Friday, February 17, 2012

Herringbone Stitch - Stitch of the Month

The Cape Embroiderers' Guild is going all out this year to encourage members to take part in it's Stitch of the Month programme. The idea is to challenge members to come up with a variety of variations of a particular stitch that they would not usually use.

Then the further challenge is to put the samples together in a special stitch reference file or book - the subject of a much anticipated upcoming workshop by Penny Cornell. I for one have dozens of little samples all over the show that I wish I had been disciplined enough to put together in one place where I could refer back to them when I need them, so the idea struck something of a chord.

February's Stitch of the Month is Herringbone Stitch. Over the years I have seen some wonderful variations and uses of the stitch, especially those tantalisingly pretty ones used for crazy patch. Have a look at Sharon Boggan's Blog on PinTangle, especially the Take a Stitch Tuesday challenge (TAST), for some beautifully presented inspiring stitches. My idea was to make a mini sampler of herringbone stitch variations and frame them in a simple ready-made frame so I can hang the sampler up on the wall in my sewing room without too much fuss and it will always be easy to find.

It wasn't long before I realised that I could probably fill at least three mini samplers with all the ideas I want to record! Anyway, here's my herringbone sampler in progress. It doesn't record nearly as many variations as I would like, but it is fun to do.

The last row in the above photo is my version of a variation that Mary Corbet shared on Needle 'n Thread. I just love the little French Knots on the silk ribbon. They remind me of little roses on a garden trellis.

For the project I challenged myself to use up fabric and threads in my stash - a fine dress-weight linen, a variegated Anchor thread (that turned out rather brighter than I'd expected), little  lengths of DMC stranded threads I couldn't bear to throw out and a small length of green silk ribbon. I decided that I would work to a 5"x7" (12.5cm x 18cm) standard size photo frame and I was set to go, stitching row by row as I found another Herringbone variation wanted to record.

Can you spot the mistake I made when setting out the project? A clue is that I now want to use a larger photo frame. I have enough fabric along the edges of the sampler to do so, but...

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