Friday, June 7, 2013

Italian vacation recipe

During my vacation in Italy, when I wasn't walking, eating, sleeping or napping, I was either reading or keeping my hands busy. 


  • one 6" embroidery hoop
  • 21 pieces of cloth, each marked with 4" square
  • needles 
  • pearl cotton
  • thread snippers
  • thimble
  • stitch notes


Stretch a cloth in hoop. Thread needle with pearl cotton. Select a stitch. Stitch as desired. Rethread needle as needed. Rethread with another color as desired.

Use only one stitch per cloth. Stitch improvisationally without marking. Explore stitches: change stitch length, change stitch density, change direction,  overlap stitches.

blanket or buttonhole stitch
detached chain stitch or lazy daisy

chevron stitch
coral stitch
feather stitch
needle weaving

snail trail, unfinished


  • Some stitches lend themselves to variations.
  • Some stitches cover more ground. 
  • Not a large selection of dark value pearl cottons for the lighter cloths.
  • Harder for no. 12 pearl cotton to be effective against no. 5. Weight makes a difference.
  • Colors were chosen on a whim. Some combinations more effective. 
  • Build a bigger pearl cotton stash!
  • Preparing 21 pieces of cloth was overkill. 
  • Will use recipe again.

How do you handle weeks away from the studio?


  1. Your stitches are awesome! When I travel, I read and knit/crochet. I read daily at home, but rarely knit or crochet at home. Small projects are doable and keep my hands busy during quieter time.

    1. I allowed only one book for my trip so needed something else to do. These supplies were light and compact. My biggest worry was getting through airport security, but the needles passed without problem. I really enjoyed exploring stitches and will resurrect these on future trips.

  2. I think doing handwork of some kind is a great idea. What will you do with the squares?

    1. These are the start of a hand-work collection! An accompaniment to the fmq samples.

  3. These are great! I love the textures.