As long as I have been interested in embroidery the two stitches I have admired most are satin stitch and long and short stitch. These are also the two stitches that I have found most challenging. In Japanese embroidery there are 5 foundation stitches, horizontal, vertical, weft, diagonal and separated. The first four are essentially the same thing stitched in different directions and they are all essentially satin stitch. When you learn Japanese embroidery these stitches are among the first that you learn and they crop up again and again. Since l have been taking lessons in Japanese embroidery I think that my satin stitch has improved no end.
Long and Short stitch also features prominently in Japanese embroidery but the student does not encounter this technique until Phase VII. The two designs taught at this phase are among the most beautiful of all the phase pieces and although I have admired them greatly, I have never thought about them in terms of my stitching journey. I think because they are done in long and short stitch I pushed them to the back of my mind. When I finished stitching Loving Couple it dawned on me that in my next class I would be starting Phase VII, i would have to tackle the dreaded LSS.
I choose my design and fabric, my tutor placed the order and we waited for it to arrive ... and we waited ... and we waited. I was beginning to think that it would not arrive on time and started to consider other pieces to stitch in class. I almost felt relieved that I would not be doing Phase VII after all. Then last Monday, I heard from my tutor that the order had arrived and my piece was with her. I was surprised by how relieved I felt. I’ve been looking forward to my week in Bournemouth for weeks but for the first time I am actually looking forward to Phase VII albeit with more than a little trepidation.