Sunday 7 October 2018

Embroidered Quatrain and Autumn Treasures

Here are my first tests with embroidering Quatrain.  I like the blue on black fabric.  You can see it below next to the "real thing".  Not too bad?

Here is a close-up.
I realised that the outline was wrong on this first version.
It should have been a back stitch to make it thicker instead of a running stitch.

The next version was four together and I fixed the outline.  I started the embroidery machine with the dark purple... only to realise that it was too dark and you couldn't see the stitches or the outline so I switched to the lighter rust-orange colour.  It's a bit of a shame as this means we lose the effect of the four motifs joining together in the middle.  I think the combination of satin stitch with backstitch for the outline worked out quite well.  Unfortunately that was all the time I had allocated with the embroidery machine so I'll have to wait until my next booked slot to try it again.... and also to try it on transparent organza fabric... and next onto soluble or "burn-away" stabiliser so that the lace will be self-supported, a lace fabric.  Can't wait to try the next versions!

Oh, and after those first tests, I realised how inefficiently I had drawn the design with the software, the machine having to cut, tie and start again way too many times which slowed the process a lot.  So I am going to re-draw the design.  But it also made me think that it would be even better if I could invent a stitch that more closely mimicked tatting and this is what I came up with:

This is obviously not tatting!  And I'm not trying to replace the beautifully hand-made lace that we make with our shuttles (or needles) but it's an interesting exercise.  

Autumn has arrived!  The trees were looking beautiful on our walk today.  

We came across some hawthorne berries... and I wondered about making jam/jelly with them.  I love gifts of nature like that.  The berries were so pretty and I looked it up:  yes, you can make jelly with the "haws".  Jam is a little more difficult because there is very little flesh on those berries and a proportionally large pip in the middle. 

Here they are in my colander, ready to be picked over and stalks removed.

And the next day...

I only got one jar and a half out of all those berries
but it's tasty and we like it!

We need to go pick some more.

And here it is with the light behind
so you can see the lovely red shade
of this delicious jelly.

I hope you are enjoying a lovely autumn.

Best wishes,


  1. Ooh so many wonderful things! Beautiful photos, the leaves are gorgeous, the jelly is a beautiful color and the colander of berries is so visually pleasing.
    I LOVE,LOVE, LOVE your invented tatting stitch, I think it looks quite good. Is there potentially a Quatrain shawl in the future?

    1. Thank you so much Michelle! Your comment has really cheered me up! It's early days with the new stitch and I'm having problems at the moment as when I draw with it, the knot side doesn't always face the right way and I don't know how the computer decides. Anyway, I'm sure I'll figure it out eventually. I have another stitch out session on Tuesday, hopefully I'll make some more progress then.

      And yes, I don't know if it will be a shawl but I'd love to do a whole garment in Quatrain... or another of my designs. I think it's rather exciting! :-)

  2. I agree with Michelle! Your translation of tatting into machine embroidery is fascinating, especially as you say it's "early days." Thanks for letting us watch as you develop this stitch. It already looks beautiful to me.

  3. Wow, you’ve made fantastic progress. I like the idea of soluble stabilizer to create a lace fabric. So many possibilities! Beautiful jelly, enjoy the fruits of Autumn.

  4. Interesting experiment, those machines are expensive, I've seen one of those in action once, it's amazing. Your work with the software it's praiseworthy. Yum-yum, it looks delicious! (I mean the jelly!)

    1. Yes, I agree, they are pretty amazing. They even knot and cut the threads as they go and it's fascinating to watch. :-)

  5. Your embroidery "tatting" looks great!! :)

  6. You did an excellent job with your design! True! is not easy with how you have to think about how it will stitch out! I would buy your design!
    Only a tatter could see how the back stitch would look like double stitches. Beautiful work!
    Now I know that Hawthorn berries make a delicious jam. We have so many trees on public trails.
    Love to see nature’s fall colors.

  7. Wow, absolutely Excellent transfer of threadcrafts. Very talented.
    Love the other pics, too - very happy pics all of them, as are all your posts :-)

  8. It's amazing how much you've learned already with your machine! I imagine not many have ventured into this field, although there is one gal who seems to have been a pioneer in tatted lace embroidery and created a business for herself, selling her designs to those who had embroidery machines.
    Because I surf the net a lot, several years ago, through Pinterest, I became aware of her site called Murphy's Designs. She used her embroidery machine to design tatted lace - mostly free-standing (via wash-away stabilizer). She also had tutorials. The variety of her work was amazing. She had the business for 15 years, and retired in 2016. But her site is still available to view, and her posts seem to be intact, although sometimes photos are missing. She did run into criticism for not getting permission from or giving credit to the original designers of actual tatted patterns that she copied, and she then realized she should do that. It is amazing how realistic the 'tatting' looked, especially the picots, but the double stitches were not 'defined'.
    Her facebook page is also still available to view.

    I'm sure you're having fun seeing your patterns materialize from the machine!

    1. Hi Kathy,
      Yes, you're right, I had occasionally seen Murphy's designs whilst surfing the net about tatting but to be honest when I started this project, I'd completely forgotten about it! The pleasure for me is in being able to embroider my own tatting designs. In fact, I will also be using one of my snowflakes for laser-cutting. That's the next thing! :-)

    2. It will be so interesting to follow your adventures here! Laser cutting sounds fascinating! Looking forward to seeing all the amazing possibilities utilizing your beautiful designs!

      Didn't want to forget to mention that beautiful jelly! It seems labor intensive, but worth the effort!

  9. Sorry this is a late comment blogger has been playing up over the last few days
    A very interesting post, your design does look good as embroidery
    Not thought of making jam out of hawthorn berries, gorgeous colour

  10. Bellissimo motivo a chiacchierino, vorrei sapere se è possibile sapere dove posso trovare lo schema per favore, grazie e complimenti. Simonetta

  11. I would love to use your motif for a hankie border. Would you be willing to share the tatting pattern? Thank you!

    1. Hello, the Quatrain pattern is available for free on my patterns page. :-)


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