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!
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.
It is years ago now that I purchased a “bunch” of Jenny McWhinney‘s Mini Kits…I am in the process of finishing up all of them. only two left… after ” The Little Goat, Wash Day. Here is what I have stitched so far…great kit for a quick project and some listening to music or watching an “old movie”! I started these over 5 years ago…sooooo…that is a long time now…Most if not all are still available on her website. You can click on her name above and it will take you right to her “new store” and “website”.
Love the fuzzy front leg! Now for the ones I have finished…the pictures are below…of course it is hard to believe I did them all and enjoyed stitching everyone of them…I was only disappointed at one point after I received my first kit..I found out that Jenny had come to our area “after the fact” and I missed it!!! I heard she was very interesting!!! This was a number of years ago now and hopefully we will have her back again sometime. Her kits are a bit unusual…I had to do a bit of deciphering…depended on the photo “a lot”. There are “scans” of the individual areas to be worked on. Also the tracing is definitely not the same as her picture of the embroidery on the front of the package. One thing though is Jenny says “that you do not have to match sitich for stitch when doing shading as long as you use the color guide and color areas approximately the same.” The affect achieved is similar.
Little Duckling, Swimming Lessons
Little Hedgehog, Wrong Way
Little Piglet, Farmers Garden
Little Fish, Under the Lily Pad
Little Red Hen, Hatching Time
Little Tree Frog, Tropical Flowers
Little Squirrel, Collecting Berries
Little Kitten, Hattie’s Cat
Just as a quick note…”Fire Pinks”grow wild in my backyard during the summer months and I have always been drawn to them because of their growing in the heat of the season. They are not a clumpy flower just usually one stem and a few buds and flowers. I think the cultivated ones have more together in a clump. It is always been nice to take a walk in our woods and spot one of these in bloom!
Today is the day to work on finding the ribbon I want to use for this project. The plan is to stay with some red/pink color variations…with deep green for stems and yellows for the centers. Not a real happy camper so far.. Tested some of my ideas and they were a “bust” in my opinion…(no pictures) Need to feel pleased about the choices. Understanding now that it will take me some time to truly decide how to proceed with this project. I need to sleep on it some more.
So on the next day I tested some “varigated” 4mm silk ribbon …the answer is a maybe “yes”. I like the look but will definitely have to tweak it as the ribbon is applied. Sooo here is what I did for a petal as a test with some pink varigated ribