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.

Long cross: diagonal

January 14, 2009

Last night I was wishing for a tiny delicate plaited stitch for a border. I began working with the basket stitch, but it was too bulky. So I started playing with an old idea–one quarter of a rice stitch or a cross stitch with one long arm. It was the right kind of chilly January evening to playing with a thread that always reminds me of winter’s tans and purple-grays.


The second band is the basket stitch. I should have probably pulled up some old samples on the rice stitch. But some times its nice to revisit an old trial to see if anything fresh comes to mind. 




One single stitch by itself? I ran out of time but I’ve marked it to try something more soon. 

As these photos show this is more like a spot sampler. Each row is no more than about an inch across on 32-count linen. I put down just enough to give an idea of the pattern developing and then move on to the next line.


Continuing review

June 14, 2007

I’m loving my review of Sharon b’s TSTC stitches. I’ve learned so much and I don’t want to forget anything. Here are more slivers and slices!

Week 9 cross stitch

tstc24ccs.png my apologies for the fuzzy picture

Week 10 barred and alternating barred chain stitch


Week 11 up and down buttonhole


Week 12 couching


More French knots — while I practice following curves with a variation I’m experimenting with.




Describing what is done with a cross stitch

March 3, 2007

First in green and yellow two over fours or four over twos (now which number comes first?). And the next sample a row of yellow four over four couching orange, then seven over four reducing to over two, off set by two and over lapping the first row by one and the bottom mirror image by two. Does any of this make sense? Sometimes when I’m charting designs or doing stitch diagrams, I think about expressing my directions more like a knitting or crochet pattern.

tstc9cgreenyellow.png tstc9corangeyellow.png


I went a bit crazy here trying to combine “on grid” and “off grid” elements. I kept wondering, why why not abandon it since you’re not rescuing it. Well, I have a few more ideas to try before I’m content to abandon it. If you see it again I rescued it otherwise I abandoned it.


An “off grid” attempt with some stitches that cross and threads left over from design classes.


Not all experiments turn out well

March 2, 2007

Generally, I’m pretty happy with my experiments even finding out something does not work well is good to know. But it does mean I don’t have much to post. So here are a few things that are passable on a stitch series that I started to work with a few days ago.


I tried condensing it to over ones.


I tried separating it and angling it. tstc9bflower2.png

I tried using the largest stitch in the series all by itself in a line. And then broke the rule about always crossing stitches the same way.


Next embellishment for same direction crosses.


(I still have a long ways to go in learning how to attach beads. I put one thread through all three. If anyone has suggestions for making them lie flatter, please leave a comment and let me know. Thanks!)

Then I varied the stitch a little more over three on the higher leg of the cross, over two on the lower. And you will notice alternately crossed does produce a different pattern.


Made a fill and added in a purple fly stitch and straight stitch. Honestly, I don’t know where the red came from. Perhaps, I should have tried red eye removal feature in editor!


Update: Marty left me great directions on how to attach beads. I tried it when I got home from work. The beads are now laying down nicely. Many thanks, Marty!

A small investigation

March 1, 2007

Here is a simple group of cross stitches that I worked with Tuesday. But I was short on time earlier Wednesday and didn’t get it posted with the other work. The four-over-four cross stitch is grouped with four two-over-two upright cross stitches.


A sample forming a line and experimenting with delete various parts with a twist at next to last portion.


Then off setting the group is shown below. Just sitting here looking at this as I post I see so many more things that I didn’t try and could. I don’t know if I’ll play some more or go on to something else but I’m thankful for the time and freedom to investigate.


TSTC Week 9: The Cross Stitch

February 28, 2007



Sharon b in her TSTC has started us off this week on the one of the three stitches my grandmother taught me, the cross stitch. I’ve been reflecting on how to describe it. It is two straight stitches that intersect. It is a detached herringbone. It’s the basis for one of my favorite stitches, the rice stitch. Well, so much more could be said, but I resist; do check out Sharon b’s stitch dictionary because it has many great illustrations and shows more stitches belonging to this great family. The cross stitch can be lacy or cover the fabric so well that it looks solid.

I’ve had what I call my “investigative” hat on the last two days and had some fun with this stitch. Above were a few spots and below, a couple lines.

tstc9aline1.png tstc9aline4.png

Now here I started out with a simple line and then made two fills.




Then this next fill takes the largest cross stitch in the series and uses it only to create another fill…


and a spot! tstc9aspot1.png