Chicken scratch embroidery

I bought this gingham fabric when I was on holiday earlier in the year, intending to do something craft-y with it.  Then I remembered Chicken Scratch embroidery which I saw on Mary Corbet’s website.  I found this free design on Nordic Needle’s website.  It was fun to do, with just three different stitches.  I also have another piece of fabric of the same colour which I bought to go with it, so it will be a cushion cover.

chicken scratch kitten

This kind of embroidery has other, more pleasant, names. It is also known as Amish embroidery  or Snowflake Lace.

It wasn’t until I had decided to use the fabric that I realised that the check design is not woven, but printed. It made things a little more challenging.  That’s another mistake I can learn from!

 I finished this in just a couple of evenings, but hoped to have made the cushion cover before this post, but a holiday, and Christmas shopping have intervened. I have also acquired two new (to me) books, on Whitework and Drawn Fabric.
Since then I have been planning more projects, in particular the Goldwork.  It’s amazing how long the preparation takes.  It has taken an afternoon and two evenings just to prepare and mount the fabric on a frame, and transfer the design using small tacking stitches.
I was about to take this photo, and I have just noticed that I have basted the backing fabric to the wrong side of the top fabric.  I have a BIG decision to make here – do I dismantle it, and start again, or do I leave it and carry on?  I like things to be right, and the ‘right’ side of the fabric does have a lovely sheen.  I have this nice pair of scissors with a notch in the blade for just such an occasion.  The scissors are about to be used.  It may be some time before the next post!

November 24, 2013. Tags: , . Drawn Fabric, Embroidery, Goldwork, Whitework. Leave a comment.


This butterfly, which is a blackwork design by Tanja Berlin, appeared in ‘Classic Inspirations’ magazine.  I have wanted to do it for some time.  My original thoughts were to do it in white on Midnight Blue.  When I got round to looking at the fabric I had bought it was not the colour I had expected, so I had to have a rethink. My next thought was pastel shades.  Then I decided to read the instructions, and realised that two colours was probably the maximum I could use without making it look messy.

The effect I was trying to get is a butterfly at dusk.  I decided on a soft lemon shade, and the swirl is a very pale blue/grey.


I have also omitted a wing, as I really didn’t like it, and I am pleased with the end result.  It is probably going into a matt silver frame.  The next project also has an animal theme….

November 15, 2013. Tags: , . Blackwork, Embroidery. Leave a comment.