Still? I hear you say,
Oh yes, I reply, keep reading!
We are going to stack it, curve it, mix it up and generally become playful with it...have you realised yet how versatile this simplest of stitches can be?
Terry and I call this stitch ladder stitch, but when I looked it up in my embroidery book it didn't look like the one shown! But if you know how to sew the joining stitch (often it's used to invisibly sew a seam) called 'ladder stitch' then that is what we are sewing here, but on the flat! Basically it is a running stitch stacked up or stood on end , depending on the orientation.
However, unlike running stitch you are only taking one stitch at a time. If the 'travelling stitch' (that's the linking hidden stitch seen on the reverse of the fabric) is made diagonally a ridge would be created in your work, so to avoid this it's important to remember to keep your needle horizontal as you stitch.
Looking at the photograph above, you can see I have brought my needle out at the bottom of this stich and then reinserted it directly above and coming out again a short distance to the left. The thread is then pulled through and the needle inserted directly below to create another stitch, coming out again a little way along to the left.
Sounds complicated, but very much easier to sew than write!
*a quilt made with love, to be used, abused and laundered!
Why use one straight stitch when two can be double the fun?! Every time I use this stitch it reminds me of stitching little binca mats in primary school in the 1960's (obviously I've only read about it in books...)
When worked in a row it is easiest worked in two steps: first, make a row of diagonal stitches in one direction and then work the top stitch as you come back in the opposite direction. The last photo shows the reverse which is a double straight stitch.
Once you've got the hang of this stitch why not pep things up and try working with two different colours or weight threads to see how you can change the effect?
As you can see in this photo I have varied not only the size but the shape of the cross stitches and used threads of different weights and colours.
The galleries and museums may have closed their doors for the time being, but that doesn't means we can't still visit them for inspiration. Many of the world's leading establishments have flung their virtual doors wide open so that any time, day or night, you can wander their collections, and the V&A is no exception.
There's also still time on iPlayer to catch the excellent BBC Two series - Secrets of the museum, which ventures behind the scenes of this world famous design and craft museum. Have a pen and paper ready to jot down all the different exhibits you see because one day you will be able to visit in person once again and this way you'll have a ready made treasure hunt to go on!
and there was cake!
Strawberries and cream, gin & tonic, sausages and mash: somethings are meant to go together. A textile adventure with InStitches with no mention (or indeed a crumb) of cake just isn't right! Indeed our home baking is very much a feature of our guest tutor workshops and we are often asked for the recipes, so if you are lucky enough to find eggs and flour in your grocery shop here is one of our favourites for you to print off and try this weekend:
We would really love to see how you are getting along with your stitching. Use your phone to take a quick snap and post to Instagram and use the hashtags: #institchescreative2020 and #institches2013. If you follow both us and the hashtags you will also get to see what everyone else is creating too!
On Facebook reply to the relevant week's post with your comments and images. And don't forget to actually follow InStitches on Facebook to see what everyone else is up to.
Until next time, keep stitching, keep smiling and have a Happy Easter,
Hazel & Terry