Thursday, October 8, 2015

Darned Embroidery

I was stoked to have a pattern darning sampler embroidery tutorial published on the Sew Mama Sew blog a couple of weeks ago. Pattern darning is a simple running stitch that creates a design over counted threads.

Since the post came out, people have been asking me for easy to read patterns. I thought, no problem, I'll just google pattern darning and refer stitchers to the many designs online. Unfortunately I found the patterns a bit hard to read.


Online pattern darning patterns are usually on a graph or grid. But when the patterns are presented in the same way as cross-stitch patterns, with blocks filled in, I find that the maker sometimes means take my running stitch over one thread (represented by the block) or over two threads (represented by the lines of the grid on each side of the block). It's not consistent and the cross-stitch pattern illustration method does not fit pattern darning designs.

The best ones I've found show stitching between threads and over and under threads, where it actually occurs.


Since these are far and few between, I decided to start drawing up these designs on graph paper in the same style as this image which is from the American Needlepoint Guild.

I'm so excited by my fresh new pad of graph paper, I can hardly contain myself. I have managed to list one pattern of eight designs in my Etsy shop.


You don't need much to create beautiful stitching: fabric, embroidery floss or darning wool, blunt darning or tapestry needle, scissors, and a pattern.

Imagine your clothes magically transformed by small borders of pattern darning. Turn linens into vintage era keepsakes with simple running stitches. Pattern darning has a long and rich history of transforming ordinary textiles into works of art and imagination.  


Visit the Sew Mama Sew sewing blog for tons of sewing and stitching tutorials, challenges, and to meet fascinating fiber artists and designers from all over the world. There's a project for every type of sewing, from clothing to softies to quilts to mobiles. And try out a bit of pattern darning while you're there.

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