This past weekend, I took a wee hiatus from blogging. Sometimes, a break is good! This particular break was supposed to see me succeed in setting up multiple embroidery projects that I plan to have underway at the same time. Because the set-up process for each embroidery project can be a real pain in the neck, I figured if I set up several projects that are brewing in my head, I can move more seamlessly between them as time allows and my interests dictate. As it turns out – and as is often the case – the weekend was not as productive as I wished! Still, I managed to set up two projects, which I’ll show you here, and then I managed to waste a lot of time looking for black thread!
The two new embroidery projects I managed to put together are actually somewhat similar in type: the Pomegranate in the Round pattern I posted a while ago was first on the list, and will be a goldwork and silk project; second up was the floral glove needlecase from Thistle Threads.
My first step was to make adjustments on the design. I reduced the number of lattice lines in the center of the stylized pomegranate, and I added turn-overs on the tip of the pomegranate and on every swirly thing around the edge. This may seem like overkill on the turn-overs – and it might be – but this is where I plan on showing a contrast between the silk and the gold. We shall see!
After tweaking the design, I decided to rummage through my goldwork supplies, to make sure I had enough of the types of metal threads I wanted to use on this project. There’s nothing worse than planning out a project a certain way, only to find the supplies aren’t on hand!
This is when I discovered that I have fairly large stash of goldwork supplies, and yet, it seems I rarely use them. I need to change that!
Next step was to sit down with the light table, a handy-dandy Sakura Micron Art Pen®, in black, size 005. I love these pens for transferring designs when I know that the transfer lines will be covered.
I’m using Legacy Linen Twill for this goldwork project. I just love this fabric, and I want to see how it operates with goldwork and silk shading. I think it’ll work well! It’s a pretty fabric – I love the twill weave and the color.
When tracing the pattern with the Micron pen, it’s really important to use the lightest touch you can manage. If I can feel the surface underneath the fabric, I’m pressing too hard. Generally, I can only feel the pen touching across the surface of the fabric. Be careful of resting the pen in one place on the fabric, too. As you come to intersections of lines, don’t let the pen sit on the fabric, or the ink will form a larger spot. In the photo above, you can see where this started to happen a bit, and that was with a minute pause!
Now, this is cotton muslin in the photo above. I lined the linen twill with the cotton muslin, to give the goldwork more support. The twill is actually a pretty substantial fabric, so the muslin isn’t necessarily necessary, but when I do goldwork, I like extra stability in the ground fabric. I also don’t like anything that seems remotely sheer – not that the twill is sheer at all! It isn’t. I still wanted the extra backing, so I tore up some muslin to go behind the twill.
It’s very important, if you back your ground fabric with muslin or cotton or even another linen, that the backing fabric is cut square, on the grain. If it’s at all cut on the bias or mounted on the frame on the bias, it’ll pucker. To make sure the fabric is square, I tear my muslin on the weave instead of cutting it. The ends end up looking a bit gnarled, but nothing that can’t be fixed with an iron.
I ironed both the muslin and the twill (the twill before tracing the design on it!) until they were good and smooth, no wrinkles, and nice and square. Then the twill went on the table first, with the muslin lined up on top, both fabrics on the grain, lined up straight.
Some folks like to baste their backing fabric to the ground fabric at this point – to baste the muslin to the twill, in this case. This would help ensure that the fabrics frame up well together, without one or the other slipping. You can do that – you can baste a couple inches around the outside of the design, for example, if you are worried about the fabrics slipping.
I don’t baste mine. I work slowly and carefully, tacking the fabrics to the frame together, and keeping them smooth and lined up as I go, and it works out fine.
Here’s the pomegranate on the frame. There’s an extra inch of fabric skirting the frame there….
… but nothing that a little trim won’t take care of. It’s true. I don’t stitch or bind the edges on the fabric. They will initially shed a few threads, but after that, they’ll be fine.
The floral glove project is on the left, framed up, and the pomegranate on the right. I was surprised (Really Surprised!) how sheer the linen is for the floral glove project, and I oscillated between lining the linen and not lining it. I finally settled on not lining it, thinking it’s best just to follow directions as they are written on someone else’s project. I have a feeling I may regret not lining it. The instructions say that it is “Napier Ivory Linen” – I think they mean Legacy linen’s Napery Ivory, which is about a 50 count “dower quality” linen. It does seem a bit more sheer than most Legacy linens I’ve worked with. I’m going to have to dig some out to compare.
In the meantime, though, these are the two projects I managed to set up this past weekend. Not that impressive….
There are two other projects I want to set up, one of which I’m really excited about (Really Excited!), but doggonit if I can’t find the threads! I’m going to do a kind of blackwork project (non-counted), which I’ll tell you more about once I get it set up. I have a wonderful set of 8 blackwork threads (Leon Conrad’
s Ebony Collection) that I have practically roosted on like a doting hen over eggs for the past several years, being very careful of them, not wanting to lose them, not wanting anything to happen to them (do you see where this is going?!?!), wanting to save them for Just The Right Project.
The Right Project has come.
The Threads….. Where are the Threads?????! I think they must’ve hatched and headed off. I can’t find them anywhere. I can picture them perfectly in several different places, but I can’t for the life of me find them now. I spent hours this weekend going through every thread box in the studio.
Today, I’m going to repeat the procedure. Things don’t just disappear. They must be somewhere!
In the meantime, does anyone know if there are any shops in the States that carry this collection of threads? Just in case?
That’s how my weekend went, stitching-wise. Today, we have a snow day in Kansas, so I plan to make good use of it and finish up the things I didn’t get finished over the weekend! Wish me luck!
Have a terrific Monday!