Sunday, 6 July 2014

Apple tree fire screen - glue...

On the whole, I've never felt that glue and embroidery go together.  I'll admit to occasionally using small amounts of 505 fabric spray glue to hold small, fiddly appliqué shapes in place before I stitch them, but that's all.  I dislike Bondaweb and other fusible fabrics and never use them, and wouldn't dream of using proper glue anywhere near my work.

Until now.

In her description of her technique, Michele Carragher says that she paints a thin layer of glue over the back of the work to hold the stitches in place.  I'm following her instructions for this, so like it or not, that's what I had to do next.

'A thin layer of glue' is a bit unspecific, so I opted for PVA craft glue (i.e. white glue), which I thinned down with about a 1:1 ratio of glue to water, though I didn't measure it out precisely.  Time to get painting!

I painted the glue over the back of all the stitching, and deliberately went beyond it onto the fabric too.  This all made me very nervous, I have to say.  The thought of glue on my embroidery just seems wrong, and I was worried that it would make it stiff or hard, or leave obvious marks.  I was also worried that the water might make the paint run and mark the threads.  I was worried that it may not make the stitching stiff enough, and hold the threads properly for the next stage and everything will unravel.

I'm still a bit worried about that last one, actually, but I think it'll be ok. I'm happy to say that it all seems to have worked out very well.  The paint didn't run, the stitches have dried firm but not hard, and it hasn't marked the front of the work at all.  What a relief!

The next stage is a bit scary too, though I think I'll put it off as long as possible with some necessary prep work!


  1. You're really challenging yourself with this one! Lots of scary steps...I'm not sure I could handle it. :)

  2. That would have been especially scary with the paint on the ground! In my experience, thinned white glue is exactly what to use. I've used the technique to stabilise slips.