Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sunday Stitches

Summer is here - well almost, I think. In any case, it is the most beautiful day today and the garden is looking rather pretty with lots of colour everywhere. 


The light in my study is so beautiful in the morning so with the house to myself today, I spent the morning quietly stitching away. The colours of this project seem to match the vibrancy in the garden this time of year just perfectly.


It is coming along nicely and I am really enjoying this one. I know, I say that about every piece I work on (just as well really, just imagine spending all those hours on something if you didn't like it. It would be rather horrible).


As with most of my crewel pieces I only ever have a rough idea about how I will work it before I start but these little Cretan stitch leaves seem to always find their way in somewhere. I love this stitch for filling small leaves because of the little pleat it forms down the centre and will usually choose this stitch over fly stitch which is more commonly used.

Cretan Stitch
If you look in stitch books, the Cretan stitch is often illustrated as an open stitch, but if you place the stitches close together, it is just perfect for filling leaf shapes.

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1. I start with a straight stitch at the tip of my leaf, then place a stitch around it like the start of a detached chain (lazy daisy) but without anchoring it down.
It is important that the 'arms' of the stitch goes nearly to the top of the straight stitch and are very close to it, almost underneath it.
2. You then continue down the leaf shape in Cretan stitch. The needle goes to the back on the outer edge and comes to the front next to the centre vein - as close as possible to the previous stitch and inside the thread loop.

It is important also to keep stitches really close together at the outer edges. I push the needle tip up against the previous stitch almost at the op of it, otherwise the angle of the stitches will 'flatten' as you near the base.


...and there; a little sprig of Cretan stitch leaves. 
Notice the holes in the linen? Have you ever tried unpicking seed stitch? It is terrible, but it was worth the effort!


Hope you too are having a nice and relaxing weekend. It is time for me to head out and enjoy a sunshine. If you are in the cooler parts of the world, I will try and blow a bit your way.

Happy Stitching,
Anna X

18 comments:

  1. Thank you very much! Your process is very interesting!

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  2. With each of your design endeavors, the work grows more beautiful. This is so pretty!

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  3. Love the vibrant colours you have used

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  4. Am I right to think the stem is made up of triangles of buttonhole wheels? The effect is stunning!

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    1. Yes, Liana the stem is made from partial buttonhole wheels. I hadn't not done this before and am really happy with the result - besides it turned out to be not only effective but a pretty quick way to fill such a long narrow shape.

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  5. Forgot to say, I also love Cretan stitch for leaves, but I usually start them with a chain.

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    1. Yes, that is another way to start it leaves a tiny little opening in the loop at the tip. I find starting with the straight stitch eliminates that + gives you an extra pointy tip.

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  6. Logging in today - I find myself a little overwhelmed by comments from all you wonderful people. Thank you so much for taking an interest in what I do - I cannot tell you just how much it means to me. Anna

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  7. Thanks for taking the time to answer! I find your stitching really inspiring! I'll try doing the Cretan leaf your way.

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  8. Anna, this turning out to be another stunning piece. Did you unpick seed stitch and then put it back again?

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  9. Truly beautiful work and gorgeous colours too ! Really appreciate all the advice and tips you share , thankyou so much !

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  10. Beautiful work Some how my leaf stitches does not come perfect as yours will try your tecnic

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  11. I just discovered your blog today> beautiful stitching!! Do you have a pattern for this lovely stitchery? I love it! Hugs, H in Healdsburgt

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    1. Hi Helen, thank you for your lovely comment. Yes, I do have patterns and kits available. They are in my Etsy store - just click on the link at the top of the page. The instruction booklets for this project has just gone to the printers, so I will have kits for this one very soon. Best stitches,
      Anna

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