Makers Monday- Long & Short Stitch

posted in: embroidery, Makers Monday | 0

Makers Monday by Holey Socks Art


Happy Monday- err, I mean Tuesday. What can I say, life caught up to me and I am not the sure footed nymph I often appear to be.


This week there is no tutorial because I myself am currently undergoing one. As an artist I love to challenge myself. Hell, even outside of art I love a good challenge. Life would be dull without them.


As you know, I have a serious Pinterest addiction. Recently, I have been indulging it; feeding on so many wonderful variations of surface embroidery and various other types of needlework. I find myself drawn over and over again to works of laborious, photorealistic shading (primarily silk shading). I mean, who knew? This is not the sort of thing I had ever pictured when I first started embroidering. So in case you haven’t explored the art, here are some amazing examples:

So I decided to give it a go. I have two new patterns I recently developed, however, I am waiting to post them until I have a finished project shot to accompany them. I sent one off to my favorite “stitcher” to work up and began the other myself. I had originally planned to keep it pretty simple in the interest of saving time, but what better way to practice a new technique than on something you can totally scrap & throw away?! Also, I am a glutton for punishment. So I begin my journey through long & short stitching to work on shading techniques. I won’t be using silk thread just yet…


Bitches Be Crazy Pattern by Holey Socks Art
Original pattern as transferred
First daisy completed- however I may bring some deeper orange/rust in on edges of petals…
Ugh. My horrible attempt at a carnation. I used three pieces of floss for deeper red and then went down to two for the pink and white. Not good, folks…
Starting a smaller, blue flower. Will complete with single strand of DMC floss to see how look changes.


So it isn’t much to look at so far, but I am learning lots.

First, only a single strand will do if you want a smooth, flat, perfectly shaded flower.

Second, though it is a long, long process it is completely relaxing, almost meditative.

Third, needle size matters. You don’t want an overly large eye or needle diameter leaving large holes in the fabric.

Fourth, have a plan or reference picture. This is a downfall of mine. As they were hand drawn pictures of flowers (I mean, they were drawn by me on the computer) I didn’t have a reference photo I was using which makes getting realistic shading “just right” nearly impossible. Keep in mind that if you are going to be using a collage of photos instead of a singleton, check to make sure that they all have similar lighting. If one is a photo of a flower that is backlit and the next is a flower that is lighted from the upper right you will have shading and shadows that look unrealistic no matter how perfectly you complete your piece.


So there. Gems of advice from a novice *wink*.



Website Links for the Above Artists:

Su Embroidery

Hiroko Kubota

Harriet Maxwell

Christine D


Interested in learning with me? Then I suggest you check out this!

Long & Short Stitch on Needle ‘n’ Thread This site is hosted by Mary Corbet who does AMAZING work.  Did I say yet how amazing she is? Check her out. She has some really great tutorials and features many videos for those of you how need more than a simple screenshot or want to venture into something more complex.