Reversible Blackwork

Every month my local EGA runs a special program at their general meeting. The program for the night meeting in August was reversible blackwork.

The pattern provided is located on the EGA website (you have to be a member of EGA to access it). One of our members is an expert on blackwork and does a lot of reversible blackwork. After her demonstration, we all got started.

This is the front of my work. In total, I ripped this 3 times – this is my fourth attempt and so far, fingers crossed, it is going well. I am using a 28ct pewter cashel linen stitched over two.

This is a closeup of the pattern.

Here is the back of my work. It’s pretty much the same except you can see a darker, thicker line where I had to weave in my ends. At our next meeting, I’ll ask about that.

And here is the closeup of the back that really shows the ends woven in. This has been (I’m not finished yet) a very interesting experience and not one I could duplicate without help. The instructions are amazing with the stitching pathway clearly shown. I’d love to do more of this, but it’s going to take quite a bit of mental gymnastics to make it work.

Chicken Scratch Embroidery

I have been wanting to try this embroidery method for a long time. I discovered it while looking through Pinterest years ago, but never actually did anything. The embroidery guild I belong to ran a Chicken Scratch embroidery program a couple of weeks ago and I signed up.

This heart was my first try and what we did at the program. This method of stitching is really easy and really only made up of straight stitches, cross stitches, and a little bit of needle weaving.

This was my next pattern. We were given a packet of information and this was in it. This took me quite awhile as I am a slow stitcher, but it is really enjoyable.

This was the last pattern in our packet and was super fun to stitch. I can see more of this in my future!

SAL Update

I’ve been distracted from my SAL project lately and haven’t worked on it very much. This is where I was last time:

2/6/2021 SAL Update

And this is where I am now:

2/28/2021 – SAL Update.

Those little bees were added. They are so cute! Also added was that line of white stitching.

Bees and Beehive.
Closeup of bee.

I really do love this sampler, but the next section is a pulled thread section that I am really nervous about. I think that’s why I am dragging my feet. Someone suggested that I use a scrap piece to practice the pulled thread so that’s what I plan on doing.

Please take a look at the others participating in this SAL:

AvisClaireGunCaroleConstanzeChristinaKathyMargaretCindyHeidiJackieSunnyMeganDeborahMary MargaretReneeCarmelaSharonDaisyAnneAJJennyLauraCathieLindaHelen

Pulled Thread

The embroidery guild I belong to will be starting a pulled thread sampler offered by Kathrin called the 16 square pulled thread sampler. The program will start this Tuesday so I thought I would get a head start. I printed the pattern for the sampler and the border and got started. And promptly ran into trouble.

1st attempt – 1 over 1

This is using Laguna 25ct linen. At first glance, on the pattern for the border, it appeared that everything was over one thread. I love the way the pattern looked, but was not so keen on how this was turning out. After getting to this point, I realized something was wrong. There are not enough threads in the middle of the square to complete the pulled thread portion of the pattern. I started doing some counting on the pattern and for the pulled thread patterns you need 36 threads, I have 23 threads. UGH! At this point I went terribly wrong. I assumed the pattern was incorrect and decided to draw out a new pattern with border changes to accommodate the 36 threads in the center square.

2nd attempt after drawing out a new pattern.

In this attempt, I now have 37 stitches in the middle and the border is not balanced with the pulled thread portion. Then I went to my EGA meeting (on zoom) and asked all my questions. Those women are amazing!! They are so supportive and really helped me to figure out what was going on without making me feel like an idiot.


I now know where I went wrong. The pattern for the satin stitch and the pulled thread are indeed over one thread. Everything else is over two threads. If I had been paying close attention to the pattern I would have seen this. Oh, well. This was a good learning experience. The downside is that I don’t have enough fabric to actually make the sampler now so I have ordered new fabric and am waiting for it to arrive. It won’t be here by Tuesday, but that’s ok. An upside is that I now have this doodle cloth and will practice the pulled thread patterns on it until I get them right! Sometimes I feel as if I learn way more from my mistakes!

