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Round Robin Design Notes (2).png

"They aren't sponsoring me, but it would be really nice if they did!"

Here is an organized selection of my preferred supplies, tools, and where I get them from. If you've ever wondered what beading needles I would tell you to get this is the place to find out!

Shopping links are in italic for ease. I live in the United States and so the shopping links reflect that, but most brands should be available.

Thread - Cotton
My main thread line, and the palette I use for my pattern creation, is DMC. I've found DMC comes in the best selection and is very consistent with their dye lots. I find they are color fast and only the oldest skeins from my aunt's 80s thread boxes run.


DMC is also the brand I go to when converting from "kit colors", such as when a company has specially dyed thread for the pattern. DMC can almost always mimic those. Most of my experience comes with DMC's 6 strand embroidery cotton floss. I can't really speak to their other thread weight, pearl cotton.

I find that 123stitch has the most affordable and consistent selection.

If you do any sort of color conversion or pattern design yourself I recommend picking up a DMC color card book. You can find both printed color cards and real thread cards.

Thread - Metallic

As much as I enjoy and celebrate DMC's cotton line, I do not recommend their metallic threads. They do come in a nice color selection but they fray, twist, and break far too easily. Some of my older patterns incorporate them and they are an affordable choice. Instead, I prefer to work with Kreinik. Not all Kreinik is created equally! Even within their metallic braid line some flow through the fabric much easier than others.


Kreinik also comes in multiple thread weights and not all colors are made in all weights which can make things a little tricky. This does, however, lend to the strength that they have over DMC: the braid is what you use as it comes off the spool, without splitting it, so if you want more/thicker stitches it's better to go the next size up. Two strands of #4 braid will just about equal a single strand of #8.

I also love the overdyed Kreinik metallics from Threadworx. There's some extremely unique colors there, and are often softer than Kreinik starts out as.

DMC has a semi-metallic, semi-cotton line called Etoile. I love the Etoile line - it's a very subtle sparkle and is much sturdier than their normal metallics. It's comparable to one strand of DMC cotton and Kreinik blending filament, but you don't need to do the blending. The color range is limited but worth it for areas where a little bling goes a long way.

I find that 123stitch has the most affordable and consistent selection.

Again, if you do any color conversions or pattern design I recommend picking up a Kreinik color card. The real thread card comes with a printed reference.

Thread - Luster

DMC's "satin" line is made from 100% rayon. Rayon used to be the name of the line and you can see that in the remnants (and confusion). In the Rayon line you would have seen 30310, now in Satin it's S310. This causes some confusion with my patterns as my program is old enough to still remember them as Rayon.

DMC Satin is very shiny but extremely limited in palette. It frays very easily and once it starts fraying the shine dulls. Some people have found running it through a conditioner first helps, but I find this dulls the shine anyway so I don't do it. (Perhaps I am using the conditioner wrong?) Generally a single strand will provide the same coverage as two strands of cotton, as the satin "puffs" slightly. (Though if you are working on larger counts this may become less noticeable.)

Kreinik Silk threads are not as shiny as DMC Satin but they come in a much wider range of color and still have a nice shine to them that cotton doesn't. As with Kreinik's metallic braids, their silk comes in multiple weights. I find that two strands of Silk Mori gives me about the same coverage as one strand of DMC Satin on 18 count fabric. The Milkpaint colors are a subset for the Mori thread line - the Milkpaint is just a special color palette.

I find that 123stitch has the most affordable and consistent selection.

Thread - Specialty

Kreinik, of course, does a lot more than just silk and metallic braids. Most of these specialty items aren't used in my patterns but there's absolutely a time and place for their various sizes of ribbon, sequins, fuzzy chenille, wire thread, iron ons, and so much more.

The first "specialty" thread I ran into outside of Kreinik were Caron Watercolors. From the touch I think these are likely comparable to DMC pearl cotton, and their website says similarly. Since then I've only used Caron's Snow line and it was an absolute delight! Such a soft, sparkly thread!

When I was doing Brazilian Embroidery I worked exclusively with EdMar rayon thread. It comes in different weights and each size is recommended a specific size needle to go with it. These threads are very shiny and are great to use for bullion knots and other types of embroidery stitches. If you were going to use them with cross stitch I would recommend the Iris or Frost sizes, with Frost giving your stitches a lot more texture.

My usual stop to hunt for specialties is through Rainbow Gallery. They have a huge selection of finishes, textures, and sizes. Some of them melt under the iron!! I don't know which ribbon I was using but it definitely melted when I went to flatten the piece out and broke my heart! Their Very Velvet doesn't melt though and adds a very rich, deep color where added.

I find that 123stitch has the most affordable and consistent selection for Kreinik and Caron. I have only been able to consistently purchase EdMar and Rainbow Gallery threads through individual sellers via Etsy.



I'm pretty basic when it comes to fabric. I like 18 count and will make any excuse to make sure 18 count gets used. I'm fine working with plain white! And I'm an absolute sucker for fabric with glitter woven into it. (Is that a surprise?)

For my most basic ordinary choice I choose Zweigart. It's soft to the touch and holds up over time. They have a decent selection of sizes and colors and are usually where I head when doing a project for myself. I find that 123stitch has the most affordable and consistent selection.

