Trellis stitches to Assisi: soft transition

March 16, 2009

On March 15, Sharon b announced the third Stitch Explorer challenge. She has posted wonderful examples of  her own innovative work with the concept of Assisi embroidery along with the details and references to the traditional work.

As I read through Sharon’s post a small idea came to mind and I decided to make a soft transition from the trellis stitches of the second Stitch Explorer to the Assisi embroidery of the third challenge.


The workmanship is lacking as I was using some thread I’m not skilled with but the concept is very workable and it was a fun exercise. Below is a photo attempting to give a sense of the difference in height between the ground and the trellis stitches.


If you haven’t considered getting involved with Sharon’s Stitch Explorer challenge, please do look into it. Sharon has posted details about it here. If you’d like to see what others are doing, continue to check for comments in Sharon’s posts and there is a flickr group.

Before leaving the trellis stitch completely behind. I wanted to show one more of the samples I’d not yet posted. Doing some off grid work led to some trials without anchoring the stitches to a stitched line. Using an anchored thread to attach the beginning row of stitches gave me more freedom and ability to manipulate the line freely after stitching. It could be joined with other lines at will or remain isolated.


When I was finished with the little doodle, it looked to me as if somone with a wrinkled brow was peeking out of a window.


Many thanks for kind comments about this post. I have also received inquiries about how the trellis stitch work was managed as I worked around the motif pictured this post. It is hard for me to put into words. I’m sorry that there are no pictures just words as I’d not thought about photographing as I went along.

This is my best attempt to explain what I did. There may be much better ways to handle it. I’m no expert in stump work. Perhaps others may be able to help and know how to do it more easily. If so, please feel free to add a comment. I would appreciate learning more.

I started stitching the trellis stitch along one of the outer, non-diagonal sides. I stitched until I came to a place where the stitching would overrun the outline of the motif. In that row I anchored it where ever it met the motif’s outline. When that row was completed, I worked only back on it until the stitching meet the motif’s outline and went back and forth between the outside edge of the motif and the outer design outline. When that stitching came even with the last of the motif’s outline and the stitching could once again go across the design to the inside of other outer edge without covering the motif, I paused the stitching.

Next, I took up the outline of the other side in the same manner picking up on the last row of completed stitching on that side and so forth. When stitching on that side cleared the last of the motif’s outline I paused that stitching, too. I then took up the lower center “V” shape and worked from the point to the place it also cleared the motif’s outline and paused the stitching. I worked then worked next row completely across the design and catching in the stitching that had been paused and anchoring it to the motif’s outline where needed.

The only thing remaining for me was to pick up the stitching paused over the upper “V” shape and fill in that shape working towards the point. I’m sorry to use so many words, it is much easier done than read.

Trellis stitches in blue question marks and green volcanos

March 13, 2009

Blue question mark in the trellis stitch.


The green volcano


Centering in


Directed outward


An experiment with the trellis stitch, stretching trianglar shapes.

Rotary power


An experiment with the spiral trellis stitch, running stitch base.

Lateral movements


An experiment with the trellis stitch, running stitch base.

One other experiment in a post soon.

Many thanks for the kind comments especially those concerning Anne’s flower.  I will try to catch up in replying to all the comments shortly. Many thanks to everyone as always for visiting the QM blog. 

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.

Trellis stitch lines

February 23, 2009

In new work with the trellis stitch I’ve mostly been concentrating on lines rather than shapes. Although I will admit that there is one shape sample at the end of this post.

022309aDifferent view, same sample. Tacked to twist.


Leaning in opposite directions around the curves.  


A graduated stretch.


For some reason I got excited about this line experiment with the trellis stitch below and it lead to the other experiments with lines that became a rather jumbled mess in the photo following.


A jumble of lines.


The most exciting part to me was the upper left corner where the lines have various heights and angles.

My flower using the reverse chain stitch as the base  for the center and making petals. The petals are done in two different colors to show the way I began to develop them. I’ve tried a few completely detached from each other as well as a few other experiments. More in the next post.


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.

