More on the cover for the magnifier

Braid Stitch Curlicue

Braid Stitch Curlicue

The embroidery on the new cover for Maggie The Magnifier is relatively simple, but it does involve a few favourite stitches.

First and foremost, Braid Stitch. Not the Infamous Plaited Braid Stitch – I was sure I wouldn’t have enough wool for that! – but the ordinary Braid Stitch. I’ve been fond of it for years, as it makes a good, strongly textured line, and it’s much easier than it looks. It’s also fairly easy to work in the hand, and this was very much a holiday period project, using bits and pieces I could easily get hold of, which didn’t include my embroidery hoops!

Magnifier Embroidery Finished

Magnifier Embroidery Finished

The central rosette uses satin stitch (not a favourite, exactly, but very effective!), Romanian Stitch, and in the centre, a little knotted stitch that I’m sure I know from a book, and has a name, but it just came swimming up out of my head, unattributed, as though I was making it up as I went along.

The buds, or finials, or whatever they are, are in nested fly stitches, outlined with further fly stitches, and you will note, from this view, that I stuck to my decision to draft the design by hand, and not tweak and even it up. This is very much a piece of domestic, informal embroidery, and there’s no reason for it to look glossy and machine made.


  1. First of all what a lovely colour combination!
    Then you have made good use of various stitches to build up this very pleasing design.
    The clusters of Fly Stitch are a smart way to add interesting volume.
    Is there a ring of beads encircling the knotty stitches?

  2. Oh, you made me chuckle Rachel! Maggie the Magnifier. I thought I was the only one giving my ‘machines’ a name. My red Kitchenaid is called red riding hood..

  3. Lady Fi says:

    Just lovely!

  4. Carolyn Foley says:

    Yes, Maggie has a dark side and needs to be covered when not in use. You could find yourself with the house burnt down! She is really a lucky girl to get such a lovely cover.

  5. jenclair says:

    Lovely design!

  6. I’m with you on the satin stitch – not a favourite of mine!

  7. Mam says:

    This is a beautiful design, in fact your designing skills have improved immensely over the years, as I’m sure you will agree, especially if you look at some of your early pieces. You do so much thoughtful designing these days, and there is nothing like practice!

  8. Lin says:

    Nice to see your hand drafting – such pretty stitching too. xx

  9. Sue Jones says:

    A suitably charming headdress for Maggie. My (sadly, nameless) worklight needs a cover over the magnifier, but so far it is making do with a plastic lid from a tub of biscuits, which is a good fit if not elegant. I like your nicely balanced, but not too exactly symmetrical design. And I greatly admire your very even braid stitch – one I always make a loose wobbly mess of whenever I try it.

  10. Terrie says:

    So lovely stitching.. Beautiful design.

  11. Karen says:

    I do like this stitch, the braid stitch. I am off to look it up…

  12. Catherine says:

    This is such a beautiful design! The colours really look wonderful together with your background fabric. Maggie is indeed a lucky magnifier!

  13. Susan says:

    Not glossy and machine-made, thank goodness, but beautiful and balanced and hand-made!