The beauty of belonging to an organization such as EAC is that you can not only learn from the successes of fellow stitchers, but also from the not so successful endeavours.  One of my friends who belongs to our Guild has allowed me to share her learning moment with everyone in hopes that it does not happen to anyone else. 
She had spent many hours stitching a Mirabilia mermaid.  You know, one of the patterns with all the delicious colours of threads, blending filaments and beads.  Anyone who knows Shelley knows that she does amazing work and pays particular attention to detail right down to attaching the beads with invisible thread so that no colour shows through them except for from the threads below.  She completed the work, then hand washed it with the intention of getting rid of any dirt or oils that may have found its way onto the piece.  It was still a bit damp so she plugged in her new iron to get any little wrinkles out before lacing up the work for framing.  I can almost hear the gasps coming from anyone else who has already done this.  She gently placed the iron on the piece for a moment, sandwiched by a pressing cloth above and below, then she lifted the piece to move it to press a bit more.  She heard some tinkling on her hardwood floor.  She looked down but did not see anything.  She pressed a little more on the piece, but this time when she lifted it to move it, there was much more tinkling on the hardwood.  It was then that she saw beads bouncing.  Lifting the pressing cloth she saw what had happened.  The invisible thread which she had used to stitch the beads on had melted.  She had used invisible thread many times before to attach beads so can only imagine that the new iron heated a little hotter or it was a mix of how wet the piece was with the heat of the iron.  It was a mute point now.  The damage had been done.  The beads had flown the coop.  Anyone who has done beadwork, especially with invisible thread knows how finicky it can be, so can appreciate the feeling Shelley got in the pit of her stomach.  She tied off what she could to prevent more beads from breaking free then put the work away to be worked on another day. 
That was over a year ago.  We can talk about it and laugh now.  In fact, that’s what we did on the phone just the other day as she talked about her mermaid’s tail melting and it gave me the idea to share this experience with everyone.  She has taken the piece back out and once she gets some more beads is going to finish it.  She already had the matting and frame, so it is just a matter of taking the bull by the horns and replacing the beads.  She is not planning on using invisible thread any more.  Wise choice I say, wise choice.

Kathy Taylor

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this melted thread story. I have yet to use invisible thread when beading but will hopefully now remember not to use an iron. :)


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The Embroiderers' Association of Canada (EAC) is a national non-profit educational organization whose purpose is to have a fellowship of persons who enjoy needlework and wish to learn and share their knowledge; and thereby to work towards maintaining higher standards of design, colour and workmanship.

Our aim is to preserve traditional techniques and promote new challenges in the Art of Embroidery through education and networking.

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