TSTC Week 52: Spanish feather stitch

I’m back from Christmas holiday and looking forward to this last week of the of 2007. I want to talk about two things in this post, the weekly TSTC challenge and then my plans for this blog in 2008. Many thanks to all the visitors who have enjoyed SharonB’s challenge along with me or who have enjoyed looking in on what has been happening in TSTC. Above all my thanks go out to SharonB for organizing and keeping up with this challenge. It has been a great learning experience all year, Sharon. Thank you for your dedication to all of us in the challenge, to hand embroidery and the on-line needlework community.

A week ago Sharon b announced the fifty-second TaST stitch that completes the challenge. It is the Spanish feather stitch. Sharon did a great step by step in her introduction. I should have started practicing then. I still can’t make it curve or circle gracefully. Most of what I’m posting today reflects some problems I’ve been having making even the straight lines behave. My problems slightly decreased in my “on grid” work. Happily, it’s an interesting stitch and it’s only fitting that TaST should challenge me right up to the end.

This first “off grid” sample was actually an attempt to make curves and circles. As you can see I abandon all hopes.


Fortunately the Spanish feather stitch is easily threaded. And there are a number of ways to do that although I’ve only shown one of them in today’s post.


I tried the stitch “on grid” with a Perle 8 and then tried adding French knots in a pima cotton thread to dress it up.



I did try working with a 100/3 silk. I don’t think this is the right thread for the stitch. Below is the photograph of the sample.


Sometimes I work with increases and decreases in stitch size to help me learn more about a stitch and to prepare for making curves and circles. The following samples with Perle 5 show some of those attempts. One of them almost became a tall thin lopsided Christmas tree before I was done.



Now turning a corner, I will mention some of the changes I anticipate for this blog in the year ahead. As you may know I plan to work on SharonB’s new challenge, Take It Farther (TIF). However, I don’t anticipate making the TIFC the subject of daily posts as I did with TSTC. A post once or twice a week as should cover the monthly project.

So what will I do with the rest of the week? I plan to keep on blogging about stitch explorations. For instance, I’ll be finishing up a series of posts on the Indian edging stitch that Anne Gailhbaud taught me. In the next day or two, I’ll outline a few more projects that I would like to work on in the upcoming year.


4 Responses to TSTC Week 52: Spanish feather stitch

  1. jowynn says:

    Very nice samples. I look forward to seeing your continuing experiments with stitches next year.

    I haven’t tried this one yet, but this week I’m committed to doing all the TAST stitches I didn’t do during my computer meltdown.

  2. Susan says:

    I look forward to seeing both kinds of posts in your blog next year. =) Is it *any* stitch on a circle that is a problem? Or just some of these recent stitches?

    Thanks, again, for showing your explorations. I find there are some stitches that look great in an elegant one-strand-of-floss manner, and others need the perle thread. I’m still trying to find something for which I like perle 3 – it just feels like stitching with a rope to me!

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Susan, thank you for the question on my stitching difficulties with circles, and curves, too, by the way. I’ve been blogging about my efforts to explore and overcome in this area all year. I’m making progress but not without constant work. For me, SharonB’s TSTC has been a perfect opportunity to focus in and work on difficult stitches or areas of stitching.

  4. Suzi says:

    Congratulations on your 52 weeks of stitches – it’s been wonderful following your progress!

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