Tag Archives: embroidery

Cross Stitch Mini Sampler

Sorry for my long absence, I was so busy at my day job. For almost mindless stitching, I added a cross stitch section to one of my sampler bands.
The cross stitch alphabets came from an old DMC publication, which you can download here.
The rest of the design just happened, the back stitch letters are my own.
SK are my real life initials. The saying, two lines of a song by The Tremeloes was, at that moment, about all the things you experience when working with people.

The piece was stitched on an almost evenweave dress linen, about 26 threads/13 crosses per inch using 2 strands of Anchor floss for the cross stitches and #12 pearl cotton by DMC for the back stitching.

By the way, I think it is funny how much you read about cross stitch in embroidery blogs recently. Are these the beginnings of a trend or something?



Stitch Sunday 14 – Rope Stitch

OK, strictly speaking, this is not a new stitch, since it is done just like twisted chain stitch. but it looks dramatically different and is called a different stitch in all stitch dictionaries that describe it.

Start with doing one ordinary twisted chain stitch. The spike should be only only to four threads away from the line on which you insert the needle. For the next stitch, start the stitch just next to the place where you started the first one. Do that until you are satisfied with the length of the part that sticks out. These threads should completely cover the rest of the stich to form a smooth, ropelike structure. Now go on, but leave the same stretch between the beginning of two stitches as you go forward with the needle between stitches. When you are getting near to the end of a row, make your stitches ever shorter until you end with a normal twisted chain stitch. This stitch can as well be seen as a form of self-padding satin stitch.




I think you have already seen the next pic, but it shows two rows of rope stitch nicely, above and below the wild fly stitches.


Stitch Sunday 13 – Beaded Fringe

I know I’m late again – SORRY.
Today is stitch Sunday 13, so I’m continuing beyond the promised 12 stitches. To celebrate this, I show you something special – a quick hack to create a beaded fringe in the middle of a piece of fabric and really have it hang, not stick out.I hoe the pics are not too hard to see, the needle had to be small for this. I am using a small darner not a beading needle because it has a bigger eye, bends less and is still small enough to go through the beads with ease.

First, do a row of chain stitch where the fringe is supposed to be. The chain links should be about as big as one of the beads, may be a bit bigger. Use a nice pearl cotton, not the beading thread. Next, secure the beading thread on the back, I am using variegated quilting cotton and translucent, iridescent seed beads. Bring the needle to the front side just left and above the first chain link. Slide the needle under the first chain link and pull through.


Next, put the desired number of beads onto the thread.


to form the fringe, put the needle back through the beads exept the last one and slide it under the same chain link as before without piercing the fabric.


At last, slide the needle under the next chain link going from top to bottom, like in step 1, repeat.

Stitch (not really) Sunday 12 – Twisted Chain Stitch

I Know it is no longer Sunday, and hasn’t been for like 10 hours. Does the blood moon count as an excuse? Yes, I set my alarm to 3:45 a.m and watched it go completely red. My camera was not built for such an occasion, so I stopped bothering with it after a few minutes and just enjoyed.

Anyways, this won’t be another week without a new stitch. Well, twisted chain stitch probably isn’t exactly new to most of you, but it fits in here so well. This is one of the few chain stitch variants that are best done with a sewing action, like the regular chain stitch.

See the first picture for how to do the stitch. It is like a chain stitch, but open and twisted. next, just do stitch after stitch like with regular chain stitch.



The next Picture shows you how to hide loose end in chain stitches – leave the thread en on the front side. Secure the beginning of the new thread on the back, then come out with the needle where the thread end hangs, be careful not to pierce it. Pull the new thread through. Go to the back side of the work and pull the last stitch with the old thread out, so that the end is brought to the back side, and secure it. You are ready to resume stitching.


Of course, you can also do thestitch with the open part in altnating directions. If you make the stitches longer, make sure they are somewhat slanted to give the stitches stability.



Stitch Sunday 12 – Hungarian Braided Chain Stitch

This is another beautiful chain stitch variant, and again, it is based on the reverse chain stitch.

