Stitch as Patch

The stitched Patch

Sometimes,  dividing space is just too small, not practical for piecing.  Using stitch to patch  can greatly enhance the sense of detail  when applied to the puzzle concept.  I very often use traditional style pieced patchwork as a base for stitching.  As a matter of fact,  it is how I began my layered style.  But  just free form stitching on a pieced base is not what I am addressing here.  Here, I am still working with the puzzle concept,  that is, adhering to the  basic design concept so common to simple patchwork.  The geometric shapes that fit together.  Based on a simple grid.

Working in stitch with a grid system  give a different form to stitch here.  Patchwork as embroidery  can be just the addition of small stitched elements  or it can become more prominent as well.  I see this method as continuing with the puzzle idea.  One technique being influenced by another.  The crossover between traditions  A way to simply achieve smaller  "Puzzle Pieces.  And ultimately new form.

Take it further

This is a form of Sympathetic Evolution, a term I often use to describe how one thing might influence another (in this case technique) ,  and create new form.  The stitches I most often use for filling spaces are the Split Back Stitch and the Wrap.  Maybe you have your own preferences.


Mock seam play

So this is just another approach to the patchwork concept using stitch.  I did a bot more playing with  the running stitch lines.  I think it has greater possibility that I imagined.  I've only used it  in a very simple way in the past.  If you use a single strand of thread and  tinier stitch you can vary the weight of the line as well.  So that might be something else to play with.

Below, some   Doodling  "Joodling" over a loose puzzle:

How Form evolves

Patch work has influenced a lot of my embroidered symbols.  You will see evidence of that as I move into the loose patch segment of this series.


  1. Leslie Alt

    I am truly amazed by your ideas. I never thought to embroider within the squares. What a terrific idea. You mentioned buying thread on cones. Can you share where you purchase the cones. I so look forward to your classes. You never cease to amaze. Thank you for opening up a whole new world for me. I feel like I’ve discovered my niche.

  2. Sharon Koch

    It’s funny someone named this a “running” stitch. Seems to me more of a “swimming” stitch… the needle gliding easily thru’ the fabric currents like little overhand strokes… over… under… My total fave is that tiny “running” stitch square with the stitched blue center. Looks like a thought, hovering in place. And the idea of varying the weight of the line… wondering what yarn might do… or narrow strips of cloth… (the weaver in me craving expression) Btw, love the weekly lessons, Jude. Gives us time to absorb ‘n experiment with what you’re sharing. I listen to your thoughts repeatedly ‘n always glean a fresh perspective. Please know you are dearly loved.

  3. Jen NyBlom

    The simple running stitch to create yet more sections/designs/squares/patches within the simple patch(es) just makes my heart sing! Ooooo “simple” is SO deceptive and beguiling! Another OOO! Must try!!

  4. Anne Lohr

    Just amazed how these simple puzzle pieces evolve when combined with stitch and each other, endless combinations and discoveries. I’m enjoying this journey.

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