When I have a lot of money to burn (and I really do emphasize the expense here), I like to look at the fabrics offered at Rogue Stitching. The two brands from them I like are Picture this Plus and Sunflower Printed Fabric. Both come in an absolutely huge variety and take ages to be delivered... but it's worth the wait. I've been happy with every piece that's arrived and love that you can order the fabric often in huge sizes.

I'll also give Grace Notes Fabrics a shout out here! They reached out to me last year and I'll be stitching Sandara's Holiday Dragons on a piece they sent to me. I've yet to do so but I can say on cursory examination that it looks high quality and I'm really happy with the neutral gray color.


I was a beader for many years but I'm aware most cross-stitchers are not and have no use for huge amounts of them! Thus, I've been sticking with what Mill Hill offers. I've recently partnered up with Wendy to offer even better accessibility for stitchers who don't need all the excess bead supply laying around. Why buy a Mill Hill pack of 500 beads if you only need 100? Wendy can send you the smaller amount and save you money and waste!

That said, Mill Hill sources from TOHO for the majority and Miyuki for their Magnificas. If you ever felt the desire to buy beads in bulk my favorite supplier is Simply Beads USA. I'm not entirely sure where Mill Hill sources their Treasure line from, but I'd guess it's either Swarovski or Preciosa. However, with Swarovski ending their hobby line I would not be surprised if some of the Treasure shapes become a little more difficult to find. I find that Fire Mountain Gems has the most affordable and consistent selection for Preciosa crystals.


I've spent most of my stitching life just using the needles that came with Dimensions kits. They're often blunt and don't stab me when I'm working. According to the internet, these are size 24, 26, or 28 tapestry needles. When I've occasionally bought replacements John James or DMC have done just fine, I have no complaints! (Though a lot more stabby, I often prefer embroidery needles over tapestry needles to make partial stitches easier.)

For beading though, I only have one choice - Mill Hill beading needles, #10 sharp short AND long. They're thin enough to slide through even size 15 beads (the petites) without any friction. No other beading needle has worked so consistently for me. They are sharp and so will stab, but the fine tip is needed.

I find that 123stitch has the most affordable and consistent selection.

For fancier stitches like bullion knots, a great deal of the work is actually done by your needle choice. The larger your needle the thicker the knot will be, and likewise the longer it is the more wraps you can do! EdMar's needles are my choice but I am biased since it's just what I used with their threads. Again, I've only been able to find them through individual sellers via Etsy.


My scissor collection has grown over time not just because of what I've been doing my whole life, but also because my friend Carla introduced me to novelty designs. You know the ones, where the handle is shaped like a stork or a unicorn or a flamingo! Or just has really pretty roses molded into the whole thing... I'm a sucker for it. Novelty scissors have blades that are often serviceable for long term use.

For my every day practical use I use a pink pair from Yarn Tree, via 123stitch. Um... because I needed a pink pair, of course. Curved or double curved blades on embroidery scissors can be tricky to use at first, but they're really nice for getting close to your fabric in hard to reach angles.

I don't have anything nice to say about snips / nippers / weird shaped handle strange types. They do not work well for embroidery and are better suited for trimming the dangly thread remains after serging your fabric. If it's easier for your hands then by all means use them, but I do not think the blades on any of the sets I've used have been comparable to normal embroidery scissors.

Frames and Hoops

Most of the time I just use the plastic hoops you can find at places like Walmart that are bright and colored based on size. Looking at 123stitch I think it's probably the Susan Bates Hoop-la that I've been using. Wood hoops are a lot prettier to use in the finishing stage but I generally don't use them when I'm actually stitching because they don't hold my fabric as tightly as I prefer.

Sometimes I use a "hoop holder", especially when my left wrist starts aching from long hours of holding the hoop on its own. My hoop holder was made by a Russian artist and I purchased it on Etsy, and it is sadly no longer available. It has a tension spot where I can temporarily (during use) attach it to the edge of my desk, and then multiple articulation points so I can spin it around and hold the hoop exactly where I need it to be. If you're looking for a hoop holder get one that suits how you stitch best - consider if you'd prefer it on top of the desk, resting on the floor, or set on your lap.

Frames, and by extension frame holders, can be more expensive than hoops but are really great for large pieces or when you're worried about the hoop leaving marks on the fabric. I use the "American Dream EZ Stitch Frame" which uses a velcro system on the edges of the fabric to keep it aligned. I find it easier to use than my much older frame that pinches the fabric between the wood and would end up warping the mid section. The downsides are that each project needs new velcro to be used, sometimes if the project takes too long the adhesive for the velcro can be a little weird, and you have to cut off the edge of the fabric when you're done (to discard the velcro). I bought mine on Amazon, but they are their own small business.

Lastly, you might enjoy adding a grime guard to your arsenal. There's lots of tutorials out there if you want to make your own, you could bother your friend with a sewing machine about it, or grab one off Etsy.


My favorite place to be is, well, my own Facebook Group. But of course my group is focused on my patterns and you might have much more general questions! For those I recommend r/CrossStitch over on Reddit. It's a huge community of people into the craft and many of them know more than I do about a lot of things. It hosts all skill levels so no matter where you're at on your project there's someone there who knows exactly how you're feeling. You can find me there too: u/pinkythepink of course!

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