Sunday, September 16, 2012

Drawn Thread Work

I've gone and done it. I've started two new projects when I have absolutely no business doing so. But sometimes, I just can't help myself. Have you heard that excuse before? In this case, an expert embroidery teacher was scheduled to teach some classes in Portland, Oregon, and our local guilds decided to have her come teach a few classes here in Southern California and save a bit on air fare.

This is Drawn Thread Embroidery Accessories Set by Barbara Meger. Beautiful, aren't they? If you click on her name you will be taken to her classes page and can see all that she has to offer. Our kit contained enough materials to make three of the four items shows, so of course I bought an extra.

The fabric is 32 count Belfast Linen, just lovely to hold and to sew. We are using DMC Perlé No. 12 in Blanc with No. 24 tapestry needles. Nice and blunt, no pricking or bleeding with this project. And it's easy to pull the threads, and you can actually see them! Not like working with handkerchief linen or cotton batiste, which I've done before.

The linen in lined with blue silk dupioni so the blue shows through the holes caused by the withdrawn threads. I traded in my blue for rose, as I have a lot of rose silk and may make other things that may just sort of match. I did try very hard to make the little pincushion come out white, but wasn't very successful.

You can see the blue a bit better with the box cover.

The side of the box. Isn't it beautiful? The box is hand made in Suffolk, Virginia of maple from the Suffolk Shaker Shop. The little nails on the tongues are copper.

This is as far as I got. That is chain stitching at the top, and I need to add another row. Below the chain stitch is herringbone stitch, and below that is cable stitch, just like in smocking. We withdrew two threads for that, so the stitching gives it an open feeling. The next one is a stitch that Barbara found in an Italian magazine and she didn't know the name, so she calls it Van Dyke as it does somewhat look like the Van Dyke stitch in smocking. The big area at the bottom is Italian Hemstitch, worked over a gap of 10 withdrawn threads and into another little channel of one withdrawn thread three threads up. The little bundles are three threads each. As you can probably tell, another row needs to be worked on the bottom. Then I have to repeat the top five rows below the Italian Hemstitch in a mirror image. Oh, and this is just one-third of the linen. I worked the Italian Hemstitch down one side of the 24 inch piece. There's a lot left to do!

This was Friday's class sponsored by the Long Beach Embroiderer's Guild of America. I took another on Saturday, but that's a subject for another post. There is also a smocking class going on today, which I decided to skip.

I plan on spending an hour or two out in the heat on the patio stitching this afternoon. It's been over 100 °F for the past two days, but is much cooler, only high 80's today. This is still quite a bit over the average for September and I am really looking forward to some cooler weather.

The ceiling scraping is finished, but there is lots of painting and other work to do before the house gets back to normal.


  1. All I've done so far in drawn thread work is hemstitch - yet another technique on my list of Things To Try!

  2. Yes I do know exactly what you are talking about. I do the same thing myself. I can't help myself either. Like always, your project will turn out beautiful!

  3. Che bello Cinzia!!!!!! Quante cose riesci a fare!!!!!! In Italia il grande caldo finalmente se n'è andato, ora si comincia a respirare,baci

  4. There is absolutely nothing with having more projects on at the same time, that's what makes life more interesting :-) Drawn thread embroidery is lovely, always looks so "clean" and crisp.
    I like Shaker boxes very much, on my "wish list" ;-)

  5. te niteczki sa takie piekne , ale haft bardzo pracochłonny.


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