Weaving! NOT! Taking a Little Side Trip to Play With Embroidery!

Garden Path Sampler Stitchalong

Right in the big middle of my weaving adventures, I stumbled across this blog post on Button, button...! An invitation to join the gals over at &Stitches in a little June Garden Path Sampler Stitchalong. I could not resist the idea of a blank canvas waiting for stitches never tried before and the lovely opportunity to play with the rather large and colorful collection of wool embroidery yarns I have been collecting at thrifts.

So! I am interrupting the weaving series while my friends at &Stitches lead me astray down the garden path! (You can join in too - read more about it here!)

Garden Path Sampler Stitchalong

I don't talk about it much in this space, but I am just plain crazy about crewel embroidery and the feel of working with lovely woolly "floss"! But sadly, over these many years it has fallen out of favor and been replaced with perle cotton floss - or so it seems. I began purchasing every single scrap of the stuff I ran across at every thrift I wandered into!

And now I have a lovely collection - a virtual rainbow of deeply saturated woolly embroidery yarns!

So! Before even downloading and tracing the pattern (which can be found here at &Stitches), I had made up my mind to create a "rainbow garden"!

Garden Path Sampleralong

To get the ball rolling, the &Stitches team shared tutorials for the first three stitches - shown here from right to left: Granito (here) and Sheaf Filling (here) and Wheatear (here). All three were new to me.

The remaining "garden patches" were left up to us! I decided to stay with the theme of "new to me stitches"!

Garden Path Sampler Stitchalong

The first place I turned for inspiration - Carina's E-books!

On the left in purple - "Tete de Boeuf" from Stitching Borders and Beyond. And just to the right of that - those sweet little blue circles - "Buttonhole Wheel Stitch" from Small Stitches. (Both e-books can be found here in Carina's Polka and Bloom Shop!)

Moving to the right - the little green stitch was found in my copy of Erica Wilson's The Craft of Crewel Embroidery (found at thrift for $.50). It is called a "Detached Twisted Chain"

The final patch HAD to be ferns! I adore ferns and have them growing all over my own garden - at least 15 different varieties. Selecting the stitch to use was a no-brainer! I would use "Maidenhair Fern Stitch" from Stitching Borders and Beyond

I am working the garden walls and cobblestone path now!

The wall - a "couched stitch" bordered by two "outline stitches". Nothing new for me but seemed to be a good choice - worked in three shades of moss green.

And the pebbles in the walkway - I am torturing myself trying to learn to make decent satin stitches. I am the world's undisputed worst satin stitcher. And I most likely would not be putting myself through all this torture had it not been for this persuasive post on &Stitches in which Julie shares tips and tricks for making perfect satin stitches.

Everything Julie says makes sense and after using her technique on several tiny pebbles, I am seeing progress!

Satin stitch detail

Look at this little pebble! The best satin stitch I ever, ever made - so far! Lots of pebbles left for practicing!

Thank you Carina, Julie and Nicole! I am having a ball!!!  XOXOXO to all of you!

Pam i had seen this as well,

Pam i had seen this as well, and thought it would be my summer job too.LOL
I like the free style of it. We have had some great examples of embroidery books, i have inhired some of them of my mother.
she was and is still fond of this way of embroidery.
But... i'm still working on my teacups light shades, and i have promised myself this must be finished before i'm aloud to start an other project.
Now it's just the construction finishing, but i had the right materials allready, but..... where? argh. I'm still upset when i noticed again about the bad wrapping of the moving.
So i think i must buy new parts-S
But watching your embroidery perhaps i will start too.LOL
much fun with the middle part of making the pebbles. Yep all is trial and error, but it's never to late to learn new skills;XD
Hey enjoy your gourgious work. Love the colours and the stiches you've made allready.
Many dutch hugs of me

Oh wow! This is so beautiful,

Oh wow! This is so beautiful, Pam! I'm working on a vintage crewel piece right now, and find it so satisfying. The texture is scrumptious, and it's nice to see things work up so quickly. Thanks for sharing! :)

Pam, I know what you mean

Pam, I know what you mean about crewel and I spent some time in my college days working on crewel but I almost never used a pattern. I wanted to do everything freeform, and I liked making little things to stick on the wall. It had to have a variety of stitches, which I made up myself. HA! I was very unschooled! But the satin stitch was my favorite. Anyway, I really love this summer project and the time to learn some new things and return to old favorites. We are both having a very creative summer!

Oops! Time to start on Halloween!

I love Erica Wilson's books!

I love Erica Wilson's books! Mine are thrifted too :)

Many, many years ago I studied embroidery for two years, but never completed the exam because the teacher broke her leg and clases were cancelled for the last 6 months! I look forwards to taking up my needle again in days/years to come.


I love how beautiful your

I love how beautiful your garden sampler is turning out! The rainbow of gorgeous colors, the different stitches - so pretty! Thanks for sharing your wonderfully happy photos with us! Best of luck on those satin stitched stones!
Big hugs,