Embroidered Letters

September 6, 2014 at 5:32 pm | Posted in Embroidery | Leave a comment

On one of my current projects, I needed to add some text that was supposed to be readable and pretty technical. While embroidering letters has obviously a long tradition, often in connection with monograms and samplers, what I needed was a bit different from anything I had seen before. Here’s a progress picture of the quilt in question:

BaustelleneinrichtungsplanSee all that text on the bottom, in nice long German words? This is a relatively small piece, so the capitals are about 1 cm high on the left and 0.7 cm on the right. That’s pretty small to get clear lettering in any textile medium. One obvious solution for this would be machine embroidery. Since I currently don’t have access to an embroidery machine, that option was out.

So, what did I do? After quite a bit of trying different things, I found a solution that worked for me. Let’s have a closer look, first at the text on the right:

Small backstitched lettersAs you can see, this is not a purely textile solution. I used coloured pens to transfer the text on the fabric, and the colour stays visible on the finished letters. Using one strand of standard cotton embroidery floss I backstitched around the contours of the letters, giving a nice crisp finish to each. It does look a bit uneven here and there, but if you look at the piece from a distance, it’s clean and readable.

The letters on the right, being a bit bigger, I did fill in:

Embroidered LettersThe letters were traced with a black pen, then outlined in backstitch as above. For filling in, I used a line of chain stitch in the letters, and French knots for the dots on the i’s.

This piece will be part of a larger project about the construction site that’s taken over my backyard during the last year. For German readers, there’s a bit more here: Hofbaustelle.

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