Four Ways to Embroider Sea Corals

In my last post I promised more sea plant stitches. OK, so corals aren’t technically plants. And neither are sea anemones. They are still beautiful sea life that can be interesting to stitch.

1.  Chain stitch

For a many branched coral with a complex profile, chain stitch gives a strong outline that makes sharp curves well. The thread I’ve used is a hand dyed pearl cotton named “Garden Path” from Fiber on a Whim.

DSCN29572.  Feather stitch

Lacy and airy, this sea fan utilizes a variation of the traditional feather stitch. Only the first stitch at the top has legs of equal length. As I’ve stitched down the center of the fan, the outer legs have become especially long. Too long in fact. As this will be a wall hanging and not be subjected to wear, it will do.

DSCN29993.  Overcast stitch

Multicolored yarns and fibers are grouped together and stitched to the foundation fabric with a type of satin stitch. To help hold the fibers in a clump, I first wrapped the bottom end with a short piece of sewing thread. Then I lay the bundle on the foundation and stitched the overcasting in a pearl cotton #8.

DSCN29604.  Tete de Boeuf stitch

These little cuties don’t scream for attention like most of the other embroidery on this piece. They are small and delicate and give just a little bit of texture to the sandy bottom of the Caribbean Sea.

DSCN3001By now, I’ve been stitching on this piece for over a year. It started out as a sampler for a sew-a-long with some friends using Sue Spargo’s book Creative Stitching. Lately, I’ve added Judith Baker Montano’s book Free-Form Embroidery as a reference. Both of these books have some great stitches with good illustrations. No one else in the group has kept up with the sew-a-long, so there’s been no rush to work on this piece. And yet, finally, it needs completion.

I’d planned to add a pieced border and make it a bit larger. But with the last of the sea life finished, this embroidery is telling me that it is complete. It needs an edging of some kind and a backing and maybe some quilting. If I keep up with it, it could be finished by the end of the summer.

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5 Responses to Four Ways to Embroider Sea Corals

  1. nita says:

    I remember when you started this piece. I am anxious to see it finished. You do such a beautiful job with your stitches.

  2. It’s good to hear you are listening to your embroidery. I like to know I am not the only one!

  3. And my dolls speak to me quite clearly as well.

  4. Jeannette says:

    I bet your piece is looking great and I’m looking forward to seeing the whole thing when you’re finished. I certainly like all the different stitches and how you’ve used them.

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