THREAD - experimenting with stem stitch

On Friday we had a session of THREAD at the  Southville Centre with a lovely mixed group of people of all ages and abilities. 

This week  we explored Stem stitch. 

We explore the stitch in several ways during the session . I provide inspiration and  lists of word to help us  think about the shapes we are making with the stitches

Stem stitch is an interesting stitch because although it  is used frequently to make rather lovely lines  it  can also be used in a number of other interesting ways that are easily overlooked. Here is some straight forwards stem stitch in perle cotton  8 which gives it a beautiful twisted look.


Stem stitch is worked from left to right ( If you are right handed)  with the thread under the needle but if you work it with the thread above the needle it becomes outline stitch which is quite different.  If you combine the two  alternating between  stem and outline you get a lovely brick like  stitch. Here it is worked in a DK merino yarn so you can see the effect.


When we made the embroidered map for the Gatehouse I used  Stem stitch to  fill my deer. It is a really lovely  textured filling.

compressed deers.jpg

It can also be used  over a grounding of  spaced  stitches to create a raised  filling


If you want a more textured filling you can work  line after line of alternating  stem stitch filling. You will get different effects  if you work all stitches in one direction, stagger the start or work back and forth 


In the seed heads on this piece I have left the alternating stem stitches loose. If you work row after row of these stitches you get  loops which can be  opened by cutting or left as loops  , called Turkey work I think.


Now the fun starts. I love attaching found objects to my work . You can use buttons, wrapped buttons,  mirrors, shells ,stones, enamel , all kinds of things. Stem stitch net is one way of attaching those objects.  The group on Friday were enthusiastic and attached all kinds of little buttons to their work. Here are some I completed

Here is a beautiful version by Alex , so neat   

Here is a beautiful version by Alex , so neat



 So if you fancy  learning from scratch  or improving your stitching why not come along to the next session on 11th May  2018 . I only charge £10 . After that session the workshops are about every two weeks . Have a good read of what you need to bring in the details for these sessions ( more dates soon to be added) .  I also bring lots of nice books to inspire you and there is a great cafe on site for lunch after all that stitching.

If you cant come to the sessions  and  want inspiration then  start collecting some lovely books. I can recommend anything by  Jan Beany , Edith John, Constance Howard, Erica Wilson, Jaqueline Enthoven, Jill Nordfors and Mary Thomas. Online take a look at and

A reminder now .Intermediate crochet is next Wednesday and the Wednesday after , two weeks for £30 , get in touch if you are interested. Also we have a gull session at Underfall Yard on the Friday - details  of that session are on this site but not the crochet

Right  I am off to  drink tea and eat  some warm figgy flapjack - have a great making week