Green Tea: first experiments with Assisi embroidery

March 17, 2009

Green tea and Assisi work might not mix in your mind but this design below was my first attempt at doing some innovations with this style of embroidery. And why did the name “Green Tea” stick? Who knows?

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I suppose anyone who loves blackwork as much as I do would experiment with Assisi embroidery sooner or later. The design is based on a nine patch and evolved from there. I kept the traditional flavor by using a darker thread to outline the image in the four corners and center.

A lighter thread was used as the background fill and done in a slanted gobelin stitch. Rather than working these stitches left to right across the design, they radiated out from the center. Then another motif was created in the background color in the center of each side. Here the outlining was done in the background thread to keep it from competing with the first motif. The five dots of that second motif are probably rice stitches. This was an attempt to add a subtle perk to the dullness of the background. 

I definitely see some errors and lessons learned in this piece. But I still like the concepts in Assisi embroidery that I was playing with and dreaming over a few years ago.  My hope is that Sharon’s challenge will stir up more thoughts on this fascinating style of embroidery and that we can encourage and inspire each other along the way.

I am still working through comments and appreciate the kindness of so many who not only swing by visiting the blog but also comment. I have received inquiries about how the trellis stitch work was managed around the motif pictured in the last post. It is hard for me to put into words. But anyone interested may use the link to see the addition to that post. I warn you in advance, there are only words and unfortunately no photographs to cover the subject.


Trellis stitches to Assisi: soft transition

March 16, 2009

On March 15, Sharon b announced the third Stitch Explorer challenge. She has posted wonderful examples of  her own innovative work with the concept of Assisi embroidery along with the details and references to the traditional work.

As I read through Sharon’s post a small idea came to mind and I decided to make a soft transition from the trellis stitches of the second Stitch Explorer to the Assisi embroidery of the third challenge.

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The workmanship is lacking as I was using some thread I’m not skilled with but the concept is very workable and it was a fun exercise. Below is a photo attempting to give a sense of the difference in height between the ground and the trellis stitches.

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If you haven’t considered getting involved with Sharon’s Stitch Explorer challenge, please do look into it. Sharon has posted details about it here. If you’d like to see what others are doing, continue to check for comments in Sharon’s posts and there is a flickr group.

Before leaving the trellis stitch completely behind. I wanted to show one more of the samples I’d not yet posted. Doing some off grid work led to some trials without anchoring the stitches to a stitched line. Using an anchored thread to attach the beginning row of stitches gave me more freedom and ability to manipulate the line freely after stitching. It could be joined with other lines at will or remain isolated.

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When I was finished with the little doodle, it looked to me as if somone with a wrinkled brow was peeking out of a window.

Update:

Many thanks for kind comments about this post. I have also received inquiries about how the trellis stitch work was managed as I worked around the motif pictured this post. It is hard for me to put into words. I’m sorry that there are no pictures just words as I’d not thought about photographing as I went along.

This is my best attempt to explain what I did. There may be much better ways to handle it. I’m no expert in stump work. Perhaps others may be able to help and know how to do it more easily. If so, please feel free to add a comment. I would appreciate learning more.

I started stitching the trellis stitch along one of the outer, non-diagonal sides. I stitched until I came to a place where the stitching would overrun the outline of the motif. In that row I anchored it where ever it met the motif’s outline. When that row was completed, I worked only back on it until the stitching meet the motif’s outline and went back and forth between the outside edge of the motif and the outer design outline. When that stitching came even with the last of the motif’s outline and the stitching could once again go across the design to the inside of other outer edge without covering the motif, I paused the stitching.

Next, I took up the outline of the other side in the same manner picking up on the last row of completed stitching on that side and so forth. When stitching on that side cleared the last of the motif’s outline I paused that stitching, too. I then took up the lower center “V” shape and worked from the point to the place it also cleared the motif’s outline and paused the stitching. I worked then worked next row completely across the design and catching in the stitching that had been paused and anchoring it to the motif’s outline where needed.

The only thing remaining for me was to pick up the stitching paused over the upper “V” shape and fill in that shape working towards the point. I’m sorry to use so many words, it is much easier done than read.


Trellis stitches in blue question marks and green volcanos

March 13, 2009

Blue question mark in the trellis stitch.

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The green volcano

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Centering in

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Directed outward

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An experiment with the trellis stitch, stretching trianglar shapes.

Rotary power

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An experiment with the spiral trellis stitch, running stitch base.

Lateral movements

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An experiment with the trellis stitch, running stitch base.

One other experiment in a post soon.

Many thanks for the kind comments especially those concerning Anne’s flower.  I will try to catch up in replying to all the comments shortly. Many thanks to everyone as always for visiting the QM blog. 


Trellis stitching: friends, thoughts and reflections

March 1, 2009

My friend, Anne Gailhbaud, in France emailed me the most delightful scan of a flower she made using the spiral trellis stitch. I love the contrast between the center and the petals of this flower. And I asked if I could share this photo on my blog and she graciously allowed me to do it. Please keep in mind that the scanning squashed the stitching  to some extent, but I think much of the beauty remained.

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If you aren’t familiar with Anne’s work please do take time to swing by her website. She does many other types of embroidery, beading and other hand work.

Many thanks to Anne for her willingness to share photos of her work so frequently. She is doing so much more with this stitch, too. And I’ve been seeing other wonderful things so many stitchers are doing as I travel the web.

A few of the blogs I read have been involved in the “Today’s Title is…”.  This challenge grabbed my attention with the first title, blue chair, because of the immediate a memory that flooded in. My grandfather’s chair at the supper table was painted blue. From there he presided over a lively table. He loved to tip back in his chair when he was finished eating. I think over the years it became a standing joke with my grandmother about how far he could lean before gravity overcame him and the chair. I never heard about any crash, but my grandmother continued to express her concern for his safety. And from that chair, as others were washing up the dishes and things were tidied up in the kitchen, my grandfather would read aloud a book or pieces from the newspaper in his strong, clear voice with the Vermont accent.

But I’ve digressed, back to trellis stitch–one of the other titles in the challenge has been ‘meeting of opposites’. And it brought to mind the acorn. I assume that in the past embroiderers may have used the trellis stitch with the satin stitch to illustrate the meeting of opposites found in the acorn. I can still remember my fascination with the little acorns; the caps so rough and dull and the hulls satiny smooth and shinny with sharp little points at the bottom. I had to try one.

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Practice does help with this stitch. I tried the trellis stitch on the diagonal and you can see the first stitching on the upper triangle in comparison to the second trial on the lower triangle. The diagonal stitching is not needed, the shape would more traditionally be filled horizontally.  But it was just a fun challenge for me.

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This last photo about contrast is one I noticed while working on editing the spiral trellis stitch flower photos. 

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Do you see the shadow? Most of my embroidery doesn’t cast much of a shadow. Perhaps that’s why I’m having so much fun with these spiral trellis stitches.

Many thanks to Sharon b for Stitch Explorer’s February challenge. It is half over. I haven’t done half the things I’ve thought of. I’d love to see more headway on this stitch before March 15 arrives.