The Famous and Bold French Knot


Dyed in the Wool #1 by Laura Wasilowski

You may have heard that a chapter in my new book, Joyful Stitching, went missing. For those of us who are fond of mystery novels, I’m pretty sure it was kidnapped. (Still awaiting ransom note.) The missing chapter called Combinations Rock! covered how combining two or more embroidery stitches added texture, pattern, and shapes to fabric. 

And talk about texture! The French Knot is famous for its bulky texture. But combine it with the Bullion Knot, and your thread leaps off the fabric. In Dyed in the Wool #1, the stitch combination of French and Bullion Knots give the sheep a curly fleece you just want to pet.

May Your Bumpy Combinations Rock


Tasty Bite of Apple by Laura Wasilowski

It’s true what you’ve heard. A chapter in my new book, Joyful Stitching, was mysteriously removed before publication. Sure, I’m making this all up but the chapter called Combinations Rock! was a great idea! It was all about combining embroidery stitches and included the merging of stitches to create texture on fabric.

tastybiteofapple3A good example of this texture building is found in the Tasty Bite of Apple project. Adjacent rows of Blanket Stitches create small squares like the light green threads above. Each green square is filled in with a red French Knot. This is my favorite stitch combination. I love how the bumpy texture created with complementary thread colors really zings. Don’t you just love a bumpy combination?


A Mysterious Chapter

embroideredpeardetail5Did you know that there is a missing chapter from my new book, Joyful Stitching? Yes, it mysteriously disappeared one dark and stormy night.

embroideredpeardetailThis “tell all” chapter (with the cheerful title Combinations Rock!) was mysteriously dropped from the book. Some say it was due to lack of space. I say, that they were scandalized by my combinations rocking.

Combinations Rock! explored the combining of different embroidery stitches to create texture, pattern, and shape on fabric. Happily I have saved my notes and have examples of that missing chapter to show you over the next few days. Hope you’re not scandalized!


Embroidered Pear by Laura Wasilowski

It’s common practice in hand embroidery to combine stitches to create pattern. Repeated stitch motifs or patterns are useful for filling in large background areas like the table in Embroidered Pear. This pattern of embroidery begins with rows of linked Cross Stitches in blue thread on the wool background fabric. The blue threads make diamond shapes across the fabric. French Knots (in yellow thread) fill in the diamond shapes to complete the pattern.

This simple stitch combination builds a delightful pattern across the fabric and keeps that pear from falling over. Stay tuned for more combinations rocking in the near future!

Pistil Stitch and Give-Away Winner

fernstitch1You ask, the Pistil Stitch, that’s only for making flower pistils, right? Of course not! In the world of hand embroidery, stitches are free to do what ever you like. Here you see a favorite stitch combination: the Fern Stitch and the Pistil Stitch happily creating lots of thready texture in the Hand of Fortune project from Joyful Stitching.

handoffortune2But wait! Isn’t the Fern Stitch for making climbing vines, veins on leaves, and other plant forms? Again, stitches don’t have to be representative of any specific shape. You can use them to create pattern, line, and texture. Embroidery is a way to mark the fabric, like a pen drawn on paper. 


Winner Announced!

And the lucky winner lucky winner of a pre-printed hand shape used to make the Hand of Fortune project is Nancy N.

Congratulations! I’ll contact you soon.

Read more about the projects in Joyful Stitching here.


Stitch Artistry


Stitched Landscape by Sandi.

Hand embroidery builds texture, pattern, and character. This small stitchery (9″ x 7″) by Sandi is a great example of free-form embroidery on a piece of hand-dyed silk. Taking my Free-Stitched Embroidery Landscape class last year, she brought her creation to a recent class in Sisters, OR. I love how she used the color gradation of the single piece of fabric to make this lovely mountain landscape. Thank you for sharing your beautiful work with us Sandi!

Improv Stitching on Wool #1

woolimprov1When learning a new skill, do you learn by watching another person do it, by listening to directions, or by reading about how to do it?

During my Improvisational Hand Embroidery on Wool classes students are given a book with embroidery stitch directions. But I’m also happy to demonstrate stitches and talk them  through the process of acquiring a new stitching skill.

The set of stitches above are from one of those demonstrations showing a closed Blanket Stitch, Bullion Knots, and Couching. Could this sampler of stitches be used as a jumping off point for a new design? Stay tuned and we’ll see if I can turn those random stitches into something.