Still more progress on the tablecloth

Mountmellick Thorn Stitch
Mountmellick Thorn Stitch

It’s arguable that I’ve created a sampler rather than a tablecloth, but as I’ve got closer to finishing it and laid it on the floor to look for any missing bits, it’s looking cheerful, and that is really all I ask of it.

Mountmellick Thorn Stitch is an old friend, strongly textured but contained. It’s not entirely straightforward to shape it to the leaf shape of the design, but I think it works rather well!

Nested Fly Stitch
Nested Fly Stitch

Nested Fly Stitch is another old friend, although one I’m not on such good terms with as some others. In the dim and distant past I worked two 2-foot high trees in Nested Fly Stitch (on the Persian Fantasy Screen) and they drove me nearly demented! However, it does create a solid coverage that isn’t fishbone stitch or satin stitch, and I wanted to make sure that the various leaves varied in coverage and tone. This is the “Heavy” end of the scale!

Stem And Chain
Stem And Chain

And this is the “Light” end of the scale – just outlines, in stem or chain stitch. These flow beautifully around curves, of course, and are really good for organic shapes, but I do need to remind myself that I don’t have to use obscure stitches all the time, and I’m allowed to choose the obvious ones occasionally!

The next episode – Episode Seventeen – of SlowTVStitchery is now up, and concerns mainly the little girls and some planning of Nefertiti..


  1. Jen Mullen says:

    The sampler aspect only makes it more interesting. Seeing the variety of old and new stitches and how the contribute to the effect is a good thing!

  2. Lady Fi says:

    Coming along nicely.

  3. Sue Jones says:

    You have done a very nice job with the thorn stitch. I found it rather tricky and intractable the one time I tried it. I am impressed!

  4. QYou have such beautiful leaves on your tablecloth, and I am happy to find a new stitch – Mountmellick Thorn Stitch.
    I had to google it and found a YouTube video. Did you find the stitch in a book, a book on Mountmellick embroidery? or Whitework?

  5. Carolyn Foley says:

    Yes, we can use the old ordinary stitches. They are used often because they are attractive and do the job. It seems to more one stitches one has to be reminded that it is alright to use these stitches. Stitched well they too are beautiful.

  6. Lin Tarrant says:

    A nice varied collection of leaf treatments. xx

  7. Catherine says:

    I love that you’ve been creating a sampler as your tablecloth! You’ve also mentioned a couple of stitches I should probably test out again.

  8. I’d not heard of Mountmellick Thorn Stitch, it’s rather lovely isn’t it – almost a variant of feather stitch. It makes one realise what fun the embroiderers of the past must have had thinking up variations on a theme; the endless richness of human ingenuity.
    I keep forgetting to tell you, I have City in the Sand at last. Mary Chubb really is an engaging writer isn’t she, so descriptive and so appreciative of those around her. I am reading a little bit at bedtime each night – they have just discovered a seal from Mohenjo Daro at the dig and the excitement at the way this proves a much earlier connection with the Indus civilizations than previously thought is brilliant. She brings the human element of archaeology completely to life doesn’t she? Thank you for the recommendation – it will spur me back to stitching my Mesopotamia themed piece which has been sulking in a corner as I’ve worked on other things!