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.

Sharon b is blogging at Pin Tangle

November 16, 2008

Congratulations to Sharon b on the opening of her new blog at Pin Tangle. If you haven’t had time to take a look at her new blog, please do swing by. To check out what she’s planning to do and how the new blog works, read her “A New Broom” post here. All her great posts from the past are over there, too. 

I must say that new broom is kicking up a bit of dust at this blog. I’ve attempted to change the major page links. And, oops, in the process I deleted my usual header. I hope the header will be back by Monday (us, west coast). However it will be a few weeks before all the post links to Sharon’s material are updated. At the moment they may refer you to her previous blog or fail altogether. Please bear with me as I work on this. If you notice any major links that I missed please do leave me a note via a comment. I will appreciate that help in settling the dust here.

Rosette stitch: day 2

September 22, 2008

I’m still enjoying the rosette chain stitch. More practice has been increasing my liberty with this stitch. But there is no getting around some of the limitations inherent in the stitch. But now I see some areas that I could get more done in if I would press it.

As I was out and scouting around I found two links I wanted to share.

History and importance of rosette stitch in Portuguese embroidery (text only/general photo).

Use of rosette stitch in various embroideriesin an pdf hosted by Sarah Bradberry at her website Embroidery and Sewing (of special note page 11).

And while I was looking in on other various other interests I came across these two blogs. If you aren’t familiar with them, please do swing by and look about.

Finyovisian is a blog has started to follow the book Finding Your Own Visual Language by Morgan, Benn and Dunnewold.  Their first posts involve cutting paper. As regular readers know I love this type of experiment and am always on the look out for more.

And Ornaments the blog of Orna Willis, I may have mentioned this blog before but I will just point to two things that have fascinated me lately. First, her post on emphasising various patterns with in one pattern by use of color. Second her 5 year Shields of Life series.

Now to turn a back toward the rosette stitch again, here are my experiments from this weekend.

An additional loop added


Forty five degree angles, plain and threaded


Various other experiments

I ran out of the outer purple thread and now I am out of photographed samples, too.

Next planned post: Wednesday (us, west coast)

Woven picots — more practice

April 5, 2008

Before I get to my practice, I wish to point to some other work that is going on concerning embroidered leaves.

This morning I came across a wonderful post Deepa at This and that…my random thoughts has done on a leaf using two bullion stitches and satin stitches. If you haven’t seen this yet, please do visit.

And later in the day an anonymus commentator reminded me of a great tutorial Allie at Allie’s in Stitches had done with woven leaves. If you missed her post and are interested; it is well worth catching up with now. And Allie’s post in turn lead me on to this very good tutorial that Ira at Old Crazy Stitcher had done also in February. And what should happen while I was there but I caught a glimspe of yet another great tutorial. This one is done by Judy of POSSIBILITIES, etc! here.

Now back to; woven picots…in case you haven’t guessed yet. I can’t upload photos with this new format that the blog host devised—oooh perhaps I figured it out. But now and worst I can’t find spell checker. Did Sharon say something about “change” for April’s TIF challenge? Here is my practical experience with it today. More practice needed!

(Please, see my page SharonB’s challanges for links, if you are unfamiliar with SharonB’s TIF challenge.

Trying an elliptic shaped leaves. First in pima cotton and second in a cotton thread similar to a Perle 12 in size.

Revisiting my challenging leaf from yesterday…perhaps a little better

Trying a spear shaped leaf with no middle thread and working from the top to the tip.

Please forgive any spelling mistakes still in the post and any broken links. I’ve have to do the html code on all of them…since I’m getting blank pop ups from the blog host and probably due to my browser.   



A gift and a question

February 13, 2008

Please see update regarding the question at the end of the post.

Neki sent me the most delightful cloth. My capture of this in electronic images is poor. But the cloth is wonderful. It catches all sorts of interesting depths and shades in the sun. But my camera just can’t cope with it–or is it the operator of the camera? Anyway here are some of the details of what I’ve been admiring.




Many thanks for a wonderful treasure, Neki. If you aren’t familiar with Neki’s blog, a movable feast, please do take time out to swing by and visit. She is always inspiring me, sometimes with the photographs of her work and sometimes with the her thoughts. One of her quotes in a recent post as she returned to her loom was: “As i see it the beauty is that one is creating the cloth that will be acted on.”

Turning a corner here, please help with a question that came up in one my comments on an Eskimo edging stitch post.

This comment is from Bobbi and I share it with her permission:
I’m also working on the TIF challenge but am mainly a beader looking for interesting edging stitches I can do without beads…in other words, regular embroidery edging stitches…can you recommend a good book or on-line resource? I love your E edging stitch, but can’t figure out how it’s done since you’re not actually edging anything with it.

Paula at The Beauty of Life has provided a some information from a book called Stitches of Creative Embroidery by Jaqueline Enthoven. And I’ve forwarded that to Bobbi. And Paula has also allowed me to share that here. She began with a quote from the book.

‘This simple and effective edging is based on the running stitch. It was devised by the Eskimos and the Aleuts to bind together the many seams of their seal gut parkas making them water proof……Until recently I had seen the stitch only once, many years ago, around the edge of a child’s cap. Miss Blanche Payne, professor of Home Economics at the University of Washington has seen it used ornamentally around the hood of an Eskimo’s child’s parka.’
She talks about threads size 5 pearl cotton for the running stitch and size three for the lacing, and details about how to edge a piece with the stitch, but not specifically joining them. Although the diagram shows the front and back of the fabric and I think if you put two pieces of fabric together you could join them with the lacing stitches.
Unfortunately there is no reference list or bibliography in this edition (1964). I think there is an updated edition which may have more information.

But if you can jump in and help please do post a comment. Bobbi in writing to me also added, it would be great to actually see this edging stitch on the edge of a piece! Has anyone tried that or seen that and is there a photograph available on-line?

Update: Nothing like my friend, Neki, who helps me solve part of the question by prompting me to try another on-line search. Here is a link to information on the stitch also known as an Eskimo laced edging. Please click on the magnifying glass to see a drawing on how it is used on an edging. Many thanks to Neki for prompting me to use my own stitch dictionary page and for the folks at NeedleCrafter for their wonderful dictionary. Any other information still very much welcome, please.


You make my day award

January 6, 2008

Many thanks to Neki, SharonB, Annie and Susan for this award.


The awards rules are to “Give the award to up to 10 people whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration and make you feel so happy about blogland! Let them know by posting a comment on their blog so that they can pass it on. Beware! You may get the award several times!

You ladies made my day. And the award, as I wrote to Neki, is coming right back to you as soon as I can find the other nine. Sharon, and Annie just lightened my selection process a little. And Susan pushed me over the limit of ten but please see the update below.

I’m just naming a handful of my on-line friends, acquaintances or fellow bloggers who bring me happiness, inspire me and make me smile. Please visit and look around any of the blogs you’re not already familiar with; perhaps it will add an extra measure of inspiration to your day.

Neki at a movable feast
SharonB at Pintangle formerly In a minute ago
Annie at Annies Crazy World
Susan at Crazy Quilting for Fun
Vivian at vivian-in stitches
Carol-Anne at Threads across the Web
Kim at SkybellArts @ Blogger
Paula at The beauty of life
Susan at Art In Stitches
Mara at Applique and Embroidery in Beijing
Kris at kris’s color strips

Best wishes to you all in the year ahead. Please feel free to pass on the award to others or not, just as you please.

Update: I’ve just found that I was also tagged for this award by Susan at Crazy Quilting for Fun today. So I’ve added her name and blog to all the appropriate places above and asked her forgiveness.

Blogs and explorations new and revisited

July 16, 2007


This is a word of welcome to help acquaint any newcomers to a few of the many blogs I enjoy. However, as a twist this week I’m not mentioning a blog but the flicker account of Vero de la Fare. I first got acquainted with her work through taking Sharon b‘s class about stitches last fall. I’ve continued to enjoy watching her work with Sharon’s TSTC. Since Vero has done so much work that I love, it’s hard to select just a few to highlight. Her work also covers a wide range so I’m attempting to give you a flavor of that in my selection, also. Here is a charming cat, a wonderful sampler, an up-close look at a colony of virus and a beautiful piece of boutis. Please, take a look at the rest of the photos there, there are many other interesting and beautiful things.

Thank you for all the wonderful work, Vero! It has been a refreshing delight to see it.

If you are a newcomer, the TaST flickr account always has interesting work pooping up. And it is a great way to get acquainted with much of the work being done in Sharon b’s challenge.

This is the last week of the two month trial, so I’ll be examining what to do about this weekly spot.






You may be wondering why so little new work. It’s simple; I tested a lot of bad ideas. I wish I could cut down on doing that!!!



I just couldn’t resist doing something with this whole in the improved circle. It is just interlacing but it satisfied my thoughts about this circle.


This was my disappointment. I’d wanted to put a rice stitch rather than a cross stitch in the center spots along the line. I tried it; it looked terrible. I compromised, kept the more lacy look and did a cross stitch. Maybe it just needs a bead. I see more tests ahead for this line.


I just remembered, I need help deciding what family the sheaf stitch falls in. Is a looped stitch? Something else? Thanks!

Blogs and bullions knots

July 9, 2007


I’d like to extend a word of welcome to any newcomer to the on-line needlework community. To help acquaint you with other areas in needlework blogs, I’ve added Robin Atkins of Beadlust to my blogroll. It was a category of needlework that I neglected thinking about earlier when I put the list together.

I found Robin’s blog full of practical information and inspiration. Her website (first link above) has a wonderful gallery and to me it seemed to be full of resources. Robin recently started a Bead Journal Project (BJP). It got underway in June 2007 and is a year long commitment by well over 200 beaders world wide. What treasures I’ve been seeing!

Many thanks to Sharon b for pointing Robin’s BJP out to her readers, which is how I came to know about her.

I’m coming close to the end of a two month trial on pointing out various blogs that I enjoy to those readers who might be new to needlework blogs. If anyone has any suggestion, comment or feedback on this, please let me know. I would like to take everything into consideration as I evaluate it. Thank you!

Bullion knots

I’ve only a few things to add to my work with the bullion knot and close out the week. My boss is out of the office and I’m taking up the slack. I should have been stitching since my schedule didn’t have any room for me to get carried away by dipping into The Complete Encyclopedia of Needlework by Theresa de Dilmont. I started out to see what she said about bullion knots. But what caught my attention were the illustrations and explanations of various ways to add texture to needlework that she documented in the 1880s.

When I started reading I’d just done this sliver using the satin stitch (not very successfully) to create a lower level in the texture.


The book showed how to put down stitches to build up layers and then cover them over with satin stitches or buttonholes. I’d read this section several times before but there is nothing like reading something you have just had practical experience in. I found my mind was much keener to take in and think about the information. Daily blogging has certainly been a humbling thing during this TSTC week. And I have no doubt, that is a very good thing.



Blogs and the half-way point

July 2, 2007


This is a spot to say a word of welcome to new visitors to my blog.

I’ve found Sharon b’s Take a Stitch Tuesdays challenge for 2007 is a fun way to add to my knowledge and hand embroidery skills. Many stitchers are involved across a wide area of interests–crazy quilts, smalls and other fiber art projects. It is always a perfect time to jump in and see what it is like. Sharon has made it so flexible that the challenge stitching can easily fit your schedule or be done in the course of your normal stitching. While this challenge is no longer running and I think the posts no longer exist, there is much to see in more recent TAST challenges that Sharon runs. Please do look at the work many others are doing there. You may wish to take time to visit and explore other areas of her work at her website. From the stitch dictionary to her own stitching projects, there is a lot to see and read.

I wanted to highlight a few blogs that would give you a flavor of what happens. Here are four stitchers involved with crazy quilting who participate in the TaST challenge.

