Teaching Cross Stitch…

…to children.  I started teaching my niece how to cross stitch today.  She complained of a headache after our short stitching session.  She is only 10 years old.  I started her off with a kit that has the largest aida sized cloth and a big needle.  I think that each session will be kept to no more than 20 minutes of stitching.  Her younger sister wants to learn, so I’ll prepare another kit.  It is amazing how much there is to making little x’s on material :)…I don’t want to encourage bad habits so I am making sure to show how the x’s go the same way, all the time….she did pretty good. I’m proud of her.  A few years ago, I gave a noon-hour workshop at my son’s school.  I have one son who is pretty good at cross stitch, although he doesn’t do much of it anymore, but he knows how to do it. He plays hockey and soccer and then stitches.  He cannot sit still, needs to be throwing a ball around and I figured that a needle in his hand was better than a ball on my walls :)…true, true.  He might want to start back to stitching after watching his cousin today. 

 I made a mistake on my cross stitch project.  I was trying to figure out why the back stitching wasn’t making the design stand out. I was using the wrong colour!  So I ended up taking all the backstitches out and redoing the block.  I will post it when I am finished.  It looks so much nicer now.  It’s a good thing that I noticed it right now, on the first of 8 blocks 😉 .  I haven’t touched the project for a week, but each time I went by it I would try to figure out why I was disliking it so much and avoiding it….the backstitch.

Back to work tomorrow….. I could use a snow day and just stitch all day :)….let us all say some oooooommmmmmmmmmmmmmms to the snowgods.

 Thanks for all the positive comments to my shadow work.  It’s wierd, but since I have done the piece I have seen some more shadow work… After tavelling around to quite a few blogs and checking out the other work, I am inspired to branch out of patterns, we’ll see how it goes.  There are so many participants.  I’ll have to figure out a system of responding to as many as I can.  It’s only the first week.  Not having highspeed internet doesn’t help, but that could change soon.

Off for some tea and backstitching.



Shadow work flower

herringbone flower

I just finished my herringbone sample.  I tried shadow work on white organza and I think it looks pretty cool.  On the hoop it didn’t look tooooooooooo shadowy, but when I took it off the hoop, sheesh, it looked all shadowy! :).  I could make it into a pot pourri cushion, that’s what is suggested in the magazine I found the idea from.  I found the shadow work directions in the UK Needlecraft August 1997 edition.  But I think that I will put it into a card.  I think that might be a neat way to collect all these samples. 

Any ideas for what to do with it now?

Note, Above is the front, the herringbone stitches are on the back and the the backstitches going around the petals are on the front of the organza….making the shadowy effect.  This is the backside….flowerback

Shadow work

I’m working on my herringbone stitch.  I am doing a shadow work piece….stitching a design on organza…stitching on the back of the material to produce a shadowy effect on the right side.  Has anyone heard of this technique?  I’ll post a picture before Tuesday. I don’t want to be late for this one. I have gone to a few sites to check out what everyone’s been up to, but haven’t had time to really check everything out.  Some nice handwork.

I’ve gone back to work and between work and keeping the house up and preparing a few boxes for mailing I am eager for some free time this week-end to stitch.


Tuesday means….

…..Take a Stitch Tuesday!  My enthusiasm abounds.  I haven’t started the exact stitching but I came up with an idea of how to do my stitches.  When I finish the first one I will show it….I want to make sure it works out.

 I’m not sure if anyone is coming to my blog, but I’ll keep recording.


New Year new me?

….not really, but I do want to follow “flylady” quite a bit. I cleaned my house from top to bottom for Christmas and I want to continue.

 Tomorrow is Take a Stitch Tuesday.  I am eager to start that.  I hope that I’ll be able to finish the year’s challenge.  It is only Monday here and I just checked the site and I must do the Herringbone stitch…should be relatively easy….I know this one.

