After navigating some technical issues and a very eventful past year of teaching, I thought it was high time I dust off the equipment and get back to filming regular stitch tutorials for you!
Today, I’m sharing the latest installment in my Stitch Library series, a tutorial on the Trellis stitch. This is an intermediate level stitch that creates a latticed grid of laid filling (as opposed to functioning as an outline stitch). The grid lines actually lay along the top of the fabric, only passing through it at distant entrance and exit points. For this reason, you may also have heard it called lattice work or square laid filling. Traditionally though, I most often encounter it as “Trellis” stitch, so that is the name I am using here. It comes to us from a body of stitches that are used in traditional Crewel work, a type of free-form surface embroidery that gained popularity in the Jacobean era in Britain and on into the later 17th and 18th century in pre- and post-colonial America. Though many may now think of Crewel as only a style of embroidery, the word “crewel” actually refers to the traditional use of wool during this period of embroidery work (the word derives from an old Welsh word for wool, “cruell”).
On the left, you can see where I’ve used a basic variation of the Trellis stitch for part of the snowshoe fill and another variation with french knots in each of the grid squares for my Into the Winter Woods pattern. On the right, I’ve again used the most basic variation of this stitch for the fill on the traffic light in my City Set pattern.
You can find a lot of wonderful tutorials in books, online videos, and on blogs for basic stitches. For that reason, I’ve chosen to start my Stitch Library series with intermediate stitches like this that may be more difficult to find information and various perspectives on. Though any of the designs in my patterns can be worked in basic outline stitches, you can see in the video and below how I’ve used intermediate level stitches such as this one in my patterns as well, including, The City Set, Into the Winter Woods, and in my Hand-Lettered Alphabet sampler. I’ve always thought it was especially interesting that you could stitch up one embroidery design in so many different ways, depending on skill level and creative vision—I definitely encourage you to explore the variations of this stitch and see how you can combine learned knowledge with creative choice to come up with something that is uniquely your own.
On the left, you can see a variation on the Trellis stitch from my Hand-Lettered Alphabet Sampler pattern. Here, a detached chain stitch has been used to create an overlay of lazy daisies within the grid. In the image to the right, you can see another variation where red french knots fill the coral grid (this is from a limited edition kit I created for JP Knit & Stitch–I’ll update this post with a link when the PDF pattern becomes available).
Are there any specific stitches you would like to see covered in this series? Leave a comment here, and I’ll add it to my list!
Interested in learning more about the Trellis stitch? Here are some resources I’ve found useful: