TAST Stitch Sampler Book

TAST2012logoA couple of months ago I started a stitch sampler book, I’d recently discovered TAST (Take a Stitch Tuesday) over on Pintangle where Sharon has an amazing stitch dictionary. She’s made a collection of 100 stitches from this and the idea is that you learn one a week, she’s up to about 95, so almost finished, but she’s starting again in the new year if you’re interested. Sharon has also just started a new Facebook page called Fabric Books, within days there were hundreds of members and some amazing work to see. I posted a couple of photos of my first set of pages and got several questions, so I said I would try and write a more detailed post about my fabric book. Please remember though this is the first one I’ve done so I’m making it up as I go along and apologies for those of you who will have seen some of this before!!

I’d seen pictures on Million Little Stitches of Maya Matthews fibre books and also Sharons 30′ long stitch sampler, both of which helped me formulate my ideas;

I decided to do a page on each stitch group, I’ve now gone through the TAST list and some groups are clearly going to take two if not three pages, like chain stitch, there’s dozens of chain stitch variations!! I’ve managed to get them into about twelve groups.

I’m edging the double pages with back stitch, making a ruler as I go along to make it easier to count, each double page spread measures 90 by 130 stitches, I’m using 32 count even weave linen. The back-stitch will be used to stitch the pages together, using a whip stitch, I’m hoping to put a few beads down the edges as well, make it look pretty!! I’m leaving a border of about 8 stitches around each page, on the second one I tacked a line down to mark the inside edge, I found this a lot easier than trying to count each time, much as I hate tacking!!

I’m using the book to record a few other things as well. I’m using different coloured linens, this ones called French Lace, I’ve got four other colours plus ivory. I’m also using a different variegated DMC thread for each one and recording the number as part of the page. I do like the DMC varigated threads and I thought this is a good way of seeing how different colours stitch up.

I want this to be a journal as well as just a stitch sampler.so I’m adding entries about where I’ve stitched it, or special days, I’ll include news events as long as they’re fairly positive! So my Fly stitch sampler was started in Skipton and I started embroidering the blanket stitch page on August 1st, which is Yorkshire Day.

I’ve only just finished the blanket stitch page, this is stitched in DMC 4506 which is a lovely skein in green, blue and yellow, I think it’s really fresh and ‘springy’. This is the second page of buttonhole variations so this time I’ve stitched the following;

From top to bottom;

  • Barb stitch; I like this one, it’s two rows of buttonhole stitched back to back and then whip-stitched together.
  • Bonnet; Not so sure on this one, it looks a bit clumsy to me…
  • Wheel cup; I like this, it’s basically a buttonhole wheel with a second row of buttonhole stitched onto the circle, you can carry on with more rows if you want a deeper cup.
  • Feathered Up and Down (going down the left side); I can see this being quite useful in flowery embroideries.
  • Fancy Bobbin Edging; first attempt! It’s sort of got a twist/knot at the base of each stitch.
  • Fancy bobbin edging; second attempt. I used thicker thread and varied the height too. It definitely looks better in the thicker thread.
  • Alternating up & down; I liked stitching this one, it sort of has a nice movement as the second stitch moves down!
  • Beaded hebedo edge; This starts off with a base of long and short cross-stitch, the long stitches are used as the base for the buttonhole ‘swags’ and the beads go over the cross-stitch. Very pretty.
  • Buttonhole cable chain; My favourite I think on this page, I had to learn to do cable chain stitch first, this is the base stitch, I then buttonholed over the bottom edge of the chain. There were lots of variations, like buttonholing both sides, or alternate sides.
  • Shisha mirror; I first used shisha mirrors just a couple of months ago, I’m still not confident I’m doing the stitch right but it feels like a variation of button hole stitch. I used a simple buttonhole as a second row around the edge.
  • Buttonhole wheel; Nice and simple, a circle of buttonhole stitch.

I’m beginning to think I need to make an index for this book, either a stitched one at the back or a written one separately. I’ve still not decided how to do it so any suggestions welcome. My issue with a stitched one at the moment is that I’m not stitching in the order they will go in the book, as I want the coloured linens mixed through the book. I don’t want to be left at the end with a huge index to stitch, so really I would have to do a small index for each page, cut them out and collage them together…as I say, suggestions welcome!

I’m linking up with Kathy’s Quilts for Slow Stitching Sunday, why not follow the link and see what everyone else has been stitching.


About craftycreeky

I live in a busy market town in Yorkshire with my husband, kids, dogs and chickens. I love trying new crafts, rediscovering old ones, gardening, walking...anything creative really I started this blog after my New Year resolution worked so well. My resolution (the first one I've ever kept!) was to post a photograph of my garden on Facebook every day. My hope was that I would then see what was good in the garden and not just weeds and work, which was my tendency. The unexpected side-effect was that I have enjoyed many more hours in the garden. I am hoping that 'The Crafty Creek' will have the same effect. Happy creating!
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18 Responses to TAST Stitch Sampler Book

  1. kathyreeves says:

    I love that you are using this as a sampler of the variegated DMC as well as the beautiful stitches!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Robin says:

    Those books are just amazing. Can you imagine a young child being hypnotized by the turning each page? It soothes me just to look at the pictures of them. I wish I could feel the stitches on the page. I’ll never make one of my own but I can sure appreciate the work and creative talent.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Catherine says:

    Such a great idea and a wonderful way to keep a record of all of these wonderful stitches. It will be such a great reference point for you in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. katechiconi says:

    It’s a wonderfully rich and complex piece of art, not just a record of stitches, and I think you’ve made a marvellous start. It’ll be not only useful but something to show proudly in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Fny says:

    This is all so beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Crazyqstitcher says:

    Your books of stitches are a joy to see. I’m looking forward to many more.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Carole says:

    Wow, that is a thing of beauty ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  8. shirley bligh says:

    I envy how beautiful your pages are and so well organised. How are you joining the pages together I would be interested to know as I am still trying to piece my pages together after 6 years

    Liked by 1 person

    • craftycreeky says:

      Thank you, I’m aiming to whip stitch the edges together, so just stitching the two back-stitch lines together, if you have a look at May Matthews Million Stitches site, she has a tutorial. I’ve used back-stitch rather than blanket stitch but the theory is the same.


  9. rutigt says:

    Thank you for all the links! I got very interested when reading your post. Maybe Iยดll join the TAST some day in the near future!


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