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Wearable art Part VIII- Embroidery Stitches
By Kathleen Brown, Of My Hands


As a Girl Scout, all the members in my troop made cute samplers as we learned our first embroidery stitches.  Since that time, I've dappled in stitchery (even teaching professionallly for several years in a large department store, in Illinois, as a newly-wed).  I have since vecome fascinated with the works of Judith Montano, whose books I highly recommend as the epitome for showing what a creative hand can do with simple stitchery techniques.

Couching is an attachment stitch I use often.  It is simply a stitch that does just that - attaches an embellishment (usually a thread, cording, rattail, ribbon, sequins) to a piece of fabric.  This stitch begins underneath the fabric.  Your needle comes up right next to the cording, jumps over it, and pops down into the fabric again.  I usually move along the cording, underneath the fabric, about 1/4" - 1/2" before repeating the attachment process.  These stitches can be done in matching threads, becoming invisible, or done in contrasting threads, becoming part of the design.

Our sewing machines can do amazing things with their decorative stitching functions.  Try expermenting with some of the great metallic threads.   Even the functional mending and darning stitches take on a whole new look with the silk and metallic threads available.  This is a fun way to play with the stitches on your machine that you wonder if you'll ever find a use for. 

A simple stitch will add a delicate beauty to a seam and a repeated stitch can stand alone as a dramatic embellishment centerpiece.  I encourage you to play with your stitching , (machine or hand) adding beads and other embellishment "finds", creating your own style and stitching patterns.

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For Stitch Ilustrations Click Here

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