Thursday, February 04, 2010

Growing Coral with Memory Thread (DMC)

I have been terrified of starting this thing - but took the big plunge (not a pun, please) and started out with the Memory Thread to create branch coral. I have felt, since I first saw this thread - new for DMC - that I could do more with it than simply embellish a surface with tacked down coils. I do intend to do that soon, though, on some traditional Christmas ornaments, and looking forward especially to the effects of gold and silver.
Anyway, back to diving and watching the coral reef develop.I have studied many many photographs, and started "seeing" classic embroidery stitches in and among the growths around the reefs. Enchanting - the shapes and colors are almost endless.

My first thought with the Memory Thread (and I'll still do it) was to make the foundation of the sea fans with it - but then started seeing fern stitch and buttonhole stitch in various coral formations, so felt that was perfect for this first piece. The color is #6150 Orange.

The ladies at DMC were gracious in sending me their instructions for using Memory Thread - which involves making a bit of a hole in the work for inserting the thread. It's actually very soft thread wrapped copper wire - and will not go through the eye of a needle.

Although usually all the work with it is done on the surface, I was determined to do this Fern Stitch to make coral - so had a bit of a struggle at first. I made the holes with the large #20 tapestry needle - the eye - and then pushed the end of the thread through the hole, starting from back to front. All it takes to anchor it, is to bend a little bit on the back, and it won't go anywhere.
I had to come up from back to front, and push enough of the ravel through the hole to pull it on through with my fingernails - and then go back down by doing the same thing. I won't begin to say it was easy, but as I felt my way along, I figured it out - and do like the effect very much.
I have always used a nail clipper for cutting threads, as it's much easier and neater than scissors - and it was especially good for cutting the Memory Thread.
I had to snip off the end occassionally, when the ravel was too much, but some ravel is what enabled me to pull the wire through the stitched canvas.
The little sea critter is made with Thread Gatherer's new Sea Grass -(Peach Essence) and It's wonderful. It's so soft that I couldn't make a sea urchin or whatever much bigger - but I do like the effect and the way it handles. I have other things planned with it also in this series.
I'll work on the other pieces - the water drops - simultaneously, and add colors and elements as they occur to me. I still have the Kreinik metallics and Sharon B's beautiful hand dyed threads I bought from her Artfire Store (Pintangle is her blog).


Front Range Stitcher said...

Very interesting, thanks for writing about this thread, I haven't used it but will check it out as it seems like it would be very useful in certain scenarios.

Anne Stradal said...

Looks terrific so far!

LIZ said...

This looks wonderful! Nothing like a little perseverence to make a thread do just what you want. Good job!

原來 said...

若對自己誠實,日積月累,就無法對別人不忠了。 ..................................................

Cyn said...

Hi Judy,

I like the use of the Memory thread for the coral. Very interesting.

And that's a very cute sea creature there on the bottom. :-)

Windy Meaodw