It is time to announce the first stitch in TAST 2018. But first, let me welcome you all to Take a Stitch Tuesday 2018! TAST is always interesting, but particularly the early part of the challenge – as the first 20 or so stitches are the foundation stitches of hand embroidery.
To be honest, if you are totally new to embroidery, then a good place to start is to learn these first 20 or so stitches and master the hand movements associated with them. This will give you the skill to pick up most other stitches. In other words, it will give you the basics, or foundation for many other stitches. Sometimes, you will combine two or more foundation stitches to form another stitch. Or you will add one or two little extra movements to form a new stitch. So if you want to learn the basics, I recommend that you take up the challenge for at least the first 20 weeks. I reckon that by the end of 20 weeks, you will be so addicted that not completing the rest of the stitches in TAST would feel like a huge lost opportunity in your life!
Stitch 1 for Take-a-Stitch-Tuesday 2018 is running stitch. And just bear with me for a moment, because at first glance, it looks too simple for words. To be honest, it is an easy stitch – but it is also tremendously versatile. On the instruction page for running stitch, I highlight some of its many uses and list some of the main the techniques that use running stitch, alongside the instructions on how to work it.
For those who have done TAST before or if you already know the basic embroidery stitches, then I suggest you join in on the Beyond TAST challenge. Beyond TAST runs concurrently with TAST see the TAST FAQ for more details. No need to sign up just join in. The main point with Beyond TAST is to take a block of time – a month – to explore in depth a family of stitches or stitching styles, or an aspect of design. You can work a small project or simply explore the stitch for the next month.
Running stitch is the basis of Pattern darning which creates very attractive designs by changing the length of the stitches and the spacing between them. This technique is also used in Kogin work from Japan. For the first season in Beyond TAST, I encourage people to explore what is possible with this simple stitch. The idea is to discover for yourself what is possible with this stitch but also share your discoveries with others in the TAST group so that beginners can see how even the most basic of stitches can be used creatively in a contemporary setting.
As a tip for inspiration, if you Google Pattern Darning or Kogin embroidery you will discover lots of information online, resources and Pinterest boards on the topic.
How to take part in the Take a Stitch Tuesday challenge
If you are new to hand embroidery your challenge is to learn the stitches. So Learn stitch 1 and share what you have learnt. If you are an experienced embroiderer enjoy Beyond TAST and explore this stitch for a month. Try and give your work a modern twist and share it online so beginners can see what can be done with a little imagination.
Where to share
Stitch a sample of stitch 1, photograph it, put in online on your blog or Flickr site, and share it in the TAST facebook group or where ever you hang out online. If you have a blog leave a comment on the running stitch page with your full web address. Don’t forget the ‘HTTP’ bit of the web address so that your address becomes a live link. That way, people can just click to visit your site and see what you have done. For Flickr people, the group is Take a Stitch Tuesday. Hashtags are #TASTembroidery and #PintangleTAST on places like Instagram etc.
If you need more information the challenge guidelines are on the TAST FAQ page.
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 accurately and they are compact enough to slip neatly into your sewing box.