Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Herringbone Stitch Revisited: Stitch Challenge


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There are so many basic hand embroidery stitches out there! If you’re interested in expanding your hand embroidery skill, here’s an opportunity to do so. As mentioned before, Sharon Bogan of Pintangle has proposed a weekly stitch challenge for 2007, and the first stitch on the plate is herringbone stitch. If you haven’t had the opportunity to read about the TAST Challenge, you will find all the details on her blog.

So the herringbone won out as the first stitch of the year. If you’re not sure how to go about this stitch, you can check out the herringbone stitch video tutorial, as well as the double herringbone stitch tutorial. You’ll see how simple the stitch is! Then, you might want to peruse Sharon’s post for week one, which has plenty of photos for inspiration on working the herringbone stitch, with plenty of variations.

To keep up with the challenge, I’ll be posting my attempts on Sundays. I wasn’t able to touch any “casual” embroidery this week, until last night when I started foraging through the scrap bin for a piece of fabric. While I was foraging, I thought of a couple things that will help me make this stitch challenge managable:

  1. Work samples in a small space – I’ve decided to use a six inch hoop only. I realize that’s kind of restrictive, but I think it will also be challenging to see what can be produced inside a limited space.
  2. Do only what can be worked in one evening, on the weekend, to post on Sunday. Again, restrictive, but I know if I want to keep up with work and my other embroidery, I must schedule time for all of it, and keep to a strict schedule, or everything will eventually fall apart!
  3. Keep the costs down: use stashed fabric and threads only. Otherwise, I’ll extend beyond my budget, which will restrict me from doing other things I want to do or have to do.

So that’s my approach – I like restrictions like this, because it makes the whole stitch challenge a kind of “disciplined routine,” and it becomes a personal challenge to keep it that way.


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