Saturday, 7 April 2012

Decision time

I have to admit that I was slightly further on with Carbonifera than I showed in the last post, so when readers gave a range of good advice after I'd said I wasn't too happy with the gold machine embroidery thread I'm using to couch the laid thread, I was in a quandry: adopting the ideas suggested would undoubtedly improve matters, but would the difference to what I'd done before look really obvious?

I had actually made a start on couching the leaves in the shades of grey:

In some ways, I was very pleased with how it was turning out - I think this has a lot potential for my work - but in others, it made matters worse: the stranded cotton I was using is much thicker than the gold couching thread, which also pushed the laid threads further apart.

Basically, while I'm very happy with the theory, I'm not happy at all with the practice.

So, I need to decide what to do next: carry on as before and hope for the best, change what I'm doing part way through and hope no-one notices, or give it up and start again.

There's only one choice, really - there's no point carrying on with something that I don't think is working, so I'm going to abandon it.

Well, for now, anyway - I'd like to have another go, but only when I'm satisfied that it's going to go as I'd like.  As such, I need to run a few tests, varying threads and techniques, and see what works the best.  That's going to mean buying a few bits and pieces (mail order, local shops being what they are), so there'll be a bit of a delay while I get things in.

I'll need to think of something else to do in the meantime...


  1. I've had filament silk suggested to me as the colour couching stitch, because it will spread out and settle. I've actually used Filoselle, which is twisted, but then my gold was in a spiral. The gold couching stitch I used was a superfine silk, also from Pearsall's Embroidery.

  2. Awwww....crap. I know how you feel. My Heart Of Thistle - I'm using 40ct linen and should have used 28! I've struggled and struggled, but kept going *only* coz of my limited time to stitch and not wanting to 'go backwards'.
    I did wonder about your choice of Gutterman. I've used it as a general couching thread, then Mary Corbet wrote a review, and I was convinced to swop to Tie (sp?) thread, not that I've done that yet - haven't done any couching since.
    Rachel's suggestion sounds great. What a huge pity that you'd done all that work! I hope you find a new exciting project to do :-)

  3. As time goes by this project may keep preying on you and you may go back to it. I like Rachel's suggestion, too. It seems that the key is to use the same thickness for couching whether colored or not. But then I know next to nothing about Or nue. I hope you get back to it eventually, I think it will look pretty neat.

  4. I know you've already decided about this one, I too have a couple of suggestions. When we couch gold like this in Japanese embroidery we couch very close together, about 2mm apart, this will stop the thread from moving. Try silk thread to couch, it's very strong and doesn't stretch.