Category Archives: embroidery stitch

Stitch Sunday Inspiration: Woven Roses

Everyone commented how my woven buttonhole wheels look like roses. Of course, that is a classic use of woven wheels done in Ribbon. Sorry to the ribbon embroidery fans if my work on this looks amateurish, I have never really learnt propper ribbon embroidery.

So I got a spool of organza ribbon, this was the only ribbon like thing and the only colour form the red family I could get without undertaking a trip across town (for which I had no time) so I went ahead with it.

First, I drew a little rambler rose twig and transferred it onto my current sampler using a fine liner. Then I stitched a buttonhole wheel. Roses are supposed to have 5 groups of petals, but I did the circles too big so I stitched 7 spokes. No one except the nature freaks are going to notice. Then I came up with the organza band in the middle and started weaving round and round.

woven wheel rose

The weaving was hard going because the buttonhole wheel lost stability from tugging on it. I kept tugging on the spokes after every stitch to keep them from wrapping around the organza. Later on the buttonloe wheel was pushed back into shape by the mass of organza band. In the last row, I wove very loosely to form the outer rose petals, then I sunk the organza band to the back.

The finished flower is a bit disordered because of the instable buttonhole stitches but charming. I fixed the outer petals with a few stitches in sewing thread which has the colour of the background.


For comparison, I did two other variants. The upper one with straight stitches emerging from the middle of the circle as spokes is (I believe) the traditional way to weave a ribbon rose. for the second one, I made a spider wheel as base. two spokes need to close to each other because you have to treat them as one to end up with an uneven number of spokes.

woven wheel roses

the straight stitch wheel was easy to weave, you have to find the right tension that creates neatly folded petals and that’s it.
The next picture shows how the spider wheel is woven. This again, is somewhat hard because it is not fixed in the middle.


No here are the finished roses. the spider wheel rose (lower, right)was imho no a sucess, the other two are charming, each in their own way.

woven rose


Stitch Sunday 1 – Stacked Buttonhole Wheel

So here is the first part of my Stitch Sunday Challenge, stacked buttonhole wheel. I know buttonhole wheel is an old favorite, but I was asked about variants of it on my sampler so I decided this would be the starting point. Stacked buttonhole wheel is simply buttonhole wheels worked over each other.

If you want to join me in this, just try it out, post it on your blog, flickr or where ever else, and leave a comment with a link here. I can’t wait to see what you come up with.

First thing, work a buttonhole wheel as usual.

stacked buttonhole wheel

stacked buttohole wheel

stacked buttonhole wheel

Next, work a smaller buttonhole wheel over it, putting the new spikes over the old ones.

stacked buttonhole wheel

For the outer ring, work buttonhole stitches over the outer border of the first buttonhole wheel.


Now this is the finished result. I probably should have used some contraption to draw proper circles before stitching. Of course, your circles can beas messy or orderly as you want. They don’t even need to be round.


You can use both stacking methods like me or only one, or think up an entirely new one.

TAST 111 – Knotted Zigzac Coral Stitch

Here comes the next TAST stitch –knotted zigzac corals stitch. Did you notice how this is another twisted chain stitch variant, similar to the last stitch, rope stitch?

It is amazing how a few rather simple stitches and knots form the myriads of different embroidery stitches.

This stitch was completely new to me, but I liked it. It offers a lot of variety for decorative bands. However, I see less possibilities for realistic stitched pictures.



TAST Catchup: Raised Herringbone Band

I did a little bit of catch up, here is the raised herringbone band stitch of the TAST challenge.

I was not impressed with my first trial, mainly because 6 strands of normal stranded cotton thread is not quite enough to give good coverage on my aida fabric. So the stitch looks somewhat ragged.

For my next trial, I did long stitches spanning all along the band, then covered them with the smaller stitches the original pattern calls for. As you can see, this creates better coverage and imho also makes the herringbone band sits better on the slightly raised stitches.

I did the same for the third and last sample of the stitch. I also wrapped the herringbone stitches differently for a chance. I quite like this variant.

Stacked Sorbello Stitch

Oh yeah, yet another sorbello Variant! Play with it and enjoy! Kudos go to Sharon Bogon, her tast challenge was my inspiration for playing arround with sorbello stitch.

This variant is worked in columns top down, for rows just turn the fabric.
Start with a sorbello stitch like shown. the legs of the stitch should be long and stick out to the sides.

