Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Long and Short of It

This week I am attempting to learn the long and short stitch.  I have shied away from it in the past because, quite frankly, I was intimidated.  I find the satin stitch to be the most difficult stitch by far, and as it is a close cousin, I was afraid it would also be hard to learn.

I decided to make my first attempt with an old familiar friend, the mushroom.  I'm pretty familiar with their shape, and thought it would be an easy enough subject to tackle on my first try.

So, I sketched out a little shroomie and set off.  I decided to start out with the long and short buttonhole stitch to go around the border, because I think it makes a nice, neat edge.  So far, so good!

Here I have completed the border and have begun filling in with the long and short stitch, and I'm feeling pretty good about how it's going so far.  But then........

I started to run into trouble when I got to the "corners".  See down at the bottom on either side how the stitches are meeting at strange angles and running over top of each other?  Help!  What did I do wrong?  How could I have worked the stitches so that there wouldn't be this messy miss-mosh in the corners?  I've thought about it and thought about it and tried to think of how I could have done this differently, and I'm stumped.  Did I mess myself up out of the gate with the long and short buttonhole border?

Anywho, I soldiered on and finished it.  I had come so far!  I didn't want to give up on it and toss it in the trash, so I did the best I could.  Then, I tried to disguise the most awkward spots with a few little white french knots for dots.

I am still very much a beginner!  I really want to learn how to do this, and would greatly appreciate any advice you may have on how to work the stitching lines.  I have searched the internet for information on how to draw the directional stitching lines, but haven't come across anything very helpful.  In the mean time, I will finish up my little shroomie and use him somehow, someday.  Or maybe I'll just keep him tucked away as a reminder of my first try at this new and challenging stitch!


margaret said...

I think this is pretty good for a first attempt. Like you I struggle with this stitch, wondering if you should have had the stitches at the bottom coming from an angle if you know what I mean, not sure really, looks good all the same and like the french knots.I also find it easier to work with just one strand of thread, move to other threads if one strand of stranded cotton is not enough, flower threads are good and fine perle cotton etc. hope this helps and I am stre you will get better advice from someone else.

Starr White said...

Thank you Margaret for your lovely comment and wonderful advice. I knew I could count on you to help me! I will try it next time with some perle cotton. I also think I'm going to have to break down and order a book of some kind on thread painting. thanks for the encouragement!

bohemiannie! art said...

I think it's wonderful! I would display it proudly. If you want to make another...you might try drawing one and have a mark for each stitch on your drawing. When I satin stitch, I simply angle the stitch to suit what I'm doing...but then, as you know, I'm not a perfectionist. :) I'm not sure if I can express this in writing, but when I satin stitch, I'll pull the threads to the top...lay them on the fabric in the direction I want them to go...nice and neat and flat...hold them there with my thumb while poking the needle through with the other hand. I then let the needle drop and untwist after almost every stitch...and it seems to 'make' my stitches go where I want them to. Well, now I sound like I'm trying to be a perfectionist. I used to do a lot of embroidery...not so much anymore...and to be honest...again...I don't worry too much about it! Have fun.