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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Reader’s Embroidered and Appliqued Aquatic Sampler, Part I


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Nita’s Aquatic Sampler is just about everything you would expect an aquatic sampler to be – and then some. A combination of applique and embroidery, this colorful banner is, to say the least, bedazzling! I have always been drawn to aquatic landscapes (I even went through a phase in my life – I think 11th grade? – when I thought I wanted to be a marine biologist!), and I love the vivid life of the coral reef. To see it come to life in stitching and embellishment is pretty exciting!

I’m going to let Nita tell the story behind this textile sampler. I’ve divided the project into two posts in order to include all the pictures…

Aquatic Sampler in Applique and Embroidery

I used this project to practice embroidery stitches I wanted to learn as well as other techniques, eg. trapunto, foiling with Misty Fuse and Bonash, Angelia fibers and applique.

I started with a scrap of a fabric panel from Michael Miller, called “Scuba Time” which had various fish fussy cut out of it. My Mom got this piece from a scrap bin somewhere. I also used a fat quarter of the water bubble material that I got from the Sarasota Quilt show and a little over a yard of a beautiful batik fabric for the back and for water stripes that I got from my favorite fabric store in my area, Fiberologie, in St. Petersburg, FL.

Aquatic Sampler in Applique and Embroidery

I cut the fabric panel and reattached to eliminate the big holes, I also used some fish and coral sections to applique on to panel.

Aquatic Sampler in Applique and Embroidery

I started by using “Designs for the Needle” 6 strand cotton floss and then bought some “DMC” 6 strand floss and perle cotton. I used a yellow eyelash fiber and a red fiber I picked up somewhere along the way.

Aquatic Sampler in Applique and Embroidery

I used felt beads that I bought at Fiberologie and cut some in half to show the beautiful colors inside at the suggestion of Karrie Klement, owner of Fiberologie.

Aquatic Sampler in Applique and Embroidery

I experimented with a number of stitches, a gazillion french knots on the coral, bullion knots, feather stitch (wasn’t 3-D enough) then I played with cast on stitches, drizzle stitch, turkey work, woven picot.

I used your video library of stitches for at least the turkey work if not other stitches. I used the stitch dictionary at In a Minute Ago for the drizzle stitches and cast on. I know there are other on-line resources I used but can’t remember which!

Aquatic Sampler in Applique and Embroidery

I used the Pat Trott book I show in the photo for woven picot, among others. I used a lot of books from the library including Reader’s Digest “Very Easy Crazy Patch Work” and Reader’s Digest “Complete Book of Embroidery” among many other that have since been returned.

Aquatic Sampler in Applique and Embroidery

As a beginner embroider I found the laminated pocket guide that I picked up at the Tampa Sewing and Quilt Expo invaluable when I am mobile with my embroidery.

I also took a class with Marlene Glickman, a very talented fiber artist and great teacher at Fiberologie, in which she taught a collage class using various fusing methods such as the Misty Fuse and Bonash with foil. It was by far the most interesting and fun class I have taken. (I also took her silk dye class the same day, great class also)

Aren’t you dying to see the completed project?! Well – check back in tomorrow!

Thanks so much, Nita, for the gorgeous photos, the interesting write-up, and the refreshing splash of inspiration!


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(4) Comments

  1. Wow, that is so beautiful! We were just at the aquarium in Boston with the kids yesterday and saw the real thing. This embroidery looks very real! Nice job!


  2. Wow! In the first picture the dark, straight quilting lines make me think of tiles on the bottom of a swimming pool – at first glance, I thought it was a photograph of an actual pool with fish! It has such a sense of depth to it. Looking forward to seeing how these bits fit together!

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