Outlining techniques- Part 4 Couching - a pathetic show

After adding the stem,outline,split and chain stitched flowers , I,rather smug, tried the next method - and oh boy, it was a disaster. No, I've not pulled it out, I've left it there just to show you .

Look at this!!! Terrible,isn't it ?
I guess by now,you've figured out the method - Couching.But why are the lines all wobbly?
Where did I go wrong? Is it because I tried to couch a single long thread for the whole flower rather than for each petal? I've no idea. I was quite confident when I started with this method. But now I think I'll need tips from some of you. Any suggestions?


It's just that the couching stitches are too far apart. You can remedy it by going back round and couching more between te stitches you have already put in. So it's not a disaster! Better to use a hoop or frame, though, for this. You could plunge the threads at the end of each petal but you don't have to. Anyway, I learned this in this way too (by putting my cuching too far part).
Morning, Deepa. The couching looks fine to me, actually. Are you just too close to your own stitching? Not every stitch looks like the others, so sometimes you just need to remember this stitch doesn't do that effect well.

In Japanese Embroidery couching is a very common technique. I noticed that JE practioners couch a pair of thread and that they are careful to have their couching threads straight across the couched pair, not slanting occasionally. That might make a difference.

I do needlepoint and when I couch on NP canvas I try to come up and go down in the same hole so that the couching stitches don't stick out. I don't know if you can do this on your ground fabric but it might help smooth the line.

People who do long and short stitch embroidery often stitch over the line of couching they've laid down to give the flowers a raised edge. You can always use the flower shape you did that way also.

But if none of these help, use couching when you want a slightly choppy line. In my opinion, this irregularity looks great with certain types of flowers. Save other outline stitches for ones you want smooth.

Good luck! I think it looks great myself.

Jane, waving from Chilly Hollow
Hello !
I think the problem is due to the fact that your stitches are not close enough from each other. You might leave 2-3 mm between each, and even less in the curves.
Good luck !
Toni said…
Try placing the tacking stitches much more frequently. On a curvy shape like this, you might need to do every 1/4 or 1/8 of an inch (I'm not sure how big that flower is), or even closer.
arlee said…
I like the irregularity of it--even nature does not make a perfect edge.
karmicraft said…
Deepa I am very impressed that you will show us your mistakes. That way we will not repeat them. Most people will only show their beautiful work qand we often feel that we would never be able to do that. By showing your beautiful work and your mistakes I feel I will someday be able to do this. Karol