More thorny outbursts Barred Chain and Alternating barred chain

Within the chain stitch family there are numerous varieties and types of chain. This morning I added two more stitches to the Stitch Collection Barred chain and Alternating barred chain.. Now that is living dangerously isn’t it! Two stitches loaded in one day is only possible because it is the Australia Day long weekend.

Just like chain stitch both of these varieties can be easily worked on all types of fabrics and equally effective when worked in straight lines or following curves. This means that both stitches can be used as thorny outbursts in floral motifs if you are a traditional stitcher or do crazy quilting. Both are easy and quick to work – as quick as chain stitch itself. To work you need to be familiar with chain stitch and twisted chain stitch for it is simply a line of a single chain stitch followed by a twisted chain stitch. In Barred chain the spike of the twisted chain is on one side and with Alternating barred chain the spike of the twisted chain swings from side to side.

Both stitches follow a curve well and can be worked in a large variety of threads from the finest silk to thick cotton. The size of the stitch will be influenced by the weight of the thread used and your spacing. Since their appeal is based on their textured nature they can be successfully combined with other textured stitches. This factor in combination with explorations varying the length of the spines, or the size of the chain, spacing of the spines, width of the line, weight and texture of the thread, should keep most contemporary embroiderers intrigued. Explore the scale you work in with stitch and I am sure you will have interesting results.

Twiggy bits with feathered up and down buttonhole.

Twiggy lines are sometimes a girls best friend, particularly if you are a traditional stitcher and enjoy floral motifs.

Up and Down buttonhole stitch feathered is one of those stitches that once you learn it you will draw on it all the time. It is a variation of buttonhole stitch which is easily worked on all types of fabrics and equally effective when worked in straight lines or following curves. This means it is ideal for those who are interested in Crazy quilting.

Although I have introduced Up and Down feathered buttonhole as a traditional stitch if you are not interested in “cute” you can push this stitch to form strong interesting linear elements and textures in a design. Explorations into variation in the length of the spines, spacing of the spines, width of the line, weight and texture of the thread, and size should keep contemporary embroiderers busy. Changing the weight of thread and overlapping rows of this stitch in an irregular manner produces an interesting effect. Also you can play around with the direction of the spines.

It is great fun, try it out. Needless to say I have added it to my stitch collection.

Colour my world with beetles?

Did you know that to obtain a pound of Cochineal red colorant extract you need to bash the hell out of a million cochineal beetles? This is why the Aztecs valued the red dye so much. I am not sure if it is the satisfaction in the bashing or the work involved but they did value the extract. I turned this little bit of colour trivia up from the Colour Matters site. If you wish to learn a little more about colour take some time out and explore Colour Matters as all aspects of colour are covered. Colour perception, colour as a science, colour and computers, and the psychology of colour are just a few topics covered.

Colour is a fascinating area of research and I have been doing a bit of a round up of links on the topic. On All about Colour, Pantone has also provided brief articles on the physics, history, the psychology and how we perceive colour.

I know the British love their museums and collections (I did too when I was there!) but I was surprised to discover that the Society of Dyers and Colourists in the UK have provided a Colour Museum. It is a fun interactive site which is educational as well.

The history of the colour wheel is fascinating as Mary Ellen Searcy points out since ancient times humans have tried to classify colour.

Color Schemer – Online is a great idea. This online program displays 15 colors that compliment one another. Not only is it great for anyone who is learning about colour but it is also fun.

For anyone who needs to brush up on the basics Color Theory is a brief article that introduces the topic and Lucy Lyons Willis also provides a good basic article covering some of the basics of colour theory in Needlework

Finally if you need a Color Glossary one is provided by