Like the name suggests, this stitch originated in Hungary, it was/is used for broad lines especially in ornamental patterns. In general surface embroidery, it can be used wherever a broad, decorative line stitch is required. It is best suited for abstract line designs.

Start by doing a detached chain stitch, the tacking stitch is pointing in the working direction. Next, work a second, bigger detached chain stitch around the first one.




Work another chain stitch. In order to do that, bring the needle to the far end of the chain, then slide the needle under the first chain link without picking up fabric or parts of the second chain link. Sink the needle where it came out.




For the next stitch, again come out with the needle at the new far end of the chain. Slide the needle under the second chain links, make sure it sits on top of the third and you don’t pick up fabric. Finish the chain stitch. keep working like this, always anchoring the last reverse chain link under the second to last chain link.

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 Inspiration: Whipped Connected Fly Stitch

Earlier this week, I introduced spaced connected fly stitches used to depict plants. Like I wrote before, the mid line of such a plant sprig can be whipped to make it more pronounced.

First, do a prig of connected fly stitches. If you want to depict a plant, pay attention to start it neatly and give it an organic form. Avoid making it too regular.


Next, whip the mid line like you would a row of back stitches. Always run the needle under the stitches from the same side so the thread goes over the midline stitches.


Behold the finished twig.


Sampler 5 -The Next Part

For the lack of other content, I’m showing the next part of the last strip sampler I finished, the 5th one in my collection. You have seen this part before, I think, when I talked about those TAST stitches. The first pattern strip is beaded feathered chain stitch, in this case the chain part was beaded. The last band is also beaded feathered chain stitch with the chain part beaded, only worked closer together. In between, there is beaded buttonhole stitch.

The thick lines are a form of interlaced chain stitch, which will be featured in stitch sunday soonish.

Usually I am not big on beading, but there were a few TAST stitches that left me no choice, and I have to say I did enjoy it and will probably use beads some more on the next samplers.

For all the previous sections of this sampler, click here.


From the Flea Market

Last weekend, I went to a local flea market with my mother. It was a wonderful warm day, and after the market we ate delicious cake.
Somehow, all my haul was textile related.

The first picture shows a little crochet hook, metric size 2mm. It is made from coated aluminium and is labeled “disc england”. I wanted it because it is small enough to fit into my needlework kit and I lack the size in it. But the interesting thing in this picture is the little box. It is a sewing kit for travelling, the size of a pill box.


The same box from above. The box is metal, either aluminium or steel with some sort of coating/ fake gilding that is badly scratched in some places. The label seems to be glass or glazed pottery and glued on. It says “needle and thread”.


Now let’s look inside. Looks like the contents are still intact. There are a needle threading tool, a timble, two sewing needles and thread, black and white, wound on a little piece of rubber. The little plastic bag contains the usual shirt buttons, push buttons and security pins. From the look of the rubber thingy, I’m pretty sure the kit is fairly recent, the rubber is still soft. Again, for size comparison: the needle threader is the regulat size.  Somehow it doesn’t look like the contents were ever used, although the box shows signs of wear and tear. I just had to have this sweet little thing. I still have my decorative letter case from childhood, it got a nice spot in there. Does anybody here know when/where such kits were sold?


The next thing was a bundle of needlepoint wool, for the most part Phildar, the rest an unknown brand. Both are no longer sold in Germany. The same stall also had a bunch of finished needlepoint pieces, from their look probably from kits. I’m always a sucker for leftover threads of all sorts, so I had to have these.


Next, Glass buttons! 20 cent each only, and the colour fits a cardigan I’m just knitting, so they too had to come home with me. I hope three of them will do for the cardi, the forth is in case one doesn’t survive the washing machine.


The last thing was this badly worn and torn piece of hand embroidery. It is nothing special but I have a hard time passing such pieces by, which have the charme of creative hand work and real use. It is perle cotton #5 probably on linen, done in satin stitch and some stem stitch. It looks like it had been sewn on a cushion hull or something and was ripped off for flea market sale. It is bleached out and has some spots but the fabric is intact. I will see how it looks after washing and ironing. It will go into my bits and pieces box for now, may be it will inspire me to some recycling project. There sure is enough space to add something funky.



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