Category Archives: Embroidery

Just one more

Just one more bug – I couldn’t resist.


Each of these is about the size of a dime (Canadian or U.S. – they’re about the same).

Anne had commented about the difficulty of  embroidering on top of a spiral trellis.  I agree – I use a very loose tension and sort of “coax” the stitches into place.


Another bug

Before I move on from spiral trellis, here’s one more bug –


The body is done with spiral trellis, the dots are French knots, the legs are fly stitches, and the antennae are straight stitches.  The black is perl no. 5.  I’m not sure if you can tell from the image, but this really jumps out from the surface.

And more spiral trellis stitch

There are some very imaginative examples of spiral trellis appearing online.  I particularly like the flower done by Anne ,  and also the flower here .  Lovely work.

I decided to try something a little different.


And another view:


The body is spiral trellis.  The spots are Chinese knots, the head a bullion knot, and a flystitch for the antennae.

More spiral trellis stitch

I’m enjoying working with this spiral trellis stitch.  I tried another example:


The paisley shape is outlined in 3 rows of trellis stitch.  There’s  a round spiral trellis inside the shape, and the inside is filled in with some random French knots.  This is all done with a variegated no. 5 perle.

On an angled view, you can see the height of the paisley shape a bit better:


I like how this stands out from the background.  But lesson learned – filling in the inside after having first built up the edge was not smart.  I should have done this in reverse.  After outlining the shape in backstitch, I should have first stitched the inside circle, then done the edge.

More chicken scratch

I was playing a bit more with chicken scratch.  Here’s a couple of ideas.  First, I was trying an alternate lacing – a little messy, but I can see how this would get interesting:


Next, I tried changing the dimensions – instead of a 4 x 4 cross stitch, I elongated it.


I can see how this would lend itself to more variations.  However, it does raise a question – how far can this be pushed before it is no longer “chicken scratch”?  For instance, since this is not on checked fabric (which most of the references mention as a basis), does that “disqualify” this?

As an aside – if I do “whitework” in another color, is it still whitework, or does it loose some basic characteristic?

Anyway, I also did a bit of searching regarding the origin of the name.  I couldn’t find any information on that, but was intrigued by the number of other names I found for this type of work:   snowflaking, Australian lace stitch, gingham lace stitch, depression lace stitch, Amish embroidery, cross-stitch on gingham, gingham tracks, and snowflake embroidery.

Where have I been?

Where have I been?

It has been about 6 months – no, 7 months – since I’ve done any needlework. What happened?  Well, first it was summer, and I’m outside as much as possible – sometimes working in the garden, sometimes just lying in a hammock – and I generally don’t do a lot of stitching in the summer.  Then in the fall, I was obsessed by the election.  Work has been quite busy, and I can come up with any number of other excuses.  Basically, I was unmotivated. I’ve had piles of stuff sitting on my worktable for months.

Sharon B’s started a new activity – Stitch Explorer 2009 – to explore different styles of needlework. I’m joining in late.  The first style is chicken scratch.  This isn’t a style I’ve tried before, but the individual elements – cross stitch, running stitch, lacing – are all familiar.

Here’s my first example.

chicken scratch example

Chicken scratch is generally done on gingham or other checked fabric, which I don’t particularly like (nor do I have any readily available), so instead I counted threads to set up a grid.

WIP – Cutwork Tablecloth

I’m not sure I’m going to do a piece for the April TIF challenge – time is a little tight these days. I think I’m going to try to finish a cutwork tablecloth that has been hanging around for years – at least 7 or 8 years, I think.

As a first step, I carefully washed and ironed the tablecloth. It is about 4 feet square.  Here’s what it looks like:

There were a few spots on it (e.g. I had left a needle in the cloth, and there’s a mark.  Shame on me.) 

For some reason – I can’t remember why – the only part I hadn’t cut yet is the little bit at the bottom left corner:

yes, just that little bit that looks like a tail on the corner – maybe 4 inches worth.

In addition to finish trimming the fabric, I want to go over the entire tablecloth to check for worn threads, or for sections that could use a bit of repair.