Saturday, October 18, 2008

Satin Stich Leaves

A new book once again provides inspiration. This pattern was created by a gentleman in the early 1700’s. The design is rather direct and bold for that time period thus it has a very modern look, especially when translated to thread.

The leaves measure about 3/8” at their widest point, which makes the satin stitch glow. The rule with using rayon thread is the shorter the stitch, the more matte it appears; the longer the stitch, the more lustrous. Rayon is my preference when using my computerized embroidery machine as it has a flexibility that works well with most designs and technical aspects of the machine and it has a great color choice. Oddly, polyester thread, which is stronger, washes well and withstands harsh light, used to have a more matte appearance; but recently, there has been a trend by thread manufacturers to give it the same glossy texture of rayon.

Cotton thread is the conceptual choice by most designers. Valued for its matte appearance and its natural origin, it offers a look that is unique yet traditional. The downside to cotton is the limited color palette and the lack of local stock. I buy DMC cotton by the cone for my machine and own about every color available (approximately 350.) Ordering a cone can take a minimum of 6 weeks from France: if the color is out of stock, it can take longer. On the other hand, I have a local supply of thousands of colors of rayon thread.

I hope to use the branch of leaves and berries on Kerry Joyce "Lynne" dining chair backs. Each of the 8 backs would be individually designed and no two backs would be the same. I will also use the design to make some pillows.

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