Before I launch any kind of embroidery design with a stitch guide, I like to test it in several situations.
Besides working my Festive Fall embroidery design (you know, the one with the pumpkin, leaves, and wheat that’s been sneaking onto Needle ‘n Thread lately?) on cotton towels, I decided to stitch it on a linen table runner.
I learned several things in the process.
Overall, I like the results! Here are some photos right after it was finished – nothing “staged” to show it off all that well, but it gives you an idea of how the design worked on this small natural colored linen table runner.
Golly, it’s hard to frame one long table runner for a photograph!
The linen from which this particular runner is made is quite lightweight. It’s got a nice hand – very smooth – and it’s drapey. It’s not a medium- or heavy-weight, rustic linen. It’s actually quite fine and light.
The weave is a bit more open than I personally like when embroidering on linen, but it worked out well.
The color? It’s what I’d call a kind of “stone” natural. It has that grey-ish tone to the natural, rather than a brownish tone. It’s a nice color, but normally, I lean more towards the brownish naturals that are a bit warmer in tone.
I like the way all the colors work on the ground fabric. Even though I originally chose these colors while working on white, they turn out looking good on the darker linen, too.
In fact, most of the colors really stand out in almost a glow. I think it works. Do you?
I transferred two versions of the design on the runner, to give each end a little different finish.
On one end (the right side of the photo) is the simplest of the pumpkin designs – with just a few leaves and swirls and shards of wheat. This side stitched up in no time flat. You can easily stitch the simpler design in one evening bout of stitching. If you don’t do longer single bouts (three or four hours) at a time, it can certainly be done in a couple sessions on a weekend.
The other end (the left side of the photo) has the more elaborate version of the design, with a few more leaves and lot more wheat. Thanks to this quick method of embroidering the wheat that I showed you the other day, while this version of the design is a little more time intensive, it’s still manageable.
The main thing I discovered while stitching the runner is that greater care must be taken with this type of embroidery on this type of linen, to ensure that stitch tension is decent but not extreme. It would be very easy to turn this into a puckered mess – or into a piece with large open holes around all the embroidery stitches. It’s a “go gently” type project, much more so than (for example) when embroidering on cotton towels.
Overall, I enjoyed the experience and I like the outcome.
I’ve stitched six samples of this design so far, and I’m presently working on the last one. I love it, because there’s enough variety in the design and all the elements are small enough that I never have a chance to get bored. But I have a few other projects beckoning me with urgency, and I can’t ignore the call much longer!
Keep an eye out for Festive Fall some time in September.
In the meantime, in the background, I’m still getting the kits together for The Leafy Tree. If you’re on the advanced notice list for that project, you’ll be getting an email about availability in the next couple weeks! Yay! If you want to be on the list, just drop me a line here.
Hope your week’s going along at a jolly clip and that you’ve had some quality time to bond with your needle and thread!