Couching is usually done with a decorative thread, but for this project I used peacock furl – the fine strands of feather that aren’t the “eye.” They’re stitched into place with a copper metallic thread and they glitter emerald green, to most dramatic effect in bright sun. The lighter strands are bleached, and the straw tone contrasts beautifully with the emerald in the same texture.
– peacock furl in natural and bleached
– decorative fine thread – this is Gutterman copper
– rhinestuds – 4mm metal rhinestones with an iridescent finish
– muslin – I tinted mine green in case any showed through
– embroidery hoop
– wood oval
– pin back
– E6000 glue
The peacock furl shown in the pictures is about 3 inches of each color, and this project uses about 1/4 inch. You can often find it in well stocked craft stores, and online check etsy and ebay.
Stretch the muslin and trace the outline of the shape you’re mounting the finished embroidery on.
Use the E6000 to glue the rhinestuds down.
I used a doubled strand of copper thread for stitching, double or single would work. Start couching with a single strand of feather well past the edge of the traced line to account for wrapping around the edge of the wood and to the back.
Start filling in around the stones with the single strand of furl.
Then start filling on the diagonal across the whole shape. Group multiple strands of furl together (from 2-6 strands is usually good) to fill the area. If the black edge of the feathers wants to stay to the front gently twist the groups of feathers to help expose some of the emerald side, too.
Be sure to cover enough to wrap all the way to the back of the wood piece.
These strands were stitched, folded, and then stitched back toward the outer edge.
Remove the fabric from the hoop and trim it to about 1/2 inch past the wood. Fray check the edge if your fabric wasn’t painted.
Stitch diagonally across the back to pull the fabric up tight. Do this gently, the feathers are fragile.
Tie off the thread and trim back the feathers. Use some E6000 to stick the ends of the feathers down.
Cut a piece of felt to fit the back of the pin. Cut two small slits to put the pin finding through.
Cover the back of the pin with E6000 and stick the felt piece into place. Allow to dry and wear it!