TSTC Week 9: The Cross Stitch

February 28, 2007



Sharon b in her TSTC has started us off this week on the one of the three stitches my grandmother taught me, the cross stitch. I’ve been reflecting on how to describe it. It is two straight stitches that intersect. It is a detached herringbone. It’s the basis for one of my favorite stitches, the rice stitch. Well, so much more could be said, but I resist; do check out Sharon b’s stitch dictionary because it has many great illustrations and shows more stitches belonging to this great family. The cross stitch can be lacy or cover the fabric so well that it looks solid.

I’ve had what I call my “investigative” hat on the last two days and had some fun with this stitch. Above were a few spots and below, a couple lines.

tstc9aline1.png tstc9aline4.png

Now here I started out with a simple line and then made two fills.




Then this next fill takes the largest cross stitch in the series and uses it only to create another fill…


and a spot! tstc9aspot1.png

A few fly stitch fills and borders

February 25, 2007

Well, I took a few minutes away from some of my other work to try a few ideas on fills and borders. Of course, those few minutes turned into about an hour. But I’m still glad I did it. And I did finish one project except for the fastening yesterday. One more should be finished off by Tuesday and I figured out what to do with a third that had been hanging around for too long. I feel extremely happy about that. Because there are three more that need stitching and I can hardly wait to start them. I brought one more in the preliminary stage last week.

I hope you won’t be bored by the repetitive colors. I nicknamed this my peaches and cream collection. The benefit to me is that as I evaluate the variations, I’m not influenced by the color but consider the design, negative space and so forth. A couple of these are crying out to me that they should move out of Perle 8 and go into another thread. Several others cry out for embellishment.









As you may notice I did only one “off grid” piece. This was on the very first post about the fly stitch. Everything in today’s post is counted. I laugh over my love for both the formal, counted side of stitching and design and the uncounted freestyle. I do think the rest from the formal counted side has allowed me to come back to it with a real zest for the best parts of it. I feel thankful for the freeing experience of doing other designs without the constant concern of replicating every stitch. Sharon b‘s class on the personal library of stitches was instrumental in this, so I send out a big thanks to her for that class and TSTC along with prayers and best wishes for a successful surgery and recovery.

Details on yesterday’s TSTC Week 8 post

February 23, 2007

The sun is out in the central valley again! Today, I got better pictures that show how to do the variations on some of the fly stitches I was working with yesterday. You will notice that sometimes the tie down stitch very small at other times, exaggerated or hidden other another stitch. I wish I had time to develop some of these into fills and not just lines or borders and so forth. I’m having to work very hard on the more commercial side of my needlework since my daytime job seems to be shaping up into lots of extra hours in the next few months. But at least I can tuck these away in my resource book and when the slower times come around I have these starts to go back to.


This yellow border is the only one that may not be very understandable because of the thread running through the middle of it after everything was stitched. It’s two row of hearts “back to back” with the points in opposite directions, edged by larger fly stitches on each side with a common tie down stitch between them. Then a thread is whipped stitched through the middle and pulled slightly to bring the stitches together.


The middle stitch in this photo below is one that I ‘d like to try out with a thicker thread and experimenting with the length of the loop might change the look, too. I would have fun trying to turn any of these into a fill.


In the next photo the color of the thread is a blue with gray added. Well, when the thread is bent by the tie down stitch the angled thread catches the light much more than the rest of it. I didn’t even notice this when I was looking at the stitch myself; the camera magnified this aspect of the thread. There is one extra straight stitch in the middle of each low point. And the high points share a common tie down stitch.


This red stitching is probably the simplest. The exaggeration of the tie down stitch some how makes this work. I like the rhythm and it’s easy and fast to stitch. I might just have to spend a few minutes and make this into a fill. What could be done to make the center area more than white space? So many possibilities–a sequin, beads, SRE or another stitch.


TSTC Week 8: The Fly Stitch

February 22, 2007

This is just a quick post with a couple of things I’ve been stitching. It’s a rainy day here in the central valley and I’ve got several appointments this morning that I can’t miss. Please see the side bar for links to SharonB’s blog and click on “Take a Stitch Tuesdays” at the top of her blog. The fly stitch is one of my favorites. Sharon’s Stitch Dictionary also listed on my side bar has many examples and demonstrations of additional variations.

My apologies that the picture quality is not better, I took these inside and I have to remember next time that floss and 100/3 do not photograph too well for showing stitch detail.




