Nellie"s Needles

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Another SoupCon Hexagon

It's a bit of a challenge to come up with patterns that help to integrate the secondary hexagon motifs with the background. My intent is to embellish them to be interesting, but not compete for attention with the center star in the middle of this piece. My first thought of framing this one with a straight row of buttonhole stitches defines the shape which draws more attention than suits my purpose,
That line of stitching emphasizes rather than softens the outline of the star whereas the scattered knot pattern gives interest as well as softens the edge between the shape and the background.
I used a 2-ply strand of cotton floss and size 7 needle. Of course, these stitches are made with my favorite method, the Colonial Knot. There are several reasons I really like this technique of embroidering knots:
  • produces a flat and stable knot
  • the size is uniform
  • easy to control and fun to make
The knot size is determined by the size of the thread and needle not the number of wraps. A thicker, or more plies of thread, makes a bigger knot while a larger size needle makes a flat and more open knot as well as increasing the radius of the knot ...
In the above photo the smaller needle is a size 9 and the larger one is size 18. The thread is a 6-ply strand of cotton floss. In this case it's the needles that produced the two different sizes and shapes of knots.

A source that demonstrates how to make this knot (besides my blogged instructions) is a video at this link.

Now it's time for me to figure out the embellishment for my next hexagon star.


The Toothfairy Quilter said...

Lovely blocks Nellie! And I am going to try that colonial knot too!

Karen Christensen said...

Finding the right edge details is going to be fun to see. While I am very partial to french knots there are many times when I dislike the dimensional aspect of the larger ones. Your introduction of the colonial knot along with instructions is greatly appreciated, it is a new one for me!