Stitch Exercises week 1

Today’s post concerns some of the stitch exercises that I’ve set for myself this year. I’m a little worried if this type of post is very useful to anyone or not, but I’ll try posting it for a few weeks at least. I’m sure what type of things on my blog will be in flux for a little while until I get into the rhythm of this year’s stitching.

Last year I read Stitch Magic by Beaney and Littlejohn. You can not imagine how much this goes against my grain since I started off as a fairly traditional stitcher. But my design teacher the year before had an almost constant theme in her words of admonition for me. It was, learn to use one stitch through out the piece, learn to build up that one stitch and use it to convey shape, line and texture. It will help unify your piece, she said. Some how her instruction and the subsequent reading of Stitch Magic meshed in my mind.

But reading is not enough, I know myself all too well. I need to train myself to think and understand the concepts by working with them. I still may end up scrapping this as a method of stitching for myself. But I don’t want to do that without knowing what I’m rejecting. So this year I’m plunging into various kinds of exercises. If there is any fault in the exercise plans or the execution of them. It is my fault. There is nothing wrong with the book, Stitch Magic, or my design teacher’s instruction either. If anything seems amiss it is my expression of what they were trying to convey. In fact, if you’ve read Stitch Magic and have any thoughts that would be helpful to increase my understanding, please leave a comment. I would appreciate it.

I think with the exception of using some couching, I’ve stuck to my plan. This week I’m using the regular fly stitch for my exercises. I’ve been trying to remember to take pictures every day as the exercise progresses. However the last day’s work on them is missing because we had such a stormy day here in the central valley. To the “on grid” piece I’ve now added a few more stitches and changed the orientation. The “off grid” right triangle has more stitches and is beaded now.

Day 1 “on grid”


Day 2 Unfortunately, I think, I made a big color mistake here. Please excuse the threads on the left. I’m just thinking about my border.


Day 1 “off grid”



3 Responses to Stitch Exercises week 1

  1. Annie W says:

    Hi Elizabeth, I also Have tagged you for the Make My Day Award Hugs annie

  2. tenar72 says:

    These are very interesting, thanks for the inspiration! I like how you play with geometric forms in the first two, and the contrast between heavy and light stitches in the third one.

    Have a happy new year!

  3. Kay Susan says:

    Elizabeth, it is great fun to follow your experiments. Please keep them coming! I read Stitch Magic when I first started studying for City & Guilds and found it invaluable. However, my awakening came earlier, when I bought two books by Constance Howard in a second-hand book shop- one was her ‘stitch dictionary’ and the other was about colour in embroidery.

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