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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And Thus the Tale Ends…


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Sorry about stringing you along there yesterday! The fact is, I wasn’t sure how this tale would end. Would Orvus be the hero of the piece, saving the fair embroidery so that we could all live happily ever after? Or would this be one of the stories with the unsatisfactory ending – realism, in a harsh and unforgiving world?

It’s difficult to say. I think we could call it a story of compromise. The Orvus didn’t work completely, but it worked enough to be satisfactory.

Hand Embroidered Pall

The look of the pall has changed drastically. The original dark gold gave it a contrast I really liked. But … this doesn’t look too bad, and I think I can live with it! The washed out colors give the piece a more delicate look.

Hand Embroidered Pall

There is some slight ghosting of the pink, but it’s not really noticeable unless you’re intently looking for it.

Hand Embroidered Pall

The silk, of course, has as beautiful a sheen as ever, so that’s good.

I think if I had had more time and could have soaked the piece for a good 24 hours or so, I would have been more satisfied with the results – at least with knowing I had done everything possible to return the linen to a perfect pristine white around the edges of the embroidery. But as usual, time is not on my side. I had to be satisfied with a two hour bath.

The green in the basting threads did not run, by the way! The green markings, for those who asked, are just green sewing thread that I used for basting.

A few follow up notes, some of which I’ll elaborate on later:

When working with silk threads (unless the manufacturer guarantees color-fastness, which is a rare thing), it’s always best to assume that you’re working on a piece that isn’t meant for washing or even dampening. With that in mind, it’s important to keep the work clean, clean, clean as you go. Wash your hands before you stitch, remove your piece from the hoop after each stitching session and wrap it up to protect it from dust and dirt, and if you’re working on a frame, use another piece of fabric to cover the piece where your hands might rest on it while working.

On this particular piece, because it is a pall, it has to be washable. Palls get washed. I knew that. My mistake for not testing the threads before I started out!

And as for Orvus… well, I’ll talk more about it tomorrow, show you what it is, and show you the difference between a vintage linen towel before Orvus and after.



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(20) Comments

  1. Glad you seem to be relatively happy about the outcome of this happening. How about a little couching over the stitches of the thread that lost it’s color? In a thread that’s colorfast, of course, hehehe!

  2. Hooray for Orvus. Your pall will be beautiful complete. Orvus sure has saved many antique linens, removing the grime of the years, without the phoshates in today’s soaps. I ordered a gallon of it years ago when that was only size availble from our farm supply store. Since you only use a little I still have lots left. I think some quilt shops have it now in pints(for about the same price I paid for a gallon 15 years ago, lol, inflation)

  3. Hi Mary!
    Beautiful end product. Perhaps the ghosting is more obvious in person, but from the photos it is not apparent unless you are looking for it. We are the hardest on our own work; that internal critic working overtime.
    I think the rose cast where the threads used to be darker gold may not be what you intended, but it lends an elegant and refined look to the pall. Very nice job!

  4. G’day Mary,

    So happy you didn’t need a pall for the pall.

    I’m surprised at the sheen that’s been retained. To me that’s it’s saving grace.

    As you said, it has a more delicate look. The word ethereal came to mind and I looked it up : “extremely delicate and light in a way that seems too perfect for this world”. So there you have it. Perfect for a pall.

    I just think I may choose this final ‘version’ between the two, as much as I was delighted with the ‘real’ one.

    An advert for Orvus could now read “Our competitors products pall beside Orvus”.

    So, the Pall is now half finished, again. Good luck with the final chapter. Interested to see the lace.

    Cheers, Kath.

  5. Thank heavens, its so much better now! It was a nail-biting episode while it lasted…I would have cried big fat tears in your place…all the best Mary!

  6. Hi Mary,
    Well, yikes, it really did change color drastically. (I looked at the previous photos of it before thread color running disaster struck.)I’m glad Orvus saved the day, and it does now have a nice “antique-y” look about it, but like you, I really liked the dark gold thread contrast. A live and learn moment – yes, I’ve had a few.

  7. Mary, considering your journey, I think these photos show a fine and beautiful end to the tale. Sorry you had to go through the big cringe moments, but your readers have reaped the benefit of learning. Thanks as always!

  8. I like to baste with silk thread,blue is my favorite color, because it doesn’t leave marks when I pull the threads out.
    Louise B.

  9. Mary, que bien
    solo me queda .haberme dado cuenta ,,para estos trabajos tiene que ser muy importante ,los detalles
    desde que se comienza hasta su final
    son obras que quedan,
    te felicito por hacerno pensar ,y no ignorar , los pequeños,grandes detalles”’

  10. If a full recovery was not on the cards then I am glad the bleeding was removed enough to satisfy you.
    Thanks for the lesson, which I am sure will be appreciated by many.

  11. Thank you for all these very interesting informations. They are very helpful. I’m waiting for the next post.

  12. That turned out ok. Doesn’t it look kind of like you planned it to look like Black Hills Gold without the green color. I like it.

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