Get Variegated!

Variegated applique of

Much like pigments of the master painters, threads create pallettes for machine embroiderers. Most of the time, we use industry standards (rayon, silk, cotton, polyester) in single colors. It's time to expand our creativity.

A multitude of variegated threads are now available in several fibers. Colors change from every inch to every five inches, making them useful for embroidery fills and quilting topstitches. Variegation is not only in color shift (yellow to orange to red) but also in tone (shades of green).

Some of the most innovative uses of variegated threads I have seen are in designs created by Julie Hesketh of She uses variegated threads for applique satin stitches and has given me permission to share them with you.

Because of their subtle shading, variegated threads work beautifully with designs depicting nature. The bird on the left uses variegated thread in the branch and wing. Another thing I love about this design is the fussy cutting placement used in the head and wing appliques. The fabric designs complement the shapes for which they were used: swirls around the eye and paisley for the wing. The blue variegated thread around the birdhouse roof adds such dimension it almost looks like they are fabric strips pieced along the top and scallops. With the bird on the right, the variegated threads match so perfectly that they appear as part of the fabric print.

Vaiegated threads from

The outline of the cupcake icing below blends with other applique fabrics used. Simple red, white and blue is perfect for the flag heart while a combination of colors in the shamrock satin stitching pull from the fabric colors, and it works!

 Variegated applique of

Even something as simple as an alphabet can benefit from the added shading of variegated threads.

Variegated thread applique of

Get your color on and see what you can create!

Debbie SewBlest

Related Products: 

Exquisite Medley Variegated 40 Wt Poly - 1,000 Meters Thread 

Exquisite Medley Variegated 40 Wt Poly - 5,000 Meters Thread 

Isacord Gift Tin - Variegated (12 Spools) 

Comments (1) -

What a great demonstration!  

Once I tried using variegated thread on a leaf that was filled with straight line digitizing.  It really was not a good thing.  Chose your design carefully so that it enhances the lay of the colors of the thread.  

Look at the lay of the stitches.  Some of the free designs are very primitive.   A newbie at digitizing may want to share their excitement with their new craft, but it can be just a design which is just not suitable for your project.  

Pat, The Avid Embroiderer

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