Thursday, 21 October 2010

Pekinese Stitch

Pekinese Stitch or Chinese Stitch as it is also known was used primarily in Chinese embroideries. Apparently it was worked on a tiny scale and gave the embroiderer eyesight problems hence it was also called Blind Stitch! Pekinese Stitch is made by working a line of backstitches and then threading with a contrasting colour or thread thickness. It gives a decorative braid-like appearance for borders, but can also be used as a filling stitch.

To work Pekinese Stitch first work your row of backstitches. Next using a contrasting thread, bring your needle up at 1 (note this is the only time the thread enters the fabric till you get to the end of your row) take your needle up under the second stitch at 2, and then down again through the first stitch at 3, the loop of thread should be beneath the needle as shown. Pull through gently. You can tighten the loop or leave it slightly loose for a different effect. In the last example I created a tufted effect by working the rows of Pekinese Stitch close together.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Under the Mistletoe

I remember when I was little my mum and dad having a bunch of mistletoe every Christmas pinned above the arch way from the living room to the dining room. When all the relatives or your parents friends came around you were obliged to give an embarrassed peck on the cheek or receive one, every time you unwittingly walked under it! I was always really shy when I was little so I just used to flush bright red and try and hide! When your older  though and you are single and it's Christmas eve, mistletoe doesn't seem that bad lol

Anyway here is my new design for an egg cosy inspired by mistletoe! I am really into collecting vintage buttons and textiles at the mo so I am hoping to do some more 'arty' pieces incorporating vintage finds. I have a pair of vintage kid  leather gloves I have been itching to work on and never got round to! There is a photo of them somewhere on my blog.

A Tummy bug and a bit of Cross Stitch!

I have had a horrible tummy bug for the past week, in fact the whole family have been down with it! These bugs only last a few days but I always seem to get it really bad due to my arthritis and the medication I'm on! My little one has had us up at 3.30am nearly every morning due to her tummy pains and I have been feeling like a zombie. Before I got the bug though I thought I would have a go at some cross stitch to add to some baby shoes I was making for my shop. I haven't cross stitched in god knows how many years and it was quite refreshing and addictive! I am thinking of doing some more cross stitch designs to apply to purses. I have started with a simple heart design and applied this to the shoes and a small coin purse I made in linen. I haven't used aida fabric but opted for waste canvas to apply the design so the fabric matches all the other things I have been making! Anyway here they are below I finally got to photograph them and upload them to my shop yesterday!

Monday, 11 October 2010

Loop Stitch

Loop stitch is a decorative line stitch that can be worked straight or curved. It can also be worked in rows with interlocking arms to form a decorative filling. You can work Loop stitch on plain or evenweave fabrics and it works really well when using twisted threads. The centre of Loop stitch has a raised plaited appearance and it can be used as a fancy outline stitch when it is worked small.

Ok, to work Loop Stitch, if you are going to be keeping your stitches quite even draw two guidelines on your fabric. Starting at the right hand side bring your needle up at 1, in the middle of your two guidelines, down at 2 and up at 3 pull the needle through. Next pass your needle under the stitch between 1 and 2, don't pierce the fabric. Your thread should be beneath the needle as shown in the picture. Take your needle down at 4 and up at 5 then pass the needle under the top stitch with thread beneath the needle as you did before. When passing the needle under the top stitch always keep the loop of your thread to the left of you. Repeat to the left for as long as required.

Try changing the space between the stitches for an uneven look.

Or work several rows together with interlocking arms to form a decorative filling.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

A Cosy Sunday!

Today I have had quite a cosy Sunday! I decided to finish off the Red Berries Tea Cosy that I have been making to match the egg cosy and lavender heart.. I have also been making cup cakes with the children which was great fun and the kids loved it especially Pippa who was covered in chocolate. This was Pippa's first time cup cake making as she is now a big 2 and quite happy to join in the activities with supervision and instruction from big brother Oscar! The weather has been frightful today and certainly one for staying inside and having hot chocolate and marshmallows.

Red Berries Tea Cosy
A bit blurred they are never still!
Them cup cakes were yummy!

Ladder Stitch

Ladder Stitch is a decorative stitch that you guessed it looks like a ladder! It can be straight or curved and often used for fancy stems. However it makes a very nice border! Ladder stitch can be worked on both evenweave and plain weave fabrics. You should always work this stitch on fabric you have stretched in a hoop or otherwise it can tighten and distort the fabric.

Right this is how to work Ladder Stitch.

First mark 2 parallel lines on the fabric with a fabric pen. Using a blunt needle work from top to bottom. First bring your needle up at 1 and down at 2, up at 3 above the stitch and down at 4 and up at 5. Now without piercing the fabric pass your needle under the stitch above from 6 to 7. Then working on the opposite side pass the needle upwards under the crossed ends from 8 to 9. (Picture 4) Insert the needle at 10 and up at 11. (Picture 5) Pass the needle from right to left under the crossed ends of the stitch above. (Picture 6) Then on the opposite side pass the needle upwards under the crossed ends of the stitch above. Repeat the above steps shown in pictures 4, 5,6.

