Tag Archives: Needlework

Assisi – oops

March’s Stitch Explorer was Assisi embroidery.  I don’t think I’d ever heard of this style of embroidery.

I’ve never been a huge fan of cross-stitch.  It seemed very – unimaginative?  After you choose the colors, all that is left is the same stitch over and over.  So with mixed feelings, I set out to try Assisi.


I had a little doodle that I was playing with, and turned it into a border.  Ok so far.  I outlined the doodle in black backstitch, and then started filling in with long-armed cross-stitch.  But then I got bored and added an irregular  bottom border.  Big mistake.  I hadn’t thought this through – the irregular line vs. long-armed cross-stitch meant that I having to fill in many odd-sized areas and take many compensating stitches.  This was not a good idea.

I did like the idea of Assisi, though.  I like the visual impact, and I’d like to try another sample (probably won’t happen this week, though).  Some of the samples that I’ve seen on others’ sites show other stitches used as background, which lend more interest and texture to the pieces – for example, treating this more like blackwork.


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.

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.

The art of embroidery

I’ve been reading “The art of embroidery” by Francoise Tellier-Loumagne. This is a beautifully illustrated (500 color photos) and very imaginative and inspiring book. It isn’t a comprehensive review of embroider, or a stitch dictionary – more like an overview of creative embroidery and the directions in which it can lead.

What I found particularly interesting was how she started with an element – for example, a photo of flower, a plant, or a rock – and interpreted it in different ways using different stitches or techniques. Same starting points, but leading to very different results.

As an example (a bit hard to see), the cover illustration shows how a different stitches (fly stitch, cross stitch, split stitch, beading, etc.) can be used to create varieties of leaves.

I did a bit of searching and found her website.

Challah cover

I’m still thinking about how to proceed with this first TIF challenge. I want to combine needlework with a cooking theme. The major challenge, I think, is keeping this to a project that I can finish by the end of the month. In the meantime, I’m going to post some images of past project.

This is a challah (bread) cover I did a few years ago.

This started as a Hardanger sampler, but I couldn’t stick to the instructions. I added some lacing with silver cord, and some pulled stitches. The edging is hand sewn (yes, that much buttonhole stitch is very tedious). As a challah cover, it is actually a bit narrower than I’d like.  Here’s a detail: