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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Elizabethan Twist Couched on Silk Fabric


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Yesterday, we talked about couching gold thread over flat silk thread, in a technique called “Italian Stitch.” One other thought occurred to me while I was trying out the Elizabethan twist couched over flat silk in random patterns. I wonder how this random couching would look, on top of a colored silk fabric, rather than on thread?

And so I set about to answer that question, by stitching up a small sample, just enough to see what it would look like.

Real Metal Thread Randomly Couched over Silk Dupioni

Hey! Not bad! This could be really pretty, incorporated into a project!

I’m using a silk dupioni here, in a blue that I would describe as “lapis” if it didn’t have just the slightest hint of periwinkle to it. (This is from a very nice silk dupioni from Japan, which I wrote about previously.)

Is this a way I could add color to the border around the design, which I spoke about at the end of yesterday’s post?


Probably not. But it is an interesting concept, and one I’m storing away for future use. I thought I’d share it with you, in case it gave you some ideas for your own embroidery projects. Any thoughts?

See you tomorrow!


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(9) Comments

  1. Reminds me so much of quilting but it’s on the surface instead. I’ve always wondered how people can make all those squiggles and keep them looking balanced: not too close together, no big gaps. That tells you the quality of my artistic talents when I worry about doing scribbles incorrectly. 🙂

    On a large area you would probably have to use more than one piece of gold. I wonder if you “plunge” the ends or carefully overlap them and couch them down. Hmm.

    1. Hi, Irene – actually, I’ll work it off the spool, and only plunge on the edges and start on the edges, unless I get backed into the corner with the squigglies, but I think the key to that is looking ahead of you as you go. The spool if 40 meters, I think, so plenty for most spaces. ~MC

  2. I’ve seen that technique used for quilting but I don’t know what it’s called. it’s really pretty though!
    Shameless plea for prayer…my baby girl Adelaide (19 mos old) had 3 grand mal seizures Saturday no one knows why. She had never had anything like this happen so we’re requesting prayer from everyone we can think of. Thanks in advance everyone!

  3. HeatherA – so sorry to hear about Adelaide. Did she have a fever at the time? That can cause seizures. Whatever happened, I hope it resolves soon and she can get back to her usual sunny self.

    The quilting stitch is called stippling. I guess that sounds better than squiggling. LOL

    Mary – that’s very logical to use off the spool. If I did more needlework, I might know these things. 🙂

    1. Hi, Anne – It comes on a spool, so I just use it straight off the spool. For passing threads and Japanese threads that don’t come on spools, yes, I’d use a koma (or two, depending). But this reels very nicely right off the spool, which is great! Saves time! ~MC

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