Continue working down your parallel lines as shown in the photographs below. You can work a straight line as I have done or a curved line. The ladder could also have a metallic thread running through it or back stitch down the centre. It's a little tricky to get started at first but works up quite quickly!

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Japanese Darning

A quick tutorial on Japanese Darning. Japanese Darning is a filling stitch for use on plain and evenweave fabrics. It forms a geometric filling which is very attractive allowing the base fabric to show through. If using plain fabric you will need to mark guidelines to keep the stitching even. This would look great stitched in white thread on the bottom of a pair of dark jeans or the cuff of a jacket for something a bit different!

To work Japanese darning first work several rows of darning stitches in a brick pattern as below.

Next begin joining them with slanted stitches as follows. Working from right to left bring your needle up at 1, down at 2, up at again at 3 and down at 4. Repeat along your row. 

Turn your work to stitch the row below in exactly the same way as before. Repeat joining each row to form a pattern or work separate rows as I have done.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Raised Herringbone Stitch

Raised Herringbone Stitch is a bold stitch used to depict leaf and petal shapes. It can be worked solidly or more openly for a spikey effect. It can be worked on both plain and evenweave fabrics in a variety of thread thicknesses. The thicker the thread the more raised the effect.

Ok, to work Raised Herringbone Stitch first mark a leaf or petal shape on your fabric with a fabric marker pen. Now using a blunt needle throughout bring your needle up at 1 (the bottom of your leaf), down at 2 and up at 3. Pass your needle from right to left through the vertical stitch without piercing the fabric and then insert your needle at 4 and up at 5 to begin again. Repeat this sequence until your entire shape is filled. This really does create a lovely textured leaf or petal shape.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Red Berries Lavender Heart

I have been working on another lavender heart this time using my red berries design. I am also currently working on a matching tea cosy as well. Red Berries Lavender Heart is now available on my website and my folksy and etsy shop too.

I have also taken the step of ordering some ArtyThreads woven labels for my products so hopefully they will be with me soon and I can start adding them to each item I produce from now on. Hubby Andrew is working on the branding side of things with a new business card, show card and brochure coming soon.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Threaded Herringbone Stitch

To work threaded herringbone stitch first work a row of herringbone stitches. Starting on the top row working from right to left, bring your needle up at 1 and then thread it under the right diagonal above the crossed end and then over the left diagonal as seen in the picture below. Repeat along the row. Then to thread the second row bring the needle up at 2 and working in the same way, but this time passing the thread below the crossed end.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Laced Herringbone Stitch

This is a really easy way to add further decoration to plain herringbone stitches. First work a row of herringbone stitches and then working from left to right and using contrasting thread, bring your needle up at 1, thread the needle around the first diagonal as shown in the picture and down under the second diagonal forming a loop around the crossed ends, without piercing the fabric with your needle. Continue along your row threading up and down over the crossed ends.

Monday, 4 October 2010

A heart and a cosy!

New to my collection I have just finished a Reindeer Lavender Heart and a Reindeer Egg Cosy to match the Reindeers Tea Cosy from last week. They are now available to purchase in my Etsy shop and will be on Folksy and my main website later. I am working on developing some more Christmas designs as well as a botanical range and my bugs and insects range too.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Double Herringbone Stitch

First produce a row of Herringbone stitches from left to right. This time however you pass the needle under the first diagonal stitch. Then using a contrasting thread and starting at the left again bring your needle up at 1, down at 2 and up at 3. Take your needle down at 4 and then back up at 5. Pass your needle under the diagonal stitch you just made to begin again. This stitch is a little tricky but really does make a nice border when you get the hang of it!

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Couched Herringbone Stitch

Here is a quick tutorial for Couched Herringbone Stitch. First you work a row of Herringbone stitches as shown in the last post, then using a contrasting thread (I used one with a bit of sparkle) working from right to left, bring your needle up at 1 and down at 2 to form a small stitch on the first top crossed end. Next bring your needle up at 3 and then down at 4 to form a small stitch on the second bottom crossed end. To start the next stitch bring your needle up at 5 and repeat all along your row of Herringbone stitches.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Herringbone Stitch

The next series of hand embroidery tutorials on my blog are going to be Herringbone Stitch and it's variations. Herringbone Stitch is also known as Russian Stitch and Russian Cross Stitch it is a line stitch which can be worked on both evenweave fabrics and plain weave fabrics. Herringbone forms a criss cross border which can be used plain or glammed up as you will see in later tutorials. Once you get the rhythm of Herringbone stitch it can be worked quite quickly. A guideline can be drawn with an air erasable pen to keep the stitches even.

Ok, to work Herringbone Stitch you first bring your needle up at 1, down again at 2 and up at 3. Next take the needle down at 4 and up at 5 the loop of the thread should be on top of the needle as shown in the picture below. The tops and bottoms of the stitches should all line up. The crosses can be wide apart to form a gentle slope or closer together to form a steeper slope.