Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Embroidery, you say

Last week I was showing you a new pattern combining stitching and embroidery. Well, while I was working on this little stuffie it occurred to me that there are reasons why there is such a selection of threads that you can use while embroidering. I know, it's probably obvious to most people, but I hadn't really considered the appropriate uses of embroidery floss and perle cotton. So, if you're like me, a little slow to catch on to things sometimes, this post may help you.

I was working on Screech, who is about 7 1/2" x 4". She's not too small, so I was able to choose from a variety of thread weights/thicknesses. As a matter of fact, it didn't really occur to me that my thread choice might be limited until I started work on a small pincushion. The image to be stitched was the same as for the stuffie, but reduced in size. This is really when I realized that the larger size perle cotton would be problematic as it would overwhelm the stitchery. Here's what I'm talking about:

You can see the difference in the stitchery sizes - the new one I want to work on is substantially smaller than Screech. If I used the same threads that I used for Screech, some of them would be too thick for this small stitchery which is only a fraction of her size.

Here are the threads that I used for Screech.  From the far left, there are No. 5, No. 8 and No. 12 perle cottons. I did not use the size 12, I've just provided it here for reference. On the right of Screech, you will see a blue variegated embroidery floss. I have separated out the strands so you can see what 1 strand looks like compared to 3 strands, which is what I used on Screech. You can use as many strands as you like; some people use all 6 at one time.

Here's a close-up of the various thread choices, both the perle cotton (on the left) and the embroidery floss (on the right), allowing you to see the difference in thicknesses.

So after reviewing my choices, I definitely won't be using the No. 5 or No. 8 perle cottons on this little girl. I may use a No. 12 perle cotton and will definitely using a few strands of embroidery floss. 

 I guess it's true that size does matter!


Unknown said...

Thanks for this post. Next time I pull out my embroidery, I will pay more attention to the thread size. I am like you, sometimes it takes a while to catch on! Thanks for helping me get to that place a little faster!

Chatterbox Quilts said...

You're welcome, Cynthia!