Raised Cretan Stitch Tutorial

Raised Cretan stitch is a variety of Cretan Stitch. Before you start this stitch take a look at Cretan Stitch and pay attention to the hand movement required to create the stitch. The difference is that this variety is worked lacing a foundation of back stitch rather than taking a bite of the fabric. They foundation stitches can be arranged in two parallel lines or as shape.

Raised Cretan stitch worked either as a line or within a shape is a quick and easy way to create a fill that looks a little like a braid. Not only is it quick but at the lacing stage you can add beads or use interesting novelty threads such as a fine metallic braid.

How to hand Embroider Raised Cretan stitch

tutorial on how to work Raised Cretan stitch step 1

For the demonstration I have used cotton perle #5 thread. Work a foundation of back stitches arranged two parallel lines.

tutorial on how to work Raised Cretan stitch 2Bring your needle to the front of the fabric at the top of one of the lines of back stitch. (If you need a refresher on how to work back stitch just follow the link to a tutorial) Take the needle across to the other line. With the point of the needle angled toward the middle of the two lines, pass it under the first back stitch.

tutorial on how to work Raised Cretan stitch step 3Move to the other line. Pass the needle under the second back stitch. With each pass make sure the needle points towards the center of the two lines.

tutorial on how to work Raised Cretan stitch step 4Move back and forth lacing the back stitches until you reach the end.

Raised Cretan stitch worked within a shape.

You can also work Raised Cretan stitch within a shape. It is a very quick way to fill a small area and is ideal to work for leaf shapes. The process is the same as Raised Cretan stitch worked between two parallel foundation lines

tutorial on how to work Raised Cretan stitch step 5Work a foundation of back stitches in the shape you want to work. I have used a very wide leaf shape. I widened the sample so you could easily see what was happening but if you make the shape narrow Raised Cretan stitch produces nice leaves and flower petals. Of course you can use other shapes too but I have found that a leaf shape is particularly effective.

tutorial on how to work Raised Cretan stitch step 6Bring your needle to the front of the fabric at the top of the shape. Take the needle across the shape and pass it under the first back stitch on the other side. Move across the shape and pass the needle under the next back stitch. As with Raised Cretan stitch worked between two parallel foundation lines with each pass make sure the needle points towards the center of the shape.

tutorial on how to work Raised Cretan stitch step 7Follow Pintangle and have it delivered to your inbox
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TAST Stitch 70

Step by step fancy herringbone stitch 8
TAST Stitch 70 is another fun decorative stitch to play with. The stitch I am proposing for TAST Stitch 70 is Fancy Herringbone Stitch. It forms a strong but pretty line that makes it ideal for a border or as seam treatment in crazy quilting. You can work in different threads and you can lace this stitch with many novelty threads and ribbons or even novelty knitting yarns. If you want to add beads it adds even extra zest. You will find a tutorial for Fancy Herringbone Stitch here 
I hope you enjoy exploring what it can do and you can use it in you surface embroidery.

TAST2012logoHow to join in on the Take a Stitch Tuesday challenge

All stitchers a free to join the challenge and all levels of skill are welcome. If you are new to hand embroidery the challenge is to learn the stitch. If you are an experienced embroiderer push these stitches in creative manner and share with beginners so they can see what can be done with a little imagination.

Where to share

Stitch a sample, photograph it, put in online on your blog, or share it on Facebook, Instagram etc or where ever you hang out online, and leave a comment on the Fancy Herringbone Stitch page. Feel free to join the  TAST facebook group. The challenge guidelines are on the TAST FAQ page.  Hashtags are #TASTembroidery and #PintangleTAST on places like Instagram etc. If you need more information the challenge guidelines are on the TAST FAQ page.

Follow Pintangle and have it delivered to your inbox
You can have Pintangle delivered to your inbox by using the follow feature in the sidebar. Just enter your email address, and when you get the confirmation email make sure you say yes and you are all set!
If you are on a mobile or tablet you will need to scroll to the bottom to find the follow feature.




TAST Interview with Annet of Fat Quarter

This year is a very special year for TAST as it has been running for 10 years. Throughout the coming year I am going to run a series of interviews with stitchers who have done part or all of the TAST challenge and feature their work. I will ask the same questions of each stitcher.

A decade is long time to be running a challenge online and right from the start Annet of Fat Quarter embraced TAST. Not only did she stitch the TAST logo but Annet has created some wonderful fabric books with her samples. To see all her fabric books visit her blog Fat Quater and see the posts labeled fabric book.If you browse back through the series you can see how Annet made the books.

TAST interview image 1Annet is also the creator of this fantastic dragon which was created while exploring stitches, you can find information about it here

TAST Interview with Annet of Fat Quarter

Here is the interview with Annet of Fat Quarter. Links in the interview lead to posts in Annet’s blog that share photos of what she is talking about. I hope readers enjoy it.

