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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Some projects are just not meant to be completed!!

This one was doomed from the moment it began!!

When the year began, I had drawn up a list of new projects to do this year. Of course, completing Schwalm project and Brazilian embroidery miniatures were a priority too. But what I wanted to try this time was embroidering on black.
The idea was simple- The background was to be black cloth and the embroidery on it was to be with only white. The primary stitch I had planned was satin stitch. This was a chance for me to brush up on my satin stitch skills. I was all excited!!
I found the design from a coloring page, changed it a bit and traced it on the black stitching felt I had.

And it looked like this. I had used white graphite/carbon paper to trace and the paper had left a residue on the cloth.I did not like it. But I assumed once I start stitching things will fall in place.

Then I looked for white threads. The project was envisioned with white silk threads .I didn't have them in my stash!! I had cream silk and a lot of other colors,but no white silk . So should I wait for a few days and go and get some? - Nah,no patience..I wanted to start off stitching immediately. I rummaged among the stranded cotton threads and found a single white skein. That should surely suffice for this small project.Thus the stitching started. Then the next problem cropped up.

The tracings started fading making it difficult to see. I had to keep redrawing. I pushed myself to filling the stem with stem stitch,but by then the leaves had faded. I redrew one of the leaves and outlined and filled with split stitch .Then I filled it with satin stitch. It looked just ok.Moreover,the single leaf took so much of time that by the time I started the second leaf,I had lost all the interest I had in the project.

Embroidery is something one needs to enjoy. It shouldn't look daunting,neither should it frustrate. When you embroider use the stitches you enjoy working with. I do not enjoy an overload of satin stitching- this I realized after wasting some precious hours setting up and stitching my white on black project. :(( So much for my satin stitch dreams!!

I do have one more "on black" project in my new year list.I think I'll put it off for a while. May be felt for stitching is not such a good idea. How about black cotton fabric ?Do you think it'll work out better than felt?

Love,luck and sunshine,

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Fabric experiment for Schwalm whitework

Hi everyone,
Iam back after a short break. The past couple of weeks were spent with very little or no stitching at all. I did try to proceed further with my Schwalm embroidery piece with not much success.

Today, I decided to come out my holiday hangover and I signed into blogger .And what do I see? - 120 spam comments - all of them have targeted some specific posts .What I don't understand is - does "Free embroidery pattern resources" mean something else around the world? And why do the Chinese especially love Beaded Kamal Kadai? Is it my fault that Laid work is called so? Sigh!!! Anyways,blogger is at least filtering the spam to some extent.That's a relief.

So,what was I supposed to share with you today?

Oh,yes, my search to find a suitable fabric for white work. The linen I am using for Schwalm was purchased along with the Luzine's book "Basic Principles of Schwalm Whitework".
It is called Weddigen Linen and is pricey. Linen with different counts is not easily available here.And if in case you manage to find a place that sells one,it is priced very high. So I was looking around for a cheaper option and found one. Before I tell you what it is, let me show the trial run on it.

How does it look? Not bad I suppose. The cloth is known as "Thorthu" here in South India. It is a thin white cotton towel commonly used as a bath towel by almost everyone in Kerala and Tamilnadu. The warp and weft can be clearly seen ,right? This is what prompted me to attempt one sample on it. The fabric is 11 count .So if you are keen on trying Schwalm and don't want to spend too much on linen you can try this.

The towel with me was an old one and quite shabby. As it was just an experiment I didn't bother to get a new one. Luzine recommends that Schwalm should be stitched on an unwashed new piece of fabric. May be a good quality new towel would work out to be better for learning and for samplers and it is affordable too.
Jute cloth is another option. I need to try that too. Cotton towel for Schwalm sounds a little unusual and my daughter too voiced her opinion when she saw my trial -"maa why are you stitching on a thorthu, hee,hee" . DH has not yet returned from work and so before he discovers the towel and exclaims that I've gone bonkers,let me hide it.

Iam off,
Love,luck and sunshine,