Where silk threads play with color – The Thread Gatherer Interview
There are people who use embroidery threads and then there are people like Cecelia and her family who make the most stunning embroidery materials for people to use them. Luxurious silk ribbons and threads, linen, and a unique cotton base flat thread named sea grass are magically turned into pieces of art during the hand dying process. Enjoy the Thread Gatherer Interview:
Hi Cecelia, I’m glad to have you here! Could you give us a short introduction so my readers know who you are?
I am a 60+ year old lover of color, whether it be in thread, fabric or beads. I stitch (embroidery, cross stitch, wool applique), weave, quilt and dye with color being the driving force, followed by texture and design.
How did you find your way to embroidery? Did you learn it from a family member?
My first embroidery piece was at about age 9. It was a cross-stitched, embroidered sampler for a church project. I had spent many wonderful hours up to that time sitting at my paternal grandmother’s knee as she crocheted and did embroidery projects. I loved anything with a needle and thread.
You are in the yarn dyeing business for over 20 years now – that’s awesome! How did you decide to dye as a profession?
I originally learned to dye threads to use for weaving. I could never find ‘just the right color’ and dyeing it myself gave me the ability to have just what I wanted. I was working part time in a picture framing shop and I had a young baby – my youngest child. I wanted to spend more time at home and I decided that there was a needed ‘nitch’ i could fill in the cross stitch world by designing a line of linen thread that was hand–dyed. This was followed by a line of silk floss with matching silk ribbon that we still have to this day. The rest has been history as we have added new lines and always are adding new colors.
The Thread Gatherer is a family business now with your daughters and husband involved in the process. Which role does everybody play?
Everyone dyes, winds and tags threads as needed. My daughters and I all design colors now. We keep the husband pulling orders and running errands. The younger generation keeps us updated on all social media.
Which part of the dyeing process is your favorite and which materials do you like best?
Designing a new color is ever our favorite activity. Silk and linen are my favorite fibers, but silk wins I suppose as the most beautiful fiber in the world.
Let’s dive into the embroidery related things!
Many embroidery people are struggling with storing their embroidery threads. Considering you have huge amounts of threads in storage, would you share your thread storage system with us?
We have a warehouse situation for the business. Personaly I like to keep thread in color families on metal stationary rings where each color is in it’s own 3” x 3” bag. The rings are hung on hooks or pegs in my sewing room.
Do you have favorite embroidery stitches or techniques you enjoy doing over and over again?
I currently do allot of wool applique and my favorite stitch or technique is the bullion stitch with our Silken Pearl $5 thread.
Which embroidery project was the most challenging one you have ever encountered?
The one I haven’t yet started. . . .
There are so many embroidery techniques and materials out there. What would you love to try out one day that you haven’t done yet?
I want to hand dye some 40 ct linen and stitch a piece using all of our fibers and ribbons in one piece.
What piece of advice would you give to your younger self who has just started to embroider that you wish you had known back then?
Never be afraid to change colors in a pattern or design. Make it your own with your color choice.
Thank you for taking the time answering my questions! Where can we find you to see more of The Thread Gatherer?