I’ve long been an admirer of Mary Corbet. Her hand embroidery is so lovely and her friendly style of explaining her techniques keeps me reading her blog, Needle ‘n Thread, on a daily basis.
And today I want to thank Mary for her kind review of my new book, Joyful Stitching: Transform Fabric with Improvisational Embroidery.
You can see her review here: Joyful Stitching Book Review Thank you Mary for your inspiration and encouragement!
Rare Songbird (detail) by Laura Wasilowski
And now for a final (and favorite) stitch combination. The Fern Stitch lends itself to many stitch combinations that you’ll find my new book, Joyful Stitching. It evokes the shape of leaves, climbing vines, or even a bird’s tail feathers.
In the Rare Songbird project, three vertical lines of Fern Stitches are outlined in Stem Stitches using the same orange thread. French Knots, in a light blue thread, fill in the spaces between to make a decorative tail for the bird.
I hope the examples of stitch combinations we’ve reviewed in the last few weeks will come in handy and add to your own free-form stitchery arsenal.
May your combinations always rock!
Garden of Flowers (detail) by Laura Wasilowski
Tired of dreary old winter? Then its time to make your own spring bouquet! By combining simple embroidery stitches you can create recognizable shapes like flowers. The spiky yellow blooms in Garden of Flowers are made with five Fly Stitches placed in a circle with the points facing out. A mound of French Knots in turquoise thread fills in each center. Notice how the blue background fabric also plays a role in creating the shape of these sweet little flowers.
Red Belly Bird (detail) by Laura Wasilowski
Like sketching on fabric, combining a few stitches can also suggest a simple leaf shape. The leaves lining the Red Belly Bird’s nest are a combination of the Fern Stitch and Straight Stitches. Each branch of fern stitches is trimmed around the edge with straight stitches to make an enclosed leaf shape.
All it takes is the combination of a few simple embroidery stitches to make shapes on fabric. What’s your favorite combination to create shapes?
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.
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.
A 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?
Did you know that there is a missing chapter from my new book, Joyful Stitching? Yes, it mysteriously disappeared one dark and stormy night.
This “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!