I’m working on a Left-Handed Stitching book. It’s a HUGE project, but I’m determined and am taking it one small stitch at a time. Yesterday I was working on a Threaded Backstitch and so I began to stitch on a piece of linen that I whipstitched some wool shapes onto. Once I had done one example of the Threaded Backstitch, I decided to go ahead and do a Double Threaded Backstitch. And once that was finished I thought – well wouldn’t it be fun to do a couple more, one below the other?! Do you see what I’m having to deal with here? After I finished doing those, the gap between the Double Threaded Backstitches seemed to be calling out for a little something, so I did what anyone would do, and found some beautiful Stef Francis Silk Chenille and decided it was perfect to Couch. Swoon. And then there was a tiny space at the very top and so I stitched a 2-wrap French Knot, which looked like a little tumble weed. Perfection(!) and that made me feel happy. As I stitched, I thought I could hear some Silk Ribbon calling out to me, so of course I had to find it, retrieve it, and use it, because what else was I going to do? Ignore the call? No, I don’t think so! So I made a little cluster of Silk RibbonRoses to one side. And that’s when it occurred to me. I’m NEVER going to finish this book if I continue to go down every rabbit hole I see.
Except it’s SO much fun to go down those rabbit holes and who knows where they might lead?! Some of my best discoveries have been deep within such holes, which means this book will take a little longer to do than I’d originally anticipated. Plus I’m using lots of photographs to demonstrate each step of each stitch and I intend to show how to end and begin a new thread, in case you run out in the middle of the stitch, as well as how to end the thread once you’ve finished doing the stitch. Those are a couple things I always wish to see, but rarely do in a stitching book and that got me wondering, what about YOU?
Tell me what you like to see in a stitching book. What do you dislike? What do you wish they showed? What do you wish they didn’t show? What about text? Keep it short and simple or do you like longer explanations and even stories? What else? Am I forgetting anything? Tell me. Tell me everything.
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.
Since launching my YouTube Channel Ariane Zurcher ~ On the Other Hand on February 20th, I have gained close to 550 subscribers! Much of this is due to the enthusiasm shown to me by the members of the private FaceBook group, Friends Who Like Sue Spargo Folk Art Quilts (thank you everyone!) and my friend Anna Bates, who has been so generous and thoughtful in giving my tutorials a plug. I met Anna at one of Sue Spargo‘s not-to-be-missed workshops held by MISA (Madeline Island School of the Arts) in Tucson, Arizona. Anna has a blog and a popular YouTube Channel, Quilt Roadies, as well as a weekly blog on Alex Anderson and Ricky Tim’s The Quilt Show, which has a massive following of devoted sewers. So if you don’t know Anna, go check her out. She’s wonderful.
Since that launch, (my first tutorial – needle turn applique for left handers) I have fallen into some semblance of a schedule. I’ve been posting new videos Monday, Wednesday & Friday. I try to post one tutorial a week devoted to an embroidery stitch from Sue Spargo’s Creative Stitching Book specifically for Left Handed Stitchers. The other two videos are either focusing on sewing techniques such as How to Make Hexies, How to Make Perfect Circles and How to Needle Turn Appliqué or tutorials on stitches that are not hand specific, in other words for both left and right handers. In addition I am blogging Tuesday & Thursday. (At least that’s what I did last week and am planning to do moving forward.) I still haven’t figured out how to squeeze in time to design new products, but am hoping to do that too, once I get better and quicker at shooting these videos and editing them.
Since life as we know it has ground to a halt, here in New York City, I realize that I’ve been managing my stress by working and am working pretty constantly these days. Between preparing, shooting and editing new YouTube videos, making masks, and coming up with new video ideas, I have taken on the task of revamping my various websites, including this blog, with the intention of eventually containing everything under one roof. As I have disparate sites: Ariane Zurcher Jewelry, My Etsy Shop, this blog and my YouTube Channel, it’s tricky to figure out how best to house them all under a single site. Added to this is the fact that I am not a computer geek and not only do not know the terminology, I also don’t know how to do any of that, but I’m learning. And what better way to spend this time of self quarantine than to do all of that or at least this is what I tell myself. I also am not sleeping much…
At some point this blog will get folded into a larger site; until then I plan to keep posting Tuesdays and Thursdays here.
Stay safe everyone and, if you’re like me, keep stitching!
Welcome to my store!
Please browse and look at our patterns available. We also offer Workshops! ~Ariane