Category Archives: hand embroidery

Stitch Sunday 11 – Roman Stitch (or just Stacked Fly Stitch)

Jet another Sunday. I know I have been lazy about posting these days, I have a helluva time at work, everyone except me seems to be on vacation, and there is a big construction site on the railway I have to take to work, causing a lot of annoyances. Also, I am in the process of switching to a new laptop.

So today’s stitch is usually called roman stitch, it is used both in conventional surface embroidery and in needlepoint on canvas. However, it is really just stacked fly stitches. it is usually worked by doing the loop first and then tacking it down, because the tacking stitch needs to be as small as possible. Some books classify roman stitch as a kind of couching, but I think it is so done like fly stitch, and true couching should require more than one tacking stitch in most places to hold down one thread. However, this stitch is a good example for how there is a limited number of ways to construct stitches, but endless possibilities for variation and specialized usage.

Here I show how to use this stitch to do a conventional leaf.  It is supposed to be a rose leaf, and those are serrated. So I make stitches of differing length to hint at this. For non-serrated leaves, you can stitch a back stitch outline first to make sure you get it right.

First, do a very close fly stitch at the top of the leaf, almost a detatched chain stitch.


Do the next fly stitch putting the loop next to the loop part of the first, come up for the tacking stitch where the last tacking stitch ended. Make the new tacking stitch straight and small. Remember the tacking stitches will form the midline of the leaf.


Add more fly stitches in the same way.


Continue until the leaf (or part of a leaf) is finished. Sometimes you will need to add a few straight stitches at the bottom to get the right shape.



Stitch Sunday 10 – Heavy Chain Stitch

Yet another Stitch Sunday. As promised, this Stitch Sunday shows another chain stitch variant. It is based on reverse chain stitch.

It can be used for wide, decorative lines. Do not space the chain links too closely.

Start with a little tack down stitch, and form the first chain link just like in reverse chain stitch.



Next, work jet another, of course bigger chain link into the tacking stitch.



The next chain stitch link is worked into the chain stitch before the last.


The rest of the line is worked the same. Work reverse chain stitches, always hanging the next chain link in the the one before the last.



Stitch Sunday 5 – Woven Feathered Chain Stitch

Sunday, Sunday! So I’m exploring yet another stitch ;-). Well, in fact it is not really new but a variation of last week’s stitch, but it would have been overkill to include it all in one posting.
I wove and buttonholed feathered chain stitch to make it look even more plant-like. It turns out rather bulky but can be effective together with other stitches depicting plant life. You should use a firm thread like pearl cotton, not floss.

So first, do an upright row of feathered chain stitch, done organically to look as much as a real plant as possible. Well, in fact I used the same stitches I showed last week and just continued.

Next, come up with the needle at the base of one little chain stitch leaf and weave the leaf without piercing the fabric.

woven feathered chain

woven feathered chain

woven feathered chain

When done, sink the thread at the top of the leaf and bring it out again at the base of the next leaf. If your embroidery is large scale run the thread under other stitches on the back side.


Now you have a nice leafy sprout.

woven feathered chain stitch

Stitch Sunday Inspiration- Building a Stone from Buttonhole Wheels

So of course, I have used my own stitch – here I show you how I built a little rock from stacked buttonhole wheels. I did some more to that sampler section after that – but this is for another time.

See here for my stitch sunday challenge – stacked buttonhole wheel. And if you know my haphazard working style -fear not. The next 2 stitch sunday postings are already done and scheduled, for the next 10 or so I’ve taken the photographs.





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