Stitch of the Month - August 2005
Bow Ties and Tuxedo Stripes

by Sharon G

I love to do complex stitches that look neat and elegant but have some surprise in them. Bow Ties and Tuxedo Stripes is a combination of laid work with two different cross stitches couching down the laid threads. It alternates with rows of laid 1/16 inch wide Kreinik Ribbon in my favorite color, #002 then topped off with plain old Bokhara couching in Bijoux and tiny back stitches between all the rows embossing the silk stitches. Nothing complex, but when done with the perfect threads, you have a very nice effect.

Bow Ties and Tuxedo Stripes is a very useful stitch in painted canvas since it is a basic stripe stitch. It can be adjusted to accommodate various stripe widths. How elegant a Christmas package would look in this stitch! Turn the stitch on its side it is striped wallpaper. In Figure 2, you will see how it can be mitered to make a stunning border. The stitch has some strength and durability, since it is made up of small stitches with hardly any long snagging surface. The threads I used are sturdy threads which will wear nicely in a pillow or handbag.

In the sample, I used 3 strands of silk for the laid foundation in purples. You can also use a metallic thread under the cross stitches if you want a tiny bit of glitz peeking out. It is topped off with cross stitches in 3 strands of silk. You can use all one color or vary it with 1 strand of three different colors.

Figure 1 shows the stitch as a solid horizontal stripe.

Figure 1 Bow Ties and Tuxedo Stripes
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Figure 1

Figure 2 shows the stitch as a mitered corner if you chose to use it as a border.

Figure 2 Bow Ties and Tuxedo Stripes
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Figure 2

     

Step 1, Diagram 1a: Lay the base threads using three strands of silk floss weight or any other thread of comparable weight. You should lay this thread the entire width or length of the design areas you will be covering with this stitch.

Step 2, Diagram 1b: Using 3 strands of silk floss weight or other thread of comparable weight, do the alternating 2x2 cross and 2x4 with 2x2 cross stitches placed over the 2x4 cross stitches. Be sure all your stitches cross in the same direction.

Diagram 1 Bow Ties and Tuxedo Stripes
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Diagram 1a and 1b

 
Diagram 2 Bow Ties and Tuxedo Stripes
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Diagram 2a and 2b

Step 3, Diagram 2a: Lay the 1/16 inch wide Kreinik ribbon or other ribbon of comparable width the entire width of the area being covered.

Step 4, Diagram 2b: Repeat the above steps covering the area where you will be using this stitch. If your areas are large, you can jump ahead to the next steps and do the couching at this time, waiting till later to add the back stitching. Note in diagram 2b, I show some compensating stitches.

 

Step 5, Diagram 3: In this step we will add the couching and back stitches embossing the silk threads. I suggest using Bijoux, Lacquer Jewels or Kreinik fine cord. The thread used needs to be smooth and fine. You can also use 1 ply of Soie 100/3 or Gloriana Luminescence which is beautifully overdyed Soie 100/3. I used Bijoux in a variegated color called Regalia #480.

Be sure to notice that I did alternate the placement of the couching stitches in the rows to form a brick pattern. It simply looked more interesting this way and complemented the movement of the cross stitch rows.

I found by doing all the couching stitches first, then returning and placing the back stitches between the rows, I had a smoother effect because the travel path was more organized and there was less variation in the pull on the thread causing less thread jog.

Notice the diagram does show compensating stitch suggestions if you need them.

Diagram 3 Bow Ties and Tuxedo Stripes
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Diagram 3

 
Diagram 4 Bow Ties and Tuxedo Stripes
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Diagram 4

Diagram 4 illustrates how you can miter this stitch to turn a corner. I think it makes an elegant border. If you want, you can run a long stitch and couch it with a matching finer thread from the inner corner to the outer corner to cover the miter. Refer to Figure 2 to see how this looks. When doing the miter, you will need to compensate and I charted a few possibilities for the compensation.



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