Apr 6, 2011

The color of linen

These are my unbleached linens, 28 to 32 count, obviously from various sources, and the latest Golden Streak (Scarlet Letter) on the right.  They were purchased as yardage for future projects, wrapped and stored, and I never really compared them.   I didn't realize the variances in tone between manufacturers, thinking that "unbleached" would be about the same.  I feel like starting over with a new "as needed" policy!
When I started stitching, all of my samplers were kits from The Scarlet Letter on natural unbleached linen and I liked that look so I continued using what I'd started with for other samplers.  Many called for that same linen, others didn't so I changed to stronger thread colors.   I'm somewhere in between now and liking a softer golden brown that displays thread colors.  I still don't care for the very light shades...too modern and bright for me.  Sure there are colors out there I would use, but I don't trust the thumbnails online and my monitor.  Most of my drawer pieces are unmarked and some are kind of taupe or pinkish beige and I hate them along with Amber.  Time for some Clorox and Rit!   I didn't mess around with tea/coffee staining 25 years ago - no reason to, but it's a option for a warmer tint on light backgrounds.  Walnut stain is a little scarier because it stains immediately but I have some to try.  I've been playing around with old projects to gauge results.  These little hearts were puffy (no longer a fan of that) and bright until I worked on them today.  I used the coffee left in the filter to press on to the fabric and kept adding more water.  Yes it can break open! 


I've tried strong coffee in a little spray bottle too.  It dried a lot lighter than it looks here.
After I stained, I did the steam 'n smash.  You can see how they are still filled but much less puffy.
It's toned down, still pretty light and enough for now.
This flat cat is steamed and stained but when he was first completed, he was bright and plump.
I love this design but this unbleached linen is grayish and so drab, behind glass it's worse.  I still have a stash of this and will definitely have to change it. 







Also unbleached, but a warm brown - I like this shade and the colors stand out better



Unbleached again, this is my absolute favorite from 
Scarlet Letter. 







Wasn't this boring?  It is.  Boring.  I'm noting some changes and discoveries of being away from stitching for 20 years so it must be a yawn and I apologize for that.  I'll end with this tiny antique coin purse that I recently purchased.  I just love it.  My husband asked me "why?"!


10 comments:

Deb said...

Absolutely not boring at all. I always find it amazing the differences in linen - even with a color that I've ordered before, especially hand dyed. I love all your samplers that you showed. And I've used walnut ink staining and I like it a lot. It looks dark at first but then fades somewhen when it dries and then you can go over it again.

Bonnie said...

Hi Marly,
I love reading your blog. I saw that you have a picture of a sampler called Elizabeth Moor 1787. Who is the designer? I would love to order this chart. I love stitching over one and my favorite is 48 ct. linen over 2 threads. I can't find your email address, can you post it?
Thanks
Bonnie

Margaret said...

I think it's very interesting! For one thing, I didn't know you could buy just linen from Scarlet Letter? Cool! Love how the whole coffee dyeing thing works out and all too. I have to go look up that A&E now. lol! I love your samplers and such!

marly said...

Bonnie - I added my email address and you can also click on ABOUT ME and it will take you to another link for mail. I located R&R Reproduction's Elizabeth Moor - just click this link (if I did it correctly) http://www.homespunsamplar.com/servlet/Categories
If it doesn't work, go to HomespunSamplar and use their search box. If you can't get it any more, please email and let me know. It may take me a few hours to get over the shock of someone stitching on 48, but I'll be here.

Glenna said...

NOT boring! How can you say that! Your stitchy audience eats this up, says I! I certainly do. And the change purse too--tell your husband it's a matter of perspective! My favorite is the fat/flat cat.

Jo Ann said...

Marly, another "keeper" post. You are now the HOT topic at our Thurs. night stitching group. We all so enjoy your escapades back into the stitching world. I have another way of distressing that Stacy Nash teaches. She applies her stain with a little brush. It lets you be a little more "selective" as to where your stain will be. Looking forward to many more posts. Isn't stitching the greatest thing to make friends? Jo Ann

P.S. my sweetie always knows when I am reading your blog-I can't stop laughing and I always have tears running down my cheeks.

samplerlover said...

Hi Marly, isn't that amazing with the difference in linen. I found it quite interesting. Your blog certainly isn't boring and I enjoy stopping by. I love the difference with your hearts. I like the flatten version. I have never tried walnut crystals and found your comments quite interesting. I will have to remember your comments if I ever get some. - Sandra.

Vilma aka Examplar Dame said...

Hi marly, how can you say boring? I loved everything you said, very true and interesting and loved all your stitched pieces, in fact the other day I was looking at my graph of A&E from simply samplers. Congratulations, Vilma

Siobhan said...

I agree with all the above comments--your blog is never boring! It's interesting to see the changes in linen and so on. I love love love your Hannah Breed! I have that in my stash and need to get to it.

Peggy H. said...

I really like the Scarlet Letter color as well....That is unbleached linen? I do see what you mean and really enjoyed your little tutorial.

BTW - Love the little coin purse! LOL

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