Today I am linking up with Kathy for Slow Sunday Stitching.

February SAL Update

This SAL (Stitch-A-Long) has been such a great experience. It keeps me focused (for the most part!) on getting one project completed. I have chosen a sampler that my local EGA is working on. This is where I was last time.

1/17/2021 SAL update

This is where I am now.

2/6/2021 SAL Update

I have added a row of Scotch Stitch beneath the tree section and have started adding the Queen Stitch hearts to the tree. Both of these stitches gave me challenges. The Scotch Stitch was the first section I tackled for this update. It took me three tries, but I think it looks good now.

Scotch Stitch

The pattern calls for one strand of thread, but it didn’t look all that nice. There was too much of the fabric showing through for my taste. This is done with two threads. Then I moved on to the Queen Stitch – woah!! This one gave me fits and starts. Many of them were ripped out and redone several times. I think I have it now.

Queen Stitch

Finally!! I have three that look like this. I’m happy with the ones that look like this, but if you know how to do this stitch please chime in and let me know if I’m wrong. I have six that still have to be ripped out.

Ugly Queen Stitch

They look like this with variations. I knew I was not doing them correctly so I kept doing different things for each one until finally I figured it out! Now I will be visiting the frog pond for the other 6 and redoing them.

Please take a look at all the other talented stitchers who are taking part in this SAL.

AvisClaireGunCaroleSueConstanzeChristinaKathyMargaretCindyHeidiJackieSunnyHayleyMeganDeborahMary MargaretReneeCarmelaSharonDaisyAnneAJJennyLauraCathieLindaHelen

New SAL Choice

Finishing my son’s Christmas stocking in time for Christmas was such a great feeling. He loves it and I still haven’t put the stockings away because I like looking at them. The next stocking to make is for another daughter but I am really not feeling like starting that right now. I spent quite a bit of time going through my WIPs (there are MANY of them). It was so fun and kind of felt like I was visiting old friends. This past summer the embroidery guild I belong to started a project to work on together (virtually). Several of us chose the same one.

Heirloom Family Sampler

I’m in love with this one. One of our members is quite close to finishing and another one chose to do the top part only and she is done. This was my choice because not only do I find it beautiful and have never done a sampler, but there are so many elements I have never tried before.

1/17/2021 SAL update

First, I am working on linen. I have been afraid to do that. Aida cloth has been my “go to”. This pattern calls for linen. I could have done it in Aida, but decided to go all out with the new experiences. My kids actually roll their eyes when I use the words “new experiences” to describe embroidery! Hahaha!

Birds over 1 thread.

The top part of this pattern is done over two threads (this is a first for me) for the most part. Some elements, like the birds, are done over one thread. The contrast between stitching over two threads and then stitching over one thread is so fun!! I love the added texture and dimension. The floss I am using is not the recommended thread. This has been a stash busting project (except for the fabric).

More birds and bunnies over 1 thread.

This is going to be a very challenging project for me. It has pulled thread elements, hardanger and more, but I am excited to make this my SAL project!! This will hold me accountable to keep going and not to put it aside when things get tough.

Please take a look at the others who are joining along in this SAL. They are super talented stitchers and are working on all kinds of fantastic projects.

AvisClaireGunCaroleSueConstanzeChristinaKathyMargaretCindyHeidiJackieSunnyHayleyMeganDeborahMary MargaretReneeCarmelaSharonDaisyAnneAJJennyLauraCathieLindaHelen

Pulled Thread Sachet

I’m a member of the San Mateo Embroidery Guild. This is a teaching guild so each month members have the opportunity to join in on a program and learn a new skill. The past two months we have been learning about pulled thread. I love the look of this embroidery and was excited to participate.

For this side, the pattern was given to us.

Two of our members lead this fantastic program. They provided all the written instruction and then lead us (on zoom) with a very comprehensive “in person” demonstration.

My second side designed by me.

