Outline stitches are usually considered as accessory only to others. Very good work, however, may be done with them alone. A good design with close lines embroidered in stem stitch or Kensington outline stitch on a simple material is sure to be artistic.
Linen tray-cloths and toilet table covers, which have frequently to be washed, may be most daintily decorated in monochrome etchings or outlining.
Most of the outline stitches are hand stitches and therefore pieces to be executed by their use are readily “picked up.” The most important outline stitch is the one known as
. This is the most suitable way to work stems of flowers and lines in connection with half work on linens or simple long and short border embroidery. It is never artistic to embroider stems with the “over and over” or satin stitch when the flowers are in “half embroidery.” This is not the way to embroider any stems or lines except those of designs wrought in French laid embroidery.
Stems should be worked along their length. If they are single lines one line of outline stitches will express this, if they have some width a line on each outline will leave the linen or ground between, which will finish the necessary high light through the center, and carry out the idea of suggestiveness contained in the long and short embroidery. The stems and lines of full embroidery should be worked in twisted outline, as many rows as are necessary to cover the width, in such shades as will give the required roundness. Stem stitch is a pretty method for outlining conventional designs and split stitch is suitable for very small work.
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