More on feather stitching

May 31, 2008

I hope I’m not tiring my readers, but I am finding out so much more about feather stitches that I can’t bring myself to quit working on them yet. If you’re feeling that I’ve been on the subject far too long, relief is in sight, I plan to post something else next week. 

I think I may be dreaming about this stitch. Some of these ideas are products of early morning stitch times. 

I reach for a needle and thread like some people reach for a pen or pencil, trying to jot down an idea before it gets away. And then I still can’t capture it like I wish; it is too fleeting.

I have only a long narrow scrap of this fabric from somewhere. I think it has been stained or dyed. The fabric is very soft.





May 30, 2008

I’m still taken up with feather stitching and an idea pestered me last night. The sample below shows the results of two very different ways of stitching this.

I’m not sure which way is best. The one on the left is stitched as you go and the one on the right is a second pass. I’m still thinking a little bit more about it. I’ll be planning more experiments with this idea over the weekend.

I got serious about adding to the samples from yesterday’s post. And one of the comments I received was just so good that I that it gave me another idea as I was working with them.

Many thanks to Marjorie Holme at Moonsilk Stithes for enlightening my thinking in this post by way of her comment about a Japanese embroidery “fuzzy” technique. I’ve experimented based on a little clip I found about it. I tried both on the petal work (experiments not shown today) and on the feather stitching work shown below. I’m sure is it would be far out of it’s intended range with this sample.

Unfortunately, 100/3 silk is not easily dividable so the couching thread is too thick.  I’d like to work on this concept with some other threads and try the diagonal couching, too.




No break from feather stitching

May 29, 2008

I’m still working on feather stitching. Finding it hard to go very fast because my ideas don’t stitch out as expected. They seem to so easily fall over into a blanket stitch or a Cretan stitch and then I pull them out and start over again.


Red leaf alert: Imagine my delight when I spied this red leaf at Garden Journal. Many thanks to Karen for the refreshing photo.

Still practicing…

May 28, 2008

Sorry to have such an unscheduled blog break. My computer is totally messing up or else it is my internet service provide. Frankly, I suspect them both and am ready to tear out what hair I have left. I’ve had this computer a long time and it is stuffed far too full.

I’m still practicing for my feather stitch sampler. My grandmother lived in Vermont most of her life and so the sampler must have a maple leaf. She also was a great one for finding four leaf clovers. My mom says Gram would be walking along and suddenly stoop down and pluck one up.

I’m also practicing for a new piece using this red material. I’m not sure I’m going to use 100/3 silk for this. The coverage is not what I might wish. The only one I really like is the woven petal. The colors are off in the photo. The red is actually much lighter and the green much more gold.




Feather stitching

May 24, 2008

Yes, I’m still translating from my “off grid” work. Some of the “off grid” work I still wasn’t able to capture with a camera because it has been rainy or gray all day long.  The moss green felt it’s stitched on requires a bright sunny to capture much of anything. 

I did finally try a bead or two. These were the only ones on hand that matched the threads I’m using.

My internet connection went down at about 10am this morning and only came back up about 7:30 pm. So please do excuse this late post. This is my third attempt to publish this post. Something is still terribly wrong.  It keeps dropping so much of what I’ve typed.

On another note, I’m still trying to turn off the clickable indicator for the photos. My apologies for the false indicators wp is throwing up.

Second thoughts

May 23, 2008

I’m having second thoughts on the upper case alphabet for the feather stitch sampler. The alphabet is all done in theory. I’m going to have to stitch it before I can decide. It’s taking up more space than I wish. I can’t seem to fix on a good style for the space. Perhaps that means something other than an alphabet is needed there.

Fortunately, the work with translating the “off grid” feather stitch variations over to “on grid” trials is going a good clip. I tried four versions of the puppy paws feather stitch. Now I see it as a useful way to couch a thicker thread and poise a bead or flower on the elongated spine.

I think my grandmother would enjoy the beads. She had a bead-fringed pincushion about a foot square. She used it constantly. I was able to chart the needlework several years ago but no one remembered the bead work pattern well enough for me to reconstruct it authentically.

