Sometimes, I sit and ponder an embroidery design for a long time before I settle on a particular stitch to use on it.
Or sometimes, I dive right in with a particular stitch in mind, find out it’s All Wrong, take it out, and then ponder.
I find it’s usually more efficient to ponder first, but I tend to learn more when I dive right in. Ahem. I learn things like the fact that it’s more efficient to ponder first…
The other day, I was working on a wee design and trial-and-erroring (I’m sure that’s a legit term) a bunch of different approaches for floral elements. I tried woven wheels. I tried ribbed wheels. I tried bullion roses. I almost tried a cast-on rose…
But nothing – nothing – was matching the picture in my head.
I knew I had a tutorial for the picture in my head, but I couldn’t for the life of me remember what I had called it, what the stitch was, or how it worked. Did it have foundation stitches? Did it start with a knot? Do I pick up fabric? Where’s the needle in relation to the thread with each stitch? All the things that you know, when you really own a stitch, but that I could not recall for the life of me.
I couldn’t find the tutorial under the Stitch Fun! index (which is usually where I list stitch tutorials like the one I knew I had written), and I couldn’t even remember approximately when I had written the article.
You see, it has come to this. Needle ‘n Thread has a lot of content on it, and even I can’t always remember what’s here.
So I sat and contemplated.
I was, in fact, chagrined.
But then I remembered that I have a handy-dandy, powerful search engine on my website.
For those who don’t know it, the search feature is across the top main menu, the very last option, that says “Search” and has a magnifying glass next to it. If you’re on mobile, click the hamburger menu in the top right corner of the screen and scroll down to the last menu option, which also says “Search.”
I typed “rose tutorial” and wouldn’t you know? There was exactly what I was looking for! And as soon as I saw it, I remembered what the stitch was and how it worked.
Glory Be and Hallelujah all around!
I set about testing the technique – the Stem Stitch Rose – in my little space, and lo! I found it was exactly what I wanted there: it’s a textured stitch, it resembles a rose, it is easy to create, it works with various types of thread, it can be small or large.
It was, in short, everything my little heart desired!
I’m not entirely finished fiddling with the design here and working out colors and textures. But on this small project, which is quick to work and results in a very satisfying finish, this rose ticks all the boxes. On top of everything else, it’s adaptable and it’s accessible to all levels of stitchers.
Now I’ll go back to the drawing board, I’ll fiddle with the design layout a bit to better accommodate the floral elements in a more pleasing layout, and then I will restitch the sample, experimenting with some other optional color approaches.
I know. I know. It’s a tough job.
Man, I love it!
I’ll be sharing more of this project with you as it develops. There’s much more to it!
It’s only five years late to the list – but hey! Embroidery is a slow process.
What’s the rush?