Small embellishments to feather stitch grids

February 17, 2007

I did some feather stitch patterns earlier in the week and took time to work with them today. I’m still learning to work with beads and to think about embellishment like crazy quilters do. I could probably count on one hand all the needlework pieces with beads added until I took Sharon b’s Personal Library of Stitches class at the end of last year. She’s giving it again and it starts February 20. Perhaps you can still sign up, if you haven’t done so already, please do check it out. The link for the sign up is on the upper right side board. It was a wonderful class and Sharon is an excellent teacher.

Any way here are the side by sides. You can tell which times the sun was out can’t you!






While I’m not totally satisfied with this work. The grids are definitely fun to play with. My last design lesson had a great deal of practice exercises on the concept of using a grid, distorting it and then using it as a base for a design. Here I did not try distorting the grid but I’m planning on a few experiments along that line as TSTC progresses.

I want to add that I’m fairly new to WordPress and only today I caught up with the anti-spam program they have in place. It some how recognized a perfectly fine comment as spam. They also reported having caught several others which I didn’t review. My apologies if any other comment that should have been posted was not. I know where to look and review these now.

More dealings with the feather stitch

February 16, 2007


I’ve got this piece under way. The long-term goal, once the stitching is finished, is to bead, cord and mount it on a cover for one of my journals. It’s unusual for me to do anything for TSTC that I don’t get done within the week, but this is one.

I’m also trying to limit myself to just the buttonhole family for this piece. I think the feather stitch belongs to it. What I’ve done with the purple thread may be a stretch. The inner yellow circles are a buttonhole stitch, but then again perhaps they could be considered a feather stitch with one common hole (or nearly common center) and moving each stitch around it. When I was stitching I couldn’t see any difference between the two concepts. However, I’m not an expert and my thinking some times drifts dangerously beyond what a well-trained mind would allow.

As you may see below, I’m still fascinated with the closed feather stitch and its variation.


Twigs and Fills

February 15, 2007

tstc7boffgridsuede.png (Twigs on suede cloth)

Generally, I think of feather stitches in lines or rows. But this week I’ve focused in on feather fills. It’s been interesting!

The first two “on grid” pictures don’t do justice to the stitching, but the idea is there. In my mind’s eye I can see lacing these or embellishing them further.



And the mostly “off grid” work is below. In the first are variations I came up with while working on the closed feather stitch (see SharonB’s stitch dictionary). And the last photo is something on felt with over stitching.



TSTC Week 7: The Feather Stitch

February 14, 2007


TSTC is rolling into week 7 with the feather stitch. Sharon b has given us a wonderful introduction to this stitch. I love her fills and lines. Lovely work is popping up all over the net on this stitch already. And now there is a great new way to to access it quickly.

Click on the link for “week 7” and scroll down to the comments. People are going to leave a notice in the comments about the work they post during the week. For this week, since the earlier posts were answering another question Sharon posed to the people involved in the challenge, I’d suggest going to the very last comment and working your way back up the list for the postings of the stitchers’ work.

I’ve been having fun doing my own feather stitching. Here are a few things–pretty pedestrian trials. But if there is good weather tomorrow and I wake up early, some more photos should be here by tomorrow at this time. Today I had to fly to work early and stay late. There was little light outside and no time to retake my fuzzy fill work photos!

tstc7alines1.png tstc7alines2.png

I experimented more with some Petite Very Velvet thread (thank you, Elizabeth Dee!). This time I stitched it into a suede cloth. I couldn’t believe how easy it was. The thread still looked in great shape at the end, too!


End bits of TSTC Week 6

February 11, 2007



We finally had a bit of light and no drizzle! I rushed out and got some pictures of the last trials on the Algerian Eye and eyelet stitches. I hardly believe that we are at the end of week 6 on the Take A Stitch Tuesday Challenge from Sharon b. But the calendar shows it is true.



Before Sharon’s challenge I tried to explore one or two stitches a year! Here I’ve worked with six (seven if I count the Algerian Eye and eyelet separately) in six weeks. I am pacing myself to make it through this whole year!


TSTC Week 6: Algerian eye and Eyelet Stitches

February 7, 2007

Sharon b introduced two great stitches hand in hand for this week’s challenge. If you’re new to TSTC please check it out. It’s lots of fun, a very flexible commitment and growing every week. Look around Sharon’s blog while you’re there. She has many interesting projects underway and a couple of classes are beginning soon. You will find them here at her blog.

I did a lot of experiments early last year with these stitches and had fun last night doing a few things that quickly came to mind.



Of course, these are the perfect stitches for attaching sequins.


Then some how I began to think about rickrack. I’m not sure these are very wise ideas, but you can see that I had more than one or two thoughts about it. And in some cases I played around with how many legs were need or most decorative. It’s gray and sprinkling here so colors went all over the place in the editing process.