As promised ( a long time ago) here is an update to our Stitched Sunday Series showing you the Raised Stem Stitch variation. This is not a commonly used stitch but does have its place. I have recently used it for the border on the ‘Love’ Stitchery.
So to use it you need a shape which has parallel lines sort of so a border works well.
Firstly we need to set up a base for the stem stitch. The actual stem stitch does not pass through the fabric but is woven through a base stitch.
Keep these stitches even along your shape.
Continue along or around the complete shape.Bring up your needle to the left of your first stitch – right at the bottom.
Then take it two stitches to the right, under the base stitch (not through the fabric tho)
and then back under the base stitch before – can you see how this is like stem stitch – you go two steps forward, one step back.
Then you go ahead two stitches
and back one. Turn your needle around so you are sliding the eye under the threads (instead of the point) so that you do not split any threads or catch the fabric with the needle point – this is weaving rather than stitching
Continue around the shape, when you reach the start point, continue with the second row.
Some other examples can be found on my pinboard and here
Stem stitch can also be used as filler stitch and is used a lot in Crewel embroidery. I call this stacked stem stitch – but that’s just a name I made for it.. It is basically just normal rows of stem stitch placed close together. If you are going back and forth along a shape, stitch stem stitch in one direction and outline stitch going back the other way so that all rows lay tightly together.
hugs for today, and happy stitching
Two new patterns to show you today – especially for all of our Stitched Sunday fans… These two patterns will challenge your embroidery stitches just a little – yes a little move on from backstitch, they include some satin stitch, detached chain, pistil stitch, knots and stem stitch….
The ‘Broidery Bag – this bag has simple quilting to make it nice and sturdy, embroidered pockets on both sides and two easy to grab handles. It is designed to store all of your stitching goodies. Below is a coordinating needlebook and I have plans for more accessories to match throughout next year..
This floral embroidery sits on the back pocket (the side you cannot see above) Four of these strips are stitched with satin stitch, detached chain, pistil stitch and backstitch.. It is a lot of stitching – of course you could leave it out and just insert another fabric strip – but it really does look pretty don't you think – and worth the effort.. The main flower motif on the front pocket will give you lots of practise on those new stiches you have learnt.
Accompanying the ‘Broidery Bag is the Needle Nookie!
I made myself a Needle book similar to this years ago when I was learning about needles. It was perfect for me to store my needle card and remember what they were! There are eight pockets which will fit a standard pack of needles (and yes the new Hugs ‘n Kisses needles will also fit).
You slip the complete pack in the pocket but when using one you slip it into the woollen strip on the pocket for safe storage – like a pincushion – BUT the name is written right there – many people once they take a needle out of the packet can never tell again what type of needle it was – now you will always know…
The Needle book folds up nicely to store in your “broidery bag.
Again we have some interesting and challenging embroidery on the needlebook for some stitching therapy.
Both patterns have iron on transfers, stitch guides and diagrams and step by step instructions.Don't forget if you need to refer back to the Stitched Sunday tutorials you always can, or download the Hugs ‘n Kisses app which has the links right there for you for each stitch.
These projects have been made using fabric from one Fat Quarter pack (Puttin on the Ritz by Bunnyhill for Moda) – I have more left to make more projects in this range. I would suggest choosing a favourite Fat Quarter pack and putting it aside to make your complete set by the end of next year as I add to the collection.
I know that many of you struggle with what needle to use for your stitching and appliqué.. It is probably the most often question I am asked… so to make it simple for you we sourced and tested and now have available Hugs ‘n Kisses needle packs -
Stitchery needles – for your stitchery and simple embroidery projects - these are size 7 Crewel needles suited to 1-3 strands of thread or a Perle 12-16 thread which I love to use,
Appliqué needles – for needleturn or Gluestick appliqué. – These are nice and strong, with a very sharp point, not too short to handle but not too long to bend and they have a LARGE eye for easier threading than most appliqué needles.
