Pressing on with the satin stitch

May 31, 2007

I thought I’d point to a couple of other blogs in case you haven’t caught them and would like pop over to take a look. Judith at Spinningyarns has done a step by step on dyeing silk rovings in a microwave. Don’t miss the photo slide show on the upper right side bar. And the needlewoman at Reading and Stitching in IL has done a satin stitch spot sampler and is referring to one of my favorite books from Lantz. Thank you, ladies!

And can you believe how many pictures are in flickr’s Take a Stitch Tuesday? I hardly ever notice details like this but yesterday my eyes caught the number and I could hardly imagine over 1,130 photos.

My own work on the satin stitch is progressing along. My sketched ideas were lost some where in my travels yesterday so I didn’t do any work on my napkin. But I found plenty of other ideas in my head to transfer to another cloth.




Then I got carried away with the curve shape I could obtain with the satin stitch here.


And I had to try and improve it


And box it in


In the course of looking for some suitable fabric (Which you may notice, I did not select. I chose something entirely too light.), I came across one of my practice cloths on picots and dove’s eyes. You may wonder why some of it is not finished. I think I gave up the idea of perfecting those two stitches. I was just talking over my struggles with Nancilyn at What bloggles my mind a few days ago. It really made me laugh to run into the evidence. I love hardanger and have to find substitutes for the picots and dove’s eyes. Since satin stitches play such a big part in hardanger, both in the kloster blocks (shown below) and the motifs, I thought it would be appropriate to post it.



Borders and plans

May 30, 2007

I decided to remove some of the horizontal yellow wool border from the napkin I was working on. And in that area put in some pulled thread work. I’m still not sure about the vertical border. I may overstitch the yellow threads and use them as padding for new satin stitches. I think that could be effective and give me various heights for that border.

Somehow I never manage to catch up with all the experiments I want to try. Here are a few of the things I did get done. This napkin is a mess but I’m having fun adding just a little of this and a little of that. Any little idea that pops into my mind–I try it.


The pulled work reveals the interesting little pattern the fabric has.

tstc22b1.png tstc22b2.png

I do have some more work done on the napkin but it will have to be posted later. In the meantime, here is what I tried last night on an cotton evenweave.


TSTC Week 22: The satin stitch

May 29, 2007

This week Sharon b has taken us to another great basic stitch for the Take a Stitch Tuesdays Challenge (TSTC), the satin stitch. Her introduction and samples are excellent. If you clicked the last link of her first paragraph you came across one of my favorite samples of her stitching in the third band. It’s also featured at the top of her satin stitch dictionary entry.

The thing that was surprising to me about her choice was that I’d been using the satin stitch earlier in the day. I’d dug out some old napkins and a tablecloth from a yard sale purchase made last year. And at a whim started stitching away on one of the napkins. The yellow daring pattern was already stitched on them. The tablecloth has a larger pattern with brown also added. The napkins have three rows of the pattern you see. My thought is that they are from the 1970s. But I’m a pretty uneducated guesser about such things.


When I read Sharon’s post for this week I already had the large diamond done and the circles beside it. I just added a bit more satin stitch work on the right and the purple flowers. Snapped a picture and called it quits for the day. Some little virus or something got me and although I’m recovered this morning I couldn’t keep my mind on any stitching last night.

As a result I thought I’d post some satin work from an old sampler.

Pulled work using satin stitches


Very useful for stabilizing thread on drawn work.


Another pulled work pattern. I did I tell you I like white on white work? This is more like ecru on ecru.






Winding up on the crossed buttonhole stitch

May 28, 2007

As an ongoing way to say, “Welcome!” to newcomers I want to point out two more of the many blogs I enjoy. Both are involved in Sharon b’s TSTC. Most of my regular readers are no doubt well aware of these two stitchers and feel happy like I do about a new post from them.

From my first visit to Sara’s blog And Sew On, I was ready to come back. I love her quilts and her stitching. The colors she uses speak right to my heart. This is her most recent post for TSTC and this was her first. Her current post shows her first art quilt. And what exciting things have been happening with it!

Dy’s work is on flickr and at her blog, Random Applique. Someone said to me yesterday, “…the hand-prepared fabrics are always an inspiration.” I feel exactly the same way, but it is an unfamiliar world to me. So I was totally fascinated by a post that Dy did showing her process for wet wool felting. And you will see this felt has been put to good use this week with her cheerful little dragon and last week, with her fabric box.

Both these ladies have all manner of other interesting things on their blogs, so please do take a bit of time and look around.

This weekend, I ran away from school. Or perhaps I should say it wasn’t recess, it was vacation. I tried this.


Constructive criticism or ideas for improvement welcome! Also, I have a question. I was using lite steam a seam2 to attach the sheer purple background material to white felt so I could hold this “in hand” while I stitched. Little white beads of the sticky stuff formed under the purple fabric. I laid layers of cheese cloth over this and ironed again. That seemed to remove some of it and it’s not too noticeable now. But what caused it and is there a better way to take care of cleaning it up? Thank you!

