Author Archives: Annie's Needle Arts

A very slight bump in stitching road…

Sad news which can always make one reflect… a very wonderful friend passed on suddenly and stitching time has stood still for a couple of weeks. Tam commented on this blog quite often and we had many laughs together as I knew her personally through my sewing journeys which encompasses about 20 years. Her humor just made me lose it (it went both ways!) Will miss her wonderful spirit!
To share a bit also to move on…next week I have the opportunity to sit and stitch with “Alison Cole” from Australia. I will share as the class goes on if I can. It is a two day class and we will be learning about how she approaches “stumpwork. I thoroughly enjoy seeing others approach to a technique. I have done some but am always up for learning and seeing how others do their stitching as we all glean from their insights and then apply to our stitching what works for us!

Chloe the Cat..Step 9~10

Lots of “padded satin stitching”. The challenge is to keep the satin stitching all going in the same direction.  The first part was the padded center of the flower which was nice to do. What the photo shows below is that even though there are “5” different “split stitch” lines of color around the center I needed to add more. We all stitch different so when I got to the outside part I had to add a extra line or so to fill in the area. Maybe my tension is to tight or I am just a “small stitch stitcher”!

Next is the finished portion ..again I am pleased how this one turned out. I still think I need better glasses!

And now for a picture of all that I have finished so far! The month of July has been a bit hectic for me and it has been sooooo…relaxing when I have had some moments to sit and stitch.

Chole The Cat..Steps 5 ~ 8

    Although trying to be happy with the results of the satin sitch this time around…for me the success was less than I had hoped for. Maybe the magnifying makes one to be more critical. There were, however, some tiny areas to work or I was just trying to hard..and believe me I am “not” doing over… ! (Maybe I need new glasses again!) I try my hardest but have learned I will never be a perfectionist…(am to lazy!)

    When working this design there is an outline around some of the elements which gives an all over much smoother appearance to the design and it also makes the “satin stitching” look smoother around the edges. Trish Burr has been designing her “Whitework With Colour” with these outlines. I like it because it helps to “hide” some of those imperfections. This particular section was “tight”..meaning some very small crowded stitching. I have put below the before and after pictures of this section so one can see the difference without the outline and than with.  

                                                                 
     Makes a difference. When I was really into machine embroidery I noticed that outlining gave a nice finished edging to a piece. Not all machine embroidery designs do the outline but for me it was effective. Kind of like the outlining when coloring in a coloring book when I was a child. That outlining I always thought made a picture stand out more and gave it some kind of “shadowing effects”. Well on to steps 9~10!

CHLOE THE CAT…Steps 1~4 and an Unfortunate Stitching Accident…

    So onto steps 5~8…After finishing steps 1~4 I strayed back to the directions. One thing that I wish Trish had written in her directions was to half the three petals in the middle. Now she did have a line printed in the middle but just as with “Katerina the Cat” I did the “Padded Satin Stitch” all the way across. Then I realized I should have halved them on each of these petals to allow for a line of running stitch or back stitch. You would of thought I would remember from my first foray with Katerina but “no such luck. Still came out okay although I am the type of person who needs more guidance at times. Yes…I did read and reread this time.  I backstitched these lines in later and it was difficult not to create more of a “bunching” effect. Thankfully I am okay with it and will “not be redoing it”.

     The other thing that happened which is never a pleasant thing is I stabbed myself with the needle and guess what happened? It created a mess and it was enough to make it so I needed to remove a smudge of stain. If you haven’t heard about this trick it is logical in a way…You need to use “your” saliva on a piece of tissue or cloth and the stain will blot right out. When I found this out I wanted to bottle it…but we know that is impossible.. it is however available at a moments notice. Who would of thought women would have an excuse to “spit” like men do all the time.. It does bother me but it works.. You’ll never find out where this mess happened…so isn’t that wonderful! Actually this is the first time this has happened to me with an embroidery so I count my self extremely blessed! 

ooooooh….A new Cat from Trish Burr… “CHLOE THE CAT”

   Since embroidering “Katerina the Cat” ..Trish Burr has now come out with another “Whitework in Colour” called “CHLOE THE CAT”.  Of course I purchased the mate from her shop Trish Burr. You can get the kit or go to her digital shop Trish Burr Digital and get a digital copy.

  

    I purchased the kit without the threads as I have amassed a complete set of DMC threads. I was glad to receive the instructions in a booklet form and the design preprinted on a nice piece of fabric. Whew one less thing to think about! Also included was a needle. The booklet gives you the DMC color numbers you need with a printed “color block” next to each one.. Nice! The first thing  to be done after hooping up your design is to go through the steps in the booklet. The first one takes you through steps 1–4. I just finished number 1… it is a “Padded Satin Stitch”. Forgetting how tedious (albeit enjoyable) it can be doing the padding I have to use the same color throughout the process so where the floss goes can be wearing on the eyes. 
   I know that this is my method to help me keep some semblance of order so out came my “air erasable”. First thing is to outline the area with the outline  running stitch and then fill in the object with straight stitches opposite of the way the satin stitching is going to be placed. After the first layer is done I chose to mark my next layer with the marker to help differentiate the first layer from the second one. Followed that with the third layer also. This is the only way I am able to keep my focus on where I have stitched while using the same color.


