The fabric really does make a difference! Those wonderfully soft, vintage damask napkins let my needles and threads slide through like a hot knife through butter. I’m starting my last one of those now.
The softness and the looser weave are perfect for either the perle cotton or embroidery floss I’m using.
At the same time, I’m trying to work on this larger compatible piece and it is much more difficult. The fabric is a much more tightly woven cotton, like a batik, which I love for dyeing. In addition, it’s fused to the batting with Wonder Under. There will be more experiments with the various fusibles out there, but this one is what it is!
I used a backstitch for the outlining, rather than a stem stitch and by the time I decided I didn’t like it that much, my fingers were way too sore to rip it out and start all over! It is best to use a large needle for this fabric/fusible combo, but even that doesn’t make the stitching easy!
I have decided to add a strand of the same color perle cotton and make it into a threaded back stitch. It’s not a major difference, but it’s enough to make the outline a bit bolder and smoother looking.
Most of the feathers on the bottom of the spine are threaded and those on top are not. I like it quite a bit better, and I think the single color will work fine with future beading…multi-color thread would be too much.
And judging by the dificulty of getting my needle through this fabric, I’m pretty sure the background stitching will be done on the machine! Nope–simply not worth the struggle of hand stitching through this tight fabric.
However, I have decided that my thrift shop visits in the future will include looking for more of those lovely vintage napkins…maybe layered with some lovely vintage hankies and lovely vintage lace…