Your local stores who came to Quilt Market may have all of these products available now – if not you can always ask them to get them in for you or visit the links above.
So, time for a giveaway – an extra Christmas Pressie to put under the tree just for you.
Reply with a comment on your new favourite embroidery stitch from the Stitched Sunday Tutorials… and we will draw one lucky winner on Friday for a full set – yes that's two patterns and two needlepacks..
hugs for today,
PS: A huge thankyou to Ausbelle who tested these patterns for me. Check out her colours! – it looks great in the brighter fabrics too…
So, you’ve finished stitching your hearts? Did you enjoy it?
Now we’ll make our book up. Trim your panel if needed so it measures approximately 15 1/2” x 9 1/2”.
Closure tab – Cut one piece of each fabric 2 1/2” x 5 1/2”. Fuse a piece of pellon (very lightweight batting) or stabiliser to the wrong side of one piece. Lay right sides together. Using a pencil or blue pen marked a curve at one end. Stitch using a 1/4” seam allowance around three sides leaving the non curved end open. Trim and clip curves and turn through. Press well. Stitch an edge stitch around your tab. Position the tab with raw edges even on the heart end of your outer panel. pin or baste.Lay this panel right sides together with your other chosen piece of lining fabric. Cut to match the size. Pin.Stitch around all edges leaving a opening on one end. Clip corners, turn through the opening and press well. Slip stitch the opening closed.
Trim your pages back to measure all the same dimensions – mine were 7” x 8 1/2” - try and make your horizontal stitched lines matched (not like in the photo examples below !)
You have 12 pages. Lay them out in sets of four. Sew them together firstly in pairs. Press seams in one direction.
Position your pages on top of each other in the centre of your open book cover. Using a large chenille needle stitch through all layers from the outside to the inside, then back out again. tie off securely. I used a 2mm satin ribbon – you can use a thick strong thread if you do not have this.
For ribbon thread the needle and then pass the tip back through the end of the ribbon.
Find the centre and pass the needle through the cover, then each centre seam of the pages, then bring it back up approx 1/2” away.
Tie into a bow and then do the same on the other side of the spine.
I then used some sticky velcro dots on my closing tab – you may want to make a buttonhole and button instead- to close my finished book. Of course you can add extra pages anytime you like but for now you have a great reference and a great show and tell of your new embroidery skills…I think this is something that will be passed down through the generations – so don’t forget to add a label – maybe inside the back cover – include your name, threads used, and the story behind your Stitched Sunday book.
okay, now I cant wait to see yours – please email them or put some photos into the Flickr group – even if its in 12 months time, we all want to see and share…
I hope you have enjoyed your Stitching on Sundays – now I’ll have to come up with something else to keep us all stitching… I will have some ideas to show you soon!
hugs for today
as promised we have finally come to the process of making our stitch book.
This week we will work on the embroidery for the cover.
You will need to cut a piece of fabric 16” x 10”.
Fuse a piece of stabiliser – I used Pellon H630 (very lightweight fusible batting) but you could use Parlan or another stabiliser – to the back of your fabric.
Download your heart templates here.
Cut out the largest one and trace onto the piece of green wool. Cut out the middle size and trace onto the lilac wool, and then finally cut down to the smallest heart and trace onto the pink wool. Use a blue washout pen to trace and then cut out all shapes just inside the blue line.
Position the three layers of wool as pictured in the photo. Fold the fabric in half to find the centre crease – then centre your hearts on the right hand end. Pin and then tack the pieces of wool into position.
Now we are going to use our newly learned embroidery stitches to stitch down each layer and embellish at the same time.
I will list what stitches and threads I used, you of course can choose your own from your stash if you haven't already purchased them from here.
Using a Forget me Knot variegated thread (two strands) stitch a blanket stitch edge around the outer green heart.
