Friday, 18 November 2016

Friday Homework for Lesson 2: Back Stitch

I have done my homework.


These stitches are made in the holes from a machine pierced piece of cotton (no thread of course).  It was an easy way of finding where to put the needle.

I would say it is a good way to practise, but when stitching free hand, well then my stitches are still uneven. They could be nicknamed 'Long and Short Stitch'!!! Well, I will definitely need to practise more!


Carorose, as well as Jacquie Harvey BEM, pointed out the importance of finding a good rhythm. I think I haven't had the chance to sit for a long enough period to find that rhythm - I am constantly interrupted. Lis was reflecting about her mother's stitches in a hexagon quilt... nothing about Back Stitch, but the emotion and condition behind the result.

Margaret  mentioned Redwork, and I had totally forgotten that Back Stitch is the backbone of Redwork. Have I got any pretty design to copy, I wonder...? Oh, yes, I have just seen Annet's charming Sunbonnet Sue. I have some Sunbonnet Sue designs in a magazine... but will I find that rhythm? I will have to review this stitch!

What is your relationship with Back Stitch?

20 comments:

  1. using the machine was a brilliant way of getting the stitches even afraid mine vary in size but tell myself that is the way I like them! Like you loved Annet`s Sun Bonnet Sue redwork

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    1. There is a place for wonky stitches and another place for even and neat ones. I want to be able to make both and then use them where they belong.

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  2. I agree that pre-piercing the position for stitches makes for a neater finish (I do it when sewing on paper) but I like wonky stitches—they're like handwriting and show the character of the person making them!

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    1. Your words are so soothing! As I said to Margaret though (see above), my wish is to BE ABLE to do neat stitches on, e.g. the edge of a jacket, and wonky stitches on a free form 'organic' piece of embroidery.

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    2. Yes, like handwriting. If you are so accurate that your stitching looks as if it was done by machine then it might as well be done by machine! Hand stitching has character and life.

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  3. I think if you have a machine, that is a good solution. I find my stitches are not always small but as I go, they get pretty even.

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    1. Don't you feel you need to find that rhythm and get it after having stitched for a couple of minutes?

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  4. Great way of getting the stitches even. I like to do back stitch while embroidering letters.

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    1. I think you are absolutely right - Back Stitch is the best for embroidering text.

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  5. I think that you have done well with your homework, I think that you must have found your rhythm as your stitches are much neater.

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    1. I find that the length of stitches vary too much, even if I have improved a tiny bit. More practise is needed. Thank you for your kind words, Susan

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  6. I experimented with some back stitch samples. it is a versatile stitch. I feel-the back stitch becomes friendly and rhythmic after working on it for a while. The evenness of the stitch is unique for each person. the length of the stitches depends on the length of the needle.
    Chitra

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    1. Thank you for all your feed-back, you are such an experienced stitcher, I value your words very much.
      I tend to use longer needles as I find it hard to manoeuver the shorter ones. Do I need to switch to a shorter length?

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    2. the length of the needle is not important. whatever needle we use, after getting adjusted to the stitching, each one starts to hold it at particular points according to our convenience. then it becomes rhythmic, which is followed by even stitches. it is like a flow. this may not work on textured or thick, stubborn and very soft smooth fabrics

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  7. You have made a far better machine pierced effort than I did. I love your freehand Backstitch.

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    1. Thank you.
      I might try to machine pierce fabric for other stitches too in the future to make use they get even.

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  8. Queenie, I love your freehand stitching too, there is a beauty, a uniqueness in letting it show that hand work is variable.
    Is machine work 'perfect' or boring and predictable? Machines do ease the tediousness of repetitive work, but can never hold a candle to the art of hand work.

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    1. You are so right. There is 'life' in handwork, but with the help of a machine we can get a strong and durable construction of many things. A baby quilt that will be used and abused and laundered a lot will keep better if it is machine stitched.
      As for embroidery which is decorative, hand work adds a lot of value and a lot of love!

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  9. I once tried putting holes in something with my my machine but it stops working after a few stitches without thread in the needle. [yet it doesn't if the bobbin runs out which is most annoying]

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    1. The maker of the sewing machine never thought of Queenie's funny ideas for practicing hand embroidery!!!! When I was in primary school we had to start machine stitching with stitching in paper without a thread. Once the holes were in a neat row were we given fabric and thread.

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