September 19, 2014

Laying down the line

Starting the first couched line on the organdy

To ensure even, consistent spacing between stitches, I made myself a paper guide 

Pulling the peach thread through a vertical stitch

The first couched line is complete in peach and orange

Starting the next line of couching

Pausing to reflect on my progress  

Undoing the couching

Carefully extracting the peach thread

Replacing the peach thread with white 

The new version of the couched lines with white thread

Couching is a simple stitch where you lay down a line of thread and then make short vertical stitches to tack it into place. I love how it looks (especially with contrasting colors) but looking simple and effortless does not necessarily mean the process is simple and effortless.

Case in point – these couched lines. First I tried them with peach and orange, a combination I was excited by but once I laid down a few lines, felt it was visually too loud and too warm for the piece. So I paused. And then I decided to pull out the peach and replace it with white. I'm not convinced by the white either, to be honest. Letting it sit for a bit before I make a call.


Undoing your work can be such a buzzkill. It makes me feel like I don't know what I'm doing, and that is hard for me. I like knowing what I'm doing. I like planning things out, mulling over the colors, the composition, the materials, the techniques, the stitches. Thinking things through in advance is in my nature. Changing things as I go, deviating from my plan, is not. It's hard to go against your nature, but I know that if I want to be great, I have to be able to do it.

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