Practical Thread Magic

When I come to teach to a group, there's always a frantic rush of questions and concerns. I don't play with the same toys other quilters do. Though I talk about that at length in class, I thought it would be helpful to have that information available in a blog. So here we're going to discuss the nuts and bolts of the kind of thread work I love and teach. We'll discuss products, choices, threads, fabrics, tools, stabilizers and all the things that make my work work for me, and will help your work work for you.

If you have an upcoming class with me, you should know I bring almost all of the things I use for your needs. If you want to try something you've got, absolutely bring it. But if you're having trouble finding it, please don't stress. I'll have it there for you.

About Me

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Ellen Anne Eddy
Author of Thread Magic: The Enchanted World of Ellen Anne Eddy Fiber artist, author and teacher
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Would You Like To Have A Class With Ellen?

Ellen would be delighted to have a class with you or your group! You can check out her classes at She also offers independent studio time in her studio in Indiana. Talk to Ellen about classes at 219-921-0885, or contact her scheduler Melida at 405-735-3703 .to set a date
Saturday, February 26, 2011

In Search of Peacock Colors: Anatomy of a Color Study

Confessions of a color junkie. I get drunk periodically. Not on alcohol or ice tea or even ice water. But I do get drunk on color. Every so often I find myself swimming in a color combination that is just plain intoxicating. It hits me viscerally. Color is visual emotion. It's a language all its own.But just because I find a color combination exhilarating doesn't  mean I understand why.
Whenever I find a color combination I can't leave alone, I like to work with it until I understand it.I've always loved peacock colors. I don't necessarily feel like quilting a peacock at this time. But the colors.....
So I went in search of peacock colors. Dyeing fabric is one of the best ways to understand color. So I went out to dye some peacock colors.
Peacock colors have always mystified me a bit. They're an analogous range (a row of colors in a line) but there's something odd about it. When I charted it out on the color wheel it began to make sense.
That's when I find it's time to chart it out on the color wheel and to see why these colors do what they do. The color wheel is a family tree for color. It shows how colors are related to each other. The basic color is teal, with bright blues, purples and greens. But fooler is that olivey chartreuse  green. It's a dulled out  sun color in a range of clear cool colors. In another way, the contrast in the combination is the olive that leans towards the sun while all the other colors lean to the shade.
No wonder it's so exciting.

So this is what i dyed!

Mystery solved! I used an analogous range of procian dyes including turquoise, teal, robins egg, chartreuse, jade, cayman island green, and sun yellow. The chartreuse is the olivey contrasting sun color. I stalked the wild  peacock. Now those colors are mine!
 Don't be afraid to hunt for the big game: the fabulous colors that rock your world and move your furniture. Use them, chart them, put them where they can excite you and illuminate your world.

If you want to explore more of the world of sponge dyeing and how the color wheel works, check out my book, Ellen Anne Eddy's Dye Day Workbook. Not just a dye book, it explains why the colors do what 
they do together visually. It's available on my site at
Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Beadaliscious: Eye candy and puctuation

As addictions go, it started small. I worked in an antique mall for a while where there  were several people working in old Czech glass beads. I can ignore most gem beads. I can ignore crystal. But Czech glass can empty my pockets so fast it's like there's a hole. I made my fair share of necklaces and earrings and found myself way too involved quilting to play endlessly with beads.
But beads sneak in. They're so pretty. They're shiny. They're almost like candy without the calories. They also make fabulous details. When I did the embroidery for Tigrey Leads the Parade, almost all of the flowers in my gardens were great glass beads.
Where do they come from? I never pass on a bead shop, no matter where I'm traveling, but the bulk of these beads came from an amazing store that's literally down the street from me.
Blue Stem Beads. They're in my little town of Porter, but their collection is mighty and for the size, it's one of the best bead stores I ever saw. Almost all the beads for this book came from there.
These were hand stitched onto tea towels I embroidered. They were fabulous flowers and too much fun. You can see and purchase Tigrey Leads the Parade at my web site
You'll find Blue Stem Beads in Porter,Indiana (just an hour out of Chicago. It's an astonishment.
For the next few posts I'm going to talk about other cool and wonderful ways I've used beads and seen beads used in  quilting.
You'll find 

Blue Stem Beads at
300 Lincoln St # 1X

Porter, IN 46304-1894
(219) 926-9004


Essential Embroidery Stitches

Essential Embroidery Stitches
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