Spiral trellis and trellis stitches

February 19, 2009

Sometimes it is humbling to look back at work attempted and find it less than one would wish. That is the case for me with the spiral trellis and trellis stitches. I didn’t post some of the work I tried with it last year. And now Sharon b‘s February Stitch Explorer is urging me back to take another look at it. Please keep checking inon Sharon’s post for links to what other needleworkers are doing with this stitch. I’ll be leaving a comment there as soon as I post some current work. And I hope everyone else will continue to use that means of staying in touch with what is going on. I believe Sharon’s post also mentions a flickr site that helps, too.

To those of you who saw my first post on the February challenge before Maureen of Moonsilk Stitches left me the comment about using the reverse chain stitch rather than the chain stitch for the foundation: please do check the post for her comment and explanation of why it works better than the chain stitch. Many thanks to Maureen for this thoughtful comment. Please do swing by her blog and the Plimonth Plantation work if you’re not familiar with them.

Here are some photos of the work I did year. I was struggling with the smaller circles and my final resolution was to use the regular trellis stitch to making them.

The cooling of the liquid as it flows out of the cup and begins to pool.


Headlong  — an excuse to try more of the spiral trellis stitches. The multicolored ones at the left started as squares and moved into the spiral. The all green shape rises into a nice little peak. The photo angle just doesn’t capture that.


Another attempt at spiraling the smaller circles.  The background texture is the detached buttonhole stitch, I think. It was surprisingly simple to move around the shapes with that technique and get fairly good coverage around the edges. This is just a small portion of a larger piece I’m working on. I can’t remember if I posted photos of it or not. I’m hoping to finish off the whole thing in the next week or two.


Winding up and what next?

February 16, 2009

Winding up

Winding up chicken scratch has been fun. I loved the round up post Sharon b did on the January Stitch Explorer. I thought I had been keeping up with all those participating. But I found some new participants and some posts from others that I’d not seen. 






What is next?

Sharon b’s February’s Stitch Explorer Challenge is the trellis stitch. If you haven’t joined in the challenge yet, why not try this stitch? As Sharon says, it adds texture. Please click on her link in this paragraph to learn more about the stitch and the SE challenge.

I learned this stitch last year after reading Jeanne‘s stitch study posts on the spiral trellis stitch. Jeanne recently finished a beautiful sampler using the spiral trellis stitch in three different spots, I think. It is well worth seeing as is her tutorial that Sharon mentions. Many thanks for teaching me, Jeanne.

The stitch fascinated me then and I did a few tests. But I didn’t do a lot of exploration at that time. I did have a lot of ideas about what I wanted to try…sometime.

One interesting thing I found out yesterday is that the chain stitch may be used as the base stitch. I found this information in Darlene O’Steen’s The Proper Stitch. Many thanks to Darlene for that book that has been so useful to me for a number of years now.

The reason I like the thought of using the chain stitch is that then there are two useful loops around the shape. The outside loop may provide a fininshed look to the edge with out additional stitching. Or it may be used for the start of additional shapes in the opposite direction. For instance, petals surrounding the center of a flower.

Trials and tests

December 10, 2008

Still working on couching, spiral trellis and detached buttonhole stitches. All I have is trials and tests. Need a lot more practice to get up to speed on these stitches.

Do you ever see something in your doodles after the fact that you didn’t see at the time? It is cold and foggy in the valley so perhaps that’s why I was thinking of a nice hot cup of tea or chocolate while snapping the photo. When I was stitching, it it was rotated ninety degrees counter clockwise. 

The last drops all tumbling out.


School girl exercises.



Still dreaming

December 4, 2008

Perhaps I’m merely drawing air castles with needle and thread. Last evening I was adding a little more to my dream and thinking about what I could do with four threads and limited colors.


I decided I could couch threads and let a little more or less of the couched colors show through. I tried more needleweaving. With that, using two colors, I trying to allow the overdyed areas move into a third and then fourth color. I also wanted to vary the stitches while keeping continuity with the first block. You might catch sight of a couple of new stitches slipping into the mix.


I also tried more practice on the spiral trellis and detached buttonhole stitches that Jeanne has been covering in her stitch study series. Please do pop over, if you haven’t caught them already. Another post  in the series just came out yesterday. I love what I’m learning about these texture loaded stitches. Many thanks, Jeanne ! 

The photo below show that area in my work from last night. More practice is in order for me. 


No dreams tonight.  My break is over. I’m back to “school girl” blackwork and hardanger tonight. But I’m planning to return to this piece.