Thursday, April 12, 2012

TAST Week 15: Stem Stitch

I'm the first to admit that my spacial relations are horrendous. I'm used to doing things differently as an ambidextrous lefty, but embroidery really tests my mettle. I've used stem stitch before, but have never felt confident about the results. I revisited Sharon's explanation, consulted Montano's stitch tool, which has special directions for lefties, but still was not pleased with the results. I then turned to my copy of Yvette Stanton's The Left-handed Embroiderer's Companion and realized I had not looked at her directions before. Instead of the slanted stitch that most instructions call for, Stanton has you bring the needle out on the line, then insert the needle a short distance to the left and pull it through except for a little "loop" sitting above the line. She then directs you to bring the needle out on the line below this "loop" and halfway along the space. Finally, you pull the needle through and tighten the thread and voila! I finally produced a very good looking stem stitch.  I used a very thick cotton yarn, added some detached chain leaves, then used a 7 mm silk ribbon to make a 5-petaled flower. Stanton even has directions for how to turn a corner with this method. Now I have to practice my curved line stem stitch. 


  1. Arlene, I am also a lefty. I agree with you. Yvette Stanton's instructions are perfect. The entire book is wonderful. One of the best ever published.

    1. Arlene, I'm so glad that you found the instructions so helpful! And Luiz, thank you also for your kind comments on my book. :-)

  2. Like the color combo. Beautiful stitching.

  3. I find stem stitch a hard one to look neat. I think your work looks lovely, love the flower arrangement.

  4. Don't you love when stubborn persistence produces the voila moment! Nicely done.

  5. Wow Arlene, This is stunning! I want to see more!


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