embroidery and textiles, TAST 2012

Week 3 ✂ Feather stitch (TAST)

Feather TAST - 04

Week 3’s theme was the Feather stitch.

I started by painting the fabric with a thin wash of acrylics,

feather underpainting

I was genuinely curious about this stitch…I don’t use it often, as I associate its open, sort of mesh-like appearance with crazy patchwork seam decoration.

I like dense stitches, and I wanted to see if I could get some solid meat out of this stitch…use it as a filling for shapes, and how well it would depict those shapes. Of course it worked fine…that’ll teach me to judge a stitch by the way it looks in stitch dictionaries—which are, of course, open and simple for instruction’s sake.

It’s quite a versatile stitch, when you work it close and play with its rays. I’ve actually managed to cram 9 different stitches into this sample…

the regular Feather stitch, followed by wide and dense Cretan stitch…

…Slanted Feather stitch, and 2-needle Feather stitch (I made this one up for myself, which is not to say it hasn’t been done before, I’ve just never seen it),

…long-and-short feather stitch…

I attempted (and bungled) a kind of French knot+Feather stitch…forget this one…not all experiments work!

…Spanish Knotted Feather stitch, and Ribbed-For-Her-Pleasure feather stitch… :D I was getting well and truly sick of the feather stitch at this point, hah!

Then, under the name, I worked Chained feather stitch,

and Türkmen stitch.

Feather Map TAST - 02

- – – ✂ – – – ✂ – – – ✂ – – – ✂ – – – ✂ – – – ✂ – – – ✂ – – – ✂ – – – ✂ – – – ✂

This small embroidery sample is for the Take a Stitch Tuesday 2012 Challenge. The idea was to combine my love of embroidery with my love of typography.

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216 thoughts on “Week 3 ✂ Feather stitch (TAST)

  1. Pingback: Jag blir alldeles broderisjuk … | broderamera

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  5. Oh I had to pin this so I could come back and back. I love your colours and curiosity. I was nursing my baby a few weeks ago and inspecting a lovely piece of Panamanian embroidery given to me and it was almost more than I could fathom. You’re making it make sense and letting the stitch fly! Glad to have found your blog.

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  7. This is AMAZING!!! I still can’t believe how many different stitch I saw on your post. I’m from Serbia and in our traditional costumes we have so many different stitches, but I never see before those kind like from your pics. I do embroidery to but only simple one…
    I really enjoyed reading your blog :D

  8. That’s so pretty – I love embroidery but I’ve more experience with freehand machine embroidery, I’ll definitely give that a go! It’s lovely with the dye underneath, too xx

    • Thank you, starlight! It’s not really a talent, though, I think it’s within everyone’s reach to stitch a postcard sized piece of fabric, following instructions from a stitch book. Why not give it a try yourself? I am not special, I assure you!

    • Do you know, this TAST thing I’ve joined has done that for me, too! I am familiar with, but forget to use most stitches when I work on my own projects. Inspired by TAST to use more of them, more often. Thank you for the visit!

  9. Your embroidery is beautiful! I’ve been doing embroidery and cross-stitch for over 20 years, but those aren’t some of the more advanced stitches I’ve had a chance to work with yet. Maybe someday I’ll be that well-versed.

    • Believe me, they look fancier than they are. They’re basically tall and skinny cross stitches, crowded together for the commute home at rush hour. Experiment! Venture! Sample! Dare! Thank you for the visit and comment!

  10. WOW! This is really exquisite, I’m going to check out your other stuff and TAST. Inspiration for doing more embroidery myself. Now just have to fit it in with taking more photos, learning to draw, writing, gardening – looks like housework just got bumped down the list one more place, sorry house. Congratulations for being Freshly Pressed

    • Thank you, Julie. Yes, it’s maddening isn’t it? Ars longa, vita brevis, and all that. I only have ten fingers, and I want to stick them into 30 pies, too. Sell house, live in Dick Blick? :) Cheers for visiting!

  11. I really like the effects of painting and then overlaying with the embroidery…though I’m not sure I’ll use it. I’m a costumer by trade, and clients never seem to want to invest what they must to have that kind of detail. Maybe for myself sometime. Keep up the good work.
    Jenny Ketcham
    Washington, DC

  12. I used to sew all the time before kids, never as wonderfully as the stitches I see here though! Seeing this makes me want to drag out all my stored stuff and give it a go again. Thanks! and congrats on being FP :)

    • Hurrah! That’s the spirit. Go for it, I’m not specially talented, just done it a long time, but practice and you’ll master it in a short time. Thank you for visiting, and commenting. Do show us your own work when it’s done!

  13. Love this and reminded me of summer when I started my granddaughters on an embroidery project doing stitches on a pillow case edging. They are waiting for me to come back to help them finish…perhaps we will experiment with your feather stitches?

    • Yay! Sounds like a lot of fun. Yes, experiment with all stitches! I still have the stitch dictionary my mum gave me when I was 10, it has proven invaluable, I treasure it. Thank you for visiting, and I wish you and the grandkids luck with the pillow case adventures!

    • Thank you! It’s been a big couple of days, more visits and comments than I get in a month of Sundays. I feel Freshly Squeezed, now…like an orange at breakfast time. :) Good of you to visit…

  14. beautiful work! and I love the image at the end where you say exactly which stitch was on what part of the piece. What a great way to tie things all together :-) wonderful wonderful wonderful!

