Category Archives: stitch explorer

Stitch Explorer – pattern darning

Meh, I’ve been a bad blogger. Couldn’t tell you the reasons without a lot of whining and complaining so I don’t.

Anyway, I wasn’t just as lazy about stitching. Here is a tryout piece for stitch explorer, the patterns are all my own invention, although I can’t guarantee that no one else has invented the same ones before. Sharon is true: there are neverending possibilities for patterns.

Tip: When looking for fresh ones look into patterns for twill weaving or fair isle knitting, most of these can be adapted. The same goes for much monochrome cross stitch stuff.

maybe I’ll post details/patterns of this one later to milk it for more blog postings later.

This sample is done on close to evenweave pale lavander dress linen, wonderful soft stuff that.
It is postcard sized and done using 3 strands of regular 6stranded floss, valdani hand-dyed pearl cotton (in size between regular 8 and 12) and Gueterman 100% Silk buttonhole machine thread (love that one, but it’s expensive).



Stich Explorer: Stitching with Gesso and Molding Paste

Wow. doing these two modern samples took me all weekend. They are about postcard sized, give or take half a cm. They were don using gesso, molding paste, acrylic paints, Tyvek (thin acricultural fleece) linen fabric and embroidery threads. That’s it for my grandiose sampler plans, I know I won’t get it done.

Even these two would need a lot more intense handstitching to turn them into something more than courious samples. But it was fun and I learned a lot. For now, I’m calling them done and this month’s challenge fullfilled. Kudos go to Lynda Monk, the techniques came from her book.



Coincidences and Stitch Explorer

One day last week, I was so incredibly sick of work, so I decided to leave on time (which I can’t do often these days) and go do something nice for myself. I thought oh well, this book from Lynda Monk, Stitching the Textured Surface, would make a good present for myself. Let’s go see if the quilt shop has it. Indeed they did. When I paid the Lady told me she had put it onto the shelf only 15 mins ago.

This weeks stitch explorer challenge is to use something for embroidery we wouldn’t normally use. I have already stitched on all kinds of weird backgrounds, but never molding paste of all things, so it fits.

Today I started experimenting. I have a good selection of acrylic gels and molding pastes, so I applied them to little scraps of tyvek. I’m planning to colour and distress them and then sew them onto a sampler. I’m not going to be too verbose about the process because it is Lynda’s invention, and I sure don’t want to infringe her moral or legal rights.

The first two pics show all the scraps I did, the last one is a closeup of an especially sandy molding paste.




Needleweaving in my Assisi Embroidery

This is a little part of my assisi embroidery. I have used needlewoven bars wildly crossed to add to the general encrusted look. I’m rather pleased with this, and I think it is easier done than tons of french knots and buillon stitches. (although I’m afraid of the latter no more after this piece)


This is a turk’s cap lilly from my garden. They take 5 years from seedling to the first flowers, so I treasure them very much. I like them more than most of the big colourful everyday garden flowers.


Needleweaving finish

Look what I did on sunday! This stitch explorer may challenge really is coming along nicely. I’m planning to use this for something bigger, but I don’t know yet if this will work or not.

My little netbook is really improving my blogging drive – I can sort and prepare photographs on the commute now. I’ll havwe to be careful that this isn’t eating too much of my stitching time.


Miscellaneous Updates

In Case you all have wondered: I still don’t have a new monitor for my main computer. I just can’t decide. The guy in the computer shop keeps telling me I need a fancy big one or my graphics stuff will never look decent on other people’s comps and a new graphics card to go with it. I guess he’s right, but I’m kinda unwilling to spend that much money on tech stuff, because I recently bought a new toy, this netbook. My recent postings come to you via this one, and while it is a fun thing to carry arround the smallish keyboard takes time to get used to and the monitor gives a tint of cyan to everything.


Since a catchup month for stitch explorer is upcoming I decided to put anything else away until then and start working on needleweaving. The fabric shop had linen fabrics on special offer, so I couldn’t resist and bought this lavander one and thread to go with it. But when I started pulling out threads I realized this won’t work. The fabric is closer to an evenweave than the one I used for the assisi piece, but the treads it is made of are fuzzy and very likely to break when exposed. So I’ll save this for some other project and use something else for needleweaving.


