2016 – The Year of the Stitch

Last year was the year of exploration for me with trying different things with Bargello and different types of finishing techniques.  This year I decided to focus on exploring all kinds of stitches, their variations, and how I might make my own variations.  I also wanted to explore the impact of different types of threads and ground cloth on various types of stitches.

This exploration will also include stitches associated with several techniques, such as Hardanger, Pulled Thread, Drawn Thread, Japanese Embroidery, Brazilian Embroidery, etc.  I will also continue to explore new ways to finish my needlework – especially three-dimensional type ways of finishing.

I will be picking a minimum of 2-3 stitches each month to explore, and post photos, tips, etc each week.  For the next month, I will be exploring the Long and Short Stitch and the Chain Stitch.

For the Long and Short Stitch, I will also be exploring the following:

  • Long and Short Stitches used in different shapes
  • Differences between Long and Short Stitch and the Satin Stitch
  • Differences between Long and Short Stitch and other types of “straight stitches”
  • How different threads change the look of Long and Short Stitch
  • How different ground cloths change the look of the Long and Short Stitch


For the Chain Stitch, I will be exploring the following:

  • All kinds of variations (such as Open Chain Stitch, Heavy Chain Stitch, Twisted Chain Stitch, Double Chain Stitch, Crested Chain Stitch, Cable Chain Stitch, Feathered Chain Stitch, etc)
  • Composite chain stitches
  • How different threads change the look of the Chain Stitch
  • How to use multiple colors in the Chain Stitch
  • How different ground cloths change the look of the Chain Stitch
Look for some photos of these first stitch explorations next weekend.


I hope you will join me on this journey.  Please ask questions, share experiences – I will also gladly take suggestions or requests for stitches, threads or ground cloths that you would like to see explored.  I hope you have fun with me on this journey and enjoy our year of the stitch!


Karen Anthony

5 thoughts on “2016 – The Year of the Stitch

  1. This sounds like a great way to build our “stash of stitches”, Karen! Ideally, I would love to stitch each one as a little sample and put it in a notebook for reference. There are many wonderful books out there with great pictures and wonderful stitch diagrams but there is nothing like having experienced the stitch and having a “living” example of it to reference back to! Thanks for taking us on this expedition!

    • Connie – so glad you will be joining me on this expedition. You highlighted the reason I want to do my exploration with different ground clothes and threads. I will also be identifying the various references I utilized. One thing I have already discovered is documentation that shows the same stitch having different approaches depending on the type of needlework being stitched. Hope many of you will join me in creating a stitch reference notebook (or at least bookmark my postings for reference).

      Thanks again for joining me on this expedition!

      • Karen and Connie

        When you say a notebook do you mean that literally. I’m planning to follow Karen’s exploration but never thought of documenting the stitches. That sounds like a great way to learn and to be able to ask questions and comments. So back to the notebook. Are you planning to stitch on a ground cloth (I learned what that means this year 🙂 then attach that to the papers of the book or are you going to stitch right onto the paper?

        I hope both of you have a nice day today.

        Connie Swistara from Michigan)

        • Connie Swistara,

          Thanks for asking such a great question. I have made notebooks in several ways – the two most common for me are:
          1) Stitch on a ground cloth and then attach it to a paper (either in a “journal book” or binder of loose pages. I usually use this way when I want to use several types of threads and/or ground cloths so that I can keep them all together and make notes on the paper
          2) Stitch on a ground cloth and then put that swatch in a page protector to keep in a binder. I usually use this method if all of my “experimenting” is on a single piece of ground cloth. If needed, I make attach some post-its to the ground cloth with some notes before I put it in the page protector.

          I hope this answers your question. Thanks for joining me on my journey this year – hope you find some stitches you want to document and experiment with.


          • Thanks for getting back to me so fast. The idea of a notebook sounds interesting. I’ll give it a try and let you know how it goes.

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