Rediscovering Childhood Joys in 30 Stitches


One of my pleasures as a child was embroidery. I had my own set of colored yarns and was very proud of it. Sometimes, I stitched predesigned patterns, sometimes I drew my own. Over the years however, I did very little, and realized only recently that I stitch my silk paintings primarily with: Running Stitch, Whipped Running Stitch, French Knots, and some Chain Stitch. And there’s such a rich variety to choose from.


As a member of the Sutdio Art Quilt Association (SAQA), we can optionally participate in challenges. The current “SAQA - Stellar 70” encourages us to do something creative for 70 days. Of course, it’s ok to miss some, but for the first 30 days I was consistent and explored embroidery stitches, some old favorites and many new ones. Two many sources for inspiration: The Stitch Bank of the Royal School of Needlework and the book “Crewel Embroidery” by Erica Wilson.


I started with a photo printed on linen and then overpainted with acrylics. First stitch is a Chain Stitch, top diagonal left.

2 Backstitched Chain, bottom diagonal right


Sorry, I find it impossible to get the images in the right sequence. What I see is: 5 - 4 - 3

3 Reverse Chain with thick wool

4 Cable Chain, bottom diagonal left. (This one was difficult for me, so I’ll repeat it later.)

5 Whipped Chain, center right


Here it's 8 - 7 - 6. (No idea why they reverse themselves)

6 Open Chain or Ladder Stitch, center left

7 Checkered Chain Stitch which is done with two different colored threads in the needle

8 Double Chain, bottom


And again, it's 11 - 10 - 9 and 6 (front and back)

9 Showing the front and back of Mountmellick and Ladder Stitch

10 Feathered Chain Stitch, here with a helper?

11 Single Feather Stitch or Slanted Blanket Stitch, top left diagonal



12 Beginning Cross Stitch in the Danish Way (the one of my childhood)

13 Cross Stitch the English way which completes a stitch at a time

See the difference on the back.


Shows as: 16 - 15 -14

14 Closed Feather Stitch, bottom, pretty similar to 8 Double Chain Stitch, bottom

15 Feather Stitch and repeated 4 the cable with a metallic thread, bottom left

16 Fern Stitch, top


17 Double Feather Stitch, left top


18 “Hawaiian Stitch” with back and diagram; I don't know if this is an "official" stitch; I sort of invented it based on an image of Hawaiian bark cloth in an airplane magazine. If you know more about it, please let me know.


And now it's: 19 - 21 - 20

19 Herringbone Stitch, right

20 Fishbone Stitch, top

21 Interlaced Running Stitch, right top diagonal


In the order of: 24 - 23 - 22

22 Van Dyke Stitch (twice)

23 Coral Stitch (twice)

24 Braid Stitch (with double wool yarn, very thick)


In the order of: 27 - 26 - 25

25 Narrow rope stitch, left bottom quarter

26 Rosette Chain Stitch with diagram, top

27 Threaded Herringbone Stitch, center right


And once again in reverse order: 30 first round - 29 - 28

28 Back Stitch, right top

29 Whipped stem stitch, right towards center

30 French knots (two rounds of the to place them tightly together)


Thanks for coming all this way! You saw the final piece on top.

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