One more progress shot from my assisi piece. This is very good work to do on the comute when I’m tired anyway. I didn’twant to taqke it off the hoop for the photograph becasue the fabric is a bit stretchy and difficult to align correctly in a hoop.


I spend most of the weekend in the garden, weediing and digging, but I won’t clog your bandwidth with shots of that. But I also started my needleweaving piece, expect a posting about that sometime during the week when I have worked on it some more.

Some more Worms

So I stitched two more worms to try some more things.

The fist one I stitched using pear cotton #5 either. I was planning to make it a really fat grub without taqper, but didn’t quite succeed. I had to add a few extra threads at the border in the middle of its fat belly.- I tried to make the stem stitches longer by leaving more space between the Foundation stitches, not sure this works better.


The last worm was done using stranded cotton floss – all six strands as they come off the skein – I think this works even better than pearl cotton.


Now here is the backside of one worm. This is what really worries me about this stitch – What to do with all these loose ends? The thing would get rather bulky if I weave them all in securely. In this project, the solution will be glue. What do you do about all the loose ends?


One last thing I learned about casalguidi stitch: If you have done a bulky “worm” and have trouble doing the last few rows of stem stitch because it is so high, just take the fabric out of the hoop- This will make it easier, and the whole thing is too big now to be ruined by a row or two with less than perfect tension.


Casalguidi Stitch

So Sharon B’s may challenge was casalguidi stitch.

I have to say that I never really liked the traditional casalguidi pieces, too many of them looked rather awkward and plump. I wanted to leave out this stitch and finish some of my other stuff instead. But as always Sharon’s stuff was too alluring so I ended up trying it anyway.

Well, my heart was screaming for something mixed media after all this long armed cross stitch on my assisi piece, so that’s what I’m gonna do. The surprise is for some other day, today I will just show how I learned casalguidi stitch.

So first you need padding. I used pearl cotton #3, probably the most expensive joice availiable, but that was what I hd on me on the commute that day. By the way, this is a picture of my second stab at the stitch, forgot to photograph that stage first time round.


I covered it with pearl cotton #8, fand used pearl cotton #5 for the foundation stitches and the raised stem stitch. Here I am halfway through the row of foundation stitches.


For the sake of completeness you can see here how the stem stitches over the foundation stitches are done. I just hope I’ve gotten that step right this time.


Well, I was going to stitch a grub or something similar, all this talk about this stitch looking like a grub on fabric made me do this. For this one, I had cut the batting so that the worm would be tapered at the ends, but now I had the problem that I needed more rows of stem stitch to cover its middle than at the ends. So I added some rows in the middle starting not at the end but a bit in, like shown. At the second end of the worm, I ended this row early the same way at the second end of the worm. The rows on the sides of the worm ran all along it’s ends.


Now meet the finished worm, photographed together with a pencil to give an impression of its 3d form.


And the same from above.


Boooring Stitchery

So I kept working on the assisi piece on the commute, and on my trellis stitch piece at home. Right now i find all this unbelievably boring and repetitive. Watching my baby steps on these projects is probably boring for you either, but I post them anyway to motivate myself a bit. But it will remain unfinished if I don’t presevere and keep working on it, so I try.

This is how far I got on my rock pool. I added a bit this weekend.

The whole thing from the side, to show the three-domensional effect.

This is the assisi embroidery piece so far:

Working on

So this is how far I got this week. not too much, I know.

I decided to fill the sky in the picture with dark blue long-armed cross stitch. not sure this is so good, it takes forever to do. I wanted something simple for the sky to avoid an overly busy look, and rich structure for the soil.


A closup of the long-armed cross stitch. I like this stitch very much for filling large areas. Here, the stitches turend out very long because the fabric is no evenweave and I worked over the traditional 3*3 threads. I think if I do such a piece again I will probably invest in real embroidery linen istead of using some cheap surrogate. This is a 100% linen dress fabric which looks great, but is no evenweave and more stretchy than I would like my embroidery fabric.


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