Now I finished the padding and did the satin stitch on top and below is what is finished.There are some other outlines but they come later on…I am actually “reading” ahead…hopefully for the better in the long run!


I will show more when I finish a group of steps to show progress… I know it will be fun! 

Just so you can see my “KATERINA THE CAT that was finished a few years ago here is a picture of the one I stitched…For some odd reason I like eyelets and both of these have them so will be doing them with pleasure again! 

Little Dog Dinner Time…Jenny McWhinney Design

   Okay…only one more design to stitch…it’s a Christmas one… The dog was a simpler one which was nice…it is a wonderful one to do if you are interested in just starting to do crewel or surface embroidery. Jenny McWhinney has all these mini designs on her website…she even sells them as a whole package..I think that is what I did many years ago, I bought the whole package. I am glad to be getting them finished. Not sure what I am going to do with all of them yet. 


Cute dog… if one wanted to change something I would change the outline on the back. It was suggested to do it in black but I changed it to the color of the ears. I also might take it out…just contemplating on it…probably will leave it.

Talking about a Fix for an Embroidery (paying attention to directions)

  You’d think after all the years that have been spent sewing, doing handwork, cooking etc…(let’s just say over 50 years) one would finally….always read and pay attention to what one is doing…well the  Jenny McWhinney’s design I am working on now “Little Dog Dinner Time” was suggested as one of her easier ones.. and it is… except for “me” who just plods along and jumps to conclusions and this one was a definite no no…Thankfully I had used my trusty  “air erasable marker” to draw the lines. Ahhh…but what lines did I draw? Unfortunately the wrong ones…I drew the ones that show what “color wool” I was supposed to use…my brain had faded….it was sad…sad…so sad. So I have to wait for the lines to disappear because there would be to much confusion with the “other ones also there”.  Decided to mosey on a bit and just stitch the bowl and bone in the meantime. The lines will disappear by tomorrow more than likely.

Below is what I am supposed to draw for the stitching lines….

   Now this is what I did with the air erasable.. I know that not everyone loves these air erasables so it is a personal choice. For me they are so handy…There is always the possibility if you pressed it the mark could become permanent, however I use these markers for drawing in these types of lines….so who would see them! Okay I am really feeling the “old age” creeping in! Need to slow down and pay more attention!

As you can see here in this photo after waiting the lines have just about faded away, so now onto the “correctly drawn stitching lines”!

Here are the redrawn lines….feeling much better now…they are solid ones but it really does not matter…..these old eyes need more to see anyway!

Hope everyone has a wonderful day…mine will be “now”!

In the Scheme of Things…Color makes a Difference 

   First a confession…looking through my Jenny McWhinney “Mini Kits” I noticed that I was mistaken about how many I have to finish!  It is my pleasure to let you know that I have “three” not two more to go… (one was buried) . There is an owl…a dog…and a bird..That said…I feel better. Wishing I had only two left would have been nice but also realizing that these kits stitch up quickly it is fine by me. I am enjoying these as a change of pace. I will get back to Trevelyons Cap in a bit..

   Soooo…I started the owl this morning…and the eyes were first up.  Nice black pupils with a yellow/orange rim around that.  I am not done. What I want to share is about the yellow/orange rim. In the pictures below you can see the difference between the two eyes and their color. One has the orange and the other one doesn’t. I was intrigued at how much the eye looks different with the orange applied. These little nuances of color in a project really makes it. I had not read the directions fully. I admit being in a hurry for some odd reason..( not a legit excuse 😬   …always should read, read, all before one starts…) Now needing to add the orange was a bit of a challenge but it was worth it. The subtlety of colors together make the eye pop.

   You can even tell the difference from a distance as compared to the closeup. The left eye is stitched with the yellow and the right eye with the yellow/orange. I just found it fascinating. Thought I would share. I get excited about the simple nuances that make up an embroidery!

     

Finish…Little Goat “Washday” design by Jenny McWhinney

    Well.. now I have only two more of these mini designs by Jenny McWhinney to finish…here’s hoping I get to them soon as it would be nice to have them all stitched!

    Fussed a little over the stitching of the goat a bit. The legs (particularly the back legs) drove me to take out…restitch…and still for some reason the one just looks like it is more “muscular” than the other (blaming it on the black wool!) All in all was a great fun little time stitching. Cute things are so stress relieving and calming and the ahhhh and ooohhhh! This little guy is all fuzz and fun…glad he’s not eating my clothes! 

The Bobbin Tree  is Jenny’s store…have a visit. All of her stuff is stuff that makes you “smile”! Just to have a pinch of her creative textile skills would make me smile!