For the past ten+ years I have been a member of the Embroiderers Guild of America. I have actually been stitching for 25 years so this was a match made in heaven. What I discovered when I joined the EGA is that it is not just a club for like minded hobbyist, it is an organization dedicated to the education of needle arts. We also try to do civic work as well as meeting to enjoy the company of fellow stitchers.
I actually wrote The Crystal Needle in honor of the EGA. A few years back they held their yearly convention in Birmingham Alabama and it was themed Stitching Magic. Of course their ideas were leaning toward vegas style rabbit out of the hat magic, but I took off with it.
Okay, I told you that to tell you this....now I sound like Larry the Cable Guy. One of the ways that EGA educates is through a correspondence program within the club. The HQ has a large list of projects that are designed to teach stitchers new ways of embroidering. My interest group raised the money to pay for the course and we set it up so that our group could take it together. It was about pulled thread needlework. As luck would have it the group also gave me a scholarship to help pay for the class so I could take it. I did not want to let them down.
Pulled Thread: It can also be called Drawn Thread: This is a technique where you stitch on a fabric like linen using a similar colored thread. Using unique stitches you actually pull open holes in the thread in certain patterns to give a lacy look to the piece. In this style the thread isn't exactly what you are looking to show off, but the openings you create by pulling on it in certain ways.
I have never done this before, but I was determined to do it because the group was paying for me to take the class. It made for a great incentive to push through frustrating moments and learn learn learn. And, I DID IT. I just finished the main education part of the course and completed the pulled thread work. Now all that is left to do is the center decoration which is nothing new for me.
Take a look at the work in progress.
The last two are more accurate for the color of the project. The warping of the fabric around some of the blocks is natural when you are pulling thread like this, it will relax and look much smoother when I take it off of the frame.