Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fall Leaf Embroidery

I did this little project over the weekend.  The fall colors around here inspired me to pick up the needle and try this little assissi embroidery project.
 My main point was just to practice some of the summer school stitches in something more like a regular project rather than just a sampler. It is good to see them with other stitches too.
 If I have counted correctly, I used 8/12 of the stitches. Not bad! Using them all really wasn't the main point, but just to use some of them. You can see in my close-ups that there are lots of nice textures to these stitches. It really does make it more interesting to look at.
I used plant-dyed wool fibers throughout the whole project. The colors are just so nice and earthy. It was a pleasure to work with them.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Summer Stitch School Week 12: Cross Stitch

Welcome to the final week of Summer Stitch School!  This week's stitch isn't so exotic.  I picked the humble cross stitch.  Not many stitches manage to have a full industry based around it, but the cross stitch has managed this, and it's probably what you think of when you hear "cross stitch".  Today's goal is to show you that it much more than that!  It is in fact quite a versatile stitch as you will see.

The cross stitch
Cross stitch is very straightforward, simply make two straight stitches that cross.
That's all there is to it.

Now you know cross stitch can be both a filling and a line stitch, so I am not taking time to show a bunch of x's lined up.  Instead the goal is to show you that there are many ways to use this simple stitch to create interest and texture.
Variation 1
The basic stitch. Traditionally, the lower and upper stitches are made in the same direction. Of course, one is free to turn that upside down and experiment with that. I will leave that to you though and focus on shapes and uses instead.

Variation 2
Stitch a row on top of another. Adds a lot of interest, especially when you use two floss colors. Also shown are some single cross stitches with variations on the layering.

Variation 3
Change the height and width of your stitches. Also, a line of cross stitches are quite pretty when spaced out a little.

Variation 4
The cross stitch can be wrapped, threaded and whipped like many other stitches. In the upper example I have threaded the x's in alternating directions as shown in the photos.

 Also you can whip the x's. Just bring the needle under each x from the same direction.
Variation 5
The legs of the x don't need to be the same at all. Vary the angle or vary the length. Line up two rows of x's with varied angles for an interesting pattern.

Variation 6
Cross stitch is a great stitch to use when couching. Use it to couch down yarns, ribbons or perhaps an odd material such as a rolled up candy wrapper.

Variation 7
Cross stitch can be used to stitch on beads. In this example I have widened the x so that it shows a bit under the bead. The x can be small so that it is not seen too.

Variation 8
Turn the x on it's side and make an upright cross stitch.

Variation 9
More layering of stitches.  This time a regular cross stitch on top of an upright cross stitch.

Variation 10
Size is another important way to vary the x's. When making a row of x's, try making some larger. Adds interest!

I hope this has been an interesting lesson!  I've certainly done my share of "normal" cross stitch, so this way fun to see the stitch in a new way.  This is the last lesson, but I will make a summary post!