Saturday, February 4, 2017

A bit of progress … and, I’d like your thoughts

The Holbein part Jane’s band 8 is complete! Now that the puzzle is done (finding good “paths” so the stitching is double-sided), I’ve begun filling things in, but just barely. Might have enough progress to show you next week.

Band 8:

Now, can I pick your brain for a bit? Though I’m pretty sure I used a hoop or maybe a frame a million years ago when doing crewel work, I’ve always done cross stitch and counted thread stitching in hand, rolling the fabric to get to the current spot. Normally there’s no problem since most of what I stitch is fairly small.

Not so with Jane! The bottom of this band is 12 inches from the beginning, 14 from the top edge of the linen. And I’m only at the halfway point. (The stitching is 7 inches wide, in case you’re curious.)

When she waits in my stitching bag, Jane is rolled up. The unused linen stays pretty much rolled up while I work, but the stitched part has gotten to the point that it really flops around. Perhaps this is more of an issue with Jane because all the specialty stitching that fills in the flowers and things uses considerably more thread than plain cross stitch – relatively speaking, the stitched part is heavy.

In trying to keep control of the top, I tend to be rolling/folding/scrunching it up and tucking a bit of the top edge into the rolled part in my right hand.

My worry is that I’m going to mangle earlier stitching, or something even worse. Other than “go buy a scroll frame, silly,” do you have an idea of how to better control the top while working? Who else stitches in hand? How do you control larger pieces?

I appreciate your opinions!



  1. I love my scroll frames for samplers--but when I do bell pulls in crewel (for all those servants I'm going to call), I use a 6" wooden hoop. I roll up the stitched part and safety pin it on both sides and do the same with the unstitched part below the area I'm working on. It keeps everything clean and out of the way. Since you're working in hand, you may need to leave a larger area open between the "rolls" to make the area you're working on more accessible.

  2. Hi Deb, I only stitch by hand and I just use the scrunch method - seems to work okay for me. Good luck!

  3. P.S. Jane is looking gorgeous, by the way.

  4. Maybe you can roll it and put some of those plastic hair clips to hold it?
    They aren't too heavy or tight that they would crush it or leave wrinkles.
    This is going to be a masterpiece. :)

  5. Always in hand for me, but I bought the Lacis sit on hoop. I keep the fabric loose and can still use the sewing method. Only use it when needed though. For my very large samplers, I rolled the top/bottom/sides as needed and used very large safety pins in the linen margins. Still heavy but reduced the bulk and kept the stitching protected.

  6. So gorgeous! I always work in hand too -- with a few exceptions, for specific reasons. I always have a strange method of stitching. I just drape the linen over my non-working hand and trap the bottom part of the linen between my arm and my body. Then I stitch away. Hard to explain. I think the way you are doing it, the stitching should be fine, really. But I like that idea of using clips of some kind to hold the stitching rolled up. Maybe??

  7. I'm another in hand stitcher--even for large projects (of which I do very few :)! I really think you'll be fine doing what you're doing, Deb. Jane is looking lovely! I have tried the hairclip method, but it wasn't for me. I truly need to hold the fabric in my hands and not a frame or hoop...

  8. I'm sorry I can't offer advice, as I'm a scroll frame/Qsnap user...but I just have to comment on your beautiful work!! This is absolutely gorgeous!! I haven't come across any patterns like this so I'm fascinated by it. I'll be back to check on your progress!

  9. Very late reply! Are you left handed? I hold my fabric in my left hand and roll it from the bottom up so the top isn't rolled or folded, it just hangs loose. As I work from the centre to the top and then from the centre down to the bottom I am rarely holding actual stitching.
    The main thing is that you have your hand on the back of the project so any hand oils don't touch the front of the stitching. Learned that one the hard way!
    Hope this helps!