My apologies for the tardiness of today’s Stitching Sundays post. We woke to autumn sunshine, so we popped out for an indulgent breakfast and made an impromptu visit to Petworth Park...
|Little Flower gets a piggyback from Bunny, the South Downs in the distance|
Clouds soon rolled in, and it’s due to be quite stormy all afternoon, so I’m glad we all had this time together this morning.
Anyway, back to the task at hand! How is your stitching? I am over the moon with the comments and participants for Stitching Sundays. Do check out everyone’s link each week – there is a wealth of talent to be found!
As well as sharing a few tutorials and showing my latest embroidery, these Sunday posts serve as a forum for us to share ideas and tips. Feel free to join in whenever the mood strikes; there is no deadline. And I’m focusing on basic embroidery at the moment, but tell us about your cross stitching, whitework, Hardanger, anything!
Last week we focused on transferring designs, and I want to share two great tips from fellow bloggers. Joy from Joyjinks Creations wrote about an iron-on transfer pen that she uses, so I’ve ordered one and will test it out as soon as it arrives – Joy’s embroidery design is stunning! And Wendy commented: “Use a Frixxon pen, you don't have to worry about covering up the line with stitches as it disappears when you iron the fabric.” I’ll be trying that technique, too, thanks Wendy!
So you’ve chosen a simple design and have transferred it to your fabric. Most often you’ll want to stitch some sort of outline next. Running stitch and back stitch are two of the simplest stitches, but I want to show you stem stitch – it works wonderfully with curvy lines (such as flower stems), and it gives a lovely outline.
Here is my quick tutorial: I’m using two strands of floss. First, bring the thread to the front of your work. Take the needle down one stitch length, but do not pull taut.
Keep the excess thread below the stitch line – you have to do this throughout your stitching so maintain consistency of the stitch. Then push the needle back up through the fabric at the halfway point of the stitch.
Again, keep the thread below the line, and push the needle back through the fabric, the same stitch length as before. Do not pull taut.
Now bring the needle back up at the end of the first stitch (this is where a lot of stem stitches go awry – not every tutorial makes this step clear, so for a while I was bringing my thread up in the middle of the stitch each time, not at the end of the previous stitch, and my resulting stitches were rather large).
|Oi! Move that thread below the stitch!|
Then repeat the process – push the needle down a stitch length ahead, then bring it up at the end of the previous stitch.
Now I want to fill in the beehive door. Long and short stitch is a great filler, and isn’t nearly as daunting as I thought when I first started embroidery.
First, make a row of, you guessed it, long and short stitches. You can vary the length as much as you’d like, I just kept mine fairly consistent because the area I’m filling is very small, and it’s easier to illustrate it to you this way.
Then simply repeat the process, filling in more long and short stitches – but each time you bring the needle up through the fabric, make sure you split the thread of the previous row. The needle must come through the thread to ensure a good fill. This may be tricky at first, but stick with it!
Charcoal grey isn’t the best colour to illustrate this, but hopefully you get the idea. I’ll show you more intricate long and short stitches later on – I had my rite of passage with this stitch when I filled in Sam...
There is a technique to filling in curved areas to maintain a sense of flow with the thread...and I’m still learning!
I hope these two techniques make sense and offer some inspiration. Please share your experiences in the comments below or link up your blog!
Next week I plan to add the bees, the grass, perhaps a flower? And I have to start thinking about what I’m going to do with this little hive...
Thanks for reading, welcome to my new followers, and happy stitching!