Category Archives: TAST 2012

TAST – 05 Herringbone Stitch

Baby it’s cold outside …

We’ve got a whole inch of snow on the ground … rather less in our garden now the children have finished with it!

But it’s hot in here! This week’s stitch for ‘Take a Stitch Tuesday’ 2012 is Herringbone Stitch …. and I went bright and warm …

I’ve used herringbone before, in the central panel of my elemental quilt

Something about this stitch that always make me think ‘oriental’ when I come to use it. Maybe I should have tried to break myself of the habit, but … well … I didn’t really want to!

I went further east than the islamic colours of the elemental quilt, looking to India. The design was inspired by one of my favourite reference books … I’ve been itching to use that bright silk for something, something hinting at vivid Indian colour, but without being a straight copy of a traditional design. The final design, now it’s stitched, makes me think more of mandalas than chintz, though …

I found a tutorial for the beaded herringbone over at Hand Embroidery from Sadalas and that, really, was my starting point – I wanted to use that, and everything else really flowed from there.

There’s a mixture of closed herringbone stitch – in the centre of the petals, and then more open around the edges. On the outside of the flower, I’ve used a double herringbone stitch, and then layered fly stitch over the top of the back-to-back herringbone framing the petals.

I adore this! (although I’m wondering whether to add a ring of orange french knots in the lozenges left in the border?)

I think it might end up as the central panel in a cushion … or perhaps a small lap quilt?

TAST 2012 – Buttonhole and Cretan Stitch

I’m on a little bit of a catchup with my ‘Take a Stitch Tuesday‘ 2012 challenge …. between commissions, visiting my new nephew and decorating the kitchen, weekend sewing has taken a little bit of a backseat for the last couple of weeks.

So … here we have the week 2 stitch – buttonhole. I’ve used it before, in it’s ‘purest’ form, in the ‘Til death us do part’ white cloth …

and in the ‘Eve’s Garden’ quilt I’m using buttonhole wheels for some of the floral detail ….

So for the challenge I wanted to try something a bit different … using the stitch to build up a picture, again … I’m not going to show you the entire piece, because I don’t like it! Still, I was pretty pleased with my spider web ….

And I like buttonhole stitch as a way of building up drifts of grasses …

So it wasn’t a complete write-off 😉

I missed the week of feather stitch … I might try and combine it with this week’s challenge – herringbone stitch – when I come to it this weekend.

Moving onto this week, then, and Cretan stitch … it’s not a stitch I’ve used widely before, other than as a decorative hemming stitch. But I liked the idea of experimenting with it a little, so thought I’d do a more straightforward sampler, using the stitch for hemming, couching, and decoratively … but playing with the idea of layering fabrics and combining pieces of broken costume jewellery into the piece.

So, from the top … worked in perle 12, a fairly straightforward up-and-down to couch the cord onto the lace and the linen backing, and then using nr 3 linen floss to couch down the string of faux-pearls. Then back to the perle 12, to pick up the detail in the vintage lace and quilt it down onto the linen backing …. I thought this was really pretty.

And over at the far side, using cretan stitch to couch down a piece of gold chain … I “love” this.

And just visible on the strip of broderie, some layered cretan stitch in different threads – perle 12, nr 3 linen floss and perle 5.

Below that, I’ve used a very tight, closed, small, diagonal cretan stitch to create a ‘wreath’ effect along the bottom of the broderie, and then a knotted cretan stitch for the beading. Below that, closed cretan stitch to hem the organza ribbon over the strip of silk. And then couching again, to hem the strip of beaded ribbon over the edges of the silk and the lace trim.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with the finished piece … I’ve fringed the edges of the backing linen and I think it’s a pretty little valentine … I’m going to back it, and put a sleeve on it, and hang it on a wall (permanently, without the nasty pins!).