I love the idea of using variegated thread to create an added dimension to a monogram but sewing with this thread is a lot like closing your eyes and reaching into a grab-bag. If you are like me, those pretty spools of multi-colored thread have caught your eye at the fabric store too. I thought it would be fun experiment to stitch out the same monogram with different variegated threads to see what the effects were and I wanted to share that with you today.
I recently bought a stack of thick fluffy bar-wipes for our kitchen and thought they would provide a great blank canvas to test out these threads and, even if I didn’t care for the thread colors, I would still have a very cheerful bar cloth at the end of the day
For my test monograms, I chose a very simple two letter monogram (it is nice that my husband and I are both JR’s) so the thread will stand out. A you can see from the photos below… to me there was one winner, one maybe, and two losers.
First I started with the most brightly colored spool and the purple variegated.
Surprising isn’t it? The brightly colored one might work for a Mardi Gras themed monogram, but not much else. The purple one perhaps might work if it wasn’t on a white background — maybe on a pewter linen napkin but then again I’m not really sure that purple stripe would be what I would choose for a stately pewter linen… Perhaps I’ll use that spool again for a kids project for my daughter but I was surprisingly disappointed by both.
Next up was the pink/green/purple spool that was my favorite and the blue variegated that I thought a bit boring. What do you think?
I was shocked. The purple/pink/green had a much less room between the colors and it yielded a narrowly striped monogram that was ok but not special in the way I was looking for. My surprise was that the spool I had maligned as ‘boring’ was really quite fun stitched out. My son saw these and the blue monogram got a vote of “Cool!” right away so I kept my machine threaded and stitched out the shirt below– love this thread! You might see it again around 4th of July.
My biggest take-away from this experiment is that less is definitely more when working with this thread for monograms. I really like the multi-tone effect on a monogram but not so much the multi-colors (though they do look pretty on the spool). I also like the relatively simple monogram font. I labeled this post “Part 1″ because I have just ordered some hand-dyed cotton variegated thread from England that I am excited to try so stay tuned for more color experiments.
One other tip. If you look at the monogram above you can see how bumpy the pique in the polo shirt is. The bar-wipes also had terry in a raised stripe pattern. To get the monograms to sit nicely on both of these fabrics I used scraps of BadgeMaster stabilizer as a topping. I always save my scraps of Badgemaster for these kinds of projects. The more I sew, the more I really appreciate the benefit of having a topping on top of almost all fabrics– without it even the relatively subtle texture of a pique can create a jagged edge effect on a long line of satin stitches.
As always, thank you very much for stopping by and reading my blog; I really appreciate it.
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