I've just finished Rebecca Ringquist's 2010 summer sampler
. I decided to do it all in variegated threads. Because the printed lines I was stitching over are pretty thick, I used pearl cottons (mostly #5) and also a lot of Caron Collection Watercolours
-- one strand of that is about the same weight as #5 pearl cotton, and the color combinations are so yummy! I did the whole thing with variegated threads; the pearl cottons include ones from Weeks Dye Works, Anchor, DMC, Valdani, Crescent Colours, and some that I dyed myself using fiber-reactive Procion dyes from Dharma Trading Company
. The threads are heavy and the base fabric tightly-woven, and I had a lot of trouble getting through the fabric at first, and even broke the eyes of a few embroidery needles, until a helpful staffer at the Status Thimble
(San Mateo, CA) recommended I switch to a chenille needle instead. That worked much better!
Here's the whole sampler:
I was dreading the amount of buttonhole stitching, but I actually really enjoyed working it -- it went fast -- and it shows off variegated threads wonderfully. I want to try some crazy quilting soon, and this stitch is definitely going to be in the mix:
The spiderwebs were a new stitch for me. There are two styles, and I did them both. This photo doesn't quite do justice to the yummy colors:
I experimented a little with the tulips. The one on the left is one with a backstitch stem, satin stitch leaves, and stem stitch blossom in pearl cottons; the one on the right is done with a stem stitch stem, satin stitch leaves, and split stitch blossom in Caron Watercolours. I think the satin stitch works much better in Watercolours than in pearl cotton. I had been curious about using linear stitches like stem stitch and split stitch as filling stitches. I found it tricky to figure out how to best fill the shape and not leave odd little gaps!
Finally, I just love how these French knots and bullion knots show off the variegated threads: