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.



Bullion stitch: this and that

July 7, 2007

No definite theme in today’s post–just this and that. I’m finally making some headway with the bullion stitch but still misjudging on how full to fill the needle for the length of the backstitch. And there are a few other problems not overcome, yet.

I was able to pile up a lot of texture in this pink flower. I followed the directions that were in my needlework book. I don’t love this stitch enough to dream up much on my own.


The end of this practice piece.


I enjoyed making my “fan”. Temperatures have been over one hundred degrees the last couple days here in the central valley of California; I’ve been using fans on a fairly frequent basis.


What is common practice for holding bullion curves in place when there is no support from other stitches to hold it? I tried three methods: a stitch from the back looped over the bullion and drawn down to mix in with it, a small stitch from the back that caught part of a couple of strands at the back of the bullion, a stitch from the back that caught only the thread running through the loops in the bullion stitch. None of them seemed entirely satisfactory. It may be my skill level is getting in the way of success more than my method. I’d appreciate advice on this, thanks!

Other things




In the dust

July 6, 2007

The week is moving on and I’m lagging behind in the dust. Finally, I resorted to looking in one of my needlepoint books for examples of the bullion stitch. They present it as making a straight stitch and then wrapping the thread around that stitch until it’s filled up back to its beginning. Most of this week I’ve been filling up my needle with loops before fully completing a backstitch. Perhaps there are two acceptable ways to make bullion stitches after all.

This book also illustrated some flower ideas. I tried to capture some of them in a couple of the slivers and slices below. Today I want to try more experiments along that line. It should make for a lot of interesting texture, if I can pull it off. I’m beginning to understand a little about making curved lines, too. It seems like the week is flying by and I’m just now beginning to crawl!

Here are slivers and slices.



tstc27dgrowing.png my WIP practice piece


Day 3 with the bullion stitch

July 5, 2007

What more can I do with this bullion stitch?

I’ve seen some wonderful work in flickr and other places here and there around the net, so there is a lot to be done with it.

So far I’m merely playing to building some skill with the stitch. After three days I probably should take a clue and give up. But instead, I’m going to be giving it another try later today.

Here are my practice things.


I’m not sure how far I’ll go with this, at the moment I’ve not filled in the stems for some of the leaves. My initial thought was to make a little bird’s nest on the limb of a tree but I’ve not progressed that far yet.

Here is another plant type structure


More texture — Sorry the photo is so bad, the light wasn’t strong enough to overcome the color in the felt ground. There are more pink and gray tones in this than the green and yellow ones that seem to have crept in.


Experiments with threads

July 4, 2007

Yesterday evening I practiced my bullion knots and tried various types of thread and colors. Here are some of my tries at various lengths and angles.

White crochet thread, blue green silk floss and pink cotton floss


Floss in two colors


Perle cotton #5 two colors


Overdyed cotton 2 threads mismatched


Overdyed cotton 2 threads matched


As you can see I’ve plenty of room for improvement! Back to practicing…

TSTC Week 27: The bullion knot

July 3, 2007

The bullion knot, another stitch on my “avoid list”, is Sharon b’s selection for the start of the second half of the TSTC year! I’m sure Sharon wrote a brilliant introduction. I know her work illustrating the stitch was brilliant. Unfortunately, her introduction hasn’t done a thing to help my stitching.

What am I going to do with this dreadful stitch all week? What about a continual stream of examples to illustrate the mistakes one may make in executing this stitch? I think I might be able to handle that assignment.

I did a tiny search around the net and found there is a false bullion knot–make a straight stitch and then wind your thread around it. I tried it (top left). I tried one of my own making (lower left) and then did a true bullion knot to compare (right).

tstc27acomparison.png too many turns, not a consistent size

I like my idea best but it certainly doesn’t give the same amount of texture.

I used them to provide a nice contrast with each other on this tiny slice that also includes satin stitches.


Here are some other ideas. Sharon is giving me a great opportunity to deal with this stitch. Now, all I can practice and learn from my mistakes!



tstc27apinklines.png tstc27ayelloworange.png