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Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Do You Accentuate your Needlework?

 

There are some things in the World of Stitched Stuff that deserve to sparkle. The snowflake. The dragonfly’s wing. The treasure under the sea. And to get these things to sparkle, we can resort to all kinds of threads on the market – specialty threads abound today! Blending filament is one way to achieve sparkles in your embroidery, but … alas … most blending filaments are simply a pain to work with. They snap, they stretch, they shred. Well, the answer is simple – if you want sparklies, you should Accentuate!

Accentuate Thread for Hand Embroidery

Accentuate is the answer to the more difficult blending filaments on the market. It’s a fine 30 weight twist of thread made of 70% Polyamide / 30% Metallic Polyester, and it used to be called Madeira Supertwist.

Accentuate Thread for Hand Embroidery

The thread is a colored, semi-transparent thread accentuated with sparkles.

Accentuate Thread for Hand Embroidery

It comes in over 140 colors, so it can be fairly easily matched up with most color schemes in an embroidery project that requires a bit of shimmer and sparkle.

Accentuate Thread for Hand Embroidery

How about a snow scene with pale blues and silvers accentuating the falling and drifting snow? Or maybe a tropical ocean with blues and greens shimmering under the waves?

Accentuate Thread for Hand Embroidery

You can use Accentuate straight off the spool and combine it with other thread that you’re stitching with. You can also use it by itself, using several strands to whatever thickness you need in your stitching. When used alone, it has a transparent look to it, making it perfect for lighted windows and doors, for stars, for snowflakes, for anywhere you want a light sparkly cover in your stitching.

Accentuate Thread for Hand Embroidery

Accentuate is most commonly used in cross stitch and needlepoint, but it can also be used in surface embroidery. In surface embroidery, it works best when combined with other threads. Here’s a good tip on using Accentuate: take one strand and pair it up with two strands of Soie d’Alger silk. Run the three strands together between your fingers and then thread them into the needle. This helps bond the threads and keeps the Accentuate from slipping around. Also, you can pair it up with two strands of Soie de Paris for a subtle and light look on needlepoint canvases.

I like using Accentuate in embroidery on paper. It looks great on cards!

You can find Accentuate in any local needlework shop that carries goods from Access Commodities. If they don’t carry it, you can probably ask to special order it. Many online needlework shops carry the whole range of Accentuate. At Needle in a Haystack in Alameda, California, you find most of the range of Accentuate, and on their website, you can see all the individual glorious colors it comes in! At Hedgehog Handworks, you can find Accentuate in most of their Silk Collections, which is a great way to get color-coordinated threads that all work together.

Have you used Accentuate? What are your experiences with it? When you see the threads, what kinds of projects or designs come to your mind? Any ideas for uses for the thread? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts!!

 
 

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(27) Comments

  1. Haven’t used Accentuate, but have used Access Commodities Bijoux and like it. It’s like Kreinik cord, but it’s color and black. Most of my metallics are Kreinik (some even have Balger wrappers – my collection goes back a lot of years.) Also have a few Rainbow Gallery Treasure Braid and Petite Treasure Braid. Got started using metallics for the MarBek angel series back in the 1980’s. I worked Teresa Wentzler’s “The Castle” with the instructions for adding blending filament; in some cases it was blended floss and two blending filaments – worked on 18 count Aida before I switched to linen; came out fabulous. I say I’m “part magpie” – I love shiny stuff. Seldom have a problem using it. I don’t tie it to the needle, and typically use stabbing rather than sewing method when working metallics. Kreinik #4 braid is great by itself for cross stitch.

    –JoanneP

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  2. G’day Mary,

    I’ve often wondered about blending filament as see it now and again in the material lists for projects.

    So am grateful for this post with your advice and helpful info. Thank you.

    I looked up the Accentuate site and was really amazed at the range of colours. Inspiration in itself. “Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens…”

    Yes, I’ll certainly be more inclined to try this thread now and will be looking out for other’s comments too.

    How did the studio ‘project’ go Mary. Hope you had a successful feel-good clean up.

    Cheers, Kath.

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  3. Dear Mary, I love to accentuate my embroidery with metallic threads. It somehow with just enough enhancement bring the object to life, especially if you add a dot in the eyes. When I looked at the array of colours available at Needle in a Haystack I just wanted to cry. I think in my next live I want to be born in your country. :))) xx

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  4. Hi Mary,
    I have used Accentuate for stitching on temari. The blending filament is a little fine for covering an area with color, but you are right, I love it for adding sparkles. This morning I used it on the temari I’m stitching to accent the centers of the pentagons/hexagons. Hopefully I will get it finished tonight and be able to post it tomorrow.

    Jane

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  5. Any blending filaments I’ve tried are a horror, even with the use of Thread Heaven. I haven’t tried Accentuate but obviously I need to! As for a use for it?….does fondling it count?

