December 26, 2014

Changing the stitching on "Plain Spoken"

Back in May, I made the decision to quilt my shot cotton "Plain Spoken quilt with embroidery stitches.  In the months since, I scoured embroidery books for a variety of usable stitches and began the stitching.  I enjoyed learning the embroidery stitches; it is quite amazing how holding the thread one way or another, or placing the needle here or there, can create a wide variety of designs.  But after doing about 80 different stitches, I decided I didn't like the way it looked on the quilt.  Too much variety of color, value, and pattern--all of which distracted from the flow of color in the quilt.   (Ignore the loose white stitches--that's just basting that will be removed when the quilting is done.)

And a close-up, with basting stitches removed.  No better.  

So I decided to go back to something simpler, and did trials with various weight threads in either a simple running stitch, or the "conversation" stitch that I used on my Regret quilt.  

I decided on the conversation stitch (thanks to Mary Beth for the suggestion).  I'm using two threads, a dark, dusky blue 20 wt pearl cotton (hand-dyed) in the darker strips, and 2 strands of 50 wt Aurifil sewing thread in a pale yellow-green in the lighter strips; varying between the two holds down the value contrast between thread and fabric.  I think this is better.  

The quilt is also secured with in-the-ditch hand-quilting in all the vertical seams, done before I began the embroidery.


  1. I like the new stitches better. More uniform. What a LOT of work this is!!

  2. I understand why you tore out all the embroidery. But now that you know that you enjoy doing embroidery, have you thought of a project so that you can satisfy this outlet? Embroidery sounds like a good "travel" project.