How to End the Thread

stitching13When adding hand embroidery to fused art quilts, you only need to stitch through the batting and top layer of the quilt. There are two advantages of embroidering the quilt first before adding the backing fabric. One is that without the backing fabric, you have one less layer of fabric to stitch through.

stitching12And the second advantage is that it’s easy to hide thread knots. Here you’ll see a few knots in the batting where I began a new thread color. And you’ll also see how to end a thread. Just slip the needle under previous stitches on the back and snip. It’s a good idea to snip the threads closely to the back of the quilt so they don’t catch other threads when your working new stitches.

Thread-u-cation Thursday: A Spiky Chain

spikychain7Lately I’ve been exploring a variation on the Chain Stitch that I’d like to share with you. It’s sort of a chain with a little bite to it; a combination of the Chain Stitch and Blanket Stitch.

spikychain6It probably has a name (and please let me know if it does) but I’m calling it the Spiky Chain. It starts out with the straight line of a Chain Stitch then veers off the path and then returns to the path. Here are the directions for the Spiky Chain. Happy Thread-u-cation Day!

Thread-u-cation Thursday: Herringbone

herringbone3Welcome to Thread-u-cation Thursday! Our featured embroidery stitch today is the Herringbone Stitch. I must admit that I seldom use this stitch. (Sorry for my lack of enthusiasm but the good old Herringbone Stitch is rather ignored in my embroidery life.)

herringbone4Unless I’m trying to spice up a straight piece of fabric like the green tree trunk above. Then I’m all about the Herringbone. What better way to add zip to a skinny piece of fabric? (Please note that tree trunk is a design detail from my new pattern, The Nut House.)

herringbone2And then there is the ability of the Herringbone Stitch to stretch out or compress to make shapes like this forest of trees on the lake shore. (You have to use your imagination.) OK, maybe the good old Herringbone Stitch deserves another look. Here are the directions. Please let me know how you use the Herringbone Stitch.


Making the French Fly Stitch

 pinkingstitch4 A favorite method of stitching a fabric cut with a pinking blade is to use the Fly Stitch. It gives a neat finish to the fabric and makes a bold zigzag line around a fabric shape.

flystitch6In this image you see 3 variations of the Fly Stitch. There is the trusty traditional Fly in the center in blue thread. The elongated version of the Fly surrounds the top purple fabric in orange thread. And below is the latest and greatest version in blue thread around the purple square featuring the French Knot.

I don’t know what this stitch is really called so I’m calling it the French Fly.

flystitch7Here’s how to make the French Fly. Start with the thread exiting the fabric at the tip or peak of the pinked edge.

flystitch8Insert the tip of the needle at the top of the next peak of the pinked edge.

flystitch9Skim the needle under the fabric to the valley between the two peaks. Trap the thread coming out of the first peak under the tip if the needle. Draw the needle and thread through the fabric.

flystitch10Make a French Knot inserting the needle into the fabric on the other side of the thread in the valley. This stitch over the thread holds it in the valley making a V shape that follows the pinked fabric edge adding decorative French Knot at the same time.Thus the term French Fly.

Thread-u-cation Thursday: Fly Stitch

flystitch1Welcome to Thread-u-cation Thursday! Our featured embroidery stitch today is the famous Fly Stitch. The Fly Stitch is aptly named. Doesn’t it look like a flock of flying fowl? Use this easy embroidery stitch as a single decorative element, grouped together as a textural filling stitch, or with other stitches to make shapes.

silkflowers22 Here you see the Fly Stitch making sunny yellow flower petals surrounding French Knots. It’s stitched with a Size 8 pearl cotton thread in the Sunflowers colorway on a silk fabric.

flystitch4I like to extend the base of the stitch to make a Y shape for tree branches. This is stitched with a Size 12 pearl cotton thread in the Rainbow Rich colorway.

pinkingstitch6Or use it to trim fabric cut with a pinking blade like the pink shape above. The Fly Stitch follows that pink pinked edge perfectly. Here are directions for making the Fly Stitch. Happy Thread-u-cation Day!

Thread-u-cation Thursday: Fern Stitch

fernstitch4Welcome to Thread-u-cation Thursday! Our featured embroidery stitch today is the Fern Stitch. The Fern Stitch is a spiky little stitch for making climbing vines, veins on leaves, plant and tree forms, and for creating lots of thready texture.

fernstitch1Add a few Pistil Stitches between the spikes of the Fern Stitch to dress it up.

cactusonsilk12Or place Lazy Daisy Stitches between the spikes to make a soft edge plant sprouting out of the ground.

fernstitch7The directions for my version of the stitch are a little different. You start at the top of the line your want to stitch and work your way down. Here are the directions for the Fern Stitch. Have fun!