No, no. I’m not embroidering with chopsticks. But I am embroidering in the company of chopsticks. And I don’t mean that annoying piano piece we all learned as kids – you know, the one that can effectively drive even the most resilient person nuts in a matter of seconds?
I really do mean chopsticks, as in Asian eating instruments.
You may remember that a couple weeks ago, I showed you my slate frame set-up for the commissioned embroidery piece I’m presently working on. And you might remember I was worried about the close quarters of the piece within the slate frame, because it didn’t leave me any room for tensioning the piece further if I needed to.
Enter: the best part of Needle ‘n Thread. You.
A reader (thanks, Cecelia!) suggested a solution that’s often used in Japanese embroidery – inserting a stick or a chopstick where needed, to add extra tension.
And it just so happens that I have a glorious set of matching chopsticks that I appropriated from my mother, who picked them up in Hong Kong some 50 years ago. Thanks, Mom! I bet you never noticed.
By inserting the chopsticks between the lacing and the side slats on the slate frame, I was able to get just that tiny bit of tension that I needed, and that I couldn’t get from adjusting the lacing because there was no room to pull the fabric closer to the slats. It worked really well!
And I discovered something else. When you just need a touch more tension, it’s much easier to insert a chopstick than it is to untie and tighten up the laces on the frame. It almost feels like cheating.
And I bet if I had to, I could insert two chopsticks. Or three! Or the whole set! And Mom will probably still never notice. Thanks, Mom!
Now you know: I’m a cheatin’ thief!
Next time you need a tad of tension on your slate frame – try a chopstick!
If you’d like access to all the tips and techniques discussed in the Medallion Project, including complete step-by-step coverage of the Tudor-Style Rose, conveniently collected in one document, interlinked, referenced, and indexed, why not add the Marian Medallion Project e-book to your library? It’s packed full of all kinds of embroidery tips for undertaking a project like this, all in a convenient electronic format for easy searching.