Keeping your embroidery clean and “unfuzzed”

Yesterday morning there was a great question from Christina:

“Kathy, may I ask a question: why did you start on the outside and the right side at that? Do you not find that moving your arm over work you have already done makes the wool ‘fuzz’? Is there a reason you didn’t start in the middle and work out? ”

It got me to thinking that I rarely, if ever, take a photo of myself working. When you see my work, it’s taken with the intent that you will be able to see the stitches but not necessarily understand how I work.

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Great advice!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your advice and encouragement on my marguerite petals! Everyone pointed out – in one way or another – that the enjoyment of the process was the point of the exercise. Believe it or not, I did enjoy the process of improving the stitches!

Here’s how it looks now, after I took out quite a few of the petals and re-stitched them using longer, more diagonal stitches. I am happier but still not 100% satisfied with the result. However, I’m going to leave it for a while and move on.

One thing I see now that I should have thought about when I was stitching is that the slant of the stitches is not uniform. Some of the stitches slant downwards from left to right and other slant downwards from right to left. Still other stitches don’t slant very much at all. It’s a good project for a day or two from now, when I’ve been away from it for a while.

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How to wrap pearl purl

After my last article about Wrapping Pearl Purl I got some requests both via the comment form and email asking for a more specific instructions with photos. In retrospect, I should have taken photos as I was working but I just didn’t want to stop, take photos, check to see if they were OK, take more photos…I just wanted to do it and see how it looked! However, now I will take time to more clearly explain what I did and how I did it. For this tutorial, I’m using a left over piece of copper pearl purl and green thread and attaching it to a piece of muslin that doesn’t have any design drawn on it. Obviously, if you’re going to use this technique, you will want to carefully transfer your design and be sure to follow the pattern as you attach the wrapped pearl purl.

To begin, you will need to decide how long a finished, wrapped piece of pearl purl you need. Measure the length you will need and then cut a piece of pearl purl HALF that length. The next step is to stretch the pearl purl to double the cut length. In the photo above I’ve cut a piece 4 inches long and you can see that I’m stretching it to 8 inches. To stretch the pearl purl you will need to use your thumbnails and the tip of your index finger to grasp the very last twist at each end of the metal thread. Then gently and slowly pull your hands in opposite directions until you have reached the length you need.

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