Daily Stitch Challenge Part 2

Daily Stitch Challenge Part 2

Last month I shared with readers how I had been doing a daily stitch challenge. I have been having a ball working a piece that is heavily textured with embroidery and beads. This year these challenges are all over Facebook and as you can see I have been having fun with them. I have shared details about the two I am doing at the end of this article.

Daily Stitch Challenge progress 13When I left off last month I had explained how apart from selecting a colour scheme my aim was to commence in freeform manner and respond to the stitching as go designing on the fly. When I do this type of embroidery in order to prevent the project becoming a hodge podge of stitches and visual mess, as some stage in the process I pull out what I call my design tools and using my knowledge of design I respond to what I have just stitched. I compare it to Jazz. This technique is an improvisational process.

Daily Stitch Challenge Part 2-17In last months article I had explained how I started embroidery, then decided it would be the header piece for my sampler this year. New readers to this site may want to check out my nearly 100 ft band sampler which you can read about here. I had two issues to deal with. The wall of stitching needed a bit of visual break and I needed a point of focus. The date, which consists of voided numbers solve both these issues.

Daily Stitch Challenge Part 2-16A third issue was also developing and that was that the viewers eye got stuck on the textured stitches rather than traveling around the piece so I needed to provide a path for people to travel along. For those non-design folks this is not a literal path but the path the eye takes as it looks at the piece. I did not want to turn this into an exercise in composition but I did want to have the viewers eye move around a bit. So this past month has been working on subtle almost subconscious paths in the piece.

There are three main vertical lines that run down the piece. The first I had started last month when I created a scattered line of brass beads. These are actually little brass disks that are used as spacers in necklaces. (I am pretty sure that is what they are)

Daily Stitch Challenge Part 2 left sideDown the left side of the piece I worked a number of buttonhole wheels, cast on stitches and french knots. The main thread I used is a hand dyed cotton perle #5 thread. Since the same stitches worked in the same thread are repeated along the edge they form an informal line or boundary to the side of the piece. They are still freeform but at almost a subconscious level the viewer reads a line.

On the right side of the piece I used once again I used the design device of repetition. This time the stitches I repeated are whipped wheels French knots, Bullion knots and a scattering of small blue bugle beads. Basically I have been working on these three ‘invisible’ lines that run down the piece.

Daily Stitch Challenge Part 2 right side

So now its time for the great reveal – this is what I call the header for the year (on my band sampler) ended up looking like.

Daily Stitch Challenge Part 2 done

And here for readers enjoyment some eye candy in the form of detail so you can see how closely packed the stitches and beading is.

Daily Stitch Challenge Part 2 detail

Stitches used

The rest of the time has been spent packing the spaces with stitchery. So far in this piece I have used chain stitch, oyster stitch, buttonhole wheels, cast on stitch, bullion knots, French knots, a whipped spoke stitch, and whipped wheel.

Threads used

Threads used are hand dyed cotton perle #5 and #8, stranded cotton floss of 3 strands, hand dyed silk thread that is the thickness of cotton perle #5 and #8. Also I used a thicker silk thread which is thick like 6 strands of cotton floss and some rayon ribbon floss

Designing on the fly is certainly a fun way to stitch. I hope you have enjoyed reading this Daily Stitch Challenge Part 2.

The two challenges I am following are “A Year in Stitches” run by Susan Sorrell and “Just One Stitch” run by Deena Beverley. Both Facebook groups encourage stitching daily for a year.The hash tags for these challenges are #ayearinstitches and #justonestitch.

If you are embarking upon any of these challenges don’t forget that my Stitch Dictionary of hand embroidery stitches is free online and hopefully many of the samples will give you some ideas of how to use a stitch in your own stitching adventures.
Sharon B's CQ templates” width=

Have you seen my Crazy quilters templates?

As a stitcher who loves crazy quilting I designed these templates with other crazy quilters in mind. With my Crazy Quilters Templates you can create hundreds of different patterns to embroider on 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.

Crazy Quilt Templates set 1 you will find here 

Crazy Quilt Templates set 2 you will find here 


  1. Astonishingly glorious!!!! Such fun to just cut loose and let the colors and textures evolve …. I’m wondering if you take this off the hoop when you’re not working on it, or not …

    Sharon Leahy
  2. There is a wealth of enjoyment in your eye candy. It is amazing how closely the stitches sit and yet each is seen perfectly – mine would surely be snagged.
    Thanks for sharing your beautiful work and the thread/stitches information.

  3. Wonderful piece & wonderful explanation. I always love it when people include thread details and stitches and you have also given us a peek into your design process. I also like the use of negative space!! Plus congrats on the book!!

    Cate Markey
  4. This is very beautiful. I appreciate the talent, skill, and artistry that went into the making of it. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and love of embroidery with others.

  5. This is so beautiful, and I appreciate the talent and artistry that went into the making of it! You are so kind to share your knowledge and experience with us.

  6. Sharon:

    Double Congrats to you! On your book – which I’m going to order- and congrats on this piece. I love it! I’m a relative recent beginner, so I have to say that you inspire me to reach for the stars and you shine bright among them! Right now, however, I’m still working on kiko’s flower . . . a million and one, a million and two . . . Again,congrats!!!!


  7. Thanks Sharon, I’m learning from you on free form embroidery. I’ve never done it before, and am having so much fun I a yearinstitches. And I’m using the stitches you’ve taught us.

    Jackie Lott
  8. Just got my first of your daily gabs. My gosh! What a gorgeous assemblage of stitches. Used to do a lot of CQ…met you in that class in Hartford CT a few years ago. MUST get back to it. My real thing now is small scale miniature petitpoint but I do miss the great freedom and creativity of your style. Have ordered your new book Can’t wait.


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