A little slow stitching

A little slow stitching

I like slow stitching. Just stitching for fun and to relax. No big purpose or major projects. Just do it as you feel like it. This suits me as I am not a great stitcher and I can pick it up and put it down without any guilt. I belong to a group on Facebook and some people are amazing artists and some just do random stitching on a piece of cloth and everything in between.

I decided I wanted t make some snowflakes and at least one tree. I had seen an interesting one in my Pinterest suggestions. To this end, I took the ripped-up sheet out of the donations box. You know what they say if you want to know what you intended for something just give it away and next week you will know what you needed it for. I was lucky that we are very slow with these things and they hadn’t made it to their destination. I am still not sure what the original idea was for these wide strips of sheet.

One piece was a little grubby looking so I chose it for the proof of concept (practice) piece. I have a nice small free-standing embroidery hoop I got at a garage sale (I think). It means it’s hands-free and can sit beside my chair and the hoop doesn’t go missing.


Snowflakes. I drew 3 stars onto the cloth to use as patterns. I used some thick gold polyester thread from Gutermann.

PATERN FOR SNOWFLAKES gold thread spokes for stitching snowflakes Finished gold stitched snowflake

That was easy enough so I moved on to some clean fabric

I drew the stars a little bigger and I did gold again

Patterns for snowflakes gold snowflake partially donegold snowflake finished

Then I moved on to what would be the problem thread. It is something I picked up because it was shiny but it has no markings it is just on a plane cardboard tube.  It’s a copper/bronze kind of colour and it is terrible to work with. it seems to be a wrapped thread and it kept breaking. There are a lot more knots in the back of this one. and there was a lot more cursing with the rethreading of the needle. I would have liked to add more to this but I was done with the thread.

bronze stitched snow flake


Next was some nice silvery embroidery thread. DMC rayon S712. I used 3 strands. It was very nice to use.

silver stitched snowflake


And here they are together

3 stitched snow flakes together

I switched back to the practice cloth to work on the tree. this is the trunk( obviously) I tried to do varying lengths of stitches to help it look more like bark. It is very hard to deliberately make random stitch lengths.

brown stitched tree trunk brown stitched treetrunk close up


This is what the back looks like where the backstitching is. I think I like it better for bark. The problem is I am having a hard time wrapping my head around doing backstitch upside down. It probably has another name with you do it that way.

back side of stitched tree trunk backside of stitched tree trunk, close up

Next is the evergreen bows. I will see how that goes. As I said it’s slow stitching.

10 thoughts on “A little slow stitching

  1. What a great find the hands-free embroidery hoop is! And yes, you are quite right about throwing stuff away only to regret it.

    The problem thread doesn’t look happy does it but the gold and silver snowflakes are very pretty.
    Wonder what they would look like if you had a group of them? Or different colour background?

    Both sides of the bark stitching look good – hard to choose!

    1. I love my standing hoop. I can see why holding a hope might be problematic. I am glad I decided to do this before I took the box to the second hand store. the tread is probably not supposed to be used the way I am using it and it is also probably old so that isn’t helping either.

  2. This project is going to look really good when it’s finished. Yes both sides of the tree trunk look good, though I think I prefer the front myself.
    That problem thread looks to me like Jap thread used for goldwork. I looked it up on the Golden Hinde website https://golden-hinde.co.uk/ and they say “Japan thread also known as Jap, consists of a metallised polyester ribbon wrapped around a silk or synthetic core. It is one of the most commonly used threads in Goldwork and is usually used double and couched over using a strong thread, such as Translucent, which has been pulled through Beeswax. Jap is also used to make circles and is widely used with Or Nue techniques, using Stranded Cottons.” If that’s what it is it would explain why you found it difficult for ordinary embroidery?
    Looking forward to the next instalment.

  3. What a lovely chilled way to start into 2023 Ann.

    What is it about that infamous donations box. I can fall over and curse items for years and then the very week they are banished forever I need them, One of the mysteries of human existence. (navel gazing is now over!)

    Your snowflakes are lovely, if I were to favour one over the others it would be the first (gold) one. I feel your pain with that other thread – I have something similar here and it really needs to find a new home but I do not dislike anyone enough to inflict it upon them! That’s a great idea with the reverse bark for the tree – I hope you figure out a way to master it. Love the freestanding embroidery hoop – it sounds really quite ladylike and old fashioned (as in one spends one’s afternoons sitting at the window engaging in needlework before ringing down for some tea (china cups of course!).

    Looking forward to the development of your piece.

    1. oh yes there is something about giving things away that creates a need.
      It sounds like a lovely place to spend some time, especially ringing for afternoon tea.

  4. Your snowflakes turned out great. I have tried various metallic threads over the years and there are some that are just not worth using. Perhaps Ann B is correct in that they are made for couching. That would make more sense in how to use them. I’m going to be studying goldwork/metalwork in class this spring so I guess I’m going to find out more about using metallic threads.

    For your tree, you could try stem stitch close together. Or couched threads/yarns with different thicknesses. I always find that when I’m trying to make even stitches they are uneven and when I’m trying to make uneven stitches, they are even. Both sides look great actually. I like the knots and cut threads on the back as they give the trunk more interest.

    1. Thanks Ruth. I will have to wait and see what you do with the metal threads. I think I may ad some different coloured treads to the trunks to give more depth.

  5. I love your stitching Ann. The snowflakes are really great. Looking forward to seeing the tree complete too.
    What joy to pick up a hands free hoop too, I am on the look out for on e too, and recently found one – made hands free with your leg holding it steady.

    1. Thanks Marie. the hands free hoop is great. I’ve seen some that have a flat paddle on the bottom of the stand that you sit on to hold the hoop in place.

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