Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Bunny Project in Progress : Granito Stitch for the Eye

This post is a continuation from
The Bunny Project

You are welcome to join me if you want to stitch along .

Using an embroidery hoop for Shadow embroidery is mandatory.
I have used 2 strands of DMC six strand embroidery floss.


1. Eye

The Eye is worked in Granito stitch , in vertical direction with 5 stitches, using black color.


Here I would be working a 5- Stitch Granito

Granitos are easy and quick to make stitches made of several straight stitches . A minimum of 5 straight stitches are required to make one granito. Doesn't the stitch resemble a tiny grain?

The striking feature of this stitch is that the stitches are made in the same 2 holes on fabric .
The stitches should lie along side each other and not over one another, hence , each stitch has to be guided to its position while stitching 

Step 1: To make the First stitch

Bring the thread to the front at A .
Take the needle to the back at B and bring it up to the front at A.

Step 2: Second stitch

After completing the first stitch, the needle is again passed from B to A , to make the second stitch.
Note that the thread lies on the right side of the needle , hence the stitch should be guided to the right side of the first stitch.

Step 3: Make the Third stitch

Now the thread is taken to the left side of the first stitch so that the next stitch lies to its left.

Step 4: Make the Fourth stitch

Fourth stitch lies on the right side.
More stitches are made alternating the sides .

Step 5: Make the Fifth stitch

The fifth and final stitch ( as made for this project) is made, and the needle is passed on to the back of the fabric, thus , finishing one granito

One Granito made.
A more circular granito can be made by reducing the A-B distance.

Increasing the number of stitches will make a larger granito.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Shadow Work : The Bunny Project

I have started a new Shadow embroidery project. I wish to share with you all my work progress .

You are welcome to join me if you want to stitch along .

Shadow Work : The Bunny Project

I am going to post a step by step pictorial presentation of a Shadow work project on this blog for few days / weeks ( as and when I finish the work) from now.

It will be a very good tutorial to understand in detail about shadow embroidery, how to modify it in various areas of design and how to work the overlapping designs in shadow embroidery

This particular design will use two types of shadow embroidery :   Reverse Herring bone and  Darning on reverse side.

Here is the design that I am going to work on .

Materials required and the Basics of Shadow embroidery have been already discussed here 

you can use single strand of the 6- strand DMC thread. I have used 2 strands as the original bunny project is being stitched on a very loosely woven fabric.

Dimensions of the design :

I am using the above mentioned dimensions for this project and I found it difficult to work on a larger bunny may be because the stitches would not remain as tight as I need them to be.

The fabric should be drum-tight on the hoop for a good finish.

Stay tuned for upcoming posts for interesting details of this project.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Photography : The Onion Sprout

Nothing grows easily in this part of the world . The extreme climate makes it difficult for the gardeners to grow plants here in the Middle East. I too have tried my luck , but have been unsuccessful, except a Basil plant that has been growing lavishly. This gives me hope that if I try hard I can succeed in growing veggies too.

Few days back I saw one of onions in the basket had sprouted. Don't know the fate of it , but the beauty of it made me click few pictures of it. Now, I should admit that I am growing my photography skills too.

Enjoy the wonderful picture of an onion sprout.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Shadow Work and The Indian Chikankari

Check out the wonderful shadow work project tutorial here.

Shadow work is the form of embroidery that primarily requires the use of herringbone stitch.
This post is the continuation of the Basic Embroidery Stitches: Herringbone Stitch.

Shadow Work is a type of embroidery done on sheer fabric, stitching on the back side of the fabric, which appears opaque on the front. In shadow work, diagonal crisscrossed threads create a very subtle shadow, which is highlighted by small stitches. 

Most stitches used in shadow work are flat, lying close to the surface of the underside, which gives a distinctive textural appearance.

