Expanded squares – lace border stitches

October 15, 2007

Expanded squares

If you’ve been reading my blog for a little while you may remember that one of my favorite design tools is the expanded square. Just as I left for vacation I came across another post about them. It was Susan’s at Art of Textiles in this post. When I got in touch with her after vacation, I found out about her follow-up post. Here Susan shows taking one of the expanded squares and using it as a pattern for a quiltie.

Then when I came back from vacation I found Penny at Back Valley Seasons had also been at work with them and wrote about it in this post. Penny also has another blog about her sketch book you may have noticed along with me due to SharonB’s post on visual journals .

I was delighted to see this work posted on expanded squares. My thanks to both Susan and Penny for their blogs and in particular their posts about expanded squares. If you follow the links and are not already familiar with their blogs, I hope you take time to look at some of their other work. I enjoy keeping up with them in my Bloglines.

Lace border stitches

Separating scroll stitches from lace border stitches.

Did I tell you that I love to look for good used books? Yes, even on vacation. If they can be worked in, used book shops, library sales and so forth are on the agenda. Due to a used book I shipped back from Vermont and received Saturday, I’ve learned that these samples stitched last week are not considered a variation of lace border stitch but a zigzag scroll stitch.



My apologies, I hope I’ve not confused anyone. Sometimes my experiments wander too far and unknowingly I move into another stitch. Since I’m just slowly making my way through this book, I’m not prepared to name or recommend it yet. It has interesting stitches–some new and some familiar to me.

New samples on the lace border stitch



Here I played around with some kind of thread or ribbon I don’t really understand how to use. I liked using it and need to experiment more.



More playing and this might have some scroll stitches mixed in with the lace border stitches. Very disappointingly, I’ve still not been able to turn up my lost sampler from last week. As you can see looking for it and the used book cut into my stitching time.


The last of the scroll stitches in week 33

August 20, 2007

I’ve got followups and a few new trials. I think there is a lot more exploration to do with this stitch. After working with it for a week, I see it as a very useful stitch.

I finally had to give in and separately stitch on beads to get them placed in the scroll stitch to my satisfaction.


The bar from Saturday’s post is filled in. I love to handle these dense pieces of stitching.


More experiments with patterns


A single row of scroll stitches over-stitched with stand alone scrolls. These stand alone scrolls are stitched at a different angle than the earlier ones and I ended the stitch as I was moving into the loop rather than at the knot.


The purple thread is a series of scroll stitches. The knots are a bit hidden by the thicker green thread. A French knot is placed in the center of each green knot of the scroll stitch.


Another in my series of patterned knots with the scroll stitch.

Well, as always there are more trials I want to try but another TaST stitch has arrived! Tomorrow’s post will move to week 34.

Tests and re-tests

August 18, 2007

A busy little day here at home. And a few spare minutes here and there along the way for some stitching with the scroll stitch.

I tried alternating a change in needle position and here are the results.


It sure takes away the “scroll”.  I tried filling it in.


It’s about half way there. I plan to expand and bead this. Unless I get sensible and abandon it.

In other tests, some work with threading (left) and couching (center) involving the white thread. The blue and rust threads is an attempt at mirrored and staggered rows. I like this very much along with the threading. This sample makes me certain that I like my trials separate. These groups of trials are no good for me.


Another test, using the base from some work last week with the crested chain stitch.


Something more with beads. Here I put the bead on the thread I was stitching with while making the stitch. No, I wasn’t pleased with it. But I figure I’m a little closer to finding what I want to do with beads and this stitch. That’s why sometimes I can be happy about something not working out. But if any one has any tips, please leave a comment, thanks!


tstc33eflower.png   Scroll stitches in pink and stand alone scrolls in yellow.

Oh, yes, and the pattern from Friday’s post restitched in two colors and two weights of thread. I hope it makes what is going on with this sample more apparent. It is a row of scroll stitches over-stitched by a second row. For the second row two scroll stitches are stitched under the long loop of the first row and then one scroll stitch with its knot is nestled above the first row between the two scroll loops. I want to make some more trials with this since I see more room for play.


Row upon row

August 17, 2007

My blog post titles had suddenly gone unimaginative with the scroll stitch. So today I waited and named it after I finished the post. As you see a title came to mind so I didn’t have to post this under Day 4 with the scroll stitch. But I must say it still lacks imagination.

If my titles are unimaginative, I’m not too distressed. My distress is when I don’t have any more ideas to stitch. Happily that was not the case today. Here are a few ideas I experimented with on day 4.

Stand alone scrolls




The middle row is not the best stitching but an interesting pattern. I overstitched one scroll and nestled in two lower scroll stitches under the scroll line I was over stitching. I think I’ll try it again in two colors like the bottom row, then it will be easier to see what’s going on. Not to mention I need to perfect my stitching a bit! The bottom row consists of mirror scroll rows (loops facing each other in the middle, just the opposite of the top row, in other words) whip stitched together.

Another row


This was my favorite row to make. Mirror rows of scroll stitches (loops facing the middle) with the overstitching in rust. The over stitching pattern was a French knot in the middle of the four knots and a whip like stitch (a diagonal straight stitch?) to tie the longer loops in the scroll rows together.

More rows


My attempt at beading a row. tstc33dbeadrow.png


Day 3 with the scroll stitch

August 16, 2007

I had fun with circles and curves in my work with the scroll stitch on day three.

Here are a few flowers. The rust is in a spiral with a woven center. The pink flowers are circles–well nearly circles. I was practicing to hide the joins and trying more than on wrap in some of the knots. Not my best work.



The wave.


The rows. The black in the first one is ribbon. The picture doesn’t capture it; but the ribbon behaved very nicely. The second row is more trials with beads and how to work the lines close together to produce something nice and dense.



Day 2 with the scroll stitch

August 15, 2007

This is my second day of stitching with the scroll stitch. Because I’m still trying to figure it out, some of these experiments are strictly school girl trials.

Here, I’m picking up three threads in the knot rather than two as in the first day’s trials. The top row is three vertical threads; the lower, three horizontal.


Next, back to two threads in the knot and closer together, four threads apart compared to eight threads apart above. And then I tried to branch out a bit with some zig-zags.

tstc33bplainscroll.png tstc33bricrackstitch.png

Here’s another attempt, with rick-rack to help guide me.


No, I don’t like the zig-zags. But you will probably find me trying them again before the week is out. BTW, the yellow is the felt, not a stain. There are only four more pieces of this mottled gray left. It gives my camera fits. I will be thankful to see the end of it!

Double crested chain stitch from Monday’s post with couching and scroll stitches added.


I think more interesting experiments are ahead for tomorrow–spirals, circles and beads. Why do I say that? The stitching is done, but there are no photos yet.

TSTC Week 32: The scroll stitch

August 14, 2007

This week Sharon b has assigned the scroll stitch for the TSTC. Her hints for this week are terrific. All I’ve done on this new-to-me stitch is follow a few of her suggestions. I found it easy to work with both off and on grid. I didn’t try any thin thread, all were equal to at least a Perle 8 size.

Many thanks to my readers for all the encouraging comments last week. I’m so inspired by the work I’m seeing as I tour through the flickr account and various blogs. Many thanks for setting up the challenge with such a great variety of stitches, Sharon.

Here are the samples:



trying out a thinner thread and adding more lines


Off grid piece tstc33aoffgrid.png

A basket using petite very velvet and a rim of pima cotton


On grid.