Why do you like hand embroidery and hand work? How has it influenced your life?

I like hand embroidery, because every piece is one of a kind. I love the imperfection of hand work. Embroidery gave me a different look at myself as it feels so good to make something pretty just with needle, fabric and thread.

How did you start? Were you taught by your mother, school or taught yourself online? If you taught yourself what attracted you to embroidery?

I learned a few basic embroidery stitches at primary school when I was about 8 years old.   I feel very lucky to still have the bag that was made from these stitches. (Interrupting here but you can read about Annet’s first embroidery here. It is a delightful tale and so neat!)

I always admired embroidery, but I thought I could never learn it. So all I stitched was cross stitch projects until I found TAST in October 2007. I hoped I could learn a new stitch every week, so I started stitching on muslin with a quilting needle and stranded floss. I learned a lot by looking at the stitches made by other participants. I think that’s the best part of TAST, we all learn from each other.

Do you use TAST to make samplers or incorporate the stitches into projects as you go. Or what sort of projects most attract you ?

The first 3 runs of TAST I made samplers and turned them into fabric books. Of course I started to use these stitches in other projects too. Now I use the stitches mostly on projects I’m working on, because I already experimented 2 or 3 times with most stitches. But I have some samplers in progress were I experiment from time to time. The experimenting part of embroidery attracts me most, it’s so much fun to see the parts of a stitch and think outside the box.

TAST interview image 2 fabric books

Can you talk about your last project and/or your current project? (Can be any textile project)

I have many projects in progress, but the last weeks I’m working on only 4 of them. I’m crocheting a blanket, knitting my first pair of socks for my daughter, trying to finish the cross stitch borders on the fabric book pages I’m making for Randje per week 2015 and I recently started adding borders to a quilt I made many years ago.

What is the project you are most proud of?

That’s my embroidery Birth, a postcard size sampler I stitched for Sharon’s class Personal Library of Stitches. It was the first time I saw what happened when I let my needle do the work and stopped thinking about what to do next.

Do you have any UFO’s ? If so, fess up to how many?

Of course I have UFO’s , don’t we all! I’m not sure how many, I think about 15-20 embroidery projects and 5-10 quilt projects.

Do you work purchased designs or do you design your own projects? Or do you do both?

I like designing my own projects, but I do both.

TAST interview image Beer time

Beer Time by Annet of Fat Quarter you can read about how it came about here

Do you have a creative design process? If so what is it? Or do you work intuitively?

For me it works best to start with a basic idea and then just start and let needle and thread do the talking. I try not to think about how it should look when it’s finished.

What stimulates your creative process? What inspires and sparks ideas for you?

That can be anything from seeing something made by others to something I see in my daily life.

Lots of people have trouble starting a project. What makes you start a project? Do you have any tips to get you from blank fabric to stitching?

Mostly I start with the fabric and a pattern/idea and then I go through my boxes with embroidery thread to make a colour palette. I go for a mix of colours and threads. If I need beads I also add all beads that I could use. Everything stays together with that project, so I don’t have to look for my supplies when I want to work on it. When I see all those yummie threads I just want to get started!

Do you have stall points? If so how do you get past them? Do you have any tips to share about this?

Sometimes I forget embroidery is hand work and doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s just me enjoying the journey with needle and thread. It has to be fun! If I don’t know how to continue with a project I experiment on samplers or a doodle cloth.

Do you have ‘go to’ stitches? In other words stitches you use frequently that you return to using over and over. If so what are they and why do you think they are so successful for you?

French knots, they work with many different threads and there’s always a tiny spot to stitch them. They are a great combo with many other stitches. I like the look of them in different threads.

Do you have a favourite embroidery thread, or something you use all the time? If so what is it?

My favourites are perle threads in 5, 8 and 12, but I use many different kinds of other threads too.

What advice would you give to new hands?

Just start and try to experiment with different stitches and threads. Look at the different parts of the stitch and try to think outside the box. For example a cross stitch is just 2 crossed straight stitches. As long as they cross each other it’s a cross stitch, so they don’t have to be the same size and they don’t have to cross all in the same direction if you’re notworking in counted work. Just play with needle and thread and see what happens.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Don’t be afraid to experiment with threads and fabric. Enjoy the journey, the end result is just a bonus!

Thanks Annet I appreciate your time.

If you want to see how Annet uses her TAST stitches see the TAST label on her blog Fat Quarter. While you are there check out her tutorials, freebies and tangle patterns.

Many people have said TAST has meant a lot to them and I would love to hear your story and consider you as someone to be interviewed and have your work featured. Don’t hesitate to email me via the contact page. Everyone is asked the same set of questions and they are posed by email.