Having owned and used the DMC Stitchbows for quite a few years now, I thought I'd give a little review, otherwise known as my thoughts on the system.
I first saw these on sewandso.co.uk, and immediately had to have them (even though I had to have them shipped across the pond). I have wound floss on bobbins for many years, and it seemed like the perfect solution to the ache that my shoulder develops after a session of winding new bobbins for a project. And for that, it is. It is very easy and quick to slide the paper tags off floss skeins and slip those skeins on the stitchbow holders. Then you just slip the paper tag with the number over the little tab that sticks out, and voila, you're done and on to the next one.
Storage can be a little tricky if you have a lot of them. When I got mine, they had stitchbow boxes that held 50 in each. The ones I got were pretty decent, though they were basically cardboard outer shells with thin plastic inserts. I think some people had problems with the stitchbows falling out when they opened the boxes, but it hasn't been a problem for me. Anyway, it appears that they discontinued them.
They also sold binder inserts which hold 15 of the stitchbows. I got several of these to use with projects. They work fine to hold the bows, but they are bulky, especially when you have a large project with multiple binder insert pages. Also, I still haven't figured out a good method for storing tweeded or blended flosses. With bobbins, it's no big deal, as you can wrap both pieces of floss around one bobbin and label it with the symbol (which is what I do - my project boxes for Teresa Wentzler designs are full of these). Not so easy with the bows.
Enter Pageant Kings, the project which brought about this little blog post. The binder I have to accommodate my floss on bows is pretty massive, with 7 binder inserts full of floss. This makes it unwieldy to begin with. When you add in the fact that I have to store my metallics separately, and there are about 20 blended symbols, it makes management of the project a little cumbersome and irritating, to put it mildly. That may a good part of the reason I haven't worked on it much, because it's such a hassle. So I've decided to fix that. Tomorrow I'm going to get a new floss box, several packages of bobbins, and I'm going to wind all of the floss for this project onto bobbins. And I'll have my 20 blended symbol bobbins. And that will make it easier to come back to this project, once I'm through working on it this round.
Now you may think that this means that I'm throwing out the stitchbows, but I believe they do have their place - in small projects that have 15 or fewer floss colors and no blended floss symbols. I am using them when I work on a Prairie Schooler ABC Quilt square. Each of those seems to use around 15 colors, so fitting the chart, fabric, and one binder insert into a bag (without the binder) is nice and tidy. But for the bigger projects with many more colors of DMC, I'll be sticking with my bobbins from now on.