On the edge of the lilac wool heart:
Using the Forget me Knot variegated thread (2 strands) stitch a Cretan stitch around the outside edge. Using the light pink perle thread stitch two lazy daisies at the top of every second stitch. Inside the petals, using the forget me knot thread stitch a pistil stitch.
adjust your stitches to work around the curves.
On the edge of the inner pink heart stitch a Herringbone stitch using the Delphinium thread (2 strands). Using a green perle thread stitch a small straight stitch across the top of each stitch (where they cross) . On every second stitch also stitch a vertical straight stitch. On the opposite alternate stitch using the forget me knot thread stitch a lazy daisy. Using a single strand of the Delphinium thread stitch a French knot at the top of each green straight stitch.
Outside the pink heart -on the lilac wool heart using the green perle thread stitch a row of feather stitch. Using the Forget me Knot thread stitch a Colonial knot on every outer point. Stitching is finished - remove your tacking stitches.
and now you will have this! well done, next week we will construct our stitch book.
hugs for today, and happy stitching
Today brings us our last stitch tutorial and the final page (for now) for your stitch book. Next week I will begin the instructions for you to make up your book to hold all of your wonderful practise pages and designs – should you wish to.
A reminder of your requirements to make the book can be found on this post here – you have one more week and can still order them if you want yours to look the same as mine.
So, to today’s stitch – the mighty Cretan!
also known as Persian stitch and longarmed feather stitch – sometimes known as quill stitch when it is stitch as a long line.
Traditionally used by the women of Crete on clothing – hence its name.
The stitch can be used within a shape – like a leaf – or on parallel lines as decoration. It can be worked closed or open giving many different looks.
so- how to do it?
It is actually quite similar to the Herringbone stitch except the ‘hat and boot’ is vertical rather than horizontal. It may be useful to start with two guide lines.
pull through until firm and the needled thread is distorting the first stitch – putting that little bend in there.Now take the little vertical stitch at the top of your row.- again make sure the thread is under the needle
and this point
making them very close makes this tight stitch sometimes referred to as quill stitch – it looks like a lovely little knotted stitch doesnt it?
The closed quill sample above uses quite large vertical stitches – actually to the middle of my two lines so both the top and the bottom stitch meets in the middle. But if you only took a teeeny tiny stitch here – even just one or two threads you get a different look again – of course you can be spaced apart or close together for even more variations. If you space them apart you can use a contrast thread and do another row over the top – you will sometimes see 3-4 different threads used over the top and in between well spaced stitches.
You can see lots of examples and inspiration on my pinboard here.
Our practise page today is a little sampler similar to our Herringbone page. Firstly have a practise changing spacing and stitch size and these horizontal lines to help. For our design I have put just guidelines (Circles) on the pattern sheet and then filled them like this:
Using the centre two circles and the purple thread I stitched quite closely with an equal stitch length for my vertical stitches – ie, the ‘C’ point sat in the middle of my two lines. (like this example)
Of course because you are going around a circle the points on the inner circle are a little closer than the points on the outer circle. I then stitch colonial knots on every second inner point and every outer point of my Cretan stitches.
Using the next two lines I stitched a Chevron stitch in the pink thread. Using green I stitched a lazy daisy between each outer ‘v’ and fly stitch over each outer hat. A purple French knot was placed in between each fly ‘v’. on the inner side I stitch two pistil stitches in hot pink.
Using the next two lines and the purple thread I stitched a row of quite widely spaced Cretan stitch. I think swapped to a pink thread and stitched another row over the top. Using the green thread I stitched a running stitch around the outer edge between each stitch.
Using the last two outer circle guides I stitched a large Cretan stitch in the purple thread. Think of dividing the space into four equal sections to judge the size or your little vertical stitches.
I then used a green thread and stitched a fly stitch over the end of each inner stitch – joining the fly stitches at the half way point. I add a colonial knot at the end of each fly stitch using the hot pink. A lazy daisy was placed between each outer ‘v’ of the cretan stitch and finally a green thread and running stitch was worked over the outer ends of the Cretan stitch.
