I love doing stitcheries. This simpler form of embroidery which I started doing about 9 years ago has a lot going for it. It is easy to do, doesn't take too long, is tolerant of imperfection, doesn't use many fancy stitches and is ideal for achieving that whimsical look that expresses country, cottage and shabby styles. I designed a new stitchery yesterday and I'm really looking forward to bringing it to life with needle and thread.
But occasionally, I hanker for the real McCoy - the genuine article, REAL embroidery stitches, stitches that challenge, stitches that fill in and don't just outline, stitches that I learned as a child. SO, every so often, I sit down and do some real embroidery. Of course, the desire for that type of embroidery is even more prominent when you have gorgeous Kacoonda hand-dyed silk threads, ribbon and felt to play with.
Pixie Garden has stitches like split stitch, spider web rose, ribbon stitch, tailored buttonhole stitch, and twisted chain stitch - all slow stitches, but such fun to do.
If you have a hankering to work with silk ribbon, silk thread and some challenging stitches, then you can pick up a copy of the current Embroidery & Cross Stitch magazine, Vol 21 No 7.
Will you indulge me and let me talk about one of those stitches - tailored or tailor's buttonhole stitch. I am on a bit of a campaign trying to educate the stitching community about this stitch. Even magazines constantly get it wrong!!!
It is NOT blanket-stitch worked close together. Don't you believe it if you are told that!!!
The key difference with the tailored buttonhole stitch is that it has a knotted edge. In the days when buttonholes were made by hand, the tailored buttonhole stitch was used to give extra durability to the edge of the buttonhole. It helped prevent fraying and made the stitched buttonhole less likely to unravel if the thread became worn and broken. Can you see the knotted edge sitting up on the pink flowers?:
Tailored button-hole stitch can be made in different ways and be worked in different directions to achieve the stitch, but basically the needle goes over two threads whereas in blanket stitch it only goes over the top of one. Blanket stitch is really a looped stitch, whereas buttonhole stitch is a knotted stitch. Most people work tailored buttonhole stitch from the outside in, whereas generally buttonhole stitch is worked from the inside to the outer edge. See the needle over two threads:
See this loop in the thread - that's where the knot is going to be formed:
and here are the knots:
I learned all that at my mother's knee and I'm so happy to think that there are a number of influential embroiderers out there who are also trying to get the message across! http://www.nordicneedle.net/guides/stitchology/buttonhole-vs-blanket-stitch/
Try it out on your fusible web applique where you want the edge to stand out - it is such a lovely stitch to work!
Now, off my hobby horse, and back on the ground! I finished hand-quilting this wall quilt - very happy with how it turned out:
That meant I could start on something NEW - always a happy feeling.
The next block of the free Block of the Month "Shining Like the Dawn" wall quilt will be ready for you next week, so keep an eye open for it.