Stitching Times serves up stories, examples and tutorials about needlework related crafts, especially quilting and crochet. Almost all of the projects shown have been designed by Kay Stephenson

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Doing What You Should Do and Doing What You Want To Do

Yesterday I did what I should do. I wrote up a pattern, published it on, promoted it on Facebook, twitter and this blog, blah, blah, blah. It’s the price of underwriting my hobbies by selling patterns. Of course I also did the laundry, washed dishes, cooked dinner, and walked the dog. These are the things I have to do. Somewhere in there though I found a little time to do something I wanted to do.
I’ve had an idea for a lightweight gauze shawl or scarf rattling around in my head for months. I even bought gauze in a couple of different colors. My idea was to somehow embellish the scarves with thread painting or embroidery. Then a funny thing happened.
I was shopping online for an outfit to wear to a wedding. One outfit had a recommended wrap to go with it. I didn’t examine it too closely, but it was navy and appeared to have some sort of design on both ends. I ordered it and to my surprise, when it arrived it was navy gauze with same color embroidery designs. Hmmm.
I know. It’s a terrible picture, but hopefully you get an idea of what it looked like. Of course the outfit didn’t fit and I ended up wearing something else to the wedding, but after that shawl went back in the mail, I couldn’t stop thinking about how I would do something similar but unique.
So I prepped one of the gauze pieces. First I washed it and thankfully I washed it separately and in cool water because the color ran like mad. After it was dried and pressed, I split the piece lengthwise and sewed it end to end to make one long piece (about 72 inches by 26 wide) and hand hemmed it.
Next I sat down with a sketch pad and started to draw design ideas. This is the rough design I came up with
It’s not a great image because my scanner isn’t at big as the sketchpad I was using, but you get the idea. The solid dots were to be French knots and the open dots would be beads. I even had some beads that I thought might work.
Initially I just used a large embroidery hoop and started stitching, but it soon became apparent that, gauze is almost as stretchy as jersey knit.
So I ripped all of that out and started over with some Sulky water soluble stabilizer backing it up. Oh, and I always split a 6 strand embroidery thread in two and work with three stands at a time. It makes a more delicate design and is easier to get through the eye of the needle, but some might object. At any rate, yesterday afternoon I finally found a couple of hours to sit down and work on the embroidery, and here is what I have so far.
Like many occasional embroiders, I’m a knotter. I have never mastered the art of making the back look as good as the front, and my stitches aren’t nearly small enough, and, and…. Anyway, because this fabric is so light, I expect I will sew two pieces back to back to cover the mess, but who knows when I will get around to that? Now I’m off to order flowers for the Mother-in-law. Something I know I should do.

1 comment:

  1. Reminds me of the work I did on my jeans way back when! Denim, however. is a much easier fabric to deal with when it comes to attaching beads and doing embroidery stitching. I bet the shawl comes out beautifully!