Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Hills, hills, hills...

I am not going to mention just how long it has been! It is just one of those things - family comes first, right? The good news is I am back stitching, putting the finishing touches on the Mountain Oak.

Last you saw it HERE, I was working on the last leaf to finish the tree and I am now well underway with the hills...

Hill 1 
is stitched in rows of blanket stitch, interlocking each row into the previous, grading the shades of blue from light to dark. 

Hill 2
I worked outlines of twisted chain stitch - I love the wavy ridges this stitch creates when worked in rows close together. 
The filling is a laid trellis filled with cross stitches and French knots...

To get the 'circles' in the trellis, I worked a cross stitch over every second square (some of which were rather wonky), placing the stitches tightly in around the laid threads. Then I couched the centre of each cross.. the result, as you can see, 'distorts' the grid forming more rounded holes.

Hill 3
is outlined with 3 rows of chain stitches. The filling is a more open laid trellis couched down with tiny cross stitches. This adds more definition to the couching. Then I used detached chains to form the daisies within the grid.

Hill 4
is the large hill that the oak tree is sitting on. I am still working on this one, but this is where I am up to. 
I outlined the hill with chain and stem stitch just to create a more narrow outline than the previous two hills. I still wanted some widths to the upper edge, but not solid colour, so I added a row of herringbone stitch - it is kind of there, but not quite right yet....?
I have scattered little flowers over the hill. These are embroidered using pistil stitches instead of the usual detached chains. I started filling the ground around them with seed stitch, but the green I had chosen was too dark and flowers disappeared amongst the green dots, so out they came, which explains the 'holes' in the fabric in the next picture. (unpicking seed stitch really is a pig of a job isn't it?!!)

While stitching the flowers, I had the idea of adding a second row of herringbone stitch over the first along the edge of the hill.  By using a lighter shade of green, it creates a pattern of colour and texture without looking too dense. What do you think?

Double Herringbone Stitch
To work double herringbone stitch, rather than simply placing the second row of stitches on top of the first, the rows (or layers) are interlocked by taking every second stitch under the stitch in the first row. It is a little hard to see clearly in the wool, but when stitches with stranded or perle cotton, it forms a beautiful 'plaited' band.

So this is where I am at...

... today I am going to finish the last two hills. The plan is to have this project finished by the end of the weekend, but I am working the next few nights so let's see how I go...
I do need to get it finished though, so I can get the instructions written, materials ordered and kits put together for the class in France in August.

Where, by the way, there is only one spot left!!! So if you were thinking about joining us, you might like to get in touch with Nadine ( at the Alpine Experience so you don't miss out.

I am so glad to be back sharing what I am up to! Right now I can hear the hills calling.
Have a wonderful week

Best Stitches,


  1. It's quite beautiful! I love the variety of stitches and textures and especially pistil stitch flowers.

    1. Thanks Lyn, I had fun trying to think up an alternative to the ever-so-handy lazy-daisies LOL

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you Elizabeth, I am glad you like it.

  3. Amazingy beautiful work, Anna!
    For me in person it has been a long time ago that I've embroidered something. Espceially the stitches you named, were a true reminder for me from the far past. So thank you for naming the stitches you did, pure nostalgia for me ;)!
    Hug, Ilona

    1. I don't think you have to stitch to enjoy it, if that makes sense. I can look at embroidery and just have fun exploring and discovering how things are done. I am glad it brought back fond memories.
      Anna x

  4. Wow! Your skill is so inspiring! To design as you go... that takes really knowing your techniques! I love this project! It is both simple and complex, old fashioned and contemporary.... utterly charming!

    1. Thank so so much for your lovely comment - that is exactly what I am aiming for!