Satin Stitch Crewelwork Flower

Satin stitch and me, we’re not friends. Maybe it’s me. See, I’m a bit impatient sometimes, and taking the time to outline every single shape I want to satin stitch, and then only using a single thread (out of the six in DMC stranded cotton) seems so tedious I can almost never bear it. So I skip the outline and use two or three strands, and then end up with something messy I am not happy with. Sigh.

Mr. Xstitch recently featured an excellent article about filling stitches called Improving Your Stitch – Filling Out, by Stichalicious. She discusses common mistakes in filing stitches, especially in satin stitch. I have to say I am guilty of all of them at one point or another. The article got me thinking, so when I saw a pretty pattern in The Anchor Book of Crewelwork Embroidery Stitches (Eve Harlow, 9780715306321), (discussed in an earlier post) that featured a lot of satin stitch, I figured I would finally take the time and give it the best shot I could.

The results aren’t perfect, but they are so above and beyond what I have done in the past that I am super proud of myself. Sometimes, yes, the angles on the stitches do not stay perfectly parallell for the whole leaf. I probably should have done the top red part as one long satin stitch piece instead of doing it petal by petal. There are a few miniscule gaps that show up sometimes, and sometimes two threads overlap and mar the smooth surface. But overall, I am super happy with it.

As I progressed in the piece, I could definitely see my satin stitch improving. The best stitches are on the bottom of the piece, the worst ones being at the top where I started. Practice, practice, practice!

There are very few other stitches used throughout the piece. I used french knots in clusters inside the flower, a sort of mock thorn stitch over split stitch for the thorny yellow tendrils, and the most of the leaves and stems were done in split stitch. “Real” split stitch, split from underneath.


5 thoughts on “Satin Stitch Crewelwork Flower

  1. I’m SO thrilled to read this! Big props for investing the time and energy and it’s looking great!
    (Btw, I have that crewel book as well, in fact the stitches I used in that post came straight out of it. It was the first thing I turned to when I decided to learn how to stitch with wool 😉 ).


    1. I use a fabric called Navy Twill (I’ve also seen it called Galaxy Twill). It’s a very tightly woven fabric and definitely not a staple for embroidery, but it has a lovely texture and keeps up with my high tension stitches really well. I am a pretty tense person, and I tend to rip regular 100% cotton/warp expensive evenweave. It’s usually available from my local Fabricville/Fabricland (here in Canada) in about 15-20 shades. One side of the fabric is more even textured, the other has faint line patterns through it. It’s apparently a fabric for making blazers and uniforms out of, since it is tough and has an excellent weight to it. I am probably going to be writing a blog post about this fabric this weekend, since this isn’t the first time I have been asked this question. Hope this helps!


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