Greetings all, and happy Sunday! After a week of chaos and lethargy in equal measure, I am feeling more relaxed and recharged today. Got some big school-related meetings and events out of the way, so today I’m enjoying some quiet stitching time.
I’m working on a candlewicking project, which I have been documenting on the &Stitches blog these past few weeks. It is a snowflake cushion kit printed with water-soluble ink. You can read about it here.
Candlewicking is a historical technique that uses two-strand cotton string embroidered on cotton muslin fabric. The overall effect is very rustic, with a texture that gives the single-coloured work some depth.
Now, using cotton string is not as pretty as smooth embroidery floss, and stitching onto rough muslin fabric is not as elegant as fine linen, but it is very easy to see the difference in the stitches. And with such crude materials, I find inconsistencies in stitches to be even more glaring, even with small spaces.
Like all stitchers, I strive for neat lines with uniform stitches. Normally I can stitch along quite evenly, on my own designs or in a freestyle manner – but this kit is printed with definite straight lines and patterns (I have discovered that I am not a fan of pre-printed kits. I’m a bit of a control freak, and I like dictating my lines and stitches, even when I’ve traced a pattern myself). I found that as I toodled along with my needle, my stitches would come up short to fit on the end of a line. This happened on the left side of the diamond, you can see the bottom stitch is shorter than the top.
I realised this would be a project where I would have to actually employ some brainpower, heaven forbid some sort of mathematical formula to calculate stitch length...but like so many problems in life, it simply took a tray of brownies to make everything better!
When cutting brownies or other tray-baked goodies, I start by cutting a line down the middle of the pan, then I cut the halves in half, and so on, until I have lovely, even little pieces of yumminess. I was doing this the other day when the light bulb lit in my head and I realised the same could be done with embroidery.
So I eyed the centre of the line – which mind you isn’t consistent with the spokes of the snowflake jutting out from the centre – and stuck my needle through to mark it.
Then I judged half of this line and started backstitching. The results were far more equal than the top side...
...just not as tasty as an even brownie square. But at least this will make quicker work of this cushion.
I’m sure the non-stitchers are looking at this and saying, “I don’t see much of a difference, they’re all such tiny stitches.” But you embroiderers will know what I mean. You know I’ll sleep better at night...hee hee!
Hmmm, I should keep embroidering...but I feel a little peckish now. Chocolate, anyone?
Link up your stitching projects below!