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Monday, May 3, 2010

Using Casalguidi Stitch for Santa's Walking Stick

Over the past few weeks, I've made a bit more progress on Celebration Santa (canvas and stitch guide from Joan Thomasson).

When I started this project, I wasn't sure how I was going to stitch his walking stick. In Joan's original, she stitched over the brown for the stick and attached a real twig, then stitched Santa's fingers over it. This wasn't a look I was going for. Besides, it just seemed so... um... dirty to attach a twig to my canvas. Never mind I have no idea how that would hold up over time. I'm not stitching this to be an heirloom, but I would like it to last for several years, at least!

Instead, I opted to use the Casalguidi stitch, which is sometimes referred to as raised stem stitch. As the name implies, this stitch is traditionally used in Casalguidi embroidery from a little town in Italy called--you guessed it--Casalguidi! Unfortunately, I neglected to take specific step-by-step pictures, but this site shows the progression of the stitch.

For Santa's stick, I used brown DMC floss for the padding and base stitches, then switched to a variegated 6-strand floss for the stem stitches. I chose to use all six strands, not separating the threads before stitching. This is supposed to look like a stick, after all, and it shouldn't be completely smooth.

I was pleasantly surprised at the result.

This is a prime example of why I try all sorts of stitching techniques. I actually learned Casalguidi stitch in an EGA correspondence course for the traditional technique, and was thrilled to find an additional use for it!

How about you? Have you found new ways to use old techniques?


Kathy A. said...

Santa is coming along beautifully!
I love the stitch you used for his stick. It suits perfectly.

Donna said...

I'm impressed. I'd never thought to use Casalguidi on a canvas. Great idea! And it looks wonderful.