As I was stitching along on the christening gown today, I had an aha moment I thought I would share with you.
I am using floche on silky voile for the gown. In stitching these "flourishes" on the gown, I was reminded of something I had forgotten. Floche is a soft twist fiber. It covers nicely for padded satin stitch as well as shadow work. I will admit that it is not always my first thread of choice, but it seemed to be working well for me. It's also no secret that I am under the gun with this project. Sometimes when we are under the pressure of a deadline we tend to try to take shortcuts or not go back and fix stitching we aren't happy with. That was my dilemma today.
See the curly q on the top left? That was the last one I stitched in this group. See how smooth the top and edges are? Well that is the look I was going for. If it had turned out as lumpy and frumpy as the first two I probably would have left it. But since it didn't I was in a quandary. Do I take out the good one to make it match the two "carpy" ones? Of course not! So I either left them looking decidedly different, or I had to take out the first two to make them match the look I was going for. So some reverse stitching was in order. (Always be careful when removing stitching. Go slow so you don't snip the fabric instead of the embroidery thread. Ask me how I know.
As I said, floche is a soft twist fiber. You can get it to unfurl or flatten out by either threading one end in the needle over the other or you can untwist it as you stitch with it. Since I can never remember which end is which, I just uncurl as I go. In the picture above I have done this. Just simply twisted in the direction needed to get the individual fibers to separate and be more ribbon like.
In this picture I have done the exact opposite. I have twisted it to make it more rope like. When trying to satin stitch, the tighter twisted thread will result in the more jagged edges seen in the first photo.
Here are my curly q's restitched. The edges are smoother. They still aren't perfect to me, but this picture is taken through the magnifier. After it is washed, the fibers will fluff up even further. Finally when it is draped down the front of a moving baby, or hung on a wall, those edges won't look as jagged. I am not as happy with the stems, but twice is my limit for removing something.
DISCLAIMER: A friend and I have had several conversations of late about the popular opinion that there is only one "right" way to do things. There is NO ONE RIGHT WAY to do anything! I don't care what book states what method, or what method one pattern designer uses over another. I am sharing with you, what worked for me. I am not a self professed authority on anything. Nor is anyone else. Sure some stitchers have more experience than others, but everyone has their own approach. A more experienced stitcher is just that, more experienced. Remember your mother always telling you practice makes perfect? They have just been practicing longer. Don't let yourself be sucked into thinking there is only one correct way or for that matter into thinking that your way is wrong. If we are striving to enhance our skills then we are all learning from each other. I happen to like tiny, tiny bias binding for instance; you might like a larger bias binding. Its not right or wrong. It is all a matter of preference. Not authority. So don't let anyone rain on your parade.