Winding up on the Palestrina stitch

April 23, 2007

I’ve been back to lines for the most part except on my off grid work. There I’ve been doing curves and more–it’s just not ready for the camera this morning. It was really early when I snapped these pictures. The blueness you’ll see in most of them is that early morning light playing havoc with the photos.

Here are the lines. The first two and the last are my favorites.



tstc16efanline.png This line is OK but when I actually use it I will spread it out further to make the line more graceful. Another way to do that would be to decrease the contrast between the height and depth of the of the stitch line. Right now it is twelve threads, eight threads might be better and I could have eliminated the little area with no knots between the groups of stitches.


tstc16ebluediamondline.png This line was a great disappointment. I should have been using a solid colored thread or one with less contrasts.

Isn’t it hard when you see some thing that is going the wrong way and you just don’t know how to rescue it? That’s what happened with this line. I made it, didn’t like it and made two efforts to rescue it. No wonder the results are a little muddy! Fortunately, not all my rescues turn out so badly. This, I suppose, is the reason I don’t quickly abandon a trial once I see it going wrong.

tstc16egreenrevdiamondline.png This line would make a great fill, too, and would add the contrast of the positive diamond shape to the reverse diamond evident here in the line.

Page added

April 21, 2007

Here is a quote from the preface (page v) of the book Art in Needlework by Lewis F Day and Mary Buckle, that SharonB let us know about in this post:

…the practical use of embroidery is to be beautiful.

I love it! Concise and to the point. I’m going to be quoting this frequently as I encounter many people who very kindly convey the opinion there is no practical use for my embroidery and therefore it is wasteful. That may lead to some interesting discussions about beauty as objective or subjective truth.

I think it’s always helpful to get the views of those outside our own time. I also relish the opportunity to see them evaluate and employ the various stitches they knew and loved, some of which I use today.

That said, you may imagine I’ve been having fun going through this book since Sharon brought it to my attention. It has pictures of the front and back of the samplers, another one of my favorite things to see when I’m learning about a stitch. I’ve read a few snatches here and there and several chapters along the way.

One of the interesting chapters I read was titled, Stitch Groups (p. 175-179). It is about classifying stitches on the basis of various criteria. It made me think about all the TSTC stitches and the benefit of trying to classify these stitches as I learn through this year. So I’ve added a page to the blog trying to determine a very broad family for each stitch based on its construction. It’s mostly for my own use, but you’re welcome to look and agree or disagree. I have debates with myself about some of them!

The authors suggest several other ways to group stitches and I think I want to at least go through my visual journal and evaluate the limitations and strengths of each stitch at the end of each week. I do all these samples to determine what I can do with a stitch but if I don’t evaluate it afterwards and in comparison to other stitches, I will be losing some knowledge that is worthwhile. My sharpest thoughts are during the time I’m spending with the stitch, if I wait until the TSTC is over too much will have faded from my mind. For me this book pointed out a very helpful step to take. Many thanks, Sharon, for pointing out this and so many other great resources!

Texture in line

April 21, 2007

Here are a few highly textured trial lines using the Palestrina stitch. School girl work only! For inspiration please look at else where. There is a lot of great work showing up from others involved in the TSTC. I’ve been out looking around this morning and it has been inspiring me.

tstc16dtextureline2.png I love the dense feel of this one.

I wish I’d thought to couch a fat threads top and bottom under the prongs of this next one. That will be an exploration for today.


Trying out a variation here. The first one is too lacy for my taste I like the second better. I think I better try some beads to fill in the spaces in the first one.

tstc16dtexture2.png tstc16dtexture1.png

My favorites are these last two


knots on the curve above and knots along the straight line below


And next are some rather failed attempts at leaves. I like the last one of the four, an attempt at an oak leaf, and actually the second one I tried to stitch. I definitely was not improving as I went along. The second one in the line is actually my last attempt. You can see why I haven’t have the heart to try any more, yet!


Tiny flowers and shine

April 20, 2007

I worked on some tiny shapes the other day. Two of them seemed rather unlikable to me.


Rather than abandon them, I decided to stitch some more just like them and decorate them with beads. I think they shine now.


And I thought the tiny diamond would make a flower or two. The leaves and grass are made using Palestrina stitches, too.


More shine added by gold and silver tone beads.



Ribbon can be shiny, too. I’d always wondered how I would use this ribbon with the little loops on each edge.


With the Palestrina stitch a thought came to mind. So I tested it with one, two and three plies of Watercolors.




Oops some of my stitching is not shining. I see I need to go back and fix up a few mistakes.

Have you noticed this stitch is rough on threads? Whenever I’ve had to fix my samples this week. I’ve had to just pull out the old and put in new threads. Of course, I should always do that but I often don’t for my own samples.

Tiny shapes

April 19, 2007

My morning had some unexpected glitches. Do computers wake up on the wrong side of the bed? I turned mine on this morning and neither Photoshop Elements nor emails would comply with my wishes. I finally had to disappear for work and came back to find everything pretty much back to normal. A sigh of relief! I don’t have to reinstall Photoshop Elements.


Tiny squares, triangles and diamonds–comparing the knots worked to the outside with those knots worked to the inside. My favorites are the first three and the last one. They make a nice spot of textured color or could fill a small space with a highly textured repeating grid. I’m thinking about adding a bead to the center of the two I don’t like. I’ll post the experiment before the week is out.

My tests on various threads


I loved the Perle 8 and the three strands of Watercolors. I also love the Silk & Ivory, but the photos don’t do it justice. Speaking of which see the next photo where I was again dutifully practicing curves

tstc16ccurvesongrid.png on grid and off grid

tstc16ccurvesoffgrid.png This as you may guess has much more to go. I’m not sure I’m going to keep it all in Palestrina. I could since there are certainly enough variations to keep me going.

Palestrina Angles

April 18, 2007

My thoughts ran to angles in stitching and here are a few samples.

tstc16bgreenthickthin.png thick and thin

tstc16bgreensmoothknotty.png smooth and knotty
tstc16bgreenslants.png dressing it up

tstc16bknotsstraight.png knots on the straight edge

and knots on the angles tstc16bknotsangles.png

tstc16bstraightinternaltria.png Oops, there are a few mistakes in this. I like the impression not the details. With better spacing and stitching I think this would work nicely.

Now for a more delicate look

tstc16balternatingfanstrip.png that still has lots of angles using Perle 8.

TSTC Week 16: The Palestrina Stitch

April 17, 2007

This week our TSTC is the Palestrina stitch. Sharon b has done an excellent job of introducing this stitch to us. Her stitch dictionary adds even more information and examples. While there, I took time to click on the variations that she lists for this stitch, too. For me it’s always great fun to explore her dictionary; I learn so much.

I’m starting out very slowly on this stitch tstc16asingle.png

The simple stuff first tstc16agroup.png

Then venturing out a little


I found a helpful link while going through my bloglines account last night. Mary Corbet at Needle’N Thread has posted some very interesting information, links and a video on this stitch. Thank you Mary!

That helped and influenced me as I tried these two lines.

tstc16areddiagonal.png tstc16avertical.png

I sure need more work on perfecting these stitches. Right now I have no intuitive feel for a good spacing of the knots. For me that hopefully comes with practice.

I tried a another idea here.

All by itself


Beside another strip

tstc16areversearrow1.png tstc16apositivearrow1.png

As a fill