TAST Week 6 – Chevron Stitch

Well chevron stitch, whilst similar, proved a much less troublesome stitch than herringbone! ūüôā

I love the shapes achievable with chevron stitch, I especially like the half chevron worked sideways both in rows and mirrored. The mirrored stitches reassemble eyes.

When I started out I chose to work quite small scale samples, two reasons for this, the 1st being that it will be easier to maintain and see the challenge through and the 2nd that I can eventually make these up into a reference book. Now I am finding the potential of some of the stitches I want to do more and more, especially when I see some of the samples from others doing the challenge.

One of my favourites to catch up with each week is Sarah from Knitting_and.com¬† Sarah’s samplers show an amazing number of stitch variations all beautifully worked, every week she has at least one variation I haven’t thought of.

There are 1,816 members of the TAST Facebook group from all around the world and there are quite a number of us that post samples each week. A number of countries know the stitches by different names and have unique ways of working them. It is also interesting to see the fabrics people choose to work on; some have constructed quilt blocks, others work on patterned fabrics and a number have dyed/painted their own fabrics. Lots of people are working pages for stitch sampler books and many are adding the stitches to larger pieces of fabric either highlighting areas of the printed cloth with each stitch or building up large samplers.

I hope Sharon is pleased with our contributions, it is quite something that she has started! I thought I had a comprehensive stitch bible until I discovered Pintangle.com! The site is an inspiring resource for beginners and experienced embroiderers and there is a good mix taking part in this challenge all encouraging and learning from each other, pop over to the TAST Facebook page and take a look.


TAST Week 5 & Scaredy Cats!

Here is my week 5 sampler for the TAST challenge – Herringbone Stitch:

The first sample on the third row (left) is threaded double herringbone stitch, this proved a real challenge! Even with the instructions in front of me I had to rip it out and do it again 4 times!! I just kept getting the the order of which threads were on top and which underneath wrong so when I came to thread with the contrasting thread they¬†wouldn’t lie correctly – I ran out of my purple thread but I was so frustrated by then I just left it.

My guidelines had disappeared before I completed the bottom line and you can really see the difference when attempting to stitch a regular pattern –¬†the regular repeating / flipped / mirrored stitches look much better when accurately¬†spaced.

The tufted stitch at the bottom is created by working 3 layers of closed herringbone stitch in 6 strands of embroidery cotton, one on top of the other. The stitches are then cut through and trimmed – this is known as Victorian Tufting.

I have also added some more stitching to my Zentangle inspired sampler.

Scaredy Cats!

Earlier in the year my daughter found this wonderful Timeless Treasures fabric called Scaredy Cats which she decided she would like made up into a blazer style jacket…………… she has a very unique fashion sense!

From a distance this just looks like a nicely patterned jacket but when up close and you see the wonderful expressions on the faces of the cats it really makes you smile.

I used a covered button and picked out my favourite face: 

I wasn’t sure about this but my daughter liked that it is one cat’s face on another when the jacket is buttoned up!!!

I think she likes it………….

TAST Week 4 – Cretan Stitch

Cretan Stitch

I wasn’t terribly inspired by this stitch¬†and¬†have been a little unimaginative in my samples. The beauty of the TAST challenge though is in encouraging creativity with unfamiliar stitches¬†that opens your eyes to their potential.¬†There are a lot more permutations to be explored but for now this¬†is what I produced.

  1. I have used straightforward cretan stitch; closed cretan stitch; a curved line of closed stitches and a leaf shape.
  2. I turned the stitches to produce a tree shape by gradually increasing the stitch width; I widened the central crossed area to couch down a piece of ribbon and overlapped rows of stitches.
  3. The square on the right contains layers of cretan stitch worked completely randomly in a variety of threads, the uppermost layer of stitches are worked into the other stitches without going through the ground fabric at all, these stitches are pulled slightly tighter than normal almost like a lacing. I like this layering of a single stitch, it creates a lot of depth and interest.

Inspired by¬†‘Zentangle’¬†

I’ve begun adding stitching to my ‘Zentangle’ inspired canvas:

Zentangle Canvas

I started with the challenge stitches but couldn’t resist adding some extra stitching –

  • Left – Feather Stitch
  • Center (top to bottom) – Cretan, Buttonhole & Fly Stitch
  • Right – Back Stitch in purple woven with yellow alternated with lines of Cable Chain Stitch

I’m really enjoying the TAST challenge; it’s nice to focus on hand stitching for a while and the range of samples produced every week are inspiring.

Take A Stitch Tuesday 2015, Week 3

Okay so I know it’s Monday but I’m just getting around to posting last weeks TAST stitch sample – Feather Stitch.

TAST 2015 Week 3, Feather Stitch

The unusual looking light green sample is Spanish knotted feather stitch, this is a completely new variation of the stitch to me, to the right, just above the 2 coloured sample, is a closed version of this stitch – it’s like a heavy braid and looks quite different to the open version.

I’ve been stitching these samples in a quite formal way, using an air erasable pen to draw lines to keep my stitches neat and even as this will give me a good reference to look back on. The lovely stitched samples being posted have inspired me to think of a more decorative way to display my stitches though.

As someone who is uncomfortable with drawing/sketching I have occasionally been practicing Zentangle patterns and this seemed a good way to utilise many different stitches on one piece of work. I’ve started by creating a pattern to work to –

Stitch Tangle Design

Stitch Tangle Design

The design is 60cm square so plenty of room for lots of stitches! The fabric is a lovely heavy calico donated by my sister in law, I haven’t backed it but it is almost a canvas weight so should stand up to some dense stitching.

I hope to have made a good start on this by the time this weeks sample is complete, wonder what the new stitch will be?

Take A Stitch Tuesday & Not a stitch sampler then!

Take A Stitch Tuesday

Some time ago a friend was working on a wonderful crazy quilt sample that she was doing as an online class with Sharon B;¬†this was my introduction to¬†Pintangle. Sharon’s blog is dedicated to hand embroidery and crazy quilting with lots of patterns, tutorials and templates and the very popular TAST – Take a Stitch Tuesday.

Back by popular demand, I decided to to join in with this latest TAST challenge which is to produce and share a sample using the stitch of the week with a new stitch given, as the name suggests, every Tuesday. I thought this challenge might prove a distraction from/inspiration for my torn fabric strip sample!

Week 1: Fly Stitch


Week 2: Buttonhole Stitch


I already had these strips of calico backed with wadding so thought I would work as many varieties of the¬†stitch on each one to eventually make up as a stitched sample book. Others are embellishing patterned fabrics or producing pictures and fabric books, there is such a variety and it’s lovely to see everyone’s ideas and beautiful embroidery.

I don’t think it is too late to join the challenge……………

Not a stitch sampler then!

I eventually decided to add some more torn strips to my sample, sticking with running stitch to attach them.

Torn Strip Sampler

Think I need to trim some from the 2 attached at the top that have long expanses of yellow & purple Рthey unbalance everything.

I have some thick threads that I dyed at the same time as these fabrics so I’m thinking I might couch some down, just need to think about the design. I also like the idea of adding some shisha mirrors – just because I love stitching them!

Any other ideas would be very welcome.