Ati of Ati on the crazy road did with this week’s stitch, the half chevron, on a crazy quilt block. She also used it in her seam treatment. While I can no longer find them available at the locations where I had them linked, Ati’s work is always worth checking out. And Ati, if you let me know where they are available or I missed them, I would be happy to re-link.

Annie of Annies Crazy World took the herringbone stitch (week 1) and used it with the reverse Palestrina stitch (Palestrina week 16) . She has a nice step by step on this, too. Then she also combined the herringbone stitch with the up and down buttonhole stitch (week 11). Both these new combinations made great seam treatments.

Maureen of CrazyQstitcher did a sampler using the half chevron. I loved her square, layers and borders. And I should have known I wouldn’t be the only one thinking about how to alternate these half chevron stitches.

And Susan of Crazyquiltsusan did a sampler, too. I especially loved the square on the lower left and the experiments with multicolored layers. Sadly another blog that I just can’t find any more. Susan, if this work is available please let me know I would be happy to relink.

Half-way point

While these samples with 100/3 silk seem rather mundane to be marking off the half-way point for Sharon b’s TSTC; nevertheless the point did arrive! And I’m happy about that. When I stop and think about it, it is those mundane daily stitch practices that have become the most important of TSTC for me. Thank you, Sharon, for being an expert guide and leader in going through these stitches. And thank you for being a good example to me in so many things.





tstc26gline7.png Oops, I guess this was a wasted effort!


tstc26gmotif2.png The half-way point!

And looking forward to the start of the second half!

Blogs, Expanded squares and broken rules

June 25, 2007


I thought I would highlight the blog of another participant in Sharon b’s TAST as a way of welcoming newcomers. Conni at The Scoop, Score and Deal has a blog that I always look forward to visiting. As a Vermonter (state flower: red clover), I very much appreciated her clover for the long and short stitch. She consistently has wonderful pieces up on her blog. Here are a few of my favorites: for TaST, here and here; from the embellisher, this piece; a work in progress, Binky’s Garden. If you’re not familiar with Conni’s blog, please do have a look around since I’ve only been able to highlight a few things. Thanks for a wonderful blog, Conni!

Expanded squares

This weekend I could not find one magazine in the craft store on embroidery. Out of frustration and being at loose ends, I picked up a Quilting Arts Magazine, Issue 27. It had me hooked by one article, Design Tools: The Expanded Square by Jane Dunnewold. I bought the magazine. I’m glad I did. I enjoyed the article and I found a lot of interesting things in it for a poor embroiderer like me.

Looking around the web, I found that there is an mini article on the technique by Jane here, at her website Art Cloth Studios. There is an article done by Lin Altman, a teacher at Cedar Creek Elementary in Texas, who mentions Jane’s article and pulls in lots of links and examples done by students some of whom are seventh grade students. Unfortunately, a number of the links do not appear to be working for the Santa Rosa Junior College and that is why I’ve put in the one link to student work that did work for me.

In my design class from last year expanded square exercises were by far my favorite involving paper. I did over 25 of them. Some are definitely school girl exercises. But when I got to play with them, I was amazed by the patterns and drama of the black and white image. It was nice to see such a well written article in Quilting Arts bringing this tool to the forefront.

One thing that made me smile was Jane’s encouragement that, “Once you get the basic rules figured out, you are free to break them.” One of my expanded square designs came back with words to this point from my teacher, you broke the rules, but I approve of breaking the rules when it turns out this well. She was too kind to mention the many times I broke the rules and it did not turn out so well.

Here are some broken rules on the long and short stitch. And I’m afraid, I still don’t have the basic rules on this stitch figured out.

Long and short with mirror image

tstc25fmirrorsquaresintr.png the key element: short-long-long-short

and fun with it


fun with the French knot

tstc25ffrenchknotsopp2.png opposing each other

and layering on one another


Rick rack the basic elements


and a row of fun tstc25fslanttogetherrow.png


A long and short buttonhole rows, opposing each other and filled in. Rather a bad job because my thread and fabric were working against full coverage.

Interlaced long and short slanted and facing each other with thin thread as the next layer on both sides and interlaced.