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?"!

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