I’ve been sharing a bit of progress with you lately on this voided monogram worked with cotton floche. It’s a fun project, and I can’t wait to share the Whole Thing with you!
There’s more to it than meets the eye, too. As soon as the stitching on the samples is complete, I’ll be finishing them into something useful. It’s always nice to be able to finish small embroidery things into something useful, isn’t it?
And there’s also a non-monogram design that goes with this set. But more on that project a little later!
Today, I’ll show you two approaches to the same design, one worked in color and the other in white. You’re never limited in your interpretation of an embroidery design, after all!
Same design, two approaches!
The difference in interpretation between the sample embroidered with cotton floche and the sample embroidered with whitework threads (in this case, coton a broder in size #20 and #25) is not just in color. We’ll look at what else is different about the stitching, below.
Just so you know, the designs are both the same size. (More about size below, too!)
I happen to love the combination of white on a natural colored linen. But I also like all-white embroidery on any linen that provides a good contrast. I’d love to play with this on a vibrant blue and on a sea-green of sorts. I think it would also look great on a coral or salmon. I think I need to go on a fabric hunt!
In any case, this linen is a 30-count linen called Sunflower Seed from Access Commodities, available through Needle in a Haystack and other fine needlework shops that carry products from Access Commodities.
It is not super well-suited for surface embroidery on its own, but I liked the color and I like the fabric. To work with surface embroidery well, it needs to be backed by another fabric. I’ve got cotton batiste behind it, because that’s what I had on hand. A cotton muslin would work, too.
If you’re embroidering a free-style, non-counted project on lower count (like 30) even-weave linen, in order for line stitches to flow very smoothly and in order for denser areas of stitching to have something to grip into, a backing fabric helps tremendously. Otherwise, you might find yourself forced to the grid of the even-weave fabric, which would detract from the whole layout and flow of the design.
You can read more about backing your embroidery ground fabric here. It’s not always necessary, but sometimes, it is!
There are two differences in the approach to the stitching on this design, when working with the all-white threads.
The first is that the background is not as densely stitched as the colored version. In the color version, the dense stitching fills the whole ground fabric, except where the S is voided.
And this leads to the second difference: the S is outlined in the whitework version, because otherwise, it would not stand out as clearly.
With all-white embroidery, texture is essential, and this design provides lots of texture. The embroidery, even if it is void of color, is not boring! The various textures keep it interesting and fun to do.
The S is outlined with Palestrina stitch (speaking of texture). It’s a wonderfully textured, knotted line stitch.
I made the mistake of working the letter outline after much of the background was already embroidered. Bad approach! The Palestrina stitch is one of those “pass under and through” sort of stitches, which makes for a sticky situation if there’s a lot of stitching surrounding it. The needle tends to aim for every stitched element with obviously wicked and nefarious intentions of snagging them!
This weekend when I was chatting with one of my sisters, I found out that the size of these designs is really not coming across well in the photos. She had the impression the designs were quite large.
So I shuffled through my photos this morning, to see if I could find any that might give a sense of scale. The photo above has the edge of my thumb in it, on the lower right. That’s the closest I’ve got for now, but in the future, I’ll try to do better about including something to judge the size against!
The designs are 3.5″ square.
So that’s a little more progress on stitching samples!
Over the next few weeks here on Needle ‘n Thread, we’ll look at quite a few stitchy things. A little thread talk – I’ll show you another new-to-me thread – and another book, plus I’ll be reviewing an embroidery kit that would work great for folks wanting to try a little silk and goldwork on a small design. I’ve got a tutorial and some more stitching tips in the line-up, too. And I might even show you my new power tool that has taken up permanent residence in my embroidery studio. I never knew I could love a power tool so very much!
Happy Monday! I hope your week is off to a marvelous beginning!