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Tag: TAST challenge

TAST Revisiting Blanket/Buttonhole Stitch

As well as running stitch, blanket stitch (also known as buttonhole stitch in some quarters), is another favourite stitch of mine I have chosen to revisit in my TAST embroidery journey.

I like to collect retro and vintage embroidery books, and one of my favourites is Constance Howard’s Book of Stitches. I hope to do a proper review of it at some stage, but a very basic description is “an in depth exploration of various embroidery stitches with mostly black and white photos”. (If you buy a copy get the hard cover, the photos are better).

I decided to record some of my favourite blanket stitch explorations from the book.

A buttonhole/blanket stitch embroidery sampler inspired by Constance Howard's Book of Stitches.

I think most of it is pretty self explanatory. At the top left I worked several rows of blanket stitch in different heights and widths, and wove the bars of the longest stitches. Underneath that is a sample of a similar combination of blanket stitches, but without any weaving.

I also worked some large blanket stitches in a sturdy thread (top, 2nd from the left), then worked close blanket stitches over the threads. Those long snakey things on the bottom right are long straight stitches covered in blanket stitch.

The one design that took me a few goes and a bit of extra study to figure out was the hexagon configuration. After a few tries, I realised some of the sides were added afterwards. So if you’d like to have a go, it’s worked in steps like this:

Blanket stitch worked in diagonal steps.

and then you add the other straight stitches.

The design of my next page is due entirely to a bag of unwanted patchwork bits I found at the op shop a couple of weeks ago.

Applique sampler with found fabrics

I wanted to record that blanket stitch is great for appliqué. Lo and behold, what turned up in a bag of fabric scraps, but the main part of this page, the kitty and bird block, the heart shapes and creepy eye. However, on closer inspection of the bird block, I realised the mother bird had gone to her now empty bird house to feed the baby bird that had obviously been eaten by the cat! Who on earth would want to immortalise baby bird killing in a patchwork block?

So I stitched baby bird in the nest, and kitty only got a couple of feathers as mum flew past. Bad kitty!

Finally, I didn’t need to stitch any more buttonhole wheels but I did anyway because they deserved a page of their own 🙂

I used my scrap threads because I find it’s a great way to come up with new colour combinations.

Embroidered sampler with many circles stitched with buttonhole or blanket stitch.

Next up: Satin stitch on canvas!


TAST Revisiting Running Stitch

I decided to revisit running stitch in my TAST embroidery adventure.

Running stitch is not only just about the simplest embroidery stitch there is, it’s also one of the most versatile, and one of my favourites! I’ve worked four pages of it so far and I still haven’t covered everything you can do with it.

I worked these three samplers to record some more information on what can be done with running stitch embroidery.

Firstly, an appliquéd sample inspired by Japanese boro embroidered fabrics. Various cotton fabric scraps stitched with my very first handspun cotton.

Blocks of cotton fabric stitched to a background using running stitch.

Next, a sample of using running stitch to imply motion. I drew some circles and filled them in different ways using running stitch. Then I drew lots of spirals in the background and stitched those, then filled in the spaces in between, following the lines of the spirals.

This sampler is worked in various stranded cottons, soft cottons and handspun cotton.

Embroidered running stitch sampler with swirls and circles.

For my next running stitch sampler I had to use a magnifying glass! I worked pattern darning on tiny even-weave fabric using 2 strands of stranded embroidery cotton. The charts I used are from a basic book on Fair-Isle knitting.

Running stitch embroidery worked in various patterns on even weave fabric

I still have one or two more running stitch samplers I would like to make. Next up though, I revisit blanket/buttonhole stitch and buttonhole wheels.


TAST Catch Up Sampler, Stitches 60 – 68

I didn’t work any more  TAST samplers until early January 2017 and ended up making this one as a catch up of all the stitches I had missed.

Embroidered sampler with a range of stitches on yellow fabric.

For this sampler, I basically wanted to catch up and  learn all of the stitches.

Raised chain versions 1 and 2: I used perle cottons to learn these stitches. They’re an immediate favourite. I can see using these stitches on bold borders on lots of projects.

Inverted feather stitch: From left to right, perle cotton, crewel wool, stranded cotton. Second row, brown perle cotton worked very close together. I don’t really see myself using this stitch again, although I may be wrong.

Chained bar stitch: worked in two different combinations of wool and perle cotton. I think this stitch works best when it’s worked quite small. Large chain stitches tend to shift about a lot.

Top knotted buttonhole: You can probably tell this was one of my favourites! I worked it in a range of perle (mercerised) cottons, silk ribbon, soft cotton, linen and stranded embroidery cotton. I loved using it in the circular designs.

Raised cup: I used stranded cotton perle cotton and crewel wool. I think it works best with the wool. I’m not really happy with the cotton stitches at all but I think the wool raised cups on the right are very nice.

Woven chain: From left to right, I tried a very fine perle cotton, a thicker perle cotton and a fine crewel wool. They’re all very different an I like them all. I’ll definitely use this stitch again.

Triangular feather stitch: I worked this on my feather stitch sampler early on in TAST so I stitched it here just to record it with it’s proper name.

Twisted Lattice Band: Worked in perle cotton. Another one of my favourite stitches. I may revisit it in future with some different threads and scales.

Next up: I go a bit nuts with a whole lot of running stitch.



TAST – Tulip Stitch and Woven Detached Chain Sampler

I have been madly stitching away on TAST samplers, but had totally forgotten to tell anyone about them, so I’m having a bit of a catch up 🙂

Today I’m posting about stitches 58 and 59, slipped detached chain (aka tulip stitch) and woven detached chain.

Tulip stitch and woven detatched chain stitch embroidery sampler for TAST, Take a Stitch Tuesday 2016

Click on the photo for a closer look.

I worked this sampler on a painted frame sample from an online class called ICQC-102, paints dyes and inks. I decided for this sampler, I would play with different threads, scale and stitch direction.

Most of the threads used are perle cottons of various sizes, although the very large stitches are done with a single ply knitting worsted yarn. I’ve forgotten the name of the yarn but it’s Noro brand and a combination of wool and silk.

The small green flower at the bottom is worked in crewel wool.

Next up, I jam a whole lot of stitches into one sampler!


Lock and Feathered Chain Stitch Embroidery Sampler

After stitching three samplers for week 55 of the Take a Stitch Tuesday embroidery challenge, I ended up working stitches 56 and 57 onto a single sampler. I still managed to record everything I wanted to remember though!

Stitch 57 was feathered chain stitch, which I’ve done before and is a real favourite of mine. The version of feathered chain stitch that I know is slightly different to the one Sharon uses, so I recorded both versions in a range of different threads, plus one in green perle cotton with beads up the centre.

Lock, double lock, and feathered chain stitch embroidery sampler

Stitch 56, lock and double lock stitch were totally new to me, however. I tried them in circles, as fillings, and with beads which I think all work really well. The real surprise was when I worked them into leaf shapes with the initial straight stitches leaning in different directions on the flower on the right. I really like the way the dark green leaf on the left looks.

I’ll definitely be using this stitch in the future. I think it would be a great stitch to use in combination borders for all sorts of purposes.

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