I did manage to wind up some loose ends on the crossed buttonhole stitch.

Mirrored woven crossed buttonhole stitches


Variations on a blue theme. The first photo is the single line of the the mirrored and staggered line I posted the other day with the the beads. I’ve tried to do some grid patterns with this but nothing there has been pleasing me. So these are all simple borders.





I’ve had a lot of fun with this stitch but, I’m always so excited to see the next TSTC stitch appear.

After recess

May 26, 2007

I’m so encouraged by the work I’m seeing in Sharon b’s TaST challenge that is posted on flickr and on so many blogs. Please check the webring if you haven’t already done it. The link is on the TaST page above. It’s a highlight in my day to see what others stitchers have been doing with this stitch.

I’m still working on bringing some of what I learned “at recess” into my “on grid” work. While doing this I’m noticing that reading Stitch Magic by Beaney and Littlejohn recently has influenced some of my thoughts on stitches and stitching. Perhaps for many this book or these concepts are something you’ve been familiar with for a long time. But I only came across it recently at my local used bookstore. I started rereading this book as a means to help ponder what they are saying. I want to think as clearly as possible and stitch as much as possible so that my thoughts about it will mature.

Here’s some of my work from yesterday.

I slide the middle prong under the first to help the crossed prongs look more even. I didn’t have time to embellish the tops but I think some detached chain stitches might be worth trying.


Staggered, mirror with one thread between the two lines and worked in the opposite direction.


This next line didn’t turn out to my satisfaction. I tried to use beads but neither arrangement worked. The plain truth is that it was better as a single line unembellished. What is offending my sensibilities is the thickness of the blue line between the peaks when it is mirrored. But I think I would love that thick line if I treated it as a grid. It on my “play” list for today.


Two attempts here to get the right look to the lower prongs. I liked the last two best.


Mirrored and embellished


Now I think Indian tepees and Roman columns are both wrapped up in one stitch.

One straggling woven buttonhole


I’d love to try couching a ribbon with it. I think it would be great mirrored.

I’ve only done one upright crossed buttonhole with the doubled view. I liked the bold look to this.


Here I was experimenting with moving the loop around the middle prong down off the regular line. It make the area look almost knotted. It’s two threads down one thread off either side from the other tie downs. I tried pulling it down four threads at first, but that was a disaster. Another thing on my “play” list.


Recess and backwards on an upright crossed buttonhole

May 25, 2007


Every school girl needs a recess!


And recess certainly refreshes. I came back to the “school desk”. Full of ideas. Here are just a few.


I have to run into work early today so this is lacking a little of the photo editing I would normally do.  Nevertheless, I hope the pictures can speak for themselves as to my aims.


I was playing around with the crossed buttonhole stitch and thought of doing an upright cross to get a strong diagonal line. I don’t know if you ever noticed my bad little habit in making regular cross stitches. I always cross left over the one to the right. This is against convention, so I’ve been told. And I think my upright crossed buttonhole stitches fall into that same category. Convention is to cross horizontal over the vertical. I did the opposite!

A single line


A dense line


A double line


Switching sides


Doubled–can you see the grid patterns? My stitching time was very limited yesterday or I would have linger here!


More fun


A circle made with crossed (top, bottom left and right) and upright crossed (the diagonals between) buttonhole stitches. All it needs is embellishment! And some experiments in other sizes.


I’ve been thinking of making a step by step on the upright crossed buttonhole stitch. The conventional method, of course, not backward. If you know of an on-line dictionary with this stitch, please, leave a comment. Thank you! I’ve been looking around but so far haven’t uncovered one. And I’m sure they must be in stitch books.

Working through school days

May 24, 2007

There is lots of great stuff showing up everywhere on this stitch–at flickr and new things via comments at Sharon b’s to name just a couple of great places. And Judith at Spinningyarns put together a brief guide on spinning silk. Do pop in and take a look; it’s fascinating. Thank you, Judith!

Now, I’ve begun to have fun with this stitch. For me working with a stitch just a little beyond what first comes to mind has sometimes yielded great results. Sometimes doesn’t mean always, of course! So the wisdom to know when to pursue and when to let go is something I need.

Here’s the plain four stitches around a square


changing the second leg of the cross two up and two back from its position above


I loved the movement in this so I tried enlarging it.


Adding color


And a line with three of the four stitches done before moving on to the next. I tell you I stitched this with the wrong thread. All I could think of when I was stitching away on this was a “yellow brick road”–some how green thread doesn’t capture the thought.


On to other lines; here’s a checkered one


the same laced




two tone versions


School girl days on week 21

May 23, 2007

I’ve been doing a few things here and there with the crossed buttonhole stitch, but I’m very much in the learning mode. And yes everything is working again on my blog, if you were looking for pictures of the last of my butterfly chain stitches, they are up as of last night.

