April 14, 2012

Judy ~ The Stem Stitch

All of the Sun Bonnet Sue blocks have lots of stem stitch! With that in mind, I tried to practice a couple of new versions of the stem stitch that were suggested in my old book, needlework stitches by Barbara Snook. I tried the whipped stem stitch, the encroaching stem stitch and the cable/alternating stem stitch. Has anyone figured out where right and left of the needle are? I learned it as above and below the needle and can't decide if right of the needle is with the needle facing you or you facing the needle? Totally confused myself. Actually one newer book that I have said that left of the needle is incorrect and gives no mention to the outline stitch at all. At any rate, I usually work the stem stitch with the thread below the needle. Also, has anyone figured out a good way to go around a right angle corner with the stem stitch? Sue's fence has lots of corners, and I never did come up with a way I liked very much.





Aside from the "normal" stem stitch, I used the cable version on her shoes. Please notice, they aren't black! The gate is a little strange because it's not attached to anything according to the pattern. I fixed Sue so she's not floating, nor is the gate, but to me it needs anchoring somehow. Any suggestions?

14 comments:

Suztats said...

SBS is lookin' just fine! I think some stem stitch along the underside of the fence in browns would look like the earth and (ahem, sorry) ground the fence. A few branches entwining around the fence coming from the earth would help, too.
The way I did a 90 degree corner was to end one direction by taking the thread to the back of the work, securing it, and then beginning a new line at right angles to the first.
But for the correct way you might check out Mary's site at Needlenthread as she has stitch directions, tutes, and tons of wonderful information.
As for me, I outline with the thread under the needle, and stem with it above, and sometimes (gasp) I just do whichever one is easier at the time. ahem. But that's me. lol

Connie Eyberg Originals said...

You have had a lot of stem stitching. I like the wrapped stem stitch. We did that in our Chikan embroidery SAL. I'm afraid I'm not familiar (yet) with your other two techniques. SBS looks wonderful. I love the gate. It never hurts to leave some things to the imagination such as what the gate is attached to. If you feel SBS and the gate need grounded more maybe you could ground them with some horizontal shadowing, a horizon line or even more blades of grass scattered about.

I'm not sure what you are asking about the stem stitch, but I pull the thread to the left of the needle regardless of which direction I am going.

Judy S. said...

Thanks for the tip on corners. I tried that and also tried fly stitch for the point of the gate. I'm with you on "what's ever easiest!" ;)

Judy S. said...

I think what I was asking is below left of the needle? Thanks for the gate-grounding suggestions!

Debra Spincic said...

I immediately thought of you when the stitch was announced. My impression of this style of embroidery is that they are dominated by the stem stitch. It's good that you are trying other stitches in its place.

ladyhawthorne said...

I'm with Debra on this, your SBSs are much more interesting than most I have seen.

Judy S. said...

It's been much more interesting to stitch also. I wonder what next week's stitch will be.......

Carol Neale-Broughton said...

With Sue's hand on the gate looks as though she has it open ready to pass through especially as the hinges are showing. Great.

jenclair said...

Do you make up stories for what your Sues are doing? I always did with my grandmother's quilt. When Carole mentioned that Sue was ready to pass through the gate, I wondered where she would be going.

Barbara C said...

Nice job trying out some of the stem stitch variations.

Peacock said...

I always got the impression that "left" and "right" of the needle were with the needle's tip pointing away from the stitcher. When I hold hooped fabric in my hands, it seems much easier to scoop a stitch pointing away from myself rather than toward myself, and there are several stitches which I work in this orientation (like feather stitch). But I am more inclined to work stem/outline stitch with the needle pointing away from my working hand. Since I stitch primarily with my right hand, the trail of worked stitches leads from left to right, and my needle tip points to the left as I'm making the new stitch, so I would describe the stitches as "above" and "below" rather than "left" and "right".
One simple way to "ground" the gate would be to add lines for a post to the right of the gate's hinges. The post for the gate doesn't need to be a pointed picket-- most picket fences that I've seen have supports that are simple square-topped posts. When I get stuck on an idea, I like to do a google image search to help me figure out what I'm missing. Here's a couple of picket fence gate images that what I mean about the post support:
http://etc.usf.edu/clippix/pix/a-wooden-picket-fence_medium.jpg
http://www.gapinteriors.com/images/WebPreview/0073/0073025.jpg

Judy S. said...

Sounds like you stitch the way I do, and I also thing "above" and "below". Thanks for the post suggestion and links! It seemed to me that the gate needed something like that as right now it's suspended in midair!

Cy said...

SBS and stem stitch go together like strawberries and cream.
Very lovely stitching Judy. I'm sure another TAST stitch will come along soon that will inspire you to stitch the gate post.

cq4fun said...

She's looking very good, and I love her shoes! Maybe just a couple of lines of stitching to the right edge to show that there's more fence? I don't know how much space you have there.