This is more than a hand embroidery sampler

As I sat to write this, I thought this is more than a embroidery sampler. It is not just the size which is 96 feet long it is that I have lived with parts of this cloth sitting in my sewing box for years and years as I started doing it in 1996. If you are not aware of the whole back story you will find it here. The reason I say it is more than a regular hand embroidery sampler is that I always enjoy experimenting with hand embroidery stitches even  the very basic ones, but as time went on I added more and more snippets of text that marked events in my life.

hand embroidery sampler detail 714

In this area I was playing around with basic stitches. In this case I was working back stitch using a hand dyed thread. This is a blackwork filling pattern but the hand dyed thread gives it a modern twist.

hand embroidery sampler detail 715This is also back stitch worked as a chevron pattern. Hopefully beginners will see what is possible with some of the basic stitches.

hand embroidery sampler detail 716

The next band of my embroidery sampler is running stitch worked row upon row.

hand embroidery sampler detail 717

The band after that echos the chevron pattern. It is running stitch worked in a zig zag formation.

hand embroidery sampler detail 718

This is mainly stem stitch worked in various weights of thread. Some are cotton perle #5, others are 3 threads of stranded cotton floss, other threads are wool. There are also French knots and the beads are secured with straight stitch.

hand embroidery sampler detail 719

The next area is mainly worked in chain stitch in different threads. There is some hand dyed cotton perle #5, some  wool and some linen thread. I also used  French knots and once again the beads are secured with straight stitches.

hand embroidery sampler detail 720

I often stitch while watching the evening news. Often snippets are incorporated in my stitching. I was pleased to hear that we were declared to be finally out of drought when the next news story was that there were floods in Pakistan. I added this using a dark green perle #8 cotton to work the letters in back stitch.

hand embroidery sampler detail 721

This is another area of back stitch that is worked in cotton thread. I added  big chunky beads and woven cross stitch worked in wool.

Needlework embroidery sampler section 51 cI hope you enjoy seeing these are details of my hand embroidery sampler. They are bands 714 to 721 of a section of the sampler which was worked between June and December of 2010. The sampler itself is only 6 inches wide but it is 96 feet 5 inches or 29.3878 meters long you can read about why it exists on the Sampler FAQ page

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How to work Back Stitch

Back stitch sampleBack stitch is often used along side cross stitch to define a clean neat line in a design. It is classified as a linear stitch because you can create lines with it! Back stitch is an old adaptable stitch which can be used as a delicate outline or as a foundation in composite stitches, such as Pekinese stitch. It is also a great stitch to whip or thread with a heavier yarn. You can add beads to it too!

Back stitch sample using hand dyed threadIf you want to work blackwork patterns using hand dyed or variegated threads use back stitch. Many blackwork patterns can be very effective worked this way and the changing colours  add a contemporary touch to a traditional style of hand embroidery.

Back stitch sample on contemporary hand embroideryThis is a stitch that is considered a basic stitch as it is always introduced to beginners, but I feel  people underestimate  its versatility which ensures its timeless appeal to generations of stitchers. For instance in this sample (click to see a larger version)  I have used back stitch to define the lines of the sand. Set against the highly textured embroidery the simple ‘basic’ stitch creates the contrast I wanted.

Back stitch step by step tutorialIf needed, mark your line with a quilters pencil or soluble pen or pencil. Bring the thread up from the back of the fabric on the line that you want to create. Make a small backward stitch through the fabric.

Bring the needle through the fabric a little in front of the first stitch and still on the line. Pull the thread through the fabric.

Make the second stitch backward,inserting the needle down into the hole made by the first stitch and bringing the needle out a little in front of the second stitch but still on the line. Repeat this movement and continue sewing in such a manner along the line.

Back stitch is also known as point de sable

Crazy quilt template set 2 Have you seen my Stitchers Templates?

As someone who loves crazy quilting and embroidery I designed these templates with other stitchers in mind. With my templates you can create hundreds of different patterns to apply to your stitching and crazy quilting projects. They are easy to use, totally clear so you can position them easily and they are compact in your sewing box.

Templates set 1 you will find here 
Templates set 2 you will find here 
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For the Love of Stitching Sample 596

hand embroidery detail on needlework stitching sampler This area is found on part 42 of The for Love of Stitching Band Sampler. As you can see it is another little journal component as I was a little concerned when I heard H1N1 was declared a pandemic.

Stitches Used:

Back stitch

Thread:

Perle #8 perle cotton

Fabric:

Linda 27 count evenweave

Date:

This section of the sampler was worked mid 2009.

Size:

The For Love of Stitching Band Sampler is 15 cm (6 inches) wide and consists of different strips of fabric which are stitched together to form one long strip. It currently measures 96 feet 5 inches (2,938.78 centimetres), or  32.138 yards which is 29.3878 meters. It is still growing…

Sampler FAQ
For the full back story on this piece visit the Sampler FAQ page.

All posts in the series are in the category  the Love of Stitching Band Sampler.
Are you enjoying this series?  You may enjoy my online Sumptuous Surface Embroidery class which will start on the 7th march 2013

Details about the class, booking and purchase is here  If you are not sure how an online class runs visit this page