Your house looks lovely...fresh and Spring-y! Here's hoping the Spring weather isn't far behind. hugs!

  14. Thanks for that great advice. It is always a challenge for me. Ok, here is how I deal with the stitching bills. My sweet DH loves to read and he never thinks ahead to go to the library. So every so often I suggest we go to the book store and I encourage him to buy a nice new book by one of his many loved authors. It works all the time!

  15. Enjoyed seeing your spring decorating. How you ever manage to have an immaculate house with three kids at home and you working full time - you truly are Wonder Woman! Oh yes, I've found several Nashville items that I need!

  16. You are so organised! I don't own anywhere near that number of threads, but I do have a lot of fabric for quilting. I'm waiting to see the new Indigo pattern from Northern Expressions Needlework. It's going to be released at the Nashville market.

  17. Hi Vonna, I'm Fiore from Italia. I always read your posts with great interest. I only wanted to say to everyone who interests that here in Europe you can easily find DMC floss card book. Contact me if someone needs to know where.

  18. Your home looks so beautiful Vonna with its spring decorations. I don't know how you do it either! I'm in the UK and had never heard of Nashville Market before I started reading American blogs. I suppose the designs might filter through to us here eventually!

  19. You have a great system for converting. I google DMC to..., then I eyeball it.
    Your home looks lovely.
    Thank you for your prayers. God is listening.

  20. Happy Spring !! I always enjoy seeing your house decorations, so lovely.
    Thanks for sharing how you match your thread colors, you have the best ideas and suggestions.
    Go for it with all the new stitching are worth it and I'm sure your sweet hubby just smiles.

  21. I always love your tutorials and seeing your organization techniques. I really need to do this with my threads! I just need to find some time! I know what you mean about the Nashville Market. I was going to try to get by without an order this year. HA! When will I learn!!!

  22. I like the spring theme in your home. You have a great selection of items to look forward to after Nashville Market.

  23. I echo everyone's sentiments in that your home looks so lovely and inviting Vonna!

  24. Spring has sprung at the Pfeiffer home. I, too, am one of the lucky ones to have an actual thread chart. I find myself going the other way, from overdyes to DMC. Most designers add a DMC conversion in their chart. If I don't have the overdye thread I pull the DMC conversion noted in the chart. Depending on the where a thread is used I decide if I want to use DMC. If it is a house I'll get the overdye. If it is the chimney DMC will do.
    Oh, so many new charts coming from our favorite designers. Forget the new shoes......let's go needlework shopping!

  25. I just might have to go to Market Night at my LNS next week... cause I liked so many designs that I have seen previewed. But... I have so much already!! Oh the struggle!! Your explanation of converting threads was very good. Hugs!

  26. Love your Spring décor. Always like to hear your answers as they are thorough and so enjoyable to read. Have a good weekend.

  27. Those real thread shade cards are the best. It's such a shame they stopped making them

  28. Great post!! I was so with you all the way on trying to not cave in to the new patterns! Your list pretty much made my list too; it's nice to be in such good company!! LOL

  29. Vonna, I loved reading how you convert DMC to overdyeds. So interesting! And helpful! I still don't have the confidence to do it myself, but if I ever try, I know where to look! As for market -- I really need to resist!!! But I agree on Liberty Welcome from PSS -- I have Yuletide Welcome stitched at least. And there are one or two Scarlett House pieces I love. Plus WTNT. Plus..... Oh I need to be good!!!!

  30. Such a helpful post on choosing the threads. Thank you for sharing this. Your home is so beautiful! I love all your Spring touches!

    Blessings - Julie

  31. Oh, you're so lucky to have a DMC card with the actual threads, Vonna. I've thought about trying to make my own, but it seems rather daunting! Very interesting post and your home is looking great with your spring stitching and decorating. I got some of mine out yesterday--what a breath of fresh air :) Happy Sunday to you!

  32. An EGA guild member suggested I check out your site as I've been hosting some flat fold classes recently (and I see that you finish in a similar manner to my technique.) I was just reading your post about the DMC card with actual threads. I purchased one from the DMC site a little over a year ago. I just checked and they are still selling them. Here's the link:

  33. Love the explanation on converting DMC to overdyed thread! I am lucky to have one of the DMC cards with the threads too. Use it all the time!
    We share the same market addiction, I caved too and bought many of the same patterns as you. I loved Miss Kelly's School Sampler. It's right up there as a new start. I shouldn't have been so bad with my "clicky" finger but how could I resist!

  34. Oh Vonna, what a super fun post! You made me smile when you spoke of your love of Hoosier country. I have to agree. High five, girlfriend!

  35. Great explanation on the overdyed threads. I do something similar now that I've implemented your storage system, although most of mine fit in one file box. :) Nice photos of your spring conversion too!

  36. Seasons in your house always make me smile. I always work with DMC colors, sometimes with Anchor. No way I will find in Portugal those lovely different brands of skeins. So I stick to what is asked for the scheme. Hugs

  37. Hi Vonna, Love your post and information. I just wanted to let you and anyone else know that you can still get the DMC color cards with actual floss on it here. It's worth it.

  38. Love your idea for personalizing "Nest" by Brenda Gervais!
    Thank you for your explanation on thread conversions. Fascinating how much there is to explore in needlework! Endless variations!
    I am in love with so many of the Nashville releases. Everything WTNT. Gorgeous reproductions! Had to have Emeline Vanderbelt by Queenstown and Sarah Podd by Not Forgotten Samplers. Already ordered Gigi's Sarah Esther Beeston. Too much to love!

  39. Thanks for that explanation of how to convert DMC colors to an overdyed collection. So happy I found your blog!

  40. I too am one of the lucky ones…I have the DMC color guide with the actual threads! Yahoo. You are so helpful and generous with all that you know AND you are beyond organized. :-)

    I always enjoy your seasonal house tours ~ Spring is looking good at your house.

    RE: Market…I have been good. The trick is NOT to look! Hahaha

  41. I'm like you - I never need to buy another thing but .....
    I deserve to have a few needful things right ! I'll have to rush right out and check out your choices - they were different from mine. I did love that Liberty piece by PSS but I *DID* resist - for now anyway. Your method of doing a conversion is very interesting. Of course there is no way you can attempt it if you have NO organization in your house. Enjoyed the post as always - Mel


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