 The following is from Sharon’s site:


After all the drama with technical difficulties in the last week or so it is good to settle down with a cuppa and be writing about stitching. As you can see the first stitch for the Take a stitch Tuesday Challenge is Herringbone stitch. This engagingly simple stitch is considered one of the basic stitches but like all the basic stitches it is extremely versatile.

Herringbone can be used to hold down other threads, (couching) or you can weave threads through it. In this sample I worked herringbone in hand dyed DMC pearl 5 on linen. The top row is laced with a pearl thread, the next row is laced with a rayon ribbon floss, the third row has a metallic braid woven through the top section of the stitch. The bottom row is double herringbone was worked in hand dyed crochet cotton and has been tied with small straight stitches.


Herringbone stitch combines well with other stitches. Simply working a row of herringbone and a row of Chevron stitch then adding further decoration to the top of the chevron stitch creates a good seam embellishment in crazy quilting.


Rows of herringbone can be stacked one on top of another. The next sample is worked on Lynda 27 cnt. The first row is double herringbone worked close together. The second line of embroidery, consists of three rows of closely spaced herringbone stitch, worked in DMC pearl threads

The final row on this sampler is a single line of herringbone which has been tied with small straight stitches. The row was worked using DMC pearl 5 thread.

heringbone stitch tied

Stacking rows of herringbone can create interesting patterns. This sample is tied herringbone worked in DMC pearl 8 thread.


Herringbone is a useful stitch for building up patterns. It can be stacked in a number ways and you can make use of the spaces created between the stitches to create a secondary pattern. This sample was worked on hand dyed Aida and the herringbone was interspersed with crossed stitches.


In this sample I simply added some beads to the spaces in between the stitch.

herringbone stitch

Herringbone can be worked diagonally too! It is simple if you stop and think about it as you simply step each stitch downward working on a right angle line along the row. As the each stitch steps downward it builds up a very interesting pattern across the cloth.

herringbone sttich 3
changing the size of individual stitches can also produce some interesting results.

herringbone stitch

By changing the size of the stitch you can also create the impression of a curve. This sample is worked on hand dyed Aida cloth which has a hard grid like structure but simply by changing the size of the stitch a curve is created.

Herringbone is often seen on crazy quilt blocks. In this crazy quilt block I have used threaded herringbone to couch down some ribbon.

I often treat a foundation row of herringbone as a base for weaving a second thread in and out of the V shapes. You can see two rows of this technique employed on this 8 inch crazy quilt block.

There are numerous examples of herringbone stitch being used in Crazy quilting throughout my site. Last year as part of the 100 details in 100 days series I highlighted herringbone stitch on day 4, day 11 , day 43, day 59, day 61, day 65, day 71, day 93 and day 94.

The challenge is to try out the stitch on any fabric you choose and using any thread you choose. See what you can come up with and experiment with variations. Some ideas include could include to see what it looks like layered, stacked and repeated. See what it looks like laced with thicker threads and see what patterns you can discover by changing the spacing and stacking herringbone in different ways. See how many different ways to work this stitch you can think of. Post images on your blog or flickr site I will be looking forward to seeing what everyone does with the stitch and doing a link round up next Tuesday.

The challenge is on! What can you do with Herringbone?

I hope you don’t mind that I copied and pasted the info Sharon, but I have telephone connection and I really want to be able to see the information regularly.

 I think that I will go get my act together and see what I will do with this stitch.


Another try…at blogging


Well, I’ve tried blogger and had trouble getting a three column page without spending scads of time fiddling, so I’m trying wordpress

 I also want to try uploading a picture or two.  I really need to get a decent digital camera to take pictures of my Take a Stitch Tuesday Challenge.

 This is what I am stitching right now.  This is the first teddybear, I have four to six more to do.  This will be a receiving blanket, a very nice blanket.

Sewing, Reading, Quilting, Embroidery(ing :) ), Running, Writing, Weaving…and the list goes on and on and on…