Stem stitch branches

Stitching something that’s symmetrical is always difficult. To get the same shape or design to be exactly the same on each side is near to impossible (for me!). The Acorn design isn’t mathematically symmetrical – after all, it’s  the work of May Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement which was, in part, a reaction against the styles that were developed by machine-production. Still, a branch on one side and a branch on the opposite side should be pretty close to the same so the design, as a whole, balances.



This is what I worked on carefully as I stitched row after row of stem stitch. I wanted the outside line of stitching to be smooth and run continuously from the tip to the bottom of each stem on the side stems  and to the fork in the middle stems.

I aimed to make the stems equal thickness – within the constraints of the pattern drawn on the fabric. Lastly, I worked very hard to make the tips pleasingly thin and graceful.


I think I’ve succeeded and I am very happy with this next step being finished. In actual fact, I’m very close to being completely done but have been so busy stitching that I haven’t taken time to tell you about my progress!

Here’s a photo that I’ll talk about next time…


While I certainly think that reflecting on one’s work is beneficial, sometimes I just want to stitch and get finished so I can sit back and enjoy gazing at the finished piece. So…back to stitching!

4 thoughts on “Stem stitch branches

  1. super crewel work. missed your blogging, but i think that is something we will have to get used to ?? as you go on to your new venture.

    • Hi Ann,

      Thanks for stopping by and taking time to leave a comment. I know I’ve been absent these past few weeks and haven’t posted as much as usual. Believe it or not, it has nothing to do with the embroidery teaching web site but everything to do with school and sheer exhaustion from teaching.

      We are just finishing a brand new concert hall at school and, while I’m very excited to have such a great facility, I’ve been put in charge of the opening concert in addition to the 220 children I teach every week, the choir and the orchestra I conduct. It’s taken a lot of time organizing guest artists and everything to do with the fund raising aspect of this concert (the curtain for the stage cost 10,000 Euro! Can you believe that? And I didn’t really want a curtain since the first thing any child will do is wrap himself up in it, twirl around and promptly fall off the edge of the stage!)


      I should now have more time to both stitch and (therefor) blog – since I’ll have something to write about!

      You made me feel very good that you missed my little messages every few days though. Thank you!

      Liebe Grusse,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *