Monday, January 11, 2010

Embellishing with Couching

I've been working away on the Creative Journey quilt again.  I've been going over the "finished" section and adding details and accents.  I stitched the spiral in the middle of this flower and added a flower sequin in the middle and one to end the spiral on the outside.  I love to end stitching with a bead, button, or sequin.  It's a great "stop" for your eye.  You hit that end point and instead of wanting to continue go back up to see more.

I also filled in the center of the small pink flower by couching an orange pearl cotton around the orange section, and then adding orange and yellow beads to the center.

Speaking of couching, it's one of my all time favorite ways to add interest and texture.  I'm sure you all know what "couching" is but since some of you might not have embroidery experience, couching is a technique of stitching over a thread that's lying flat on the fabric. You can do it with fancier stitches but I prefer to just stitch over it at even lengths.

DMC has a great line of variegated pearl cotton threads that match their floss.  By using both you get the variation in colors working for you two ways, on the background and also on the stitching thread.  This swirling tendril kind of follows the fabric print and ends inside the binding.  I decided not to put anything on the end of these because I want them to draw your eye out to the border.  I guess you're getting the point that when you look at one of my pieces your eyes go kind of crazy, that's what I'm aiming for.  The thing about the style I have is that you never get bored looking at the piece, and I don't get too bored making it!

This photo shows my technique a little better.  As you can see I have one needle threaded with the pearl cotton and the other with the matching floss.  By using a large eyed sharp needle I can weave the heavier thread under the appliques and then stitch it down with the floss.  This way I can get a lot of dimension and texture.  This is a great way to fill in background space when you want something more than a quilting stitch.

As I've said in previous posts I've been struggling getting everything done that I wanted to get done. However, I was able to get one project done over the last couple of weeks and that was to finish updating my website.

I'd been wanting to have some fun with it for a while, so I decided after Christmas to take a few days to design new headers, change the background, and update the text. Although writing all the code is a pain, I actually enjoy the process of designing websites. They're built in layers, just like quilts, so it's not too difficult once you figure out the basics. Now that I know how to update it I can keep it fresh and add new photos and features as they become available.

If you have a few minutes, click on the link on the right and take a look. There's a whole section on my quilts, including my quilting resume, (which I need to update, again!).

We're expecting a big storm to come through here tomorrow so I spent today doing the shopping and laying in supplies so I can sit and stitch all day.  I'm looking forward to it and hopefully nothing happens to derail my plans. 

Happy Stitching!


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