You can download your pattern page here Download Cretan stitch
I do hope you have enjoyed either learning from scratch or maybe challenging your embroidery skills a little further. I’ll be back next week with those gorgeous woollen hearts to embellish with our newly learnt stitches and make into a stitch book to savour and pass on to your children, grandchildren and more to keep the love of embroidery alive.
hugs for today and happy stitching
This would be one of my favourite stitches – not to do, but to admire. I spent years admiring them and perfecting them to look just as good as those in my Inspirations magazines (yes I have every issue!) I think they can be so delicate and soft and beautiful or bright and cheery depending on their application – but they are not easy to perfect so I will give you as many tips as I can and then I have quite a challenge for you in your ‘page’ this week so you can really practise.
First and possibly most importantly you should use a different needle to get a good bullion – the straw or Milliner needle – this needle is long with a sharp point and a smaller eye but the important bit is that the eye and the shaft are the same width/size so that the wraps slide over the eye easily.
okay, to our hoop
The line represents the bullion stitch
and wrap the thread clockwise around the needle, slide each wrap past your finger to the bottom of the needle close to the fabric (the finger stops the wraps from flying off and loosely tangling)You need enough wraps to cover the distance between A and B for a straight bullion (if you want a curved bullion you do too many wraps to fill this space) Slide all of the wraps close together evenly to the bottom of the needle then – with your left hand (thumb and finger) hold the wraps whilst you pull the needle through with the right hand.keep pulling all the way through, all the while holding those wraps. You will not likely have perfect wraps once you pull through – see little loopies and uneven wraps – don't panic, we are not finished yet hold the thread taut with the left hand and place the needle under the wraps. Whilst you pull the thread run the needle up and down along the underside of the wraps – they will even out and tighten up around the thread. You may need to use a finger nail to push them down to sit tightly and evenly togetheruntil they look like this – then you put the needle back down into the fabric at B to finish and anchor the stitch.
There are many ways you can use a bullion to represent flowers, animals etc etc. My favourite of course is the rose – you can see lots of these around my house and studio.
so lets go through it step by step
You can stitch a rose in different shades to make it look more realistic and you can do one row of petals or two (or more if you wish). The number of wraps will depend on the type of thread you use and the size of your rose but I will tell you how many I used for this sample just to give you an idea.
Start by making two straight bullions side by side.
Now we have to think of stitching a stem stitch around the centre but each stitch is a bullion. I like to start my first stitch around the top of my centre (you could use a different shade thread here) – i used 12 wraps. When you finish and anchor your first bullion see that the needle comes up to start my next bullion half way along the last bullion (as in stem stitch)Continue around the centre tucking the last bullion inside your first stitch. I try and do five bullions for the first row of petals (four can sometimes make it look squarish) Now you could change colours again and do another row of petals – use approx 15-18 wraps this time and about 7 wraps to get around.
Todays ‘page’ is not so much a design but a sampler of different uses of Bullions. It might be a challenge and will take quite some time but you will be experts by the time you finish.
The lavender is stitched with a feather stitch with bullion flowers. about 6 wraps each. these flowers are bullion circles – points A and B are at the same point (just take a one thread stitch) – you do lots of wraps – up to 30 until it lays down in a circle – you may need to couch the top edge down into place. Put a french or colonial knot in the centre and backstitch the stems. These flowers have a satin stitched centre, bullion petals – two bullions with points A and B being the same for both – about 12-15 wraps. The stems are backstitch with the leaves being stitched the same as the petals – about 18 wraps so the curve slightly. These flowers have bullion petals – 12 wraps, french knot centres, stem stitch stems and fly stitched leaves. aww cute little butterflies, bullion bodies with lazy daisy wings. and dont forget the little bunny hiding in the stems… bullion body and head, french knot tail and lazy daisy ears.. The rose has a chain stitch stem, lazy daisy leaves and bullion flowers and buds.
for more ideas and inspiration check out my pinboard. If you are an overachiever check out the pear!
