Sunday, August 15, 2021

More slow stitching challenge

I'm happy to say that I'm still doing well with the #100dayschallenge on Instagram. Yesterday I finished my first week! If you haven't been following on Instagram, here is a recap and more details.

Stitching the Hexies, Diamonds and Spiral

So far, I've been stitching with yummy thread on an improv piece with free motion quilting (FMQ) in the centre panel. My #100dayschallenge has been to stitch the centre panel. This week I've played with some very special hand-dyed threads from Maiwa, in British Columbia. They have craftspeople in Bengal who hand-dye silk, linen, cotton and wool with natural plant-based dyes. As well, they have their own brand of thread, Honest Thread, that is also hand-dyed. You can read more about them in my previous posts (see links below).

Days 2 to 7 stitches

Days 4 and 5 - Fly and Cross Stitches

I played with both the fly stitch and the cross stitch within the border of the diamonds. I experimented with the size, and for the fly stitch in particular, the order in which I made them. Generally instructions for the fly stitch are from top to bottom (or else that's what I've always assumed!). I found that for me, this was the most difficult way of making them for a consistent outcome. I'm much better at making them from side to side, or even better, from bottom to top.

Fly and Cross stitches

Both of these stitches are made using Honest Yarn's lace linen thread in Lac. It's one of my favourite colours 😊

Day 6 - Coral Stitch with Chain Stitch Variations

This hexie started with a line of coral stitches. I left it for a couple of days because I had no idea where it was going. After checking out my embroidery stitching books, I decided to play with a chain stitch and one of its variations. 

Coral stitch inside the hexie

Before jumping into the chain stitch however, I added another echo of coral stitching. The first line was made with 2 strands of Bengal linen in madder, while the second has three strands of the Bengal linen in marigold. It's nice to see the difference between a line of stitching using 2 and 3 strands.

I wanted something a little brighter 😊 so I used my hand-dyed #12 perle cotton to make the chain stitch. Next came the fun part. I added a berry stitch, which is a variation of the detached chain stitch to make the petals and then some French knots with some lovely golden #5 perle cotton.

Coral, Chain, and Berry stitches with French knots

Day 7 - Battlement Stitch

Doesn't that stitch sound grand and aggressive! I suppose that it could look like fortifications, but it's just rows of buttonhole or blanket stitches stacked row on row. If I had actually planned this, I would have made the first row (2 strands of Bengal linen in marigold) further away from the edge. I then had to squish the second row into it (2 strands of Bengal silk in madder).

Battlement stitch

Stitching slowly coming along!

Day 8 - Feathered Chain Stitch

I pretty much exhausted my usual stitches after a couple of days, although the stem stitch hasn't made it's way in yet...but I'm sure that it will eventually. So I've been looking at my three wonderful books of embroidery stitches. I'll talk a little about them after this stitch.

I really like the chain stitch. It has so many possibilities and can look very different depending on the thread used. I decided to try out the feathered chain stitch as a filler for the top spiral. I had to practice this one because remember, I'm accuracy challenged, so trying to make an accurate(ish) zig zag of stitches does not come naturally. Even my straight lines are only straight(ish)! This stitch is not difficult - it's really a long-tail chain stitch that follows a zig zag path.

Feathered Chain Stitch

For this stitch, I used a variegated  Eleganza #8 perle cotton from Sue Spargo's collection (more about some new threads in a future post 😊).

Embroidery Books

I have three embroidery books that I LOVE and highly recommend. The first, The Beginner's Guide to Freestyle Embroidery, is the one I used to re-learn to embroider as an adult. On one of our family trips to the South-west states, I did most of the samples in the book. I've mentioned this book before in previous posts.

Beginner's Guide to
Freestyle Embroidery

I use the e-book version of Joyful Daily Stitches - seam by seam by Valerie Bothell to find interesting stitch combinations. It's created primarily for crazy quilting and has a lot of fun stitch combinations, something that I'm always struggling with.

Joyful Daily Stitches - seam by seam

Finally is a new book by Sharon Boggon, Creative Stitches for Contemporary Embroidery. I found Sharon's amazing website, Pintangle, a few years ago. I has a great Stitch dictionary. Sharon also hosts Take A Stitch Tuesday (TAST) which I followed on and off for a couple of years.  I've used this book for many of the stitches in the #100dayschallenge so far.

Creative Stitches for 
Contemporary Embroidery

What I learned

  • I really love learning new variations of the simpler stitches. Sharon Boggon's book is really great for this and I will be using it a lot.
  • I think that this #100dayschallenge is more about posting on Instagram every day than it is about stitching every day - and I'm ok with that. I don't see the point of stitching every day if I'm really not in the mood. I'm much better at stitching every couple of days and preparing for two or three Instagram posts. It's what works best for me!
  • As I mentioned, I got more thread (sigh). I'll either show it off as I use it or will include it in the next challenge post.
  • I had better go stitch today's Instagram post - it's now Sunday! 😲

Related links

Linking parties

I'll be linking to many fun linking parties. Let's see what's going on out there! Slow Sunday Stitching, Patchwork & Quilts, 15 Minutes to Stitch 2021, Off the Wall Friday


  1. Such a fun challenge. I will definitely have to check out these books. I was practicing my chain stitch this week. I definitely need more practice but it is fun nonetheless. Thank you so much for sharing Happy quilting.

    1. Thanks so much Melisa. They are really great books. I've been having fun stitching but I'm going to have to change it up if I'm going to get to 100 days...I get bored way too easily!

  2. Bel usage de tes superbes fils ! Les broderies oranges sont très lumineuses, ça se voit que tu te régales !

    1. Bonjour Frédérique. Je ne sais pas comment longtemps je vais continuer sur ce projet - il me faudra beaucoup d'autres projets pour me rendre à 100 jours. Je m'ennuie facilement :-(

  3. Wow, you have certainly made progress with all your pretty embroidery stitches since I visited you last week. A plethora of stitches. I particularly love those bright and happy chain stitch petals. Those three books look great filled with lots of embroidery stitches to try.

    1. Thanks Kim. I was having a lot of fun but I tend to get bored easily so I'm going to work on other hand-stitching projects during my 100 days, or I'll never make it! lol Take care.

  4. What a fun project. I love the stitching around the hexies. Thank you for the book recommendations, my daughter has taken up embroidery and is starting to develop her own projects and asked about books that could help.

    1. Hi Kate, I hope these books help. My daughter has also done some stitching when she's in the mood. I think that I may have to find other projects to hand-stitch...I'm getting a little bored :-(


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