Thursday, January 21

Pink Leaf in some sort of Stitch

Today I was doing some stitching for one of my swap embroideries. Now lately I have been doing lots of Stem Stitches for my outlining (as you can see here) at least that's what I thought I was doing. But these might well be Outline Stitches. According to my  A-Z of Embroidery Stitches (which has a cover that hurts my eyes by the way, take... away.... the... neon.... pink!)  they are very similar except that with the Stem Stitch "(...)the thread is always kept below the needle, whereas in Outline Stitch it is kept above." Huh? It doesn't help that I'm left-handed and working from left to right (or is it upside down?) which makes it even more confusing, at least to me... Time to order Yvette Stanton's Left-Handed Embroider's Companion I think!


  1. It's lovely, whichever it is :)

  2. Hi Nicole, Yvette Stanton here! I can only encourage you in your quest to buy a copy of my book. You go girl! :-)

    As left-handers, we work stem stitch starting at the right, and travelling left. Each time you bring the needle out, it will be below the previous stitch. This produces exactly the same look as right-handers get, but they work it turned 180 degrees.

    Any questions, just ask!

    I haven't read enough of your blog yet to learn where you are, but the book should be making its way into shops in Europe, the US, and Australia about now. If you can't find it locally, you can also get it direct from my website:


  3. Thanks all! Yvette, I'm still confused about what stitch I actually did here (because I'm always stitching left handed from left to right)! :)

  4. Glad you are warming up to stem stitch- it can be quite beautiful, I find. I sometimes try Jenny Hart's stab method (Stitched Effects), for a slightly different character to the stitch. (And what Yvette said fits with what Mary Corbet of Needle'n Thread says about it, in terms of directions, and stem vs. outline.)
    BTW -Although I love all your patterns that I have bought, I have "jumped" to my little Vogel :)

  5. The one shown on the edge of your pink leaf is outline stitch.

    Do you "stab" rather than "sew" - make two separate movements for each stitch, one down and then up, rather than just one which goes in and out through the fabric in one movement? If yes, then you would easily be able to go left to right as a lef-hander.

    Just woken up. I'm not sure that I'm making much sense yet.

  6. Yes, I'm a 'stabber' because I feel that makes my stitches more accurate. I'm not sure if I can 'switch' to the sew technique, so I guess I'm destined to only make outline stitches! Thanks for all the info :)

  7. Ok, if you're stabbing, that's ok, you can still do stem stitch.

    At the moment when you stitch your outline stitch, from left to right, you come out below the previous stitch. If you want to do stem stitch, the only change that you need to make is to come out above it. You can still go from left to right, with your stabbing method, but just come out above the previous stitch.

    When I stem stitch, I also stab, as I find that gives me a much more accurate result (and that's what's shown in the book too). However, as a left-hander, I work from right to left as I find that gives me better tension, and I can see where I have been!


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