Take a Stitch Tuesday 135 Beaded Fern Stitch

Last week I introduced Fern stitch to the TAST series of stitches. I had some very positive feedback so I thought to add the beaded version. It is just as simple and very versatile and is ideal to use in floral sprays and is ideal for simple Christmas wreaths.

beaded fern stitch sampleFor the sample I have used perle 8 hand dyed variegated thread and a size a size 26 tapestry needle. Since the beading is done during the stitching process not added afterward use a 26 tapestry needle. The eye of a tapestry needle is long which means you can thread perle #8 and Perle #5 through. However the needle itself is thin which means you can add a bead to your working thread as you stitch. I have used seed beads in this sample.

How to work Beaded Fern Stitch

Beaded Fern Stitch consists of a simple arrangement of 3 straight stitches along a central line. Every second arm along the line you add beads to.

beaded fern stitch step 1
Work 3 straight stitches as you would with ferns stitch and bring your working thread out from the back of the fabric. Thread 2 or 3 seed beads on to your needle.

beaded fern stitch step 2With the beads on the thread work a straight stitch on the left side.

beaded fern stitch step 3With the beads on the thread work a straight stitch on the other side. Next work a unit of 3 straight stitches that are normal fern stitch.

beaded fern stitch step 4This pattern is repeated along the line. Beaded Fern stitch is pretty particularly when worked on a curve or in a free form manner. You can also use bugle beads or even some novelty beads if they are the right size.

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How to join TAST
Stitch a sample of this stitch or ANY of the stitches listed on the TAST FAQ page. Once you have worked a sample,  photograph it and put it online at your blog, flickr site etc then swing back to the Last TAST post listed   and leave a comment.  This is a guilt free challenge to learn hand embroidery stitches. You can stitch 1,  10 or all of the TAST stitches, swing in and out of the chellenge as life dictates and generally mooch along learning a bit here and bit there.  All are welcome.

Sardinian Knot stitch a review

Sardinian knot stitch book I recently received in the mail a book titled Sardinian Knot Stitch: Interpreted by Gioja Ralui. The parcel was pleasant surprise from Jeanine of Italian Needlework.

I love the story of how Sardinian Knotted Embroidery came to be. Gioja Ralui is a pseudonym that combines the names of 4 women who met online and with a common interest in traditional embroidery techniques developed a friendship. This in turn resulted in a book,Sardinian Knotted Embroidery. So, it was with a big grin on my face that settled down further to read about this form of embroidery.

All over the globe there are groups of women who have taken an embroidery stitch and developed it into an embroidery style with patterns that have gone on to become part of their cultural story. Sardinian Knotted Embroidery is like that.

The preface outlines the history and mythology associated with this form of embroidery. This is followed with a discussion on materials traditionally used in this form of embroidery.

Sardinian knot stitchSardinian Knot Stitch is clearly illustrated with step by step photographs.

Sardinian knot stitch patternsAs you can see diagrams describe the patterns with clear instructions.

Sardinian knot stitch projects For me good photography is crucial to good embroidery books. The finished embroidery is clearly photographed

The 70 page book covers the uses of this stitch, and the main pattern motifs used in this style of embroidery. Names of patterns are usefully in both Sardinian and English. These translate into charming names such as “the little leaves”, “the heart”, “the teeth”, “the crosses” and “the spurs”. Also in the book there are 5 “non-traditional” projects in varying degrees of difficulty.

OK so how do I feel about Sardinian embroidery after reading this? I am not likely to work a traditional piece but I am likely to add some of the patterns to my band sampler. My eye is becoming more and more attracted to traditional styles and patterning. This means for me I think it is time to explore this traditional style in a non traditional manner! But I am a bit quirky as I am sure for many people Sardinian Knot Stitch will be the start of a wonderful journey into this traditional form of embroidery.

Crazy Quilt Seam Details 531 and 532

Crazy quilt block 80Once again I have grouped together two of the details found on block 80 of my I dropped the button Box Crazy Quilt.

The first is line of sheaf stitch that is worked in hand dyed silk thread that is approximately the same thickness as  #5 cotton perle thread.

The seam at right angles to it is interlaced herringbone stitch also worked in #5 cotton perle thread.

crazy quilt detail 531

The next detail, a cluster of buttons sits at the base of  this seam. The buttons are fun but I enjoyed the seed bead tassel finished with a tiny set of red dice. They add a fun touch!

crazy quilt detail 532

I dropped button box quilt
This is my I dropped the button box Crazy quilt. The patterns for each block are free

This article is part of a series that highlight the hand embroidered seams and Crazy Quilt details on the quilt blocks that make up my crazy quilt I dropped the button box. For a free pattern of the block visit the web page about block 80.

Each block on this quilt has a free pattern which  are listed on the CQ details FAQ page.

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Freeform Hand Embroidery Sampler detail 683 and 684

Sampler section 50
Today I have a detail from  section 50 on my Love of Stitching Band Sampler

This detail is a small freeform section that consists of varieties chain stitch, buttonhole bars, and French knots. The threads I used are mix of cotton, silk and rayon. Some are regular commercial threads and some are hand dyed by me. It was fun section to work

freeform needlework sampler

The next detail is also freeform and worked in a variety of threads. They are straight stitch worked in blocks.

freeform needlework sampler


This section of the sampler was worked between March and May 2010.


This area is a section in my  Love of Stitching Band Sampler which is 15 cm (6 inches) wide and currently measures 96 feet 5 inches (2,938.78 centimetres), or  32.138 yards which is 29.3878 meters. It is still growing…

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Stitching chatter about hand embroidery, crazy quilting, freebies (not found on the blog), tips, news, challenges, ideas, and inspiration in my newsletter 
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Sampler FAQ
If you want to know more about this piece visit the Sampler FAQ page or you can work back through the series of articles by reading them in the the Love of Stitching Band Sampler category.