You can download this weeks page here…. Download Bullionstitch
Only a couple more stitch lessons to go and then we will start our stitch book cover with everything you have learnt. I do hope you are still enjoying it
until next week- happy stitching.
Today we are working on two related stitches - the Herringbone and the Chevron. Both stitches are widely used in crazy patchwork type works and in combinations with many other stitches.
Herringbone – is a cross like stitch which is great for even bands or in combination with many other stitches and variations. It is traditionally stitched from left to right on two parallel lines but of course all of these rules are there to be broken. There seem to be many names for it including:
Mossoul stitch, Plaited stitch, Catch stitch, Witch stitch, Russian Stitch and Russian Cross Stitch and Persian stitch
Variations can included couched, threaded, laced and double – just google to see some variation ideas.
So, how to do it? You will get the hang of this quite quickly but it may help to have lines to begin to get an even stitch, particularly for straight rows.
bring your needle up at A on the bottom line. Take it down at point B on the top line – (the angle you begin with does not really matter as long as you continue with the same angle.) and bring it back up at point C – this could be about 1/8” /2-3mm away from point B but again as long as it is always the same each time it doesn't really matter.
So in a nutshell – up at A, down at B and up at C (in one scoop stitch) – the thread remains under the needle.
pull through until firm
Continue along your lines making an uneven cross stitched band.
closed herringbone -
Chevron stitch: a close relative of the Herringbone and again stitched traditionally from left to right on two parallel lines.
bring the needle up at A and down at point B – now picture three evenly spaced points at the bottom with point B being in the middle– the idea is that we want a little shoe on the bottom of our two diagonal stitches and a little hat at the top.
Now go back down at Point D and up at point B once again, pull through to form the shoe.
now we head back up to the top and repeat the process – keep the angle of your upward stitch equal (well opposite equal) to your down stitch- take the needle down and to the left with the thread below the needle, pull the thread through and then go down 2 steps to the right and back up in the same middle hole your ‘up’ stitch went down in. There you have a hat! –sorry if that is confusing – all those ups and downs…
continue along your line in the same manner to make a band.So there you have it, play play and play, try first to get this traditional even and symmetrical stitch and then break the rules, try curves, changing the size of each part of the stitch and combining with many of the other stitches you have learnt.
Some samples in my studio
herringbone with a fly stitch and lazy daisy at the top and bottom and small straight stitch over each cross.
you can see many more samples and combinations on my pinboards here.
So, our page this week – its a little different to our previous pages – you are just going to trace or draw circles as guides to play with your stitch combinations rather than trace every little stitch.
I stitched all of the pink bands first.
I started in the centre circle and stitch chevron stitch from this circle to the next – for chevron stitch on a curve you will have your outer hats wider apart than your inner shoes.in between the next two circles I stitched a closed herringbone stitch to give a solid tight band.
Then we go back and stitch all the embellishment and filler stitches.
in the centre I stitched a lazy daisy in green inside every ‘shoe’ with a purple fly stitch at the top. I then placed a purple colonial knot on each hat.
in between my next two rounds of pink I stitch a purple fly stitch with a long tail which filled up the complete space. The tops of my ‘y’s sat at the feet of the herringbone stitch.
With the purple i stitched a small straight stitch across the outer crosspoint of each stitch. With green I added colonial knots in between each inner stitch and a lazy daisy at the outer edge of each stitch.
finally on the outer band I placed a colonial knot on the inner side of each stitch and a lazy daisy sitting on each hat. Then with purple I stitched a fly stitch over each show and a pistil stitch either side of every lazy daisy.
But of course you can embellish and play as much as you like using everything you have learnt so far!
You have come so far and I know some of your are keeping up, others are not- that's fine, there are no rules… BUT I am having a little break with my family to find some sunshine so next week we won’t be having a new stitch! you will have time to do some catchup stitching.
