More progress on the tablecloth

Raised Fishbone Stitch
Raised Fishbone Stitch

Each time I decide how to do a particular element, I do all four appearances. I decided on this very early on, because I knew that working a whole side and then copying it three times would drive me absolutely mad!

Raised fishbone stitch creates a nicely embossed effect, providing a good contrast with all the open stitches I’ve used. It requires a bit of concentration – this is a little raggier than I’d like – but at this point, I want the wretched tablecloth done, so I’m likely to just move on..

Grouped Blanket Stitch
Grouped Blanket Stitch

I’ve been looking at other embroidery styles of late – one can’t be wallowing in gold all the time, and one of these days I will be able to think of doing something else – and I’ve been reminded of just how effective groupings of blanket stitch or buttonhole stitch can be. This is the simplest variant I could think of, but I must remember that simple stitches like blanket stitch offer endless possibilities for variation..

Feathered Zig Zag Chain Stitch
Feathered Zig Zag Chain Stitch

One of the attractions of surface embroidery is the possibility for stitches to evolve themselves into being. I’m calling this one “Feathered Zig Zag Chain Stitch”. I can’t believe I’ve invented it, but neither can I remember having seen it before, and I think it works rather well. It certainly flowed familiarly off the needle, like an old friend.

The photograph has reminded me, however, that I need to finish whipping my chain stitch stems!

And new in SlowTVStitchery, Episode Thirteen is now up. In which, at long last, a Decision is made….


  1. The Grouped Blanket Stitch is very efficient, and I do love your Feathered Zig-zag Chain Stitch. I must give than one a try!

  2. Sue Jones says:

    Yes, feathered zig-zag chain is an excellent discovery. (It would work as a counted thread stitch too.) I don’t think we will ever reach the end of all the different variations and modifications possible with the “bread and butter” stitches like chain, fly, stem, back, feather and buttonhole. Such fun to experiment.

  3. Carolyn Foley says:

    That new variant is on my list to stitch. I am glad you are using more than one stitch for your leaves. I look at other work where they are all the same and think maybe I have got this wrong when I use several.

  4. Some lovely stitching here, and I’m sure you worry too much about them not being perfect – I don’t think the leaf on the tree frets if its edges are a little raggy 🙂

  5. Jen Mullen says:

    Ooooh, the feathered zig zag chain stitch is lovely!

  6. Lin Tarrant says:

    As you say, the variations of blanket stitch are endless – its a useful stitch. xx

  7. Lady Fi says:

    Lovely work!

  8. Sheryl says:

    I like the raised fishbone stitch example and also the new feathered zig zag chain stitch which you have cleverly invented.