Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Thread Shadows - Part 2

This blog entry will be a discussion of travel thread shadows.  This is the picture of travel threads shadowing through to the front of the stitching.

In the above picture the stitcher can not start and stop the thread at each stitch because each stitch is one vertical stitch.  So just what do you do in this instance?
Here are a few suggestions:
1.  If you must carry threads across an unstitched area, travel diagonally (as opposed to vertically or horizontally), as this may hide some of the travel threads.
2.  Baste white muslin to the back of your fabric prior to stitching anything.  The white muslin will hide any travel threads.
3.  Mount your needlework on a mounting board the same color as your thread that you are pulling across the open areas.  I have not seen this technique with black mounting board and white fabric, but I have seen it done with a medium green mounting board and tan fabric.  It worked beautifully and did not detract from the piece.
4.  If there are a few stitches in each isolated area then you have enough thread to start and end threads in the back of those stitches.  Use a sewing thread to further hold down these threads if necessary, using the techniques I went over in the last blog post.
Here is another example:

What you see here is the blue metallic threads being dragged from one stitching area to the next.  Above this stitched area are laid violet threads.  The blue metallic thread should have been hidden behind the laid metallic thread by placing a small tacking stitch above the point created by the two blue metallic threads coming together, then dragged behind this line of stitching, another tacking stitch right above where the next point created by the blue metallic threads is made.  Here is a diagram:

The blue thread will be taken to the back of the canvas at point 2.  Instead of pulling this thread over to point 7, bring your needle up at point 3 and down at point 4 (first tacking stitch) then take your second tacking stitch at points 5 and 6.  Then bring your blue thread up at point 7 to start the next stitch.  These tacking stitches will be covered by the violet thread that is laid across this horizontal channel in the canvas.
The compensated cross stitch placed at the points where the blue threads meet will cover the irregularity caused by pulling the thread from point 2 to point 3 and from point 6 to point 7 (thread pull on the back of the canvas affects how the stitches on the front will look.)  
Look for these types of opportunities (hiding threads behind other threads) to hide travel in open canvas work.