Blogs, Expanded squares and broken rules


I thought I would highlight the blog of another participant in Sharon b’s TAST as a way of welcoming newcomers. Conni at The Scoop, Score and Deal has a blog that I always look forward to visiting. As a Vermonter (state flower: red clover), I very much appreciated her clover for the long and short stitch. She consistently has wonderful pieces up on her blog. Here are a few of my favorites: for TaST, here and here; from the embellisher, this piece; a work in progress, Binky’s Garden. If you’re not familiar with Conni’s blog, please do have a look around since I’ve only been able to highlight a few things. Thanks for a wonderful blog, Conni!

Expanded squares

This weekend I could not find one magazine in the craft store on embroidery. Out of frustration and being at loose ends, I picked up a Quilting Arts Magazine, Issue 27. It had me hooked by one article, Design Tools: The Expanded Square by Jane Dunnewold. I bought the magazine. I’m glad I did. I enjoyed the article and I found a lot of interesting things in it for a poor embroiderer like me.

Looking around the web, I found that there is an mini article on the technique by Jane here, at her website Art Cloth Studios. There is an article done by Lin Altman, a teacher at Cedar Creek Elementary in Texas, who mentions Jane’s article and pulls in lots of links and examples done by students some of whom are seventh grade students. Unfortunately, a number of the links do not appear to be working for the Santa Rosa Junior College and that is why I’ve put in the one link to student work that did work for me.

In my design class from last year expanded square exercises were by far my favorite involving paper. I did over 25 of them. Some are definitely school girl exercises. But when I got to play with them, I was amazed by the patterns and drama of the black and white image. It was nice to see such a well written article in Quilting Arts bringing this tool to the forefront.

One thing that made me smile was Jane’s encouragement that, “Once you get the basic rules figured out, you are free to break them.” One of my expanded square designs came back with words to this point from my teacher, you broke the rules, but I approve of breaking the rules when it turns out this well. She was too kind to mention the many times I broke the rules and it did not turn out so well.

Here are some broken rules on the long and short stitch. And I’m afraid, I still don’t have the basic rules on this stitch figured out.

Long and short with mirror image

tstc25fmirrorsquaresintr.png the key element: short-long-long-short

and fun with it


fun with the French knot

tstc25ffrenchknotsopp2.png opposing each other

and layering on one another


Rick rack the basic elements


and a row of fun tstc25fslanttogetherrow.png


A long and short buttonhole rows, opposing each other and filled in. Rather a bad job because my thread and fabric were working against full coverage.

Interlaced long and short slanted and facing each other with thin thread as the next layer on both sides and interlaced.


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