If you are like me, punching invariably includes, for lack of a better word, flubs. If you’ve never encountered a flub, here is a poor photo with a difficult-to-see flub:
Can you see it? It’s a big one! Here’s another not-so-great pic:
I could just cut it off at the surface using a sharp pair of scissors. However, I know if I do that I’ll be left with a SPOT ~ that is, a small area that will appear darker and different from the surrounding punches. So, unless I absolutely cannot fix a flub, I don’t cut it off. Instead, I treat a flub with gentle kindness and patience:
Using the tip of my punch needle, I gently and patiently prod the flub back down, pushing it either into the weavers cloth or under the adjoining punches.
I find fixing flubs is another advantage to using pearl cotton as opposed to 3 or 6 strand, for me at any rate. It’s easier for me to prod two strands, but you may have no problem prodding 3 or 6 strands.
Once all my flubs are fixed, I’m ready to coffee stain. I’m using the same method on Magdalena Horses that I used on Two Horses Six Birds. If you missed that post and would like to see how I coffee stain you can click here to go to the post entitled, “colors and coffee…”. I stained Magdalena Horses twice. The first time I used more water and less coffee, and I let the piece air dry. The second time, I used light brewed or watered-down coffee and baked Magdalena Horses in a 250* oven for a few minutes.
When I bake my pieces, I put a sheet of waxed paper on a cookie sheet with the piece to be baked on top of the waxed paper ~ weavers cloth edges tucked under the embroidery. I put all that in a cold oven, set to 250*, as soon as the oven reaches its temp I shut it off and leave the punched piece in the oven until its cooled. My oven runs a bit on the cool side and doesn’t hold it’s heat like your oven may. If you want to try this method, I’d recommend starting at a lower temp and checking your piece periodically after you’ve turned off the oven, just to make sure your punching isn’t getting crisped.
I’ve been thinking about how to tackle the lamb’s tongue edging. I considered punching it around the top and bottom edges, but that opened up a whole other line of questions that I didn’t have the answers to. So, I’ve decided to try a version of lamb’s tongue using wool. Here are the bits of wool I’m contemplating.
The top wool is a piece that I marbled. I love marbled wool, but I think this piece may distract from the punching. My hand dyed brown, on the right, works really well with the pearl cotton colors, but I think that may be too much brown. So, at the moment, I think the soft grey-blue that I dyed might be just the ticket. The question now becomes, what is the best way to attach the wool to the embroidery, and just how will I create the tiny lamb’s tongues? Time will tell!
until next time, be cool and happy!