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.


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.


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.


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


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.

Shifting gears

January 18, 2009

I was busily working my long cross samples when Sharon b‘s January Stitch Explorer post popped up. I knew I wanted to start learning and experimenting with chicken scratch. But for some reason, I kept stitching those long cross stitch samples and thinking about how I should be pulling out fabric for chicken scratch. And suddenly my mind engaged with my stitching. Why not try rice or boss stitches for cross stitches and double cross stitches. They give places for loops to slide through, too.

Here is the photo of where I shifted gears in my sampler and started running with the chicken scratch.


The photo below shows where I was trying various loops. And in the top area (right side of photo above) I have a grid prepared for testing more.



So many other ideas are popping into my mind, I must do more trials and see what happens.

Now I have saved the best for last.

My friend Anne Gailhbaud sent me an email with cheery, inspiring photos of her work with chicken scratch. Anne’s embroidery is so bright and full of good ideas. I love the beads added to these hearts. It is my joy that she shows me her work and increases it by giving me permission share these photos with others. If you aren’t familiar with her work please swing by her website where you may see a fuller range of the work she does.


A close up



Please do keep checking back with Sharon b’s post. As I’m finding more people working on this January challenge, it is so exciting. I love the energy of the ideas that are flowing from so many fellow stitchers.

A stitch: imagination and creativity

January 1, 2009

My friend, Anne Gailhbaud surprised me with two comments and email concerning my last post. The first comment was when she saw the post.

Submitted on 2008/12/31 at 1:03am

…Have you invented this stitch?
what is the name? I like it. I shall try it!!! …

And the second followed four minutes later.

Submitted on 2008/12/31 at 1:07am

PS: on the picture before the last, at left, it seems like a Christmas tree, I shall try them in green!!!

I’m not sure of all that happened in those four minutes but one thing is that Anne’s imagination came into play and created a picture in her mind. 

And it was swiftly translated into stitch. One hour and six minutes (2008/12/31 at 2:13am) after leaving the second comment, I received an email from her with the photograph of  the stitching.

And here are a few words from her email:

I have tried my idea …; they are called Christmas trees of Anne (Les sapins d’anne). You can notice 2 birds with the same stitch!!!


She commented.

Fun, isn’t it?
The power of imagination.

In a later email she went on to say this.

Creativity is for me necessary like imagination. And creativity and imagination are without limit and give the liberty: when you know them and have imagination, you can break the rules and fly……………….Difficult for me to express this in foreign language.

I think you’ve said it well, Anne. But I should like to know French to hear you say it in your own language.

If you aren’t familiar with Anne work, please do visit her website via the link above. She is also a member of Sharon b‘s stitichin fingers. What you are seeing above is Anne’s work in a “rough draft”. On her website and other places are some of her “final drafts” full of beauty, imagination creativity.

Anne closed out her first email with this wish to me…

Happy, safe and creative new year.

…by way of expansion on Anne’s wishes, I wish to all reading this the same.

Leaves in stitches

April 3, 2008

I love leaves. I’ve subjected them to scrutiny since childhood. And now my friend Anne Gailhbaud has sent me a fascinating embroidered leaf sampler.

She was making one to detail the various stitches she could use in her embroideries. I was filled with delight about the project but no matter how she scanned it and sent it, I could not see the details and determine the stitches she was using.

Finally she did what what very few would do. She made another one and sent it to me. A totally wonderful surprise. Fifteen leaves in fifteen different stitches. I’m only going to feature one today the woven picot. Using this stitch a leaf may be three dimensional. 


Here is a good step-by-step video from Mary Corbet on the stitch. Many thanks Mary! I should have watched this before I tried three of them last night on my own.

If you share my fascination with leaves, here are some on-line resources about leaves.

Shapes the basics — small photograph, English name, Latin name, brief description.

Shapes stylized simplified images includes leaf tips, bases and margins.

Glossary brief entries with drawings concerning the above and discussing leaf parts, arrangements and placements on stems as well as other structures from the state of Maine.

