Colored Passing thread – how pretty!

Once the gold passing thread was couched on the heart for the Millefoiri Brooch, the next step was to attach the beautiful Red opal passing thread. This thread is a blend of colors changing subtly from gold to a pinkish color to red and back again. If I’d seen it in a shop I probably wouldn’t have purchased it – I wouldn’t have know what to DO with it! That’s one of the great things about working on a first class kit: the use of materials is often something new and you can explore using different materials in a way that’s been tried and tested.

As I couched down the red opal passing thread, I had to be careful not to pull the couching stitches too tight. I’ve discovered that this is a huge problem for me when using gold threads on a padded shape. I tend to pull the couching stitches too firmly, resulting in the padded shape being pushed upwards. The gold threads are then flat or almost flat against the fabric and the padded area is rising above the fabric without any threads on the padded area.

The goal is to work the passing thread onto the gently sloping side of the padded heart. In the photo above I’ve done a pretty good job. Below you can see the red opal all finished and the last rows of gold passing thread couched down. The slope of the padded heart is still looking pretty good. I think I’m getting better at this as I work! I need to remind myself…gently, gently!


In the photo below you can see one of the tricks I’ve learned from Jenny Adin-Christie. Look at the ends of the passing threads. Each of them is secured with a tiny piece of invisible tape. The tape prevents the thread from unraveling as I continue to work on the rest of the brooch. Pretty clever , I’d say!

The next step is to couch down pearl purl on the outside and inside of the passing threads. All the plunging of the passing threads is to be done at the end of the project – the last step- so I’ll have to be careful when I work the pearl purl around the outside tip! I’ll let you know how it goes!


Above is a photo of the heart brooch almost finished. In respect for the work Jenny Adin-Christie has put into her kits, especially the outstanding and well thought through instructions, I have removed all images of the piece in progress.

9 thoughts on “Colored Passing thread – how pretty!

    • Hi Clare,

      I know that Benton and Johnson sell colored metal threads. I don’t know if this is where Jenny gets her threads. If you go to the Benton and Johnson web site you will have to search for “Red Opal 371 thread”. However, I don’t know if this is the same thread she uses. I’ve written an email and, knowing Jenny, she’ll get back to me as soon as she can. She’s teaching now away from her computer withlimited access so it may be a day or two. Watch this space!
      Liebe Grüße,

      Hi again Clare,
      Jenny did get right back to me. If you want the exact same threads I’m using in the kit you can contact her directly. Her web site is here.
      Liebe Grüße,

      • Hi again Clare,
        Jenny did get right back to me. If you want the exact same threads I’m using in the kit you can contact her directly. Her web site is here.
        Liebe Grüße,

  1. Hi Kathy,
    I’m enjoying your stitching with these gorgeous threads. I loved the look of the brooch when you first showed us your kit. Learning from you and your experience on this project may give me the confidence to order the kit for myself. I am a beginner with gold threads.
    Best wishes,

    • Hi Diane,
      Go for it! Really it isn’t as hard as most people think it is. And starting with one of the brooch projects is probably the best way to learn. Look at the kit tht makes up into 2 small round brooches; Jenny recommended that one for beginners and I htink it would be fine for you to do!
      Liebe Grüße,

  2. I loved the look of this when you first showed it, and on Jenny’s advice I ordered one of the less complex kits. I haven’t started it yet, but it is next on the list.

    Thanks for the tips on not pulling the couching thread too tightly, and the tape on the ends of the threads. I love that embroidery people seem to be so generous with their knowledge and experience, and will share so graciously. I studied architecture and my lecturers would always tell me to ‘go look it up’ in answer to a question. Most times of course the answer was not to be found in a book but in their long experience on-the-job. This sharing is such a joyous change, so thank you, thank you.

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