Here’s a wee update on my current embroidery project, a white-on-white ecclesiastical piece. I’ve finished all the outlining on the design, and now I’m going to seed stitch certain parts of it.
On this piece, I’m using whipped backstitch to form the ridged outlines. I wanted a firm line with a little height to it, but I didn’t want to work an overcast or trailing outline around the whole design, because that would’ve taken ten forevers! So whipped backstitch was the choice, as it’s relatively quick to work and I do like the look of the lines created by the stitch.
You can see above the difference between the backstitching and the whipped backstitch – the crown part of the design at the top of the photo has already been whipped, and the line is much smoother than the backstitch line. It’s funny – in these photos, which were taken under a bright light, I really like the look of the backstitch, too. Actually, I like to look at the contrast between the backstitched line and the smoother lines of the whipped backstitch.
A couple little warbly problems presented themselves in the whole backstitch-whipping endeavor. Why does this happen? Pretty much, it’s because the working thread gets too twisted, and as it twists on itself, it stiffens as it wraps around the backstitches. The solution: drop your thread and let it untwist every so often. In fact, when whipping the stitch like this, depending on the direction you’re working in, the thread will often become twisted very quickly, so it’s a good idea to drop that needle and let it dangle from your work quite often, in order for the tread to untwist.
Overall, I like the design and the ridged line created by the stitch. My intention was to create a high enough line that it would cast a small shadow, making the design more visible from afar. I wasn’t sure how well that plan would work, but at least, with a ridged line rather than a flat outline, I know it will be somewhat more visible from afar.
I tried photographing the piece at different angles in different light to see if I could get a decent shadow from the lines…
… but I’m no grand photographer, and I don’t always “get it,” when it comes to picture-taking!
But then, just as I was closing up shop for the day, for the first time all day, the sun came out. It was slanting in the western window in my studio, right across my work, and I said, “Wow. Now there’s a shadow!”
The linen doesn’t look as white here through the eye of the camera, I suppose. BUT … the relief created by the stitching is much more obvious.
Yes, I’m satisfied so far with this part of the stitching. It’s the look I wanted, anyway. Now, on to the seed stitching! I’m trying to optimistically think that I’ll be finished with all the stitching by this evening, and able to assemble the pall tomorrow and put a hand-tatted edge on it. Um. Well, there’s nothing wrong with optimism! I’ll let you know if it happens!