Sunday, 22 April 2012

Variegated Threads

I originally posted my small gold cushion which I made using this pattern, a while ago.  But I thought I'd point out how using variegated embroidery threads can really add interest to a project like this  Also, I'm going to add a useful tip on coping with complicated and/or very detailed patterns.

For this sample, I chose a silk thread, from Oliver Twists, in blues.  (Cotton variegates by DMC and Anchor are widely available, though in fewer colour choices and I much prefer sewing with silk, anyway)  I think this thread gives an interesting 'chinese porcelain' effect.

The design itself is a form of counted thread work and consists solely of straight stitches.  That said, I found it a particularly challenging piece of work.  When I'm faced with something like that - complex, in one way or another, I resort to a technique I devised purely out of necessity.  If such patterns are presented in the form of a graph, then the threads are usually marked in tens by more heavy print.  I mark my piece of fabric in the centre, then mark out the same grid of tens, working from the centre marked on the pattern, using a very sharp 2B pencil.  It helps enormously in aiding concentration.  The pencil lines are easily removed by washing on completion.

If you click on the photograph to enlarge it, you can see on this, better than on the gold variation, how each 'flower' is different.  I embellished the centre of each with a tiny, opalescent sequin.

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