Needlework, Finishing, Designing, Quilting, Some Discoveries and Adventures in Stitching from Windy Ridge Designs

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

This One's for Jackie (on Over One Stitching)

Jackie of Jackie's Stitches does some beautiful needlework and quilting.  If you haven't seen her blog, it's worth visiting.  She has some quilt block work she's done recently in the most amazing, juicy colors - they make my mouth water!  Jackie recently sent out an SOS on over-one stitching.  I commented, but words just don't relay what you're trying to say.  I told her I'd do some pictures to help.  So, here they are.  This is the method of over-one stitching that works for me.  It's crazy, but doing this I end up with more work on the back of the piece than the front.  If you want to download these photos in order to enlarge them, for your own personal use - you can go ahead and do that. 

I've started working on the trumpeters at the bottom of my American Sampler.  They're stitched over one thread.  When I stitch, I come up at the upper left and go down at the lower right, then under to the lower left, up and over to the upper right - that's when I stitch over two.

For the over one, I begin by coming up at the lower right, over to the upper left, down to the lower right of the next stitch which takes the thread - in the back of the work under two threads.  I come up and repeat.

Going under the two threads on the back of the work stabilizes the stitch in my mind - well, on the fabric too, but you know what I'm saying . . .


This is what it looks like on the back.

To go back up, I come up at the upper right of the first stitch.  I have to be careful here with tension because I'm only transversing one stitch.  I go over to the lower left and down, then come up at the upper right of the next stitch (crossing two threads on the back of the work) and continue to repeat to the top.

Here's the back of the completed row  . . . .

And here's what the completed row looks like on the front.

Here's an area of completed stitches on the front . . . 

And here's what the same area looks like on the back.  By the time I took these photos, the sun had come up and I'd lowered the shades - my fabric didn't have an accident with my coffee cup, it only looks that way.
Here's a stitch diagram.

Come up at 1 and down at 2 (shown in the light green)

Cross under to 3 (shown in blue)

Come up at 3 and down at 4 (shown in the light green)

Cross under to 5 (shown in blue)

Come up at 5 and down at 6 (shown in the light green)

Etc. Etc. Etc.

The red dots represent the "holes" that I work in.

So essentially what I'm doing is a regular cross stitch in the front and a long cross in the back; which is why the back ends up looking like it has more work - or padded.

Using this method I don't lose any stitches in the threads and it's made my over-one stitching much less frustrating.  In fact, until I figured this out, I stubbornly refused to do any over-one stitching.

Almost forgot to say - when you start the next row, you have to compensate.  Either finish going the other way or start going the other way, just on the first stitch.  What I mean is, following the directions, I'll end up going down in hole number 4 when I finish going back up.  That's the same hole that I'd start the next row in.  So, I can finish the first row by starting in hole 4 and going down in the hole to the right of 2 - or - when I start the next row, I'll begin in the hole to the left of 2 and go down in 4 and my next stitch would come up at 6 and go back to the rhythm of the long cross on the underside.  Even to me that sounds really confusing, but I know when you work it, you'll understand.

I hope this helps everyone.


  1. Interesting! I always thought I had to cross each individual stitch as I go on over one.
    I am going to try this.
    Thank you for taking the time Katherine.

    1. Margaret - so did I !!! That was VERY frustrating, especially as I would often lose my stitch in the thread.

  2. Katherine - this is SO helpful! I see where the term long leg cross comes from! I really appreciate the tutorial, I understand perfectly! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  3. Thanks for the tips! You are a great teacher!!

  4. Clever, so basically like tent stitch, but done in both directions.

    To avoid losing the thread into the fabric in single over 1 stitches, do your first half as normal but alternate the direction of the top one (ie whether you start at the top or the bottom of the cross) so that on the back you always pass under the fabric thread that is lying underneath in the weave.

  5. I am waaaay behind in blog reading, as per usual, but had fun catching up on your posts. When I pull my Victorine Delacroix out again, I am going to sit with it in front of the laptop and reread your post, step by step. I do my queen stitches doing the outside stitches and then the inside stitches. I think they look okay but haven't seen many close up to know whether or not they do... which is probably why Victorine has been in a project bag for almost 6 months now!

    I'm glad you didn't have any damage from the storm. As much as I miss the US, I am glad I'm not having to suffer through that heat!

    Your American Sampler is GORGEOUS.

  6. Thanks for the tip! This is the way I do needlepoint, with the longer stitches in the back to help with coverage. I will remember this tip when I do over-1 stitching in the future.


Can't wait to hear what you've got to say! Unless you're the spammer who keeps commenting anonymously - then thanks, but no thanks, I'm not interested - and your comments just get deleted anyway.