What is a leaf? a short article from Penn State University.

Don’t forget to visit Anne’s and Mary’s links if you are not already familiar with them. They are both talented ladies with many things of interest.

Anne Gailhbaud’s embroidery

March 20, 2008

My friend, Anne Gailhbaud has again sent me scans of her beautiful embroideries. I’ve been drinking them in and learning. This first one is click-able so you can see all the details on the enlargement. I had fun counting up all the various stitches I saw her use on this.


Here are the details of another lovely floral embroidery.


If you’re not familiar with Anne’s work please do visit her website. She has quilts and beaded necklaces and so many things in between–all inspiring. 

Anne Gailhbaud and the Indian edging stitch

December 7, 2007

I wanted to let you see Anne Gailhbaud‘s work with the Indian edging stitch. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, this is much better than looking at my samples because you can see the stitch at work in a particular piece. Please note that unlike some of my usual posts you may click these top two photos to see a detailed photo of the work.

The first photo shows a broach Anne made. It is stitched on cloth and made very sturdy with the pin attached to the back. It is very beautiful and a small indication of what you will find in some of the necklaces that she does. The Indian edging stitch is at the top of the photo in peach thread just under the bead work that runs along the outer edge.


Anne has been able to work with the Indian edging stitch very well in following curves. So this stitch is not just for straight edges alone. In the photo directly above the stitch is on the left and above the coin in the yellow thread.

Anne does so many other kinds of work I wish I could show the great variety. These are perhaps decorations for the season.




Here is her knotted garden. It is a three dimensional embroidery but not, I think, in the same style as stump work.

Please excuse the quality of the photograph (click on photo to view details). The work itself is stunning but I have no scanner to capture the photograph more clearly. Anne has also perfected a way of embroidering on photographs. She does quilting and much more. If you haven’t visited her website, please do check on it to see more of her work. I also posted a few of her things in an earlier post last month.

Anne Gailhbaud

November 21, 2007

I have special thorn stitch samples for you today. These are stitched by Anne Gaihbaud. She has been reading SharonB‘s blog for years and recently started stitching some of the TSTC stitches that she wasn’t familiar with.



One of the benefits of blogging along with SharonB’s TSTC has been meeting other stitchers from around the world. Sometimes they are fellow bloggers, but not always. Anne Gailhbaud does not have a blog, but she has a website that shows some of her needlework, quilts and so forth. She says a blog must wait until she has more time. I suggested flickr, but “no” for the time being to that as well. As she says, she must preserve time for creating and connecting with her family and friends. She teaches French in France and is married to a doctor. They have four children most of whom are grown and out of the home.

Anne has recently sent me a packet of lovely things that she has done. Her grandmothers and great grandmother taught her to embroider. She says that her grandmothers were excellent embroiderers. Anne has made two quilts from their embroideries. She dyes fabric and thread as well as doing many handcrafts. I asked her if she would allow me post some of her needlework to give others the opportunity to enjoy them. She said yes. These are smaller more sample type works than appear on her website but the needlework may be seen more closely than those pieces. Unlike my usual photographs, please see the detailed view by clicking on them.




I would never have meet Anne except that she left a comment for me. Through this means, I have meet an number of very good stitchers who do not blog or use flickr. And unlike Anne they do not have a website. From the little work that I’ve seen, I sometimes think that some of the best and maybe the larger portion of the hand embroidery work that Sharon has helped facilitate through the TSTC may be that which is not showing up some place on-line. What do you think?

Perhaps what we see on-line is like seeing the tip of the iceberg. That is a very exciting thought to me. I wrote this up yesterday for Anne’s review and was just polishing it up when I clicked over to see Sharon’s new post reminding us that there are many people interested in and no doubt doing wonderful handwork. And that is only the portion that we may perceive because they are pursuing their interest on the internet.

Next week I will be posting about a new-to-me stitch that Anne has taught me. Anne, thank you very much for sharing your beautiful embroidery with me and for teaching me both just as I see the work you have done as well as more directly as is the case with this stitch.