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Thread: Hand embroidery questions

  1. #1
    Super Member GEMRM's Avatar
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    Hand embroidery questions

    I have some blocks that I want to hand embroider, on premium muslin, - do I need to add fusible interfacing to the backside before I do the embroidery?
    A kit I bought a long time ago said to do this. When I was younger and learning to embroider, no one told me this was a thing one should do.
    Thoughts?

    Also, how do you get wrinkles out of muslin. I prewashed it and damp-dried it and it has significant wrinkles from being on the bolt. I have ironed it with Best Press and there is still the imprint of the wrinkles in much of it.
    Any suggestions welcome!
    A husband is the perfect confidant to tell your secrets to - he can't reveal them to anyone else because he wasn't really listening when you told him!

  2. #2
    Super Member ILoveToQuilt's Avatar
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    I have used muslin for hand embroidery. I do not use a stabilizer as the premium weight muslin is heavy enough.

    As to getting the wrinkles out...have you tried honest to goodness starch? I find that Best Press is an expensive equivalent to sizing. Also try ironing the fabric dry. Rewet, spin dry in washer, then iron dry.

    Hope this helps.
    Anita

    The only place that housework comes before quilting is in the dictionary.

  3. #3
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    two layers of muslin will keep any stray embroidery thread from shadowing to the front. I cut my two layers for each block larger than needed and square up after the embroidery is finished.
    jackie

  4. #4
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Like you, I was never taught to have two layers of fabric when embroidering.
    So when I started reading about it, it seemed so foreign.
    Yes, I get the reason ... to prevent threads on the back showing through.

    But that hasn't been a problem for me.
    I guess my Mom taught me well ... the backside should look almost as good as the front.
    I try not to jump far with thread.

    I did try the two layer method once ...
    and found it hard to make sure I got my needle through the two layers.
    Instead I try to make sure I use a good heavy cotton ... just a regular quilting fabric though.

    As for your muslin ...
    I'd try partially drying in the dryer, and finish drying it with the iron and Best Press.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member ladyinpurple135's Avatar
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    I do not understand why a second fabric or stabilizer is added to the backside of an embroidery piece. I’ve read it’s so that thread travels doesn’t show through - but for you are embroidering correctly, you shouldn’t have any threads showing from traveling from one area to another. And about your muslin being wrinkly - regular starch should take care of that if it a quality muslin. I really like “Kona” fabric from Robert Kaufman as an embroidery background. And I do not prewash it. I’ve never had any problems with thread bleed as I sort of wash it afterwards. I’ve been embroidering since 1965 so I do have a little experience����

  6. #6
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    I completely understand the need for some type of backing, either a stabilizer or a double layer of fabric. I was not lucky enough to have been taught how to do many things by a parent type person. I do the best I can trying to teach myself. My back s have never looked as good as my front.

  7. #7
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    I add Pellon 911FF to the back of all hand embroidery before I start embroidering. It irons on and makes the white fabric whiter. The traveling embroidery stitches to not show thru to the front. The only drawbacks is sometimes there is a bubble wrinkle after washing but the embroidery does that anyway so it is not noticeable. I like it so much, I purchase it by the bolt when it is on sale at J's and keep it on hand.

  8. #8
    Super Member GEMRM's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone, as I understand it, the extra layer is indeed to prevent thread jumps from showing through. I was taught to minimize those sorts of events, so I think I'll try the first block without a backing.
    As for the wrinkle issue, I think I'll try actual starch and see what that does. I did try a wrinkle release product when I was ironing.....
    A husband is the perfect confidant to tell your secrets to - he can't reveal them to anyone else because he wasn't really listening when you told him!

  9. #9
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Good Luck GemRM ... will look forward to see what you create!



    For those interested in more about hand embroidery, here's a site that is a real treasure trove ...
    https://www.needlenthread.com/

    I've been using it to go beyond the basic stitches that I have never used before.
    FUN! to have some new options ... with short easy to follow tutorial videos.
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  10. #10
    Super Member WMUTeach's Avatar
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    I have been hand embroidering for years and years (It was the first home craft my mother taught me.) and never have used stabilizer or double layers of my muslin. Watch some of the YouTube videos and you will see how to hide the "tails" to eliminate the shadowing you are concerned about. Remember, some of beauty of a hand sewn piece is the imperfections that result from hand work. We are not machines we are artists with thread and fabric. Enjoy your hand embroidery project.

  11. #11
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    I add fusible to all my hand embroidery - it keeps cross overs from showing through.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for posting that link QuiltE what beautiful work.

  13. #13
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toverly View Post
    Thanks for posting that link QuiltE what beautiful work.
    Amazing! isn't it?

    While I was overwhelmed and awestruck at first,
    I soon realized many of those stitches are not all that hard to do.
    So now make a point to add them in periodically along with my regular old stand bys!
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  14. #14
    Super Member Yvonne's Avatar
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    The last few hand embroidered projects I've done I've cut the blocks oversize, drawn the pattern onto the fabric and then quilted each block to a square of cotton batting. After all of that it was easy to embroider and not worry if my thread went all the way through the batting or not and my knots and jumps did not show. (my backs are rather messy!) When it was time to sew the blocks together I just treated them as I would any other block - that thin batting didn't make much difference (I did usually have lashings between the blocks). Then I would just layer the quilt top as normal with a back and another cotton batting. (Clear as mud, huh?!)
    Sew much fabric! Sew little time!

  15. #15
    Senior Member juliasb's Avatar
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    I have done both with and without stabilizer. My preference is without. It makes the stitching easier to do and provides and evener flow of movement when stitching. Like others have said a good spray starch or sizing is the best I know of to make things stay pressed while in the hoop.
    I don't do a lot of hand embroidery anymore but when I do I have changed over to a nice linen instead of muslin I found it is much more stable to work with. Have fun with your embroidery!

  16. #16
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    A "rajah" cloth works wonders in removing wrinkles; dampen it and use it like a press cloth; will remove Or create a crease if you need it. Love mine. Some quilt stores carry them and you can get it on Amazon.
    https://www.amazon.com/Sullivans-SLV...gateway&sr=8-3
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 07-12-2019 at 01:49 PM. Reason: shouting/all caps

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