Beginning The Border

Split stitch outlining over the laid and couched border. There are bits of the tissue paper still tangled in the stitches

Once I took the tissue paper away, I discovered that in fact my running stitch transfer wasn’t very clear. So I’m going to start by split stitch outlining each element before I fill it in.

You can see in this photo that I still hadn’t quite got all the tissue paper that had the design on it out from under the stitches, and I’m only part of the way through outlining this corner.

I did think I might try to outline everything first, and then I thought about what happens when I have something like that to do, and decided that each corner would be worked to a finish separately!

Partially stitched corner sprigs showing the rose leaves partly stitched on the vertical sprig and the broom partially stitched on the horizontal one.

It is probably at this point that I start to wander from the path of classical Opus Anglicanum. I’m using fishbone stitch for the rose leaves and satin stitch for the broom. But after all, this is a modern work, by a modern embroiderer, not a reconstruction of an existing, or imagined, medieval work.

Dog rose, rose leaves, and some of the broom completed

The wanderings continue with the dog roses – long and short stitch in the petals, over two rows of split stitch outline to help define the edges, and a tiny French knot for the dark centre.

I’m using two differnt dark greens for the rose leaves and the broom, to help the design make sense, and I worked the rose stem in split stitch using two shades of brown. I am not entirely sure about that, so I think the next corner around I will use one, maybe the darker one, and see whether that is an improvement. If it is, bringing this one into line might be a bit hair raising, considering how small all of this is!


  1. Lin says:

    Looking very effective. Maybe the brown should have been a sort of greeny brown? xx

  2. Sue Jones says:

    That is off to a good start. Outlining the pattern first seems sensible, as does doing one corner at a time. And if you are unhappy with the first corner, you have three more chances to get it right.

  3. Kathy says:

    That is all looking very promising indeed, the colours sit beautifully against that lovely varied blue background (such an effective idea). I rather like those two shades of brown for the rose stems, It evokes the way rose stems age and are never a single colour. I think either would work though, and would only unpick if you really feel that one corner looks out of place from at least three feet away, not three inches!!

  4. Carolyn Foley says:

    There are always challenges but it is looking good.

  5. Alex Hall says:

    Small is good! It’s coming along beautifully and reminds me of the lovely wild flower motifs on the St Cuthbert processional banner in Durham Cathedral that was worked by Ruth O’Leary several years ago.

  6. Linda C says:

    Lovely stitching. It is coming along really well.