Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Lindisfarne Beasts: first bird outline

The birds are similar to the dog in that they also have inner and outer lines to be stitched, and in the same metallic gold chain stitch.

Starting with the bird on the left, here's its head and neck:

Leg and foot:


Half its tail:

And the other half:

The inner line adds a lot more detail than it did with the dog, so we should see quite a difference next time.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Lindisfarne Beasts: all the dog

The dog is done, or at least his outline.

First the inner line of his front leg:

And then his neck:

The first of the birds next.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Lindisfarne Beasts: most of a dog

Just a short post today, to bring you up to date with progress.

I've now finished the front half of the dog.  I forgot to take a photo of his separate front leg, so here's all of him in one go:

You might just be able to make out in the marked-up design that there's also an inner line drawn on.  This is going to be in gold too, and I've done the back half inner line too:

Just the front half inner line to do, then that's the dog done.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Lindisfarne Beasts: half a dog

Time to start stitching the gold outline for the beasts themselves, starting with the dog.

As before, this is in the Gutermann metal thread, worked in chain stitch.  First, a back leg:

And his tail:

And the rest of his back end:

The other half of a dog next.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Gutermann metallic threads

Firstly, apologies for not having posted in ages - I've had a few non-embroidery things to do recently, so poor Lindisfarne Beasts has been rather neglected.  All being well I should be able to get back on with it now.

Following my last post, I had a query about the thread I use - why don't I like it?

The thread in question is this stuff:

It's made by Gutermann, as you can see, and comes in a range of metallic colours, though I almost always use either the gold or silver ones.

It's entirely synthetic, being 70% polyamide and 30% polyester. It consists of a bunch of very fine colourless fibres and two very narrow strips of a metallic tape.

Here it is with the end fluffed out so you can see the fibres:

All this makes a nice sparkly thread, but it has one big problem: the metallic tapes have a tendency to break.

This can often happen where the thread passes through the eye of the needle, but it can - and does - happen anywhere along the length of the thread.

Here's a typical example:

You can see how the metallic section has snapped and bunched up, leaving the other fibres in tact.

Once this has happened there is no point trying to carry on - just finish off the thread as best you can and start again with a fresh length.  This happens a lot, and so leads to a great deal of waste.

So why bother?  Because, despite everything, I like it!  Or rather, I like the effect I get with it, rather than the thread itself.  I use chain stitch in this metallic thread in a great deal of my work as an edging, defining areas of colour, either filled in with stitching or around appliquéd pieces.

To be honest, I have no idea what Gutermann expect a stitcher to do with this stuff - it's a pain for hand stitching, but the thought of allowing it anywhere near a sewing machine is terrifying.  Can you imagine what those broken bits of metallic tape could do to its innards?  I can, and it's not pretty.

I also have a fondness for it for reasons beyond how it looks when used.  I first came across it in the haberdashery section of a department store about 20 years ago, when I was first getting seriously interested in embroidery, but was still very much finding my way.  I was looking at it, trying to decide whether it was what I wanted, when another customer pointed out that there was an offer on: buy any three reels and get a free storage box.  This tipped than balance, and I bought it.  But I also got chatting to the lady who'd spoken to me, and she said she was a member of the Embroiderers' Guild.  There was a meeting that Saturday - why not come along?  So I did.  I've been a member ever since, I became Chair of the branch, I have learned so much from the speakers at meetings and from the always enthusiastic and ever-helpful members of both the branches I've been in.  Without the Guild, and that chance meeting (hello Roz, if you're reading!), I doubt very much if I'd still be sewing, let alone having developed my work in the way I have.

And I still have the storage box.