Preparing the Linen
I’ve finally found the time to begin working on another vintage linen. It was kind of a rocky start! I knew I needed an underlayment, as this linen has some cutouts, but finding the right one was not easy. After going to several different shops, I settled on this copper/brown cotton that I think works quite well.
I meticulously clamped and pressed each of the four layers, and then spent a considerable amount of time pinning them together. At that point, something that Cindy Needham (my hero!) had written in one of her handbooks started to bother me. I dug back into her voluminous writings, and sure enough, I realized what I had done wrong. I should have drawn out the “long bones” (the outlines, feather spines, etc) and guidance lines before I pinned everything down.
Well, crap. I sat and looked at it for a while, trying to find another way around it, and couldn’t come up with one. So, I unpinned everything, pressed the linen in quarters and then got to drawing. I drew out the guiding lines (drawing it in quarters, then the 90-degree corner-to-corner lines). In the center, I drew out the flower center, petals, and the spines inside the petals that will eventually be feathers.
Outside the floral center, I drew out a couple of diamond shapes. My plan at the moment is to turn one of them into a feather spine, but I’m not completely sure yet.
I felt I’d put the main guidelines in place. I pulled the backing out again, and clamped it to my table. I added the wool batting, then the underlayment, and lastly, the vintage linen. Once again, I pinned everything back into place.
Picking the Thread
For stitching the “big bones”, I chose a cream Glide 40 weight polyester thread because I like the extra sheen. I stitched the lines I had drawn. I wanted a specific look for the feathers, and none of the thread I had was quite right. I also have several silk threads, but their colors aren’t quite right, either.
So, emergency thread shopping I went. Ah well, apparently I’m putting this one aside for now! I’ll post an update when it’s finished.