A Little Bit of Embroidery

(topic: embroidery, designs)

Dear friends,

Recently I got my mother a dishtowel as a gift, but when she unpacked it, realized it was twice the size she usually uses! Easy to fix: most of the towel was blank, so I just cut it in half, and hemmed the edges. Voil√°: the part with the design is now on a towel of the right size, and now I’m in possession of a blank tea towel! It took very little time for me to realize that the blank towel was, in fact, a blank… well… not technically a canvas! I decided to make a matching design.

Here’s the original design, printed on the towel:

Step one: trace the design from the original towel to the blank one, using a light box. Here’s the traced design, in blue fabric chalk, with the beginnings of my backstitch outline.

And here it is, with more done (bad lighting, sorry):

Now we’re getting close! I’ve done all the outlines, all of the stitches in both the shades of yellow I chose – this includes the stripes of the bee (satin stitch). Also, I’ve now done both shades of green, plus the blue/gray buds, which are worked in french knots.

And, done! I’m really happy with this:

The back of the work is pretty tidy, and yes, I do knot my thread, and here’s why: If I were going to frame and display this, or use it in something where the back is hidden, I would want a smooth finish, so I would take time to hide longer tails, and depend on friction to keep them from working loose. But for a tea towel, which will be used for drying dishes, and which will go through the laundry, I need to make sure that the threads are firmly anchored and will not come loose with a tug. So, knots. They are small, and fairly buried, and like I said, I keep the back neat so that it looks ok since it’s not hidden. I’m really pleased with how it came out, and especially since it’s been several years since I’ve done embroidery.

Yours,

Sarah

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