Escape to Africa stich a long
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Escape to Africa – Week 3


Welcome to the ‘Escape to Africa’ Stitch A Long

This Stitch A Long is taking place for 12 weeks on the Stitchdoodles blog – Starting Wednesday 31st May 2023 and finishing on Wednesday 16th August 2023.

Each Wednesday during the SAL – a new tutorial will be published on the blog with all the information you need to complete a part of the Escape to Africa Pattern.

If you are not familiar with a Stitchdoodles SAL and this is all new to you and you would like to join in, please go to this page to get all the information.

Do you need help with any of the stitches?

A Stitch A Long doesn’t provide you with the step by step instructions for the stitches themselves – it is a tutorial on how to stitch the pattern design – colours, techniques and stitches used etc. I will link to a ‘How to’ for certain stitches where I can, if you need further guidance, please take a look here …

How to Teach Yourself Hand Embroidery Stitches

Stitching Week 3

For the Lions Head, you will need the following colours…

#3782, #422, #976, #420, #310

Use 2 strands throughout unless stated otherwise.

Start with the central nose strip…

#3782: Split stitch from the top down to fill and stitch around the nose markings so they are still visible.

#422: Split stitch each side of the nose strip (going around the eyes)
#422: Split stitch the outer ear
#3782: Split stitch the inner ear

Black Details #310…
Satin stitch eyes and straight stitch nose ‘T’
1 strand: tiny straight stitch the freckles and the ear markings

The remaining lions mane is stitched in Turkey Work (or Turkey Rug Stitch). If you joined in with the Bees and Blossoms SAL then you will be familiar with this as we used the stitch for the Bumblebee.

If you are not familiar with this stitch or need a refresher, you can find a step by step on the blog here… How to: Turkey Work

For this lions mane – start by covering the outer lines with #976: Back Stitch.

To fill with Turkey work, I decided the easiest way was to split it off into sections.

Thread Colour and number of strands to use…

Use 4 strands throughout for each of the Turkey work sections.

Colours #976 and #420: I used 3 strands of #976 and 1 strand of #420 in the needle together to give a variegated effect.

The following diagram shows how to stitch one half of the mane before starting the other. We will start by stitching the lower right section (shown in red). Then filling the top right section (green.) Once done, you can repeat to stitch the other side of the mane in the same way.

Start stitching at ‘starting point 1’ as shown above and stitch a vertical line of Turkey Work from the chin up to the muzzle centre.

Continue stitching lines of Turkey work adjacent to the previous row.

The closer your rows and stitches the more fuller the effect will be. Make sure you go right to the very edge so there are no gaps. This will make it neater when it is trimmed at the end.

Here’s some progress pictures whilst I was stitching…

Finally, with all of the Turkey work completed and some of it starting to be trimmed.

Trim Trim Trim!

This is the fun bit. Cut through the loops to create the cut strands and then trim away at the length and shape to reach a finish you are happy with.

I ended up taking mine quite short. At first I finished with the one on the left of the picture below however, I wanted to try and bring the shape more in line with the original template so I decided to trim some more! It was a bit of a risk as I was concerned it would be too sparse in some of the edge areas but luckily I managed to take it nice and close without too much regret!

Having done this, I then went back around the edge and split stitch again to bring out the shape and neaten it off. Of course if you are happy with the more rounded look then you don’t need to worry about doing this bit.

Now your handsome lion is complete, you can finish off this week with a couple of the smaller blocks…

Flower Block

#905 / #907 (1 strand of each in the needle): Stem stitch the stems and Chain stitch the leaves.

#718 (4 strands): Woven wheel for each flower.

Leaf Block

#905: Split stitch to fill the leaf
#905 / #907 (1 strand of each in the needle): Back stitch the centre stem line

Week 3 is complete…

Stitching the Block outlines…

I decided at this point to start stitching some of the outlines of the completed blocks. If you want to do the same, I chose to stitch them all in the same colour. #422 (3 strands): Back Stitch.

Make sure you show off your colourful stitching in the Happy Stitching FB Group or on Instagram with #stitchdoodlesembroidery.

If you need help along the way just ask in the FB group as there are lots of lovely people stitching along with you who can offer lots of advice and support if needed.

Week 4 is on the blog Wednesday 21st June… See you then!

Happy stitching!


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