Feather stitches: dainty versions

May 22, 2008

I finally decided to put in an upper case alphabet on this feather stitch sampler. To separate the rows of letters I’ve decide to see what I could do in working a feather stitch over two threads only.

This is the progress so far.

For the moment I’m fresh out of workable ideas.

I made the first letter in the alphabet. From that I’ll have to chart and stitch everything fairly close. I think that will be the only area I have to chart before I stitch. Sadly the lower case alphabet is limiting my style. I put that one in rather simply as a reminder of the few years my grandmother taught school before she married.

Off grid with the feather stitch

May 21, 2008

I have some of the “off grid” feather stitch samples ready for posting today by using Photoshop Elements. The others look too bad to post. I’m going to try and reshoot them.

The feather stitch was one of my disappointing weeks durning SharonB’s TSTC last year. I probably wouldn’t be trying this stitch again except I had started out this sampler as a tribute to my grandmother. Since she is the one who taught me the feather stitch, it seemed only fitting to include the stitch somewhere on the sampler. And then I finally decided to explore it again for this sampler when I was going through my WISPs a week or so ago.


The felt is off color here. The third sample is a very standard varaiation and on either side are examples of crossing over  a previous stitch to make the next one.

I can’t imagine what droll thing my grandmother would have said should she have seen these “off grid” samples. She had a very quick wit and loved to turn a pun. I’m sure we would have been laughing over them. But unless I make them pretty and dainty she wouldn’t feel they were worthy to stitch on any sampler. I’ll have to see how much 100/3 silk and a linen ground can help with a transformation.

A much more realistic color for the felt. Excepting the first one, the samples here are just what ever crazy little thought came into my mind. I love the last one in the upper sample, it reminds me of puppies’ paws.  


Small scattered thoughts on the feather stitch

May 20, 2008

Last night I did some more samples on the feather stitch. This time they were “on grid” but still using a pima cotton. If you’re wondering about the “off grid” samples, they need more work. I stitched them on a moss green felt and oh, no… I need to work with Photoshop Elements and/or try reshooting them.

Perhaps the first one is more rightly a chain stitch but I kept it anyway. The center sample is composed of three feather stitches one in the center, one worked to the right, one worked to the left and then repeat.  The third sample is a very shallow triple feather stitch.

Doing this very shallow row of feather stitches reminded me afresh that the Cretan stitch is a very close cousin to the feather stitch. The buttonhole, chain and fly stitch are all so similar with the feather stitch, too. Overlapping abounds in my experiments.

The first sample in the photo above is two feather stitches worked to the left, a small and wide alternately. Then fly stitches make up the border on the right. And the last sample is another variation of a feather chain. 

I’m not sure all my samples will translate well when using 100/3 silk on the feather stitch sampler, but I’m hopeful.

I’m sorry to say that I still can’t figure out why my photos are showing up as clickable. I don’t knowingly set them up to do that. I’m going to be searching for a way to turn the default off. And hopefully before the end of the day here on the west coast (usa).

Progress on the feather stitch sampler

May 19, 2008

This is the progress on the feather stitch sampler.

These are notes to myself. So some things are slated for redoing as soon as my LNS is open this week.

I’m hoping for a very light tone of the green to substitute for the yellow. I’m not sure what I can do for the birds. They need a lot of help. Their eyes don’t stand out well. They don’t look flight worthy to me.

I had a lot of fun this weekend taking the feather stitch “off grid” and coming up with about fifteen variations to start filling in more of the sampler. I’m going to post some of those soon. I need to review SharonB’s TSTC and stitch dictionary for the feather stitch and see if there is anything that will inspire me further.

Using the 100/3 silk instead of the pima cotton means a lot of space to fill up on the sampler. I’d like to have more than enough variations to pick and choose from. I want to add more variations on the mixed Milanese, too. I’m debating about making a capital letter alphabet. And if I do make it what kind of stitch should I use? Questions and options! I’m going to have to do some serious planning soon.

On another note. The orphan works bill made it’s way out of the US Senate committee and is making its way to the floor. Please consider the issues involved in this and weigh in on it.