Johanna's Needle Stitches

Stitch Ideas


      In response to requests from several people, I am adding some ideas on how to use the various stitches.

      My main goal with this series of diagrams has been to create a source of named stitches and then let people create their own pieces. I recommend creating an old fashioned sampler where you try out a row of a particular stitch with some old scrap floss. The diagrams themselves give a general idea of what the stitch will look like but of course it will vary depending on how many strands of floss you use, the size mesh of your canvas, the tightness of your stitches. etc. The fun is in experimenting.

      I've tried to group stitches that are similar. So all the stitches on a stitch page can be used fairly interchangeably. If you've done the standard cross stitch you can try one of the others on that page for a change in texture.

      I think most of the interweaving stitches look nice in long rows, so you could try using them as borders. Try a row on the front yoke of a blouse or at the top of a pocket. Use a top and bottom row accross the end of one of those hand towels designed for cross stitch. Consider filling an area with many rows close together. Stitches like these have also long been used in crazy quilts around the edges of each peice of fabric.

      The page of 'Other stitches' is a little more of a hodge-podge. The satin is often used to fill in an area of embroidery like leaves or rose petals. It gives a nice smooth surface.

      The 'Pulled Thread' stitches are the most different. They are generally done on an even weave fabric. These stitches actually distort the canvas. With these stitches the tension is usualy fairly tight pulling the threads of the canvas and thus leaving larger holes. Many of these look very nice when using a thread the same color as the ground fabric. When the piece is finished and placed over a contrasting fabric the holes that have been created by the stitching are accentuated.

      Not to be confused with 'Pulled Thread' is 'Drawn Thread' work in which threads from the fabric are actually removed. I havn't yet made any diagrams of 'Drawn Thread' stitches.

      If you really need more direction than just experimenting you can do several things. Check your library for books on embroidery, needlework, cross-stitch etc. Take a look at some magazines like 'Just Cross Stitch'. Ask your librarian what magazines they carry. Another interesting/useful magazine is 'Piecework'. It's an interesting magazine dedicated to a large variety of textile handcrafts not just embroidery.

      I havn't done much of my own designing and I can't display somone elses copyrighted charted patterns. I mostly work on graph paper or with a paint program when laying out small projects. I plan in the future to add a couple small projects and will try to create one or two that use some of the less frequently used stitches. But it may take me a while, so please, don't hold your breath. *twinkly grin*

      I hope this helps somewhat to get you started. Experiment, have fun!

All images, except netscape logo, are copyright Johanna Cormier, 1996-2000

Last Updated on September 29, 2009.
Copyright © Johanna & Daniel Cormier, 1996-2000
Suggestions are welcome.
Please address email with 'Needlework' included in the subject line to: johanna@designwest.com

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