So I hope you all have a great week and we’ll meet here again in two weeks time to learn the bullion stitch!
hugs and happy stitching
a very well known and used stitch this week – the Buttonhole stitch – otherwise known as a blanket stitch.
This was traditionally used as a blanket edge on the raw edging of woollen blankets – hence the alternative and well known name. OF course the buttonhole version was as it sounds – to make buttonholes by hand - It is widely used as an appliqué stitch for various fused appliqué methods. But of course it can also be used as a stand alone embroidery stitch in many variations.
so, here we go:
for the purpose of this tutorial I have drawn two lines – you would probably only every have one line marked on your design and none for appliqué – so you need to use your sharp eye to get even stitches or make lines with an erasable marker.
Bring the threaded knotted needle up at A – this would be on your design line –
take it down at B and up again at C with the thread under the needle– now for a ‘basic’ buttonhole stitch the way we mainly use it, try for even sized stitches – that is all sides of the three sided square are even in size – so the distance between point A and C and point B and C are the same so we end up with a square.
Pull the thread through horizontal to the fabric – I like to pull it as close to the fabric as possible rather than pulling the needle straight up away from the fabric – I find this ‘sits’ the stitch into position a little better.
continue along your design line trying for even stitches.
to end your stitch take the needle down over the top of your last stitch as close as possible to where you came up but over the thread – pull through to the back and tie off.
a common problem with buttonhole, particularly on curves is that is wont sit where you put it and it pulls inwards. The step above I mentioned about pulling the thread through horizontal and flat on the fabric helps a little but also…
Corners – coming up to a corner try and just the distance so that the last stitch is the same width away from the corner as your last stitches were. Take your needle down in the same hole as the previous stitch and then up again right in the corner.
work your way around the circle using that centre point every time to place your needle down. You may need to lock every few stitches down (with that little stitch over the top) to prevent them from rolling in.
There are many variations of Butthonhole including Closed Buttonhole, Up and Down buttonhole, knotted buttonhole, buttonhole stitch bars (used in cutwork) and buttonhole stitch with picots or bullions. Google these for ideas and instructions if you are up for a challenge.
Here are a few examples I found in my studio or you can see many others on my pinboard.
Basic buttonhole to appliqué a pocket on
So here is this weeks page Download Buttonhole
I added some colonial knots to the centre of my flowers and around the outer edge.
have fun and happy stitching
Today we are going to learn a stitch I love – the fly stitch and its big sister – the feather. I think this stitch in particular can look really dainty and I have used it a lot on things like Christening gowns and smocked dresses. It is also very useful for arty pictorial type works. – great for seaweed and the like.
So, are you ready with hoop and fabric in hand…?
three points in a triangle – bring your needle up at A
down at B
and back up at C with the thread under the needle
You can take the needle down right over the top of your thread now close to point C
Or you can take it down directly below to make a stem – as long as you’d like it to be
You can link several stitches with a short stem in between
If you want them to be perfect you can rule lines using your erasable pen
Fly stitch variations could include whipped fly stitch – use a contrasting thread to whip that central stem. This stitch is sometimes called the ‘y’ stitch, open loop or open chain stitch.
Now to her big sister – the Feather stitch. This is just repeated fly stitches but they are stitched side to side and continuously.
-make your first fly stitch as before
Variations can include a double or triple (or even more) feather – that just means you stitch two or three times to the right before heading back to the left again. Other variations include the closed feather, single feather, maidenhair feather – but we’ll just stick with this for now..:) don't want to confuse you with too many choices.
You can embellish or vary your feather and fly stitches with french knots, lazy daisy stitches, whipping or a double (one on top of the other using two coloured threads) to name just a few.
Have a look at many ideas on my pinboard here.
Some examples from my studio I could find
This is our practise page for today
I have used fly stitch in the leaves – feather stitch with french knots on the outer circle
Hope you enjoy these stitches and play with their many uses
hugs and happy stitching today