Shadow work is most commonly seen in Whitework, especially Dresden work but any tone-on-tone or color combination can be used, even red on white.
Common Motifs Used
Floral with creeping vines and leaves with long tendrils.
Flowers like, Jasmine, rose, lotus, and
The buti or paisley motifs 
Shadow work is also known as chikankari, which means “fine work,” on the Indian Subcontinent. The origins of this name are somewhat obscure, but it is probably a derivative of chikeen, a Persian coin or delicately patterned embroidered fabric.

Materials Used
Cotton, rayon, and silk embroidery thread 
Any fabric sheer enough to allow the floss to be seen can be used, including organza, organdy, voile, lawn, batiste, cambric
Tapestry needle (size 26 or 24), or
Crewel/embroidery size 8 or 10

Stitches Used
Shadow work can be done in a variety of stitches, with the most important feature that it be visible through sheer fabric. The shadow work stitch is worked on the reverse side of the fabric, on two parallel lines or an open shape, like a leaf. The herringbone stitch alternates back and forth between the lines, crossing on the back side and leaving a clean backstitch outline on the front. The finest shadow work is done in small closely packed stitches.

Traditional chikankari (shadow work) includes six basic stitches: 

herringbone stitch,  
running stitch,  
double backstitch,  
buttonhole stitch,  
chain stitch, 
stem stitch, 
running stitch.

For shadow work with threads, there are three methods

Reverse herringbone,
Indian stitch, and
Shadow darning. 

Shadow darning is lesser known,also called “Indian darning,” where the entire motif is worked in backstitch and then thread is woven between the stitches on the reverse side to create the shadow. Darning threads across the stitches on the back of the work gives greater coverage or a denser hue.
Two things are very important when executing shadow embroidery. First, you must always use the holes from the previous stitches. There should be no gaps between stitches on the surface. Second, a hoop or frame is mandatory to maintain proper stitch tension. 


This embroidery is worked on the back in closed herringbone stitch, or on front using double back stitch, producing on the right side, an outline, like a back stitch, and shadowy appearance with the longer stitches crisscrossing on the back. I was comfortable using double back stitch on the right side.
I have used two strands of the anchor thread. 


Stems or lines are made with fine back/chain stitches on the right side of the fabric. To create the center of the flower, around which the petals are, French knot clusters on the right side are used.

Now the leaves,

Check out the back side of the work .

I have joined the Chikankari Stitch along at artistic fingers , hoping to learn more.

Happy Valentine's Day

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Free Embroidery Design: The Little Bee Eater and Rose

I found these designs  in my collection. These were ( or rather 'are' ) on my to do list. Most suitable for a Needle Painting ,I am waiting to give it a try.

A lovely Bee Eater design from Trish Burr

 Here is a lovely Rose design

Happy Stitching !!!

Monday, 6 February 2012

Void Embroidery Using Pattern Darning

Darning stitch is so versatile and still very little has been documented. The simplicity of the stitch makes it easy to be used is various embroidery forms. 
I have already posted a detailed introduction on darning stitch here.   
I have also posted various pattern darning designs and a darning stitch sampler.

Recently I happened to read about void embroidery online. Unfortunately, I could not find that again.  It had described about how stitches are used only in the background of the design thus relieving the design. Hence, the embroidery is mainly done outside the design.
This remindes me of another form of embroidery called Assisi Embroidery 

Assisi Embroidery is a counted-thread embroidery based on an Italian tradition where the motifs are outlined in a double running (Holbein) stitch, leaving the interior void. The background is stitched using cross-stitch.

 Source: link

Here is my first post for the Valentine's Month.
I worked this little cute cupid - heart design using the technique of void embroidery. I just filled the heart around the cupid using darning stitch, thus, relieving the plump cupid. 

 What is this type of embroidery called?

This is a form of pattern darning where all the work is done on the background and the design is left untouched. Rows of darning stitch is used to fill the background. Here the design is not outlined but is shown off due to the stitched background.

Now the close up view of the little cupid.

This picture shows clearly the darning stitches in the background.

Do you know about void embroidery styles ? If yes, Please share it here . I would be happy to know more about this.



Voided work - Historical Needlework Resources

Fragment of Voided Work Border, Italian, 16th C