Monday, July 30, 2012

Tutorial: Thread Mini-Samplers, Part Three

Summer Bloggin' on &Stitches
It's time for the last in Julie's mini-series. It's been so inspiring to follow this and see how different a simple change can alter the look and feel of a stitched piece. Whether it be by number of strands, the colour or which type of thread you use.

Many thanks to Julie for writing this great series! xo, Nicole & Carina

If you've been following these mini-sampler tutorials, you’ll already have experimented with thread thickness and thread color. With this last thread mini-sampler, we’ll try out different thread types.

We modern embroiders are spoilt for choice when it comes to the variety of threads available to us. DMC alone makes a wide selection of thread types, but we can also use hand-dyed threads, silks, metallics, Japanese threads - and so many others. We often gravitate straight towards the stranded cottons - and for good reason, it’s such a versatile choice - but every thread has something unique to offer.

This mini-sampler is the one that refers most back to those original samplers I wrote about at the beginning of this series: stitched examples that you can refer back to later. This is the perfect opportunity to try out threads you’ve been curious about, test threads for a new project, or just broaden your horizons by trying something you never knew existed!

This third thread mini-sampler uses six different classes of thread made by DMC and a coordinating backing fabric. Here’s what you’ll need:
  • One piece of fabric, about 9” x 10” / 23 cm x 25 cm; I used a print from Darla by Tanya Whelan for FreeSpirit Fabrics.
  • Printed mini-sampler pattern (download link below).
  • 1 skein each of six different thread types in shades that match your fabric; For this example, I used DMC Stranded Linen L162, DMC Perle #8 519, DMC Stranded Metallic E334, DMC Coton A Broder No. 16 799, DMC Broder Medicis Wool 8899, DMC Satin S820.
  • A non-permanent fabric pen.
  • 4” x 6” / 10 cm x 15 cm photo frame, minus glass (optional).

One last time, center and trace the pattern onto your fabric. If you need a reminder about working the Star Filling Stitch, here’s a simple step-by-step:

(See the first post of this series for further explanation if needed.)

Here’s my selection of threads; you can see how different some of them are from the stranded cottons more commonly used.

To stay consistent with my first two mini-samplers, I arranged my threads by lightest to darkest again. Of course you can arrange them in any way you like or that looks best with the threads you chose to work with. If you are using the same threads I used, work the stitch blocks in the following order:

I’ve also noted here how many strands I used for each block, where applicable. Several of these threads are single-stranded; for the others, I’ve used a number of strands that makes them of similar thickness to the rest.

Remove your fabric pen markings and frame as you did the others and there you have it - a set of thread mini-samplers you can hang and use as inspiration when picking threads for your next project!

If you make a mini-sampler, we’d love to see it in the &Stitches Flickr Pool. I’ve had a lovely time guest blogging here at &Stitches; I really hope you’ve enjoyed these little tutorials. Thanks so much to Nicole and Carina for being such lovely hosts!

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