Stitch explorer April

This month the challenge is to look at another Italian embroidery style which is called Casalguidi. The Embroiderers Guild has featured this style in their magazine Stitch. Do take a look at its traditional form.  This is a a highly textured form Italian pulled fabric embroidery worked traditionally on linen.

I have explored this stitch in more contemporary manner

I have directions on how to work Casalguidi stitch in my stitch dictionary. But it is not the stitch alone that makes it interesting. The design element that ties this style together and makes it interesting is a contrast of texture as usually the high relief work is set against pulled thread stitches. Without this high  contrast it just looks like a grub on your fabric.

Lots of stitches can be used in conjunctions with this type of embroidery such as raised stem stitch, Woven Picots, Buttonhole Bars and dare I say but the stitch we had in February trellis stitch goes very well too!

Traditionally this style of embroidery was worked on linen but today embroidery can be pushed in different directions by using different fabrics and there are numerous interesting threads which can be used.  Pearl cottons, Rayon and Metallic threads all have qualities that make this style ripe for reinterpretation and possible revival. As long as the thread is capable of creating  structure it is suitable. Perle is ideal but I have often wanted to put aside some time and explore using some of the novelty knitting yarns with this style.

Take a look a the work of Janet M Davis as she has created many pieces of contemporary Casalguidi. Effie Mitrofanis has written a very good book on this interesting style of embroidery. It is called Casalguidi Style Linen Embroidery

If you need to use pulled and drawn stitches there is a primer and general information here. Also online is this lesson in pulled work . This tutorial was published on stitchin fingers  Also see  Part I – Drawn Thread Embroidery by Therese Dillmont (PDF) and Part II – Drawn Thread Embroidery by Therese Dillmont (PDF) which are free books supplied by the Antique Pattern Library

Have fun with this months challenge. I have established a Flickr group for those who want to use it. The name is Stitchexplorer

How to participate in the stitch explorer challenge 

Stitch some samples that push this embroidery style

Blog it or put images somewhere online where people can see them. If you use flickr send them to the Stitchexplorer group

Come back to this post and leave a comment with your web address in it so that people can visit and see what you have done.

Note if when you leave a comment, if you fill in the form with your URL, it means that when people click on your name they will be taken to your blog.

 

Stitch Explorer March challenge

This month the challenge is to look at another embroidery style and push it into a direction that may not have been done before. At first glance Assisi embroidery appears to be a very conservative choice until you look at the dominant design element that drives its appeal.  In this style the background of the design is filled with embroidery stitches and the main motif is left void. This is why it is also known as voided work and as silhouette embroidery.

January’s challenge was chicken scratch which has a dominant design element of pattern. Last month’s trellis stitch appeal is the design element of texture. This months challenge to look at Assisi which is a style of embroidery that is based on using both positive and negative space. Once you see this aspect of the style it can act as a springboard  towards a very contemporary design. So the challenge is to use Assisi as inspiration for a small piece.

What we know as Assisi embroidery is a style that was revived early in the 20th century. Today Assisi is often worked in cross stitch outlined in either back stitch or double running stitch blue, green and red as traditional colors, but modern Assisi is stitched in any colour including variegated threads.

Originally this style of counted thread embroidery was named after a city in Italy. Jos Hendricks has developed a site on Assisi Embroidery which houses both patterns and information on the history of the style

For an informed article on traditional Assisi see Stalking the Wild Assisi by Kathryn Newell.

A very similar style called Reversa developed in Spain 

To see more of this style there is a traditional chart provided by La Chatelaine Designs that is available and this page provides some free designs of Assisi style embroidery.

Also there is also this traditional pattern of an Assisi style rabbit.

A good few of my designs are actually based on the idea of filling the background with stitching while leaving the main motif blank just s you do in Assisi. In fact I got the idea after looking at Assisi. Here is an example.

Have fun with this months challenge. I know it is more of a design challenge but last month was a technical challenge and we have to have variety!

A Flickr Group

I have established a Flickr group for those who want to use it. The name is Stitchexplorer

How to participate in the stitch explorer challenge 

Stitch some samples that push this embroidery style

Blog it or put images somewhere online where people can see them. If you use flickr send them to the Stitchexplorer group

Come back to this post and leave a comment with your web address in it so that people can visit and see what you have done.

 


Stitch Explorer 2009 February

Hello everyone I hope you enjoyed last months challenge.

The challenge for this month is a little known stitch called trellis stitch.It is a raised needle woven stitch that I think is a lot of fun and has loads of potential. The image to the left is a version of the stitch called spiral trellis stitch.

This stitch looks complex but actually once you get in a rhythm it works up fine and new hands should not find it too difficult.

Like in crochet and knitting if you want to decrease skip a stitch and if you want to increase add a stitch by working two into the same place.

I was going to write a tutorial but two my delight I discovered that Jeanne of Just String has already written a very good well illustrated step by step guide.

Also Mary Corbet of Needle ‘n Thread has produced a video tutorial.

Between these two useful sites people have more than enough information to explore this little known and highly unusual stitch.

Unlike chicken scratch which is an embroidery style that is based on building a  pattern, the charm and interest of trellis stitch is based on the texture it produces.

During the TAST challenge many people were surprised at what could happen when you take an embroidery stitch and push it. I hope that if people take spiral Trellis stitch and experiment with it we will see all sorts of strange creatures and growths emerge from our needles.

These samples are worked using a perle cotton thread the same weight and thickness as perle 5

Worked in a circle viewed from above

Worked in a circle viewed from the side (this is the same sample)

Worked in a decreasing circle viewed from above

The same sample viewed from the side. As you can see it would be easy to tuck beads inside these forms.

Worked in a decreasing square viewed from above

The same sample viewed from another angle.

I hope people enjoy this stitch as I think it has loads of possibilities and deserves to better known.

Some ideas to try

Increase and Decrease: Increasing or decreasing as you work the rounds produces different effects.

Expand the shape outwards:

Contract the shape inwards:

Try different threads : What does thin, thick, matt, high shine, textured thread look like? What about hairy thread. How would silk work up or wool?

Try different shapes: Try triangles, hearts, circles, squares, hexagons etc see what they look like

Tuck beads in and around different shapes:

What do they look like clustered together on mass?

What do they look like arranged in a pattern?

What happens if you work them on a different or unusual fabric such as scrim, net or lace?

A Flickr Group

I have established a Flickr group for those who want to use it. The name is Stitchexplorer

How to participate in the stitch explorer challenge 

Stitch some samples that push this stitch

Blog it or put images somewhere online where people can see them. If you use flickr send them to the Stitchexplorer group

Come back to this post and leave a comment with your web address in it so that people can visit and see what you have done.

Have fun!