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Tag: TAST challenge

TAST Samplers for Weeks 19 and 20

After having so much fun with my plushwork embroidery over the past few weeks I have a little catching up to do with the Take a Stitch Tuesday challenge. Here are my samplers for weeks 19 and 20, bullion knots and butterfly chain.

Bullion Knot Embroidery Sampler

Whilst I’m quite fond of working bullion knots and I think most of mine came out great (thanks to using a milliner’s needle and smooth threads), I think the bullion knot is best suited to flowers. The couching is a lot of fun but I’m not sure where I would ever use it.

Confession time: I tried to work a bullion rose but it just looked like rubbish so I made the 6 pointed star to cover up where I ripped it out so many times 😛

I ripped out the threads I didn’t like,  and the ones that are left are:

  • Centre caramel and navy circle: size 5 perle cotton.
  • Aqua flower and purple oval: tapestry wool
  • Star trail: silk ribbon
  • Everything else: 6 strands of stranded embroidery cotton.

I worked:

  • Regular bullion knots
  • Looped bullion knots (the brown ones in the centre of the variegated orange flower).
  • Looped bullion knots couched down (in the green and purple flower).
  • Lots of bullion knots couching down other threads.

Next is my butterfly chain sampler

Butterfly Chain Embroidery Sampler

Obviously this would make great borders on lots of things. I like the thicker threads the best.

From the top row:

  • Size 5 mercerised cotton for both stitches and tying strand.
  • Size 5 mercerised cotton for the straight stitches and 3 different cottons for the tying.
  • Fingering weight knitting wool for the straight stitches and glitter knitting yarn for the tying.
  • The same glitter yarn for the straight stitches and cotton/acrylic for tying. I shouldn’t have used the cotton/acrylic as I’m allergic to acrylic and paid for it with a rash up my arm for two days!
  • All cotton/acrylic. For the tying threads, I slipped the second one under the knot made by the first instead of making another knot. I tried both ways and this looked much nicer.
  • Next row: Size 3 mercerised cotton for both. This is my favourite thread for this stitch.
  • Pink size 3 mercerised cotton with a finer cotton and beads for tying.
  • For the square the lavender is size 3 mercerised cotton and the orange is finer (I’m not sure what number as I never had the skein band).
  • And finally the small purple section is again size 3 mercerised cotton.

I suspect liking purple glitter yarn this much when you’re older than 5 is illegal.

Now onto the knotted cretan stitch. I thought I had already done some on my cretan stitch samplers, then I remembered that I purposely didn’t because I knew it was coming up a stitch for it’s own week.

Some useful links:
TAST on Facebook
Sharron’s TAST FAQ on her website, Pintangle.
Free vintage stitch book downloads.
My TAST Pinterest Boards


Half Chevron Stitch Sampler

Half Chevron Stitch Sampler for TAST Week 18

(Click on the photo for  a larger view)

My half chevron stitch sampler for week 18 of the Take a Stitch Tuesday embroidery challenge.

I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do for this sampler so I grabbed my bag of scrap threads and just started stitching.

At the bottom I started with randomly overlapped stitches in greens which I made into flowers with orange French knots.

Above that I used different types of brown thread and different sized stitches in very straight sections to create an unplanted area of soil. Above this are another couple of random “grass” rows.

For the sky I worked rows of half chevron back to back in a flowing filling stitch. I really like the way you can emphasise the curves by working some sections along the row quite openly and others very close together.

Finally, I tried using the half chevron stitch as an outline. For the cloud the spikes point inwards, and on the sun they point outwards. Considering I had no idea what I was going to stitch when I started, I’m really pleased with the outcome!

Some useful links:
TAST on Facebook
Sharron’s TAST FAQ on her website, Pintangle.
Free vintage stitch book downloads.
My TAST Pinterest Boards


Crossed Buttonhole Stitch Sampler for TAST Week 17

Crossed Buttonhole Stitch Sampler

My finished buttonhole sampler for week 17 of the Take a Stitch Tuesday challenge for 2015.

I think my favourites are probably the stitch used a filling in the bottom circle, my little table and chairs and the random version just under the chairs which swaps from one side to the other with random lengths and direction on the cross part of the stitch.

I’m not sure if I’ll ever use this stitch much but I did enjoy the rhythm of it and it was a lot more versatile than I expected.

Some useful links:
TAST on Facebook
Sharron’s TAST FAQ on her website, Pintangle.
Free vintage stitch book downloads.
My TAST Pinterest Boards


I Changed My Mind and Learnt Something New

In my last post I mentioned I would be using a painted background in my crossed buttonhole sampler but thanks to a trip to the op shop, I changed my mind.

Purple and Green Appliqué

I try to learn something new in all of my samplers. Sometimes I’m learning a new stitch or a design technique. This time I decided I had painted enough backgrounds already, so why not learn to appliquĂ© circles?

A bit of googling later I found this video by Sarah Fielke.

It works! It’s lucky that I keep a flat cereal box in the stash at all times for emergencies like this! And I now have some circular templates I can reuse.

I can definitely see a lot more appliquéd circles in my future!


Wheatear Sampler for TAST, Week 16

Wheatear stitch sampler on striped twill cotton

For my wheatear stitch sampler I wanted to work on striped fabric again.

I’ve been reading a lot about embroidery design lately  and wanted to have another go at working on striped fabric after my very first TAST sampler didn’t really go the way I wanted. I really like the stitching but I didn’t know how to make the most of the stripes. (I’ll do some book reviews soon, there are some amazing books out there on designing embroideries).

I also wanted to minimise the types and colours of thread I used. I ended up using 1 -6 strands of cotton floss, in three different colours. Navy blue, medium blue and white.

If you didn’t see my last Take a Stitch Tuesday challenge post, here’s the fabric before I added the stitching.

A square of navy blue, lime and white striped twill cotton fabric pinned to a background of unbleached calico.

I’m a week behind so the next sampler I’m up to is crossed buttonhole. I think I might paint some calico with a couple of circles and just play with this one.

Some useful links:
TAST on Facebook
Sharron’s TAST FAQ on her website, Pintangle.
Free vintage stitch book downloads.
My TAST Pinterest Boards


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