Trellis stitch lines

February 23, 2009

In new work with the trellis stitch I’ve mostly been concentrating on lines rather than shapes. Although I will admit that there is one shape sample at the end of this post.

022309aDifferent view, same sample. Tacked to twist.


Leaning in opposite directions around the curves.  


A graduated stretch.


For some reason I got excited about this line experiment with the trellis stitch below and it lead to the other experiments with lines that became a rather jumbled mess in the photo following.


A jumble of lines.


The most exciting part to me was the upper left corner where the lines have various heights and angles.

My flower using the reverse chain stitch as the base  for the center and making petals. The petals are done in two different colors to show the way I began to develop them. I’ve tried a few completely detached from each other as well as a few other experiments. More in the next post.


Trellis stitch: out and about

February 22, 2009

Just taking a moment to point out some exciting things happening with the trellis and spiral stitches due to Sharon b‘s February Stitch Explorer challenge.

Annie at Annies Crazy World has been doing wonderful things–a tree, a cup and saucer and a hat. The hat is darling and she’s issued an invitation to others to make and decorate trellis stitch hats. I’m looking forward to seeing all that will come out of that invitation. And hope everyone who makes one will link back to Annie’s post. And if you haven’t seen Annie’s recent series on the feather stitch please do take time to look through that as well.

Annet at Fat Quarter has also been doing great things in adapting the stitches to various shapes.

Another of my favorite sightings on the trellis stitch is a leaf that Conni at The Scoop, Score and Deal made. She’s been working on felt and has made a fun flower, too.

More comments keep popping up on Sharon’s post from others involved in the challenge, so please do keep looping back there to see what new works are being done with the trellis and spiral trellis stitches. They are fascinating stitches. If you haven’t been involved in the challenge yet please consider it. Sharon’s explains it here.

Spiral trellis and trellis stitches

February 19, 2009

Sometimes it is humbling to look back at work attempted and find it less than one would wish. That is the case for me with the spiral trellis and trellis stitches. I didn’t post some of the work I tried with it last year. And now Sharon b‘s February Stitch Explorer is urging me back to take another look at it. Please keep checking inon Sharon’s post for links to what other needleworkers are doing with this stitch. I’ll be leaving a comment there as soon as I post some current work. And I hope everyone else will continue to use that means of staying in touch with what is going on. I believe Sharon’s post also mentions a flickr site that helps, too.

To those of you who saw my first post on the February challenge before Maureen of Moonsilk Stitches left me the comment about using the reverse chain stitch rather than the chain stitch for the foundation: please do check the post for her comment and explanation of why it works better than the chain stitch. Many thanks to Maureen for this thoughtful comment. Please do swing by her blog and the Plimonth Plantation work if you’re not familiar with them.

Here are some photos of the work I did year. I was struggling with the smaller circles and my final resolution was to use the regular trellis stitch to making them.

The cooling of the liquid as it flows out of the cup and begins to pool.


Headlong  — an excuse to try more of the spiral trellis stitches. The multicolored ones at the left started as squares and moved into the spiral. The all green shape rises into a nice little peak. The photo angle just doesn’t capture that.


Another attempt at spiraling the smaller circles.  The background texture is the detached buttonhole stitch, I think. It was surprisingly simple to move around the shapes with that technique and get fairly good coverage around the edges. This is just a small portion of a larger piece I’m working on. I can’t remember if I posted photos of it or not. I’m hoping to finish off the whole thing in the next week or two.


Winding up and what next?

February 16, 2009

Winding up

Winding up chicken scratch has been fun. I loved the round up post Sharon b did on the January Stitch Explorer. I thought I had been keeping up with all those participating. But I found some new participants and some posts from others that I’d not seen. 






What is next?

Sharon b’s February’s Stitch Explorer Challenge is the trellis stitch. If you haven’t joined in the challenge yet, why not try this stitch? As Sharon says, it adds texture. Please click on her link in this paragraph to learn more about the stitch and the SE challenge.

I learned this stitch last year after reading Jeanne‘s stitch study posts on the spiral trellis stitch. Jeanne recently finished a beautiful sampler using the spiral trellis stitch in three different spots, I think. It is well worth seeing as is her tutorial that Sharon mentions. Many thanks for teaching me, Jeanne.

The stitch fascinated me then and I did a few tests. But I didn’t do a lot of exploration at that time. I did have a lot of ideas about what I wanted to try…sometime.

One interesting thing I found out yesterday is that the chain stitch may be used as the base stitch. I found this information in Darlene O’Steen’s The Proper Stitch. Many thanks to Darlene for that book that has been so useful to me for a number of years now.

The reason I like the thought of using the chain stitch is that then there are two useful loops around the shape. The outside loop may provide a fininshed look to the edge with out additional stitching. Or it may be used for the start of additional shapes in the opposite direction. For instance, petals surrounding the center of a flower.

Improvements? always a questionable subject

February 12, 2009

If something states “new and improved” on the box, it’s always an open question in my mind. I’m no doubt mumbling, I see for myself. And just the case with my embroidery, I’m always questioning if I’m making improvements or not. Perhaps the boxes at the store should be labeled: Alert! Changes made. That’s the state of my embroidery today. I’m not sure everything was an improvement but changes have been made. I’ll let you judge the improvement angle for for yourself.

Here is a line from my previous post.


I only made a minor adjustment at first and did the peaks and valleys opposite of each other.


I thought it played up the check pattern better but I’d noticed that the only way to have the red stitching fall in the same colored square each time was to stitch it into the mid-value squares that would naturally accommodate the pattern.

I did that and changed the looping. this is one of my favorite changes. I see so many possibilities in it, both as a fill and a border.


Now remember this row? The area between the four petal flowers looked awkward to me.


I tried two ideas on this. I liked the first better than the second. I just didn’t know that until I tried it.


And the final one drawn from the last post for today’s post is below.


What did I think could be improved? The separation of the thread in the figure 8 looping. Would it be possible to eliminate the double looping by using a Perle 5? And then I got this additional idea that really changed things. What if I used a red double cross stitch rather than a boss stitch.


This reminded me of a snowflake and a stormy February day.

Improvement and improving

February 9, 2009

My chicken scratch samples from the past few days are needing improvement. I thought it would be fun to take some of those that didn’t turn out well and see what could be improved in the next few days.

Here are the samples.


This is one above is going to be my top target for improvement. The one below I’m not sure what to do with yet. I’d been wanting to try some dots in the middle of the squares for loops. This was my first try. Definitely room for improvement.


The little design below appeals to me but it has no spark. It may be the ground or … I just thought of an idea. I have to dig out the needle and thread and see how it works.


Back to borders again with this line below.  I’m out of my red perle 8. The substitute which is the thread I was using on the fabric above doesn’t seem sufficient for this blue check fabric or the white perle 5. But I like the basic border idea. And more could be done with that, too.


Next is the one attempted improvement in today’s post. It is a corner from the last post. I can see it working as a fill. Still not thrilled over the eights.  I think they may need to be reworked. It may be a place for my dot in the middle of the square. And scrapping the interweaving would help. 


The last one? I tried a new thought out on this. The wrap on the cross stitches is to carry the color more fully. I woke up having dreamed of a very simple improvement for this. I’ll have to see if it helps. The middle is made up of fly stitches and cross stitches top and bottom rows. The white squares in the middle don’t have cross stitches only intersecting fly stitch tails. Maybe I could change them to cross stitches and use a dot in the middle…



Loops around chicken scratch

February 4, 2009

I’m dreaming of loops around chicken scratch. In my dreams, they all look perfect. When I wake up some work and some don’t. I keep right on going and trying a few more. As you may notice despite the dreams, this is school girl mode with a couple of  stitches–rice, fly and reverse fly.


I threw in a couple of French knots but wished for beads. If the bead store had been open, I would have jumped in the car and been there.


Another corner a variation on the theme.


This one above still needs something. It may need to be more than a corner before I see whether it should live or die.


This one seems so plain in many ways. It could easily be beaded up. Perhaps I’ll wait until I can find red beads for the centers of the reverse fly stitches. Or three beads each for the center loops in the bottom and top rows. In its plainness, it survives as my favorite even in morning light.  


Stitches and chicken scratch

February 2, 2009

Neki Desu asked me a great question more than a few days ago. How she patiently puts up with me I never understand, but I’m thankful for it. If you aren’t familiar with her work please do swing by to see both her website and blog.

Her question was in response to reading this post about color and fly stitches. She wrote: hmm so you can practically use any stitch,  can’t you? 

I’m a break-or-bend-the-rules kind of person in so many ways when it comes to stitches and how to make them. So it seems like I should say yes. But I surprised myself and said, no. I don’t think all stitches can stand up to the tension lacing puts on them. And not all stitches provide places for loops in convenient places.
Playtime with chicken scratch in Sharon b‘s Stitch Explorer challenge is about half over and I still see more stitches I’d like to use in experiments. I’ve been keeping a little grid to the side of what I want to try. Of course, some I’ve already worked with, while others have not been put to the test yet.
Right now my thoughts are too limited. That why it is great to be working along with a whole group of stitchers.  Annet over at Fat Quarters posted a comment that took me skipping over to see what she’d done with stars. And it helped me solve the problem I was struggling with in my blue diamonds where I needed to make white loopings that contrasted with the red. Many thanks, Annet.
Please do run over to see the wonderful work Annet is doing with chicken scratch, if you haven’t already seen it. It is here, here and here.
Leslie at is doing great work with chicken scratch here. This is one of those pieces I look at and wish I could reach right out and touch, too. Great textures.
And Valerie did an intriguing piece that I love here.
Every time I mention some of the inspiring work I’ve see, I’m leaving out so much more so please do keep checking back with Sharon’s original post. And if you’re working with chicken scratch I hope you’ll post a comment there so we can find you.