A TECHNIQUE DRIVEN Blog dedicated to mastery of surface design techniques. First we dye, overdye, paint, stitch, resist, tie, fold, silk screen, stamp, thermofax, batik, bejewel, stretch, shrink, sprinkle, Smooch, fuse, slice, dice, AND then we set it on fire using a variety of heat tools.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Threads and wholecloth

Hello everyone! It's Erica Spinks here again with my second post. If you missed my first entry, you can read it here.

Like most hand stitchers, I love threads as much as cloth. Non-shiny threads are my preference, since bling doesn't appeal. I prefer cotton, though I will use other fibres if the colour is right. For me, it's all about how the thread feels in my hand.

 Reaching for Words started life as a piece of plain cotton fabric that I folded and then hand-dyed. The dyeing resulted in a partial grid, so I pulled out all the threads from my collection that seemed to be potentials for this piece.

I used my favourite Aurifil 50wt cotton in plain colours, as well as WonderFil 12wt Fruiti and Spagetti threads. Fruiti is a beautiful variegated thread, while Spagetti is the same thread, but comes only in solid colours.

Mixing thread weights is a wonderful way to add variable texture.

I would like to try some of the beautiful colours in the Aurifil 12wt range once I can build a small collection. Linen is another thread I'd like to audition. What about you - what thread do you like to use for hand stitching?

The next piece in my Reaching series will be Reaching for Rain. I hand-dyed this piece of fabric and then coloured a section with Derwent Inktense sticks and then stamped and sponged it. The auditioned threads are a similar mix, with a few others thrown in. I haven't yet started stitching this piece.

The final quilt I'd like to show you is Windows. Again, this is a piece of fabric I folded and then dyed to create a grid. It was stitched with variegated Tutti 50wt cotton thread to create  windows of pattern.

I enjoy stitching on wholecloth, because then you can let the stitches make the pattern.

Sometimes, the fabric speaks to me and I find myself stitching the way it wants. That's the truly magical part!

Do you have recommendations for thread? What brands and weights do you prefer to use? When we stitch by hand, it really is personal preference because we handle the thread so much. We'd love to read your comments.
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  1. You had me at 'threads'!! I love any form of hand stitching as well. I just finished a piece using the 12 Wt. Sulky thread (2 strands) and really like the way it looks. It was varigated thread as well so added a nice look. Thanks for the post. I'm off to check out your blog again!

  2. Lovely work Erica. I tend to use hand dyed perle, or sometimes a bit of candelight (YLI) or some silk floss if it is the right colour. I have a ton of sulky thread given to me, so I might try robbie's idea. I do love a bit of sheen!

  3. Lovely and inspiring. Looking forward to having more time to play with my threads in a few weeks when I r entire!

  4. Erica, I love to use all weights of pearl cotton. It's also my favorite to dye and I also buy others hand dyed pearl cotton.


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