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chicken scratch

April 11, 2012

Reading blogs is great for sparking the imagination and I’m constantly seeing interesting things that I could adapt to paper.  Last week I saw an example of chicken scratch embroidery and thought its simple geometry would translate well for the little notecards I’ve been making recently.

Chicken scratch works by making several rows of running stitches in one direction, more in a perpendicular direction, then weaving thread through the “holes” in the running stitches to form a pattern that resembles chicken wire. 


For this trial effort, I started with my standard empty tissue box, cut two adjacent sides and folded it out-side-in.  Then I drew a simple design schematic on graph paper to fit the dimension of this notecard.

I taped the graph paper and punched a pushpin through each place where a needle would pass.  Then I sewed the horizontal and vertical running stitches with white crochet thread.

The knots in the front didn’t exactly turn out the way I’d originally envisioned. 

Anyway, next I used silver thread to outline each of the diamond-shaped openings between each group of 4 stitches.  I referenced this post at Sarah’s Hand Embroidery Tutorials to learn the fundamentals for the stitching process and highly recommend it.

Finally, I drew a little ruffle around each of the knots and added a running stitch around the outer edge for a finishing touch.


It looks lacy, old fashioned and geometric-modern all at the same time. I love it!

I immediately began thinking of dozens of possible variations – it’s such an easy and versatile stitch!

For the second notecard, I enlarged the pattern, used jute for the running stitches and added a bead in the center of each diamond. 

And couch stitched a border of jute around the edge — couching with a blanket stitch.

Cute?  I know!  There’s just a huge range of possibilities 🙂

Thank you for dropping in today!




sharing with
Inspiration Friday at At The Picket Fence
Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Creek Cottage
4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 11, 2012 11:03 pm

    it would never have crossed my mind to do this. I love the way you combined thread with ink. I think it looks incredibly cute.

  2. April 12, 2012 5:53 pm that’s done very easily!
    Yeah, well, you make it look that way anyway.

    The note will make someone very happy and they’ll feel very special no doubt.

  3. April 14, 2012 7:27 am

    Very nice ideas! I love the chicken scratch effect.

  4. December 23, 2013 12:11 pm

    Hi Diane.

    We are working on an E book with illustrated tutorials of about 200 and more stitches. We want to include samples from some of our readers. We got a pingback from your website. Your work is different from the usual- embroidery on paper! Since your stitches and pictures are really neat and good, I would like to ask if we can consider to include the one of the images in this page as well. Due credits will be given.
    If you are okay with it, please send us high resolution pictures of the images above. You can try to send some more of your stitch samples in high resolution too.

    Thanks in advance.

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