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Embroider a Tortoise with Emma from Crafty Clyde

I had only just been 5 minutes fresh out of my first ever embroidery workshop when the opportunity to test some new Embroidery Threads from Minerva arose! Excited at the prospect of all those colourful threads to try I was so grateful to get chosen to test them out….

Sure enough an exciting surprise arrived in the post in the form of these beautiful threads. These are the Duchess Embroidery Silks Thread Floss. I opted for the variegated threads, which beautifully transition from white, through pastel shades and onto bright hues of each colour on each individual thread.

It makes for a very beautiful effect, even just looking at the box. In this box there is an incredible amount of thread! 12 different colours, comprising of 6 ‘skeins’ each (which I had to google to find out means ‘length of coiled thread’ i.e. a bundle) giving a grand total of 72 lots of thread! That’s 576 meters of deliciously colourful thread…. That’s a whole lot of sewing to be done.

Now what to make……. The possibilities were really endless especially as the variegation in thread colour could be used to wonderful effect. Of course, there could only be one choice really. A tortoise. This will come as no surprise to anyone that’s ever seen my blog. How predictable, but how fun to make!

Now please be reminded at this point that I’ve only ever tried embroidery once and really have no idea what I’m doing – but it’s fun to play right? I gathered up some supplies including a bit of black Cotton Twill Fabric (I figured any design would stand out better on a black background with these wonderful colours), an Embroidery Hoop, some Hand Embroidery Needles and a Chalk Pen.

Not being particularly blessed with drawing skills either I sketched a very rough tortoise design onto the twill as a guide for where to start stitching. I wanted a fun geometric design that would show off all the different colours and a tortoises’ scutes lend themselves to this very well.

Each piece of thread consists of 6 strands which you can gently pull apart from each other. I started off by using 3 strands of thread in my needle to create the outline of my tortoise and give it some structure to colour in later. You can see in this next picture how lovely the colours merge together in the variegation.

Now there is no discernible skill or technique used here, I just went for it so that I had a green outline of a tortoise. It worked – so for anyone thinking of embellishing clothes, accessories or just giving it a try – go for it!

The thread was easy to use, and was actually fairly easy to thread through the needle despte being in separate strands. It was smooth and didn’t knot or tangle which was a pleasant surprise.

The jade, lilac and coral colours were done with 3 strands of thread and that gave a rather nice fading effect. I then tried stitching with all 6 strands in the needle, which also worked but was a little tougher to get through the fabric. The blue and orange scutes were noteably those sewn with the entire 6 strand thread. It gave a nice thick textured effect but the variegation was not as noticeable as it used less thread to fill the space and sometimes missed the colour change. The least variegated colour was yellow, which did just look yellow throughout but there is a very slight variation from lemon yellow to bright yellow present if looking hard enough for it!

All in all a great experience to use these Duchess threads and try something new. They are certainly value for money and the colour and quality outstanding in my opinion. 

Thanks for reading,

Emma @ Crafty Clyde

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