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Friday, July 29, 2011

A Sneaky Way to End Threads

Have you ever had difficulty figuring out just how to secure the ends of a thin, slippery thread?

That dilemma turned up I was stitching away on Magi #1. One area was covered only in long stitches in a thin metallic thread, couched every so often by more thin metallic thread. There really wasn’t much bulk on the back of the canvas to allow me to bury the thread ends and be assured that they wouldn’t work themselves loose.

I tried hiding a few backstitches underneath the couched thread to start and end threads, but those backstitches peeked out a bit and looked bulky.

For a light stitch like this, sometimes you have to forget about trying to bury the thread ends within the same area. Instead, look at what stitches will eventually be in the surrounding areas. Aha! The area right next to this one is going to be covered with a faux suede applique. Perfect!

For the Magi, I simply brought the threads over to the to-be-appliqued area, then used a simple L-stitch to start or end the thread. (Ok, truthfully, this thread was so slippery that I actually went over the L-stitch a couple of times, but that was the idea anyway.)

Here you can see where I have a few L’s (or +’s) in the empty area.


And from the back…

Of course, the area you’re ending the threads in doesn’t have to be eventually covered in an applique. It could be any heavy-coverage stitch that covers up your tiny thread ends. I could have just as easily ended the threads in the blue area on the other side, which is just long satin stitches.

One word of caution, though. Please be aware that if you’re trying to do this with a thick thread, your L-stitches are going to be bulky, and may distort whatever is placed on top of them. With a skimpy thread like this, though, the only thing that might be a concern is if the tiny stitches will peek out from under whatever will be placed over them. With a suede-like applique, I have no worries about this for my Magi!

If you try this technique, please let me know how it goes!


Just in case you were wondering about how I was progressing with The Magi (designed by the very talented Dorothy Lesher), thus far I have only been stitching on Magi #1. Here he is so far:

I am having a lot of fun with this piece, so despite my previous comments about changing out projects more frequently, I haven’t picked up anything else in a while! But that’s how it goes sometimes…

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Magi Online Class

Several years ago a stitching friend went to a seminar and ended up with one of the most drool-worthy projects I’ve ever seen. That lovely creation was Dorothy Lesher’s The Magi.

Earlier this year, I was thrilled to find out that Dorothy was going to be offering The Magi as an online class through the Shining Needle Society. The class was fully kitted, complete with painstakingly hand-drawn canvas, several yummy silks, spools and spools of metallics, Swarovski crystals, and fabrics for applique. 

Don’t these colors just scream royalty?

And yes, I have started it. But that’s another post…

Friday, July 8, 2011


Newton’s first law of motion can be paraphrased as:

An object in motion stays in motion and an object at rest stays at rest unless acted upon by an outside force.

In my case, LIFE was the outside force that stopped my blogging momentum, and to some extent, my stitching momentum.

So, what’s the outside force in getting me moving again? That would be my several recent reminders that life is short, and you never know when your time is up.

That’s why I’m back. I’ve been thinking about what gets me motivated to stitch, and about what makes me want to share it through blogging. I started this blog over four years ago with the intent of encouraging stitchers to overcome any intimidation when trying new techniques (C’mon – it’s Just String!) At the time, I had several projects going on a loose rotation, so readers never knew from one day to the next what technique I might be posting about.

For the past two years, though, I’ve become more of a one-at-a-time stitcher. I wanted to reduce the overall time it took to complete a project, especially given the reduced stitching time since our spitfire lovely daughter came on the scene. Unfortunately, I’ve found that I’m less motivated to post when there’s such small incremental progress from day to day, and it’s the same technique for several months at a time. (I actually got into the habit of posting about stuff I did the previous week, rather than what I was currently stitching, and that took a lot of the fun out of it.)

(I’m curious, though. What do you like to read about? Progress on a single project or a variety of projects?)

So I’m starting to mix it up a bit again. I’ve got a canvas piece in the works, a sampler, and an upcoming correspondence course in Schwalm embroidery. Who knows? I may even pick up one of my longtime stumpwork WIPs from time to time. As I’ve stated before, I’m a bit of a “mood” stitcher. I have to be in the mood to stitch on a certain project, or I won’t stitch. It’s the variety of projects that keeps me motivated to stitch, and motivated to share them with all of you.

I’m rebuilding momentum! It should be a fun ride.