Some projects are just not meant to be completed!!

This one was doomed from the moment it began!!

When the year began, I had drawn up a list of new projects to do this year. Of course, completing Schwalm project and Brazilian embroidery miniatures were a priority too. But what I wanted to try this time was embroidering on black.
The idea was simple- The background was to be black cloth and the embroidery on it was to be with only white. The primary stitch I had planned was satin stitch. This was a chance for me to brush up on my satin stitch skills. I was all excited!!
I found the design from a coloring page, changed it a bit and traced it on the black stitching felt I had.

And it looked like this. I had used white graphite/carbon paper to trace and the paper had left a residue on the cloth.I did not like it. But I assumed once I start stitching things will fall in place.

Then I looked for white threads. The project was envisioned with white silk threads .I didn't have them in my stash!! I had cream silk and a lot of other colors,but no white silk . So should I wait for a few days and go and get some? - Nah,no patience..I wanted to start off stitching immediately. I rummaged among the stranded cotton threads and found a single white skein. That should surely suffice for this small project.Thus the stitching started. Then the next problem cropped up.

The tracings started fading making it difficult to see. I had to keep redrawing. I pushed myself to filling the stem with stem stitch,but by then the leaves had faded. I redrew one of the leaves and outlined and filled with split stitch .Then I filled it with satin stitch. It looked just ok.Moreover,the single leaf took so much of time that by the time I started the second leaf,I had lost all the interest I had in the project.

Embroidery is something one needs to enjoy. It shouldn't look daunting,neither should it frustrate. When you embroider use the stitches you enjoy working with. I do not enjoy an overload of satin stitching- this I realized after wasting some precious hours setting up and stitching my white on black project. :(( So much for my satin stitch dreams!!

I do have one more "on black" project in my new year list.I think I'll put it off for a while. May be felt for stitching is not such a good idea. How about black cotton fabric ?Do you think it'll work out better than felt?

Love,luck and sunshine,


  1. Yes, Deepa! Cotton or linen is much better!
    I only embroider felt with perle cotton 8 or 5. Single stitches.
    Your design is beautiful and I like very much black on white or white on black - make beautiful works.
    Don't give up this beautiful pattern!

  2. Hey Deepa, I think this project still has a lot of potential. How about you save satin stitch for the two flowers, better still do those in padded satin stitch. The do the leaves in one of the filling stitches you used on your sampler, perhaps fishbone stitch. I think they would make a nice contrast.

    Felt is perhaps not the best fabric for satin stitch, you need something firmer. How about you treat yourself to those white silk threads you wanted for this project and a nice piece of black silk. Just to tempt you even more, have you seen Jane's white on black project?

  3. I imagine the texture of felt would make this sort of project difficult. I think the satin stitch would lie better on cotton. Black isn't the easiest of colours to work with, but it would be stunning once it was completed

  4. satin stitch is so demanding!
    have you considered black velvet? threads have to be hefty so that they don't sink in the pile.

  5. Everything you do to me is beautiful!

  6. Looks great, I do love satin stitch.

  7. So sorry for all your frustration...I think the cotton would work better.

  8. Deepa... so sorry to hear of your frustrations... I can empathize with you as I've had my share too, VBG! But what you are doing is lovely... you need one of the white pens for black fabric... as for using felt, lots of people do satin stitch on wool fabric and it is lovely... perhaps reinforcing it will give it that taught you require because felt will have some stretch to it... for most all my embroider work I always provide a support to my fabric, either pelon or a tear/wash away stabilizer... but no matter what, your work is always lovely! Hugs.

  9. It is just not black but any dark colour that is frustrating as the design does not stay on long enough. But you can try using the glass colour pencil (Apsara) super glass marker white for designs on black ground fabric. Costs about Rs 4 and has worked for all the small designs that I have worked.... Just a thought.

  10. I think this is one case where I would have prepared the design on tissue paper and then worked running stitch around all the design lines. When you tear away the tissue, the lines are still there, but there's no pencil residue!

  11. Hi Deepa,
    It has been a long time I sat went through all the blogs as I am busy in sewing.I think You can use a crayon in black cloth as I did for one of my project and it stayed for a longer time.Fishbone stitch is a better option for the leaves and also you can finish it very quickly.Just a loud thought...


Post a Comment