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Historical Sampler - Heavy Chain Stitch, Not Laid Work: The Rose Stem

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21 September 2008

Historical Sampler - Heavy Chain Stitch, Not Laid Work: The Rose Stem

I haven't actually seen a long straight line of laid work being done in a scrolling vine design, as I did for the long stem of my rose. (I'm going to do a separate post on the possible stitches to use in a scrolling vine design)

So I decided to change it.

Jane Zimmerman's "The Art of Elizabethan Embroidery" suggests a number of stitches as being suitable for a thin line.

This is the "before" photo of the stem as it existed :


I decided to go for Heavy Chain Stitch, since it is a relatively simple stitch for long lines and this was my first (well, second) attempt. Jane Zimmerman also describes a variation of Heavy Chain stitch which gives a heavier braid.

I learnt the actual stitch from Country Bumpkin's "Embroiderer's Handbook". (I need step by step embroidery instructions)

Now, the "after" photo makes the stitching look absolutely terrible. It's reflecting off the gold and makes it look very wobbly indeed.

Not that I didn't occasionally put the needle through the wrong hole when going up towards the rose, but it does look a whole lot better in real life than it does here :


I widened the stem as I got closer to the rose, finishing at 4 threads across. Each stitch was one thread up from the last stitch.

The pointy part at the beginning 'just sort of happened' as I started to build my chain of double (heavy) chain stitches.

I used my trusty Lurex thread.

It was hard to do in terms of getting the needle to catch those two small ends  of each metal thread chain stitch. I needed a bandaid to protect my finger. I'd really hate to try it with passing thread.

I used a tapestry needle to avoid picking up any ground threads.

Here's the sampler as it now looks :


I think this version of the stem is far more in the flavour of the piece than the laid work version was, and I'm glad that I made the change.

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Blogger Dragonsally said...

Its looking good

Sunday, September 21, 2008  
Blogger Mary Corbet said...

Yep - I agree with changing that. The laid work looked very nice - nicely done - but now that you point it out, it didn't "match" as well. I like the tri-color leaf!

I'm glad to see you're feeling better!!

Good work, Megan!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008  
Blogger Plays with Needles said...

This piece is really starting to come alive!

Sunday, September 21, 2008  
Blogger JoWynn Johns said...

I'm glad to see you making so much progress.

Monday, September 22, 2008  
Blogger Elmsley Rose said...

Thankyou everyone!

This is where I tell you I'm going to re-do the stem, using thread guidelines, coz the "whole sampler" photo shows it pretty well, and I'm not quite happy with it.

Monday, September 22, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was going to say re-do the stem . lol! I hate when it looks ok in real life but then you take a photo and doesnt look as good. I like the way this is coming along, and I love the tricolour leaf.

Monday, September 22, 2008  
Blogger MargB said...

Gracious goodness - it is all looking beautiful to me. Hoep you are over whatever was the problem.

Thursday, September 25, 2008  

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