First Voluntary Project – Fourth Installment

Bokhara Leaf

Bokhara Leaf

This long leaf is worked in Bokhara Couching. I find it strange that it did not occur to me at the time that this stitch is as near to satin stitch as makes very little difference! It isn’t particularly neat, in fact it is even rather crammed together, but it serves a purpose, and the stitch is a useful one to know.

I’ve seen diagrams that refer to this as “Roumanian couching” and “Romanian Stitch” , as well as Bokhara couching, which can make life confusing at times.

I’m now using it on the Finnish Embroidery, stitched in pearl cotton – it creates a lovely “basketlike” texture.



The bluebells are outlined in stem stitch and then filled with Cretan stitch, carefully spaced to create a sort of honeycomb effect. I rather like this, and I’m sad to say that I’ve not used it very much since. It’s good to be reminded of it, and I will try to use it again! The stems are worked in stem stitch, although angled to create a much thicker line than is normal – another effect I rather like, but rarely use.

The golden yellow bud is filled with Ceylon Stitch, which I found myself using in the Goldwork Masterclass, while the calyx is chain stitch again. The Ceylon stitch is the only one which has suffered from the passage of time, but since it was worked in a single strand, that’s scarcely surprising!


  1. Anita says:

    Lovely blue bell.I like the way you’ve used cretan stitch to create a honeycomb effect and it’s interesting to see a different interpretation.

  2. I love the bluebells – and I definitely need to consult a book for some of the other stitches!

  3. Carolyn says:

    Those bluebells are lovely. I am amazed that you used so many different stitiches when you were young.

  4. I really like the honeycomb effect 🙂

  5. terriea says:

    The shape of bluebells and the filled stitches are perfect. When I reading your blog I immediately fell in love of stitches and embroidery. I’ve my plate full but hope to learn the skills from you. Very inspiring blog.

  6. Susan says:

    I am fond of that blue bell as well. A creative use of the cretan, my dear!

  7. ladyfi says:

    What lovely stitching.

  8. karen says:

    I particularrly like the blue flower heads….these are gorgeous images.

  9. It always impresses me how you know the names of all your stitches, particularly when most of them have at least three different names. The bluebells are very pretty.

  10. Penny says:

    I LOVE this stitch — love that it has texture and isn’t ‘neat’ and ‘tidy’. It expresses the leaf perfectly. Lovely work as always.

  11. Janice says:

    The Cretan stitch looks good. I’ve done the Roumanian couching before – good choice for leaves because of the spine effect it gives.