Thursday, April 28, 2011

Butterflies in Chains

A couple of years ago, I bought a set of stamped cross stitch pillow cases. This was before my daughter became a teen and she still wanted to do what Mom was doing. She put in about 5 stitches and the pillowcases have been sitting since.

Today, I dusted them off and decided to use the set instead of letting them go to waste. I've never really cared for stamped cross stitch and didn't want to follow the stamped pattern. As I was looking at them, I had an idea. There are no stamped cross stitch police! I can use the outline of the pattern but use another filling stitch.

Not too long ago, I completed a different butterfly where I used stem stitch to fill in the body of the butterfly. I was really pleased with the look but didn't want to do the same thing. The pattern has a few Detached Chain or Daisy Stitches
which I thought would be a good opportunity to practice
Oyster Stitch. I have been wanting to improve my chain stitch and decided this is the time.  I can do the entire pattern in Chain Stitch and it's variants.

Here is a picture of the naked or unembroidered pillowcase:

Here is the picture of the pillowcase that has been started: 

I will have a visit from the frog (rip it rip it) this evening!  It is filling in the shape but doesn't have nicely uniform chain stitches that I want to see.

I have been researching chain stitch and there is a lot of information available on line. Wikipedia has an entry on Chain Stitch which is complete with pictures and diagrams.

A good place to see the stitch being made is at Needle N Thread. The Embroidery Stitch Video Library is impressive! You can find the video for chain stitch here.  Another resource is Sharon b's Dictionary of Stitches for Hand Embroidery and Needlework. The Chain Stitch entry can be found here. A third resource could be Needlework and Embroidery tips and techniques from Carol Leather. You will find her entry on Chain Stitch under Surface Embroidery Stitches.

What I need to do to improve my chain stitch is to be sure and return the needle to the same hole it emerged, not pull my tension so tight, keep my stitch length more uniform and be sure not to twist the loop which is an altogether different stitch.

If you would like to see some photo's of chain stitch used in a variety of projects a visit to the Flickr from Yahoo's Chain Stitch photo stream is in order.  Warning! you may spend more time than you intend too!

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