If you are looking for more on the crossed buttonhole stitch and haven’t seen Susan’s sampler on flickr where I first caught it or over on her website, I think it is well worth popping over and taking a look. I was so excited about it when I saw it last night–very inspiring, Susan! Thank you. And I’m sure there may be much more up on this stitch, by now from others. I just haven’t had a chance to take my usual morning look around before work.

Here are a few things I’ve been working on

4 stitches around a square


8 stitches around a octagon


For something in counted thread style


And here again in a checkered line


This is something undeveloped, I’m not sure what to do with it yet.


And a few trials with off grid work



Well, now you can see why I’m in school girl mode today! I’ve got a lot of learning to do about this stitch.

TSTC Week 21: The crossed buttonhole stitch

May 22, 2007

A brief update before I begin: I still can’t send pictures to the editor. I have no spell checker, a very essential tool for me! I’m writing this post all in code. I’ve tried to eliminate problems with links and so forth. Please leave a comment if anything isn’t working for you. I’m talking with the blog people to try and resolve this. If I get brave and update yesterday’s post with photos in code or they can clear up the problems for me, then you will see that post revamped sometime today. Now, on to this week’s stitch!

The crossed buttonhole stitch found a place in the week 21 of the TSTC. Sharon b has written up a great introduction to this stitch for us. I was surprised by its similarity to other stitches in the buttonhole stitch family. And yet as I began to work with it, I see its uniqueness, too.

Lynne of the Dancing Rose had me chuckling from day one of posting about the butterfly chain stitch when she left this comment.

There are *rules*??? Seems to me the whole point of the TAST is to think outside the envelope…

Her remark had me laughing and it encouraged me along on last week’s exploration. Thank you, Lynne!

So I’m hoping to laugh and enjoy bending and breaking all the rules I can with the crossed buttonhole stitch this week. I’d like to push it just short of losing its uniqueness. But you see my start is very sedate and measure.







Inspiration and a new blog on my bloglines account

May 21, 2007

Update: Yes! Things are working again. I don’t understand but it was something between my browser and the blog software. I just relaxed and followed instructions. So photos are now added. If you haven’t been over to see the butterflies that Annie at Annies Crazy World has been making, please, do take a look. She not only shows her beautiful seam treatment, but also how to make the butterflies.

And Gayle, please forgive me for misspelling your name earlier. I am so sorry. I just now caught it–of course, having the spell checker helped. But I do know better, especially since one of my very dear cousins back east is named Gayle.

Judith at Spinningyarns is new on my blogline account. She has recently started blogging. Already I’ve been clicking way and finding interesting things from the links on her posts as well as enjoying her own needlework on the crazy quilt that she has started. In case you’re wondering about the name Spinningyarns, she spins her own silk and that lead to her rekindled interest in embroidery. She also enjoys flower gardening and has snapped a few pictures of her plants that she posts at Everything in the garden’s Rosy…. And as you may know I love flowers so I stop there, too.

As far as inspiration is concerned, that’s what I encountered when I came rushing into the TSTC flickr account and found this sampler by Gayle of stichintime. I could not get the last row out of my mind. From the moment I saw it, I felt like it was a special interpretation of this stitch and so inspiring to me. Gayle has done other great samplers and recently did a columbine plant that very special.

Pre update paragraph: No pictures! Yes, I’m so sorry. My “send to editor” button will not work to upload pictures on to this post. I’ll be updating later in the day, if it becomes available. Second major problem this morning is that other photos are still on my card because Photoshop Elements won’t recognize my card and thinks there is nothing in the drive. I’m going to be working on the problem and will either do a separate post or add with the first photos on this post. Last time this happened it was as simple as buying an new card holder. In the meantime, I hope you’ll enjoy Judith’s and Gayle’s blogs with their photos.

New Updated area: When I wrote Gayle asking permission to post and so forth. She wrote me back saying, she, too, had been looking at that row and wondering what it would look like stacked or spaced differently. And as I explained to her that’s all I did with it when I played around with it. And I’m hoping as time allows she will be able to follow up on some of her ideas, too. Since she is the one who made that sampler, I think her ideas will flow much more freely and more fully than any thing I can do here.

Here it is side by side and stacked


Side by side and stagger (brick) stacked


Tips touching and what a nice darning pattern it could have been, too.


I just love think about the patterns that could be made if these were grouped together in various arrangements! I wish I’d had more time to stitch this out. And this next one, too.


The photo give you a little idea of what happens when one of these concepts is stitched out. Please forgive me for not hidding the threads. There is the small white diamond as in the third photo (I just hid the riding tie downs) Then there is diamond made of the thread from the five stitches placed together, on the right hand side the large diamond from four cluster of the five stitches and on the left the large white diamond around the small diamond of five stitches together. Well, you can tell I’m excited. I don’t know if I’m talking sense in a way that anyone else can understand. Sometimes you just have to ignore me! I want to stitch some more of these out in the next few weeks as time allows and if it doesn’t I’m going to put them in my pattern software and save them for future reference.


Here’s a much simpler idea I tried to stitch out.


Then I played with the inversion (I hope that the correct word for the concept) of the straight stitches with these results.