  15. Tammy says:

    Rock on! I loved this – you are truly gifted and this post is exquisite – thank you for sharing your talents. I feel so humbled to see such beautiful work showcased, awed by artisans such as yourself. I also have a friend that is a fabulous embroiderer and I shall share this with her – she’ll love it! Keep up the great work :-)

    • Hey Tammy, aw shucks thanks! It’s so funny to hear these words from you, that is EXACTLY the way I feel when I see other people’s work…awed and amazed and inspired but also a little bit daunted, y’know? Maybe everybody feels this way? Funny to think that may be possible. I’m a newbie next to the work of many others. Thank you for the enthusiastic response and for taking the time to visit and comment!

    • LOL or you could ask her to give you her stuff, and take it up yourself! *wink* There’s a Man-broiderers group on the internet, somewhere, I know. Thank you for visiting and commenting!

  16. Lovely graphics; visually very pleasing – bold but not brazen, rather a feast for one’s eyes. Your craftsmanship is amazing and the photography really tells the story effectively. Your narrative was icing on the cake. You’ve left me all aflutter! Thanks.

  17. This really is beautiful work, the stitching is so neat, fantastic colour choices and textures created and I really like the painted background to add depth. Top drawer! Thanks

  18. That’s amazing. Reminds me of my embroidery days just a couple of years back (I feel so old, suddenly)… Don’t know what fail you’re on about, the naked eye couldn’t tell the difference! :D Absolutely beautiful :)

  19. TisaLira says:

    Beautiful work. I really like how you painted the fabric before stitching; it really adds depth and character. Thanks for sharing!

  20. Wow! Your work is beautiful. I can pretty much only embroider a chain stitch so I now have something to aspire to! Thanks for sharing and for being Freshly Pressed!

    • Oh, painting the fabric is totally a great way to tart your embroidery up, for sure! LOL It’s like working on a printed or dyed fabric, but you have more control. Thanks for visiting!

  21. Just when you think you deserve to be ‘freshly pressed’, you see a post as creative as yours and realize your place on the totem pole. lol!! great post and great craft! :D

    • :D I never aspire to Freshly Pressed…it’s such a niche post, embroidery. But FP works on stats, I’ve figured that much out…get a few thousand people to visit your blog in a hurry, and you’ll get pressed. Now if I had a DOLLAR for every visit I got via Freshly pressed, well, THAT would be something to jump up and down about, no? I will come for a visit to yours, pressed or not. ;)

    • Thank you! I figured as much when a huge horde of visitors appeared out of nowhere! It’s always unnerving/exhilarating to get noticed by FP. Like finding your house listed as a tourist destination overnight. ;)

  22. Closs Pimentinha says:

    I really liked this post!
    I love spending some time doing manual activities like stitching… It relaxes me and I feel happy when I see the results (at least some of the, haha).

    • Oh heavens, there are thousands of stitches, most of them incredible. It’s like having thousands of different and specialised paintbrushes to hand when painting. :) Thank you for the visit!

  23. Lu says:

    Wow, this is really beautiful – I love it! I never really liked embroidery, thinking it all a bit old and maidenly – but this puts a whole new slant to the craft… Thank you for the enlightenment :)

    • Thank you! Embroidery is enjoying a comeback in the hands of young crafters, these days…I never thought something I learned 31 years ago would eventually come full circle and be cool again. :) I’m glad I stuck with it. Thank you for the visit!

  24. This brings back grade school memories! We were taught how to do this one in our Home Economics class but now I totally forgot how to do it. Very nice colors by the way. :)

    • Yes, I remember those Home Economics classes…we probably even went to the same school. I recognize the Pinay cultural heritage ;) Only we would call our Professors “Sir Bong”…’di ba? Thanks for visiting!

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      • Marninay says:

        Haha! It might as well be rocket science to me, since the only “fancy” stitches I can do with a modicum of confidence are running, back, chain, and stem. Actually, medyo sablay pa nga sa stem kasi I always confuse it with outline stitch. I can kindasortamaybe do French knots. Does that count? LOL! :D

        The outline stitches help me cope with writer’s block and the attendant stress that comes with it, though, so it’s all good. Buti na lang walang ibang nakakakita ng mga tahi ko, kasi parang gawa ng bata. Haha! :D

  27. When I first saw this my brain went SEAHORSE before I saw that it was a word … something about the curves in the letters I think. As always beautiful.

    I WISH I had more time to create.

    • Many thanks, m’dear! I am having so much fun matching typography to the type of stitch…makes the normally dull job of stitching a sampler much more interesting and rewarding!

  28. Sue U says:

    What beautiful examples and truly imaginative. Love what you’ve done and hope you don’t mind if I swipe a few ideas. I’ve never tried painting the background and need to give it a try. Great job!

    • Ah, Sue, I didn’t invent painting on fabric before stitching, please, do whatever you like, we crafters have got to stop being so scared of taking a good idea and putting it to our own use! It’s all part of the evolution of craft and art. Thank you and I’m thrilled it’s fired your imagination!

  29. Gaw! You are taking the TAST and making lovelies with them! I want to add more paint to my stitching, so it is wonderful to see your process. Can you tell us what the ground fabric is that you painted on?

    • Thanks, Olisa, I’ve always wanted to do a little book of stitches…
      the fabric’s just white cotton bedsheets—I scored 4 or 5 Queen sized sheets in the rubbish skip of a local hotel. Nothing special. :)

  30. Pingback: TAST3, week 3 – Feather stitch « CrazyQstitcher

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