Monday, February 27, 2012

Part 2 of Open Stitch Pattern Difficulties

Or I should say Canterbury Cathedral Aisle Vault Pattern Step 2?
All of the stitches used in this pattern are stitched in the backstitch/running stitch style, like blackwork, so hiding travel threads is part of the stitch technique.
Here is Step 2 of the pattern:

To travel from one vertical channel of cross motifs to another you may do one of two things: bring your thread outside of the pattern area or travel on the back, behind stitches on the front, inside of the pattern area.  If the area around the pattern will be covered by another stitch, then you can hide the travel threads there.  Use two pin stitches to maintain the tension after stitching one section and before stitching another section.

I would only use pin stitches if the thread lies flat, such as a stranded floss.  I would not use pin stitches for metallic braids or perle cottons that are raised.
Next time I’ll cover Step 3 of this pattern.


  1. Thank you for such an informative blog. I've been learning so much! I do have a question about this post. When this problem arises at the edge of your canvas design, would you use a pin stitch? Would the pin stitch stay secure when sent to the finisher? Or would you do something completely different. Thanks! Monica

    1. The pin stitch will help you turn your thread direction so that your thread will be in the correct position for the next stitch. It is not meant to hold the thread end. Is this what you are asking?

      There are other stitches to hold the thread end secure, like an "L" stitch. I do 2 "L" stitches when ending a thread outside the stitched area.

    2. I was referring to the first. I am stitching an open work background and have been ending and beginning each row with the L stitch to avoid carrying the thread to the next row which would show through. But if I did a pin stitch or two or three outside the canvas design, it would carry to the next row and avoid ending and beginning with the L stitch as well as set up for the correct direction of the thread. So your article made me think that using the pin stitches would be a better way of dealing with the problem providing that the finisher would not cut pin stitches. I think I need to ask my finisher how closely she cuts the canvas so that my pin stitches would not be damaged. Sorry to be so confusing.

  2. About that finishing - always ask the finisher how they are going to finish your work. If there is concern you could stitch with a sewing machine around the entire piece one thread out from the stitching. That would likely stitch through the threads that are ended in that area, further locking them in place. The finisher would not cut that closely to the stitching. If you want to leave pin stitches and L stitches in the outer area of the canvas, do so within a few threads of the design's stitching. Most finishers leave at least 1/4".