The other side of the sachet was to be a cross stitched monogram. I do a lot of cross stitch and wanted to continue practicing with pulled thread. I looked on YouTube and Google for images and directions for different types of pulled thread. Then I got out my graph paper and started designing. I really like this. There are lots and lots of places that I need to improve, but I got it done and have notes on what challenges were presented. I see playing with this technique in my future!!

Linking up with Kathy for Slow Sunday Stitching. And yes, this was a very S.L.O.W. stitch. Especially with all the careful ripping that had to be done when things did not work out as planned.

Battenberg Lace

As I have posted before, one of the things I really like about the EGA that I belong to is that it is a teaching EGA.  We sign up for classes (there is one every month) and usually they take one or two meetings to complete.  For two months we have been working on battenberg lace.


Battenberg Lace.

In the first lesson we learned how to take our tape lace and make it follow the pattern on the paper.  They we started hand sewing the loops where they touched and our homework was to finish those and stitch all the intersections.  Then, if we were going to use the little plastic ring that was provided, we needed to cover that with thread in blanket stitch.  Being the student that I am, I finished my homework before the next meeting!


Blanket stitch covered ring with leaf vein woven bars.

At the next meeting, we started learning the filling stitches.  Our teacher told us that if we wanted to finish during the meeting we needed to choose one of the more simple filling stitches and do that one for each of the loops.  I didn’t really care about finishing quickly, I really wanted to learn the stitches so I worked on the woven bars to attach my ring.  It took me three times to understand the stitch and the fourth one turned out much better.


Double brussels.

The next section I decided to do in the double brussels stitch.  This one I found to be super hard and I don’t totally understand it yet.  I think I am going to finish this section and then do the next one in either single or triple brussels so that I can practice.  There are many stitches to choose from for the rest of the loops; however, I don’t want to continue with new stitches until I understand the old ones.

A.l.m.o.s.t … there

I enjoyed stitching my name tag for EGA meetings.  However, I am just starting to feel like it will never be totally complete.  I brought it to the meeting this month and it was finished enough so that I was not fined – haha!


Finished name tag.

The stitching was complete awhile ago.  I wanted to make it into a little pouch to hang around my neck.  Several of the other members made theirs into pouches and say this is really helpful at conferences (which I hope to attend in the future) as it is a place to put your ID, credit card, and a little cash without having to carry a purse.  Makes sense to me!


Inserted zipper.

I am really happy with the zipper.  The zipper had to be shortened to fit into this pouch and that went surprisingly well – no zippers were harmed or destroyed this time.


Completely lined.

The pouch is also completely lined.  I like everything lined and all seams hidden.  Now that the pouch was done, I needed to make something in order to hang it around my neck.


DIY kumihimo disc.

I decided on a kumihimo braid/cord.  Since I don’t have a “real” disc, I made my own.


Kumihimo cording progress.

It’s slow going and I need about 40 inches…


Closeup of the cord.

Sorry this is so blurry.  I could not, for the life of me, get a clear picture.  I’m not unhappy with the cord, but not totally happy either.  I’m not going to redo the colors, but next time  I will make cording I will plan better.  There is too much white and not enough gold or purple for my taste.


EGA Snack

Every month there is an EGA (Embroider’s Guild) meeting.  I enjoy going to these meetings for many reasons:  The women are so very nice and supportive, all of them are very accomplished needlewomen (the projects they work on are amazing), and this is also a teaching guild.  I absolutely love learning new things and improving my skills on others.  We meet mid-morning and continue through lunch.  We bring out own lunch and then some of us bring treats to share.  I really like baking so I try to bring a baked item each time.  This time I brought brownies.



This is the only picture I have to share.  Right after taking this picture, I cut the edges off, cut the rest into bite sized pieces, put the pieces onto a plate and left the edges at home.  I had 5 brownies left when I left the meeting.  After getting home, I put the plate on the counter and did some work around the house.  By the time I started dinner, all edges and brownies had disappeared!  At least I know this is a good recipe!