I spent at least 16 hours this weekend analyzing and stitching examples of the Trellis Stitch. Specifically the spiral trellis stitch, which was one of dozens of stitches that adorned the Plimoth Jacket, a women’s waistcoat, made in the early 1600’s.
Another heavily embroidered jacket is in the costume collection at the Metropolitan Museum here in New York City, which I would LOVE to see one day.
While I have done dozens and dozens of Spiral Trellis Stitches over the years, and have used this stitch in a number of my designs, I had never tried to figure out why it was often so difficult to replicate, and to replicate consistently.
So this weekend I decided to do just that. I experimented with a couple of different ways of stitching it, how to best add a new length of thread when your thread, which it inevitably does, runs out, how to consistently get good results when decreasing, stitching in all kinds of different threads and thread weights, and I even tried my hand at stitching a non-circular Trellis, which I will need to do a bit more experimenting with before I am completely satisfied. I had to fill in the center part with French Knots because I couldn’t figure out how to decrease the inside in a way that looked flawless.
I then posted my results to my Youtube Channel: Ariane Zurcher ~ On the Other Hand.
As I am left handed all of this was even more tricky because none of the embroidery books give instructions for the way I finally ended up stitching this beautiful, yet challenging stitch.
If you’d like to laugh and explore stitching (or in my case attempting to) with silk gimp and the thicker gimp that Painter’s Threads hand dyes, this was the live stream I did yesterday. Warning: We laughed A LOT.
My attempts at using the crinkly silk gimp became more comedic than informative… However, I am determined to continue investigating this beautiful, if challenging thread, and what I’m able to do with it. So this is just the beginning. By the way Mary Corbet, who is a fountain of knowledge when it comes to threads, stitching, and everything and anything to do with embroidery, is such a great resource. If you click on her name above, it will take you to her blog. She also has a YouTube Channel, where she demonstrates stitches.
So here’s the thing… I am a designer first and foremost. I love playing with threads and seeing how I can use an unusual thread in a different way. My approach to hand stitching is from a design point of view. When I’m working with a thread, like gimp, whether the crinkly silk gimp or the thicker cord Gimp from Painter’s Threads, I am thinking about color, texture, and how I can use it so that it creates something interesting. As I design, I’m considering size, shape, dimension and how all of that fits into the piece I’m working on.
For my River Rocks Pouch, I used all three of these gimps in different ways. A couple of the shapes on that pouch I added gimp French Knots, which I love.
I’m off to the last remaining quilt shop in New York City in a little while. I’ll be filming it, and will post tomorrow morning. So if you want to come with me on my little adventure, tune into my Youtube Channel Ariane Zurcher ~ On the Other Hand tomorrow. Until then, here’s to exploring and stitching!
Every few days I venture outside to get a little fresh air and take a walk with my husband. The empty streets continue to astound.
On this day we decided to walk over to Union Square park, typically a hotbed of activity: sun seekers, dog walkers, protesters, activists, proselytizers, NYU students and those like ourselves who just want to enjoy the nice weather. However this was not the case last Sunday…
Usually on Easter Sunday we have friends and family over for a little Welcome To Spring celebration. As this wasn’t possible, I made a nice dinner for just us, before my husband and I went for our stroll.
As I arranged the raspberries on the cheesecake I made, I thought of what stitches would best replicate them. I’ve been working on shooting a video for each of Sue Spargo’s Toned Down Circle Sampler, a 90-day project she is doing on Instagram – #InstaStitchWithSue, because all her workshops have been cancelled for the next few months. Each day Sue unveils a new 1″ circle, and each afternoon she tells me which stitches she will be using for the following day’s circle so I can make a video; a kind of sneak peek into that day’s circle for all her followers.
It’s been such a wonderful project so far. Today will be the 16th circle. What follows are a few of my stitched circles, sometimes following Sue’s circles closely, other days taking the stitches she is using to make my own interpretation. These circles and making the YouTube videos have made what has been an incredibly stressful and painful time much less so. I am reminded of the resilience of humanity and how often beauty emerges from great upheaval.
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Please browse and look at our patterns available. We also offer Workshops! ~Ariane