Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I Spanked the French Knots

I'm working on some embroidery. I learned how to do the basics in a summer school class my grade school offered. Haven't done much since then. I picked it up again a few years ago to work on a pillow cushion. And I'm still working on the same one :) Here's the thing, it's a graphic design that is repetitive and done in only satin stitch. So it takes a long time. Well it mostly takes a long time since I can only so one small section without getting bored. Or my hands getting tired from my death grip on the hoop.
I've moved on to work on other things and I bring That One out occasionally. This one is fairly small, it'll end up probably about 4"x5" or so. I sketched out lots of designs until I got to this. Yes, this also has satin stitches, but! they don't have to be uniform which makes all the difference.

While I was brushing up on embroidery I looked at a lot of pics and sites online. I was surprised at how many people are scared of French Knots. I thought, hmm, maybe I should be scared of them, it's been a while since I've done them. So I looked at a few tutorials, each assuring us to "not be scared" they're "not that horrible", "only loose a couple fingers", "or an eye". Kidding. But it just all made me more nervous. Until I told myself to just calm down. If I could do these at about 9 or 10 years old they really can't be that hard. They totally aren't, they're just as easy as all the other stitches.

I French Knotted to my hearts content. And then decided I didn't quite like the colors I'd used so I got out my small embroidery Ginghers (they are small, my fingers are not gigantic I promise). It made me sad to see the knot carnage. It'll look better in the end.


  1. I love the effect of that satin stitching - and good to know they're not that scary (maybe it's the prefix of French that does it? French seams get a bad rap too and they're not hard either.)

  2. I'm impressed by your emroidery skillz!

  3. I did a whole picture one time (about 8 x 10 inches) and it was ALL satin stitch! Very tedious and it seemed to take forever. All this to say - I feel your pain! And no, French knots aren't hard, if you get your technique right. You'll get really good after about 100 of them! :)

    Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment on my Minimalism quilt. Glad you like it!

  4. French knots are funny arent they? I was scared of them too. It didn't take long to realize they just aren't that hard! :) Your work is looking good.

  5. Wow! Your work is amazing. All that teeny, tiny detail and it looks just perfect. Thanks for inspiration!

  6. The French knots are perfect as the centers of the flowers! And the satin stitch looks so fine and delicate. I doubt I'd have the patience for it, but it looks just lovely. Is the whole cushion going to be 4" x 5", or is that just a patch on it?

    You should post a picture of this on Kollabora, the online crafting community! We haven't been seeing much embroidery lately.


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