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Embroidered Book Cover - A Collection of Strawberries

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15 January 2008

Embroidered Book Cover - A Collection of Strawberries

--This entry has been edited from the original.

The comments given by Paula Hewitt and Celeste gave me a springboard into looking into some stitches I didn't know, and I've subsequently updated the stitch descriptions of each strawberry.

Thankyou! Paula and Celeste!


  • V&A T.259-1926, which looks like raised detached buttonhole or trellis stitch with french knots on top.
  • Single feather stitch outlining.
  • The sepals look like woven picots

Jane Nichol's Stumpwork Strawberry,

  • padded with felt and covered with trellis stitch
  • sepals are chain stitched

The remainder are from Embroidered Book Covers from the British Library

  • that looks like seed stitch on top of laid stitch. (on satin stitch they’d sink in)

  • You can’t see enough of the base stitch to tell whether it’s satin stitch or laid stitch. But surely they’d sink into the satin stitch unless their edges are overlaying the trellis, or laid stitch was used.
  • The French knots are not on the trellis intersections, but *between* them

Paulahewitt said …

I think the fishnet is couched trellis , worked over laid stitches (like satin stitch but the thread does not travel across the back of the work)- a crewel embroidery technique.

celeste said.... (edited)

A trellis over satin stitch.

Once you've laid your trellis, you can go back and fill the squares with another stitch, in this case French Knot.

A question - re Paula's comment - with the couching holding down laid stitch, then more couching stitches holding down a trellis, aren't you going to end up with an awful lot of couching stitches, especially in such a small object? Or perhaps that's why the french knots are in the middle of the intersection - to hide some of the couching of the laid stitch??

The French Knots won’t fall into the satin stitch with a trellis underneath like my strawberry with satin stitch/French Knots had happen.

  • Top left – looks like satin stitch (a bit of thread dividing can be seen) with a trellis laid over the top but with French knots in the spaces between the trellis, not at the intersections.
  • Bottom left– the Knots aren’t dividing up the satin stitch. They are sitting quite distinctly on top.

Laid stitch with the part of the second layer of stitches (and part of the couching) done in red instead of cream?

  • *The one on the right looks like French Knots on top of satin stich – you can see the way the knots are dividing the thread (and they are pretty big knots too – maybe to stop them falling through?)

Variations :

* Shading patterns of the strawberries vary. Stripes are used, or alternating stripes, rather than graduating colours.

* French knots cream, red or green/beige

* French knots appear between the intersection of a trellis, where a trellis is used, rather than on the trellis intersections

* All strawberries, except Jane Nichols’, have French knots or seed stitch

* varying French knot colour including within the same strawberry

* sepal shape varies – either round ended and in satin stitch or pointed end woven picot

* usually 4 sepals, sometimes 5

* colour shading in the sepals

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the fishnet is couched trellis , worked over laid stitches (like satin stitch but the thread does not travel across the back of the work)- a crewel embroidery technique.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008  
Blogger celeste said...

To me it looks like the embroiderer first filled the shape with satin stitch and then laid a trellis. You do this by laying a series of vertical stitches evenly spaced and then laying stitches horizontally using the same spacing (like in tic tac toe). At each intersection, couch down both threads with a single stitch (like a /) or a cross stitch (X). Once you've laid your trellis, you can go back and fill the squares with another stitch, in this case French Knot.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008  
Blogger Elmsley Rose said...

I was able to thank Paula in her blog

- but Celeste- there's over 70 people collected together in yours, so I thought I'd pop a Thankyou to you here, and hope that you saw it. :-)

Thursday, January 17, 2008  

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