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  6. Mary,
    Is this thread similar to DMC Light effects? I’ve heard that they are a pain to work with. Is it true?

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  7. This is exciting. I haven’t heard of Accentuate and will look for it ASAP. I’ve always used Kreinik filaments and braids. When I really get carried away with my sparkles, I add beads. You can never sparkle enough. LOL I’ve been wanting to try the holographic threads and braids but they’re hard to find. Maybe I’ll go for Accentuate first. I love the color choices.

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  8. This thread is new to me. We no longer have a needlework shop nearby that would carry anything but the bare basics.

    I did do a number of the Marbek angels and used the blending filaments to accent the pieces. I used them plain and blended with other colors.

    One tip I can give regarding this type of thread … don’t plan on being frugal with it. Cut the thread your usual length but plan on working through about half that length before you change to new thread. Fresh thread gives the best appearance.

    Drop your needle every stitch or at least every other stitch to keep the thread from twisting. A laying tool will help keep the threads flat.

    Don’t work this thread when you are tired or pressed for time. It takes your full attention.

    It is worth the extra effort.

    Brenda

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  9. I have to tell you your website is absolutely incredible1 You have opened up so many new doors for us! Absolutely incredible work. Absolutely Fabulous! Thank you so much.

    these threads look so wonderful! I am definitely adding some to my stash! I have used Kreinik but now this! The colors! Oh my!

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  10. Mary, though I did Google Madeira I actually hit on another supplier, which is in the previous comment.

    Still worth visiting I think.

    Maureen

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  11. Mary,
    When checking out Hedgehog’s web site there were some thread packs advertised…Ensemble de Soie in various colors. Would the black one work on a project like your Blackwork fish?
    I haven’t found the one you use.
    Thanks,
    Andrea

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  12. Hi Mary. Like yourself Ive always found blending filaments a pain to use and woe-betide if you happen to drop a spool. They seem to roll for miles. :).
    Thank you for the heads-up on the new name for that thread.
    And even if you dont use it often, wouldnt it look great as a decorating accent, maybe a colour co-ordinated group in a crystal bowl. Yum. 🙂
    Regards Phillipa

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  13. Dear Mary.
    I organize my treads on a big card and I punch hole’s on one site where I Put in my skeins.
    Next to the hole’s I write the numbers.
    Greetings from the Netherlands.
    Truus de Wild

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  14. I would love to see you use this in a project so I can get a better idea of how it can be incorporated into a project.

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    1. Hi, Andrea – I plan to use them later this summer, if all goes well. I’ve used Accentuate on embroidered greeting cards (paper), but haven’t actually used it in a full project of my own. I’ve worked with it a bit, though, showing others how to use it in surface embroidery. It’s a far sight better than most blending filaments, and a lot easier to work with, plus it has a terrific color range. Anyway, if I can work up something later this summer, I’ll write more about it…

      MC

  15. I haven’t used accenuate yet. I was looking for what kind of mettallics to use3 since I am a new CQ’er. Again I have found the answer in your newsletter.
    Thank you
    Karol

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  16. Since I work in the same city as Needlde in a Haystack (Alameda, CA) I ran and picked up two spools of Accentuate!! So pretty, I will use them for Drgonfly wings. And since I was there I got oh 9 spools of Aver Soie de Paris just because the were pretty too. I love their staff such a wonderful bunch of ladies the have and know just about everything

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  17. yes, Accentuate is soooo far superior to any other blending filaments! I’ve been using it for years (love glitter and sparkle), ever since it was sold as Rainbow Blending Thread. Recently in a simple darning pattern as background on a pair of 10″ round pioeces, carousel horses on cream colored congress cloth. Behaves itself beautifully.

    Ginger

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  18. Hi,i like doing cross stitching a lot.I do it all day.I want to do a family tree in cross stitching.The family has 13 kids,and most them had kids,and some of them has kids.It is a very large family.I just need help with the tree,of drowing it.Thank you.Please write me back.

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  19. Hi Mary,

    I’ve just come across a blending filament in a pack of threads I received from England. I had no idea they’d come so far with these threads. The last time I looked at filament threads that were cheap looking, but these are very fine indeed. Of course when I Googled how to use them the first “hit” is your website, as usual 🙂 What would we stitchers do without you?

    Once again, Thanks!
    Kimberlty

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  20. I LOVE accentuate. I use it with a strand of silk or floss to give sparkle ti cross stitch snow (or needlepoint snow) ulluminate windows, add spakle to sky or eyes, make angels wings sing and ad spriteliness to the glasses os seriously senior ladies. I like glitz and Accentuate helps memahe it happen. I alsu like the feel of it, it is much smoother than kreinik filamentd, which tend to snag a bit, and lastly you can mix anf match so a neutral Accentuate like 311 can be successfully combined with many different flooss or silk threads if you can’t get just the kreinik thread you want.

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