The straight stitch in which the next sorbello stitch is anchored is worked over the legs of the first stitch. It should be as long as the first straight stitch.

A row of stacked sorbello stitch. Of course the legs can be shorter to stick out less.

Connected Sorbello Stitches

This is another Sorbello variant I explain in detail because it might be hard to figure out. I was inspired by the tast challenge to play arround with it.

I think you can do connected sorbello stitches following the same principles in other arrangements, anybody up to experiments?

I think the pics are self-explanatory on this one. Sorry their bad quality, they were taken on the train to work.

This is a row of a finished stitch.

False Sorbello Stitch

Sorbello stitch really is a very versatile one. It sparked my imagination so much that I decided to explore it further and neglect the next stitches of the tast challenge somewhat in order to find time for that. I did say I won’t get stressed out about the challenge this year.

Many of the things I did are obvious on my sampler, I think those which are not will be shared in detail.

I’m calling this false Sorbello because it is done like sorbello but doesn’t look like it. If anybody knows this stitch by any other name please tell me.

You work this in columns top down, for rows just turn the fabric. Start the column with a regular sorbello stitch. Then do the next sorbello stitch like a normal sorbello stitch, just don’t do the straight stitch you would do as the beginning of a normal sorbello stitch. anchor the next knot in the “legs” of the first sorbello stitch.

Please note that the legs should be about half as long as shown for an orderly result, but that would have made it hard to figure out how to do the stitch.

The next knot is again anchored in the legs of the previous one. Work the stitches as close together as possible to get a rope-like line. I have tried it more spaced it didn’t really look good.

The last pic shows a row of it closeup. Note that the “rope” the stitch forms is two-sided, experiment with orientation before using it on a real project.

Cable Stitch in Surface Embroidery (Rose in the Rain Making Of II)

Cable stitch is a useful and beautiful stitch in pulled thread work, but I never got why it should be used in normal surface embroidery. I mean, it produces lines of stitches you can easier create with back stitches or holbein stitches.

My work on Rose in the Rain, an embroidery on mulberry paper, taught me its use. It produces more bulk on the right side than on the wrong side, which the other methods for creating lines of stitches don’t.

Here is an example from the piece. It shows a line of cable stitch and an additional row of back stitch.

Here is how the stitch is done. Sorry there is no second image, I forgot it. You work the next stitch like the first, always alternating between the two rows of straight stitches. If you don’t understand it just say so and I take more pictures.

One line of the stitch finished.

Two stacked lines of the stitch. It can make a nice filling this way.

The backside. You see the little stitches you create while going from one line of stitches on the front to the other. A very clean backside, but still enough thread to hide loose ends under.

By the way, this was my second making-of posting on Rose in the Rain. In a third one, I will soon describe one more new-to-me stitch I have used, and that’s it then for my part. Do you have any questions on that work you want to be answered? I’d be happy to do so in the next part.

TAST II: Italian Knotted Border Stitch

This is my effort so far for this week’s TAST challenge, italian knotted border stitch.. In Germany it’s monday, so I’m kind of on time!

It is a really versatile stitch, you can do anything with it you can do with regular fly stitch, of which it is a variation.

Sorbello Stitch II

I played with sorbello stitch a lot on my sampler and want to share more of my experiences than a simple look at the sorbello section of my tast sampler will show.

Sorbello stitch as cross stitch surrogate

Firstly, I found an interesting blog post. At Vijis Craft There is a posting about using sorbello stitch in chicken scratch instead of cross stitches. An interesting idea that is probably worth trying, thank you Viji!

Generally Sorbello stitch can be used as a fancy replacement for cross stitch. To do this, make sure your stitches are exactly square and use a yarn that is covering the groud well. This is good for small and simple designs. Another thing that I still need to try is combining it with regular cross stitch.

Working sorbello stitch to and fro

Sorbello stitch has a direction, for an orderly look you need to carry the yarn back to the start on the wrong side and always work all stitches in a piece in the same direction, execpt when you consciously play with the difference.
When you have to do many rows this will get annoying. Here I show you a way to work it to and fro.

Sorry the bad oictures, they were taken on the train. I hope you still get how the stitch is done.

This is how the classical sorbello stitch is done:

And this is the reverse one for the back rows:

%d bloggers like this: