Welcome back to another Friday Flashback, taking a look back at some of my favourite classic collections.
This week we are looking back at the first collection, of one of my favourite techniques. Candlewick Bears.
Candlewick designs of any sort are a kind of passion for me, and I love thinking back to the time when it all began.
Back in 2006 (the olden days when most machines were 5×7 only), there wasn’t a lot of texture in machine embroidery. A couple of digitisers (and software brands) tried to create a candlewick stitch that emulated a traditional candlewicking knot, but really, it just didn’t work well.
I have created a number of candlewicking quilts using the hand technique, and quickly realised that the main issue was in the thickness of the thread. You cannot expect to create a knot life effect easily without using a thick thread. Unfortunately, embroidery machines do not run to “thick threads”. So the next step for me was to emulate how the thick thread worked. And I created this my going over and over the very small design in a circular pattern, until what looked like a knot was formed.
Once I had created and tested this knot (honestly, Edward thought the machine was having issues there was so much knotted fabric around the house at that time), I had to learn how to implement it properly.
So Candlewick Bears was my first candlewick collection. Initially I had 8 bears in ballet tutus, however that just didn’t seem like enough, so I went back and added another 8 designs to the set that could be used for a boy as well, with the boy angel bears.
During the creation of these designs, I learnt a lot of things, such as why presser foot height is so important (you need to raise the presser foot height to ensure that the candlewick knots can form properly), and why speed kills (I had always thought that faster was better, but when it comes to candlewicking, slow and steady will definitely win the race).
In an earlier Friday Flashback I talked about the Floral Windows Quilt, and how I had attempted to dye my own fabrics for this quilt. With the Candlewick Bears, I decided to make up a small quilt, and used a lot of the pre-dyed fabrics for this. I was so proud that my hand was in all of the quilt.
When I created the collection, as well as making the quilt, I can remember also making a tooth fairy pillow, which we used on the children’s doors until a couple of years ago. It was such a simple little project, with a little organza bag for the tooth and a note, but a real keepsake for our family.
I still love running my hands along a candlewick quilt, and if you ever attend a show I am at, please feel free to touch my quilts (particularly the candlewick ones), to really feel the texture that these beautiful small knots give.
Initially we gave one of the Angel Bears as the free design (still available HERE). As a thank you to all of our loyal customers, for the next week we are offering the Candlewick Bear – Ballet design as a free download. Simply click HERE to collect your copy.
Thank you for taking this trip down memory lane with me, I hope you have enjoyed looking at this collection, and that it has inspired you to stitch for a loved one.
Until next time, have a Stitchin’ Day. Julie.