Elephant Stitch Sampler Update

elephant stitch sampler update
The elephant stitch sampler is coming along. This time the lesser known Portuguese stem stitch, stem stitch, chain stitch and some French knots have been added - complete with a bit of bling!

Tast Stitch 94 – Portugese Stem Stitch

The first stitch I added this time is Portuguese stem stitch – not one I had heard of before! I enjoyed stitching this one. It is a stem stitch with almost a ‘whipping’ made between each stitch. This creates a knot like effect on the top of the stitch. It adds a nice bit of interest to ‘normal’ stem stitch. Having completed the area I thought best for this stitch, I’m now thinking I might add it to a few more areas.

portuguese stem stitch


TAST Stitch 8 – Chain Stitch and TAST stitch 14 – Stem Stitch

As I mentioned last time, I’m starting to run out of room to put some of the more elaborate stitches in. So I’m going back to some more ‘traditional’ stitches with some sections of this elaborate elephant. But it never hurts to practice any stitch does it!

After completing the squirrel’s tail on my Jacobean piece, I thought it might be nice to try and incorporate some of the ‘mixed stitches’ idea into the ‘swirly’ section of the elephant. Because I was going to combine stitches, I thought it best to avoid elaborate stitches, and chose the more traditional chain stitch and stem stitch.

TAST Stitch 15 – French Knots

There is something about this elephant that just seems to ‘need’ bling! And after stitching the swirls, I thought they needed something a bit ‘extra’.

So, out came the same metallic thread I used in the couching stitch, and I tried my hand at creating French knots using a metallic thread. I was prepared for this to be quite difficult, but I found it to be much like stitching a normal French knot. I didn’t get myself into any tangles as I had expected!

A variety of different stitches used on this stitch sampler


So the little elephant is making some slow progress. One night I sat down and looked through the TAST stitches to get an idea of what I would put in the various design elements, but I of course didn’t write it down and now can’t remember! So I will just progress with my rather vague idea of what I want it to look like. One thing I am finding however is that it does seem to need metallic threads or something to lift it if I am using DMC threads. So I might try incorporating silk blends or perle threads a bit more. He is quite elaborate, and I think that is why he needs the extra bling!

More on the elephant

If you would like to know more about the elephant, or any of the stitches or threads used throughout, you can find the information here. Or, you can of course just ask!

Join the others!

Do make sure you head over and see what everyone else has been up to! It’s a great group, and with so many different projects you will be filled inspiration for the week ahead.

AvisClaireGunCaroleLucyAnnKateJessSueConstanzeDebbieroseChristinaSusanKathyMargaretCindyHelenStephLindaMary MargaretTimothy, HeidiConnieJackie

The elephant will be back in three weeks for the next SAL update!

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45 thoughts on “Elephant Stitch Sampler Update”

  1. Wonderful, I love your Portugese stitch and agree those little bumps (almost like tiny French knots on the top) give it a lovely and more textured finish than a normal stem stitch.

    You are such a clever little bunny.
    Helen xx

    1. Thanks Helen, it is a great stitch for just a little bit of variety isn’t it? And it works up quickly which is a bonus!

  2. Very timely, as I was looking at edging for my RSN piece – and the Portugese stitch looks like an interesting one to try. Love the mix of gold French knots with the swirls.

    1. What great timing! It’s a great stitch to try, and I think I will use it s bit more extensively than what I do some of the other stitches on this sampler.

    1. Thanks for the tip Alex. I like this stitch and want to use it in other places, so I will try it in a perle thread ?

  3. At first I thought the French knots were beads they were so even (unlike mine, which are always out of control). That Protuguese stem stitch is really cool too. Looking back, you have covered quite a bit of space, and your elephant is really looking fit for a maharajah!

    1. I have had a lot of practice with French Knots recently Kathy! They were never that even before trust me. And I enjoyed trying it in a different thread too.

  4. Love the colours and stitches you have used. Oddly enough Shelley suggested Portuguese stem for a bit of my design too! At least I now know what it looks like! Looking forward to seeing the finished elephant!

    1. It’s a great stitch. I’ve never heard of it before! It does work up quickly. I’d be interested to see it in wool actually. I think it would really highlight the little ‘knot’ on top.
      I hope your piece is coming along well.

    1. I can already see it becoming a bit of a ‘go to’ stitch Rachel. It will be interesting to try it in a few different threads to see how it changes and how the knot changes. It’s set to become a favourite of mine too!

  5. Your elephant is going to be truly amazing! Using all the TAST stitches is such a great idea. I am slowly working my way through TAST, but my stitching is not nearly as neat and beautiful as your stitches. Your french knots are so even!

    1. TAST is such a great way to learn new stitches. I’m enjoying getting back into it. And don’t be too hard on yourself – your stitching is beautiful also! And it’s all about practice!

    1. I don’t think they are too precise Cindy! I’m enjoying having a ‘relaxed’ piece where I can play with stitches and threads.

    1. Thanks Sue. I did think about showing the whole thing, but I’d like to get a little more stitched first! Hopefully next check in. But maybe I’ll do it regardless!

  6. You have inspired me to test TAST and all the different stitches! Thank you so much!!! I´m now on stitches nr 7. I´m stitching flowers and some day I´ll show the world my result. The hardest thing is to find the Swedish name for all the stitches, because I´m stitching that and the date when the flower is finished as well!!

    1. I’m so glad about that Gun! I do hope you enjoy it. I’m doing a most unorganised method these days, but I’m still enjoying it (perhaps more so), than when I was doing it week by week in order. I love that you are approaching them with all flowers, and labelling them as you go along. Such a great idea. Some of the stitches on mine I have no idea what they are and have to go back through my blog to work it out! I do hope you share your work with us.

    1. Your book of TAST Stitches is really lovely. I’m surprised how far down the list stem stitch is. I consider it to be such a ‘must’ use stitch. But a lot of TAST is about new and different stitches, so perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised!

  7. I’m sure it’s going to be a lovely piece of art, as usual. I love the colors you are using. Thank you for sharing at The Really Crafty Link Party. Pinned!

  8. Oh… this section is sooo pretty! I love how the lines of stitching curl around. On another piece they would be perfect for the tail feathers of a bird. 🙂

    Thanks so much for linking up to last week’s Stitchery Link Party. Aloha hugs!

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Catherine at Hillview Embroidery

Thanks so much for visiting today! I’m Catherine, and it’s great to have you here. You will find here lots of information about my projects and designs, what worked, what didn’t, what I enjoyed, what I didn’t!

With a Certificate in Technical Hand Embroidery from the RSN, I strive to complete each piece to a high degree of technical excellence. But I also like to stretch the ‘rules’ and explore my own methods and techniques!

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