Future project: Line drawings

Everybody knows that Mary Corbet is doing twelve days of give-aways starting TODAY, right? 

So, while I’m visiting my parents, I’ve been going to life drawing with my mother. It’s a lot of fun, and I’ve got some lovely line drawings of figures. I would love to work a couple of embroidery pieces based on them. I’m still working out designs based on my drawings (don’t know when I’ll actually get started, but I wanted to tell you about the projects anyway).

I went shopping at an enormous fancy embroidery shop – Stitchville USA in Minnetonka, MN. Wow, they have a lot of beautiful things. You could drop a fortune in there. I ended up with materials for two projects of embroidered line drawings. One project has hand-dyed 40 count linen and hand dyed, dark red, variegated silk (Dinky Dyes 146 Mingenew). The other project has cream colored 35 count linen and dark red overdyed pearl cotton 8 (ThreadWorx 81089). Aren’t they just gorgeous? Of course, I could always use both threads in the same project for some variety.

Now, I will have to be very careful with this project! I suspect it would be a  very bad idea to try washing dark red hand dyed threads. I’m not so sure about the hand-dyed linen, either. So I’d better do a very careful transfer of the pattern so it’s covered by the threads and doesn’t need washing out. The transfer must be very accurate. Maybe prick-and-pounce? And I’d also better be very careful to keep the project clean while working it.

I’ve been thinking about stitches for the pieces. One place I looked is the Hand Embroidered Lettering and Text Tutorials at Needle ‘n’ Thread. I think for my projects the best options are back stitch, stem stitch, whipped back stitch, or split stitch. At the moment I’m leaning towards stem stitch with the silk and split stitch with the pearl cotton.

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11 Responses to Future project: Line drawings

  1. it depends what hand dyed means, exactly – if its a natural dye it may be faster than you’d think. If you’re worried do a few sttiches on a scrap and see what happens.

    I just can’t get over the name – does minge mean something different in american? Cos in english its a slang term, and not a flattering one, for lady bits

    • Hannah says:

      Oh my God, really? It doesn’t mean anything at all in American. I thought it was a nonsensical made up term. Dinky Dyes is Australian, though, and Google/Wikipedia tells me it’s a town in Western Australia, so it’s probably named after the town. Lord only knows what the town was named after. Oh my goodness.

  2. Elmsley Rose says:

    Have a look at http://vettycreations.com.au/white-threads/2011/06/16/red-thread/ where Yvette (a professional embroiderer) mentions the difficulty of red threads in particular. She also says in the accompanying comments “No, I wouldn’t wash silks or any overdyed thread, especially red. And don’t let your steam iron spurt on it when you’re ironing it either. Ask me how I know that that can do terrible things!”

  3. Rachel says:

    Some of the over-dyed threads are resistant to gentle washing in cool water, but I don’t recognise any of the brands you have there. It’s possible to test them – use a corner of damp white cloth – but even then, it’s best to avoid needing to wash it at all!

  4. Marjorie says:

    I haven’t used the particular perle cotton you mention but I have not found perle cottons work well with split stitch. In general they’re a bit thicker and more tightly spun than some other threads and it’s hard to keep a nice smooth line. I like stem or whipped backstitch or stem for use with perle cottons.

  5. Marta Brysha says:

    I use dress makers carbon paper to transfer my designs. It’s permanent so you don’t lose the line and there is no smudging. All you need to do is trace your design first onto a sturdy artist grade tracing paper and then pin the paper and the tracing paper onto the fabric and trace over.
    I
    With regard to overdyed threads – I can’t comment on the overdyed thread because I don’t know what process or type of dye they have used. I dye all my own threads and they are definitely colourfast as long as all the excess dye is thoroughly rinsed out.

    Lovely colours, you should have a ball stitching with these.

    • Hannah says:

      Thanks for the tip! I have tried carbon paper, which worked great for transfer, but it was the non-permanent kind and smeared off quickly. I will check out the other kind. I don’t know what kind of process or dye they used either, and Dinky Dyes specifically does not guarantee colorfastness especially in dark colors like these.

      I just went to a gorgeous Japanese woodcut exhibition at the art museum – I am totally in love with the way they drew people. Only simple lines for the faces, but so very expressive! I would like to study them more, since I think it that style would adapt well to embroidery. They’re called ukiyo-e (Google Image search link: https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=ukiyo-e&gs_sm=&gs_upl=&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.,cf.osb&biw=1067&bih=634&pdl=500&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=VKj_Tt7yAsXAgQfQvYiDAg)

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