Bathya Update

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I finished the top text! “I Bathya Wormo Wrought This”. The satin stitch is hard to make nice over 3 linen threads but I’m pleased with how it looks. Jo said it looked alien and I agree. It’s really something to see in person with the raised letters. In the light, the white silk has reflections and shadows that make the letters look super 3D. Can you tell I like the bottom whitework band better than the middle one? It is a lot easier to do. The middle one is really tricky. I need to watch the tutorial on it again.

I was tired a couple nights ago and needed some easy stitching, and I just couldn’t resist adding some color.

I did the row of double back stitch, AKA closed herringbone stitch (a favorite stitch of mine to do, it has such a nice flow!). And the first letters in reversible cross stitch.

Here is the secret of the reversible cross stitch. Look closely and you can see, for one thing, all the X’s do not cross the same way.

Getting a cross on the front and back is more important than the crosses being the consistent. Back in the day, knowing how to make your letters with reversible cross stitch was important for putting initials on laundry so the laundress could keep everyone’s underwear and sheets sorted out since they all looked so similar.

Also, you can see that there are horizontal or vertical stitches located between some of the crosses.

You try to hide them as best you can (putting them between 2 stitches and not on an edge if you can). They are traveling stitches so you can move from one X to another without leaving any extra stitches on the back.

And look even closer-some of the X’s legs get doubled, also serving as traveling stitches.

You can’t tell so much when just looking casually, but studying the original sampler, Nicola Parkman who charted this sampler discovered all these tricks that Bathya used to make her sampler reversible. It’s so interested what the historical stitcher prioritized compared to what we prize in proper stitching today.

2 Responses

  1. Your satin stitch is beautiful. Fascinating to learn about the reversible stitching too. I can cope with those vertical lines but the top stitches going the wrong? No, that’s too much for me LOL

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