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A bit more work on the crazy patchwork cushion. First a wiggly line of chain stitch in a variegated perle:

Threaded chain stitch 1

Threaded chain stitch 2

Which is then loosely threaded with some fabulously soft ultramarine-coloured lightly twisted silk thread.

Threaded chain stitch 3

I like that you can get very different effects with this stitch depending on how tightly you pull the threading thread to the chain stitch foundation. I prefer mine fat and loopy!

Threaded chain stitch 4

Ignore the key – I didn’t like it even when I was stitching it down and it’s long gone!

Usually once I’ve finished a technique I want to do something else as far away from it as possible, but not so with the pulled thread. I think it’s because for the sea glass piece I was limited to ripply stitches and there were so many that I wanted to work that wouldn’t have fitted. But now I get my chance to showcase the must-haves!

This is the start of my new piece, which is an A5 sized sampler of the pulled thread embroidery technique for our exhibition on the summer.

Pulled thread sampler border 1

The stitch doesn’t have a name but is nine parallel diagonal satin stitch lines within a square, identical to canvas work cushion stitch, just pulled tightly.

Pulled thread sampler border 2

By the end of the day I’d managed to complete the border:

Pulled thread sampler border 3

And now for the fun bit of choosing the first stitch to showcase.

In the end I secured the sea glass with the same thread that I used for the embroidery, but I tried to echo the geometric shapes of the pulled thread in the way I wrapped the glass nuggets.

Pulled thread beach 1

At first I really wasn’t sure, but the addition of pattern and texture has grown on me and now when I look back at the earlier photos I feel there’s something missing.

Pulled thread beach 2

Pulled thread beach 3

Pulled thread beach 4

Pulled thread beach 5

This is the dyed velvet I chose to back it with:

Pulled thread beach 6

and the two were attached with tiny diagonal stitches across the criss-cross of the warp and weft all the way around before I sealed the edges with modge podge and cut the finished piece out.

Pulled thread beach 7

The modge podge has completely stopped the fraying and has dried pretty much invisible and I also used it to stick the finished piece into my travelling book.

Pulled thread beach 7

My inspiration page:

Pulled thread beach 8

 

And the finished piece.

Pulled thread beach 9

I’m ready to get stuck into pulled thread again for my technique piece for our summer exhibition.

Thank you all for your kind words about my pulled thread work. It’s actually a lot easier than it looks. All you need to concentrate on is accurate counting (as in any counted thread work) and even pulling of the thread and the shapes and effects sort of produce themselves. And it builds up nice and quickly too.

Here’s the next phase: more triangular stitch on the top left side.

Pulled thread phase 3:1

And after a couple more rows of the triangular stitch, some random diamond stitch at the top to complete the main part of the pulled thread section.

Pulled thread phase 3:2

All the sea glass etc is stuck on at the moment, so the next job was to stitch the fabric pieces down invisibly to make them sit flatter against the scrim. You can hopefully see the difference between the larger leaf green piece on the left, which I’ve already stitched and the smaller ocean green piece which is still to be done.

Pulled thread phase 3:3

Eyelets next and then I have to bite the bullet and think of some sort of extra (but still in keeping) fastening for the real sea glass as I don’t think just glue is going to keep them secured well enough during their travels.

The pulled thread work for my travelling book is coming on nicely. I’ve filled in most of the right hand side and am moving up the left.

Pulled threads 1

Triangular stitch: interesting little v-shaped clusters of herringbone stitch produce this subtle diamond-like effect. And an odd eyelet. I’m going to scatter a few more of these around towards the end.

Pulled threads 2

 

Above the ripple stitch, more freely rendered diamond stitch waves and another section of reeded stitch.

Pulled threads 3

Pulled threads 4

About three quarters done and really enjoying it.

For my first travelling book piece I wanted to use pulled thread work around the sea glass and faux sea glass to look like ripples in the sand. I’ve dabbled in pulled thread before and I love the way the fabric distorts to create textures. So I hooped up my sea glass…

Beach ripples 1

…and found a fantastic thread almost the same colour as the scrim to work with. This is ripple stitch.

Beach ripples 2

And this is diamond stitch, although I’ve worked it as single zig-zag rows.

Beach ripples 3

First stage:

Beach ripples 4

Then some more diamond stitch rows to join the ripple stitch section.

Beach ripples 5

Next, reeded stitch joining the diamond stitch ripples.

Beach ripples 6

End of the second stage:

Beach ripples 7

Loving this, so it was a real delight when I randomly picked a technique to work for our Embroiderers’ Guild exhibition in the summer and found it was pulled thread work!!

During Panto week (which seems a long time ago now even though I only finished washing costumes and putting them away yesterday!) I also made a start on a 17th birthday card for my middle one. She’s very much into all things alternative and I’d found a small, simple cross stitch pattern quite a while ago for a little skull. I decided to stitch a few and dress them up like Day of the Dead candy skulls.

Skull with spirals

Autumn skull

Spring skull

My first three, all stitched during panto week and on target for the birthday.

Three Day of the Dead skulls

And the last two, all ready to be decorated.

Cross stitch skulls

But then work and other things happened and with the best will in the world I could not manage to get round to the final finishing until this week.

Waves skull

Roses skull

 

Then the making up, surrounding each skull in a riot of hessian flowers with sparkly middles on a very dark green card background.

Day of the Dead birthday card 1

 

Day of the Dead birthday card 2

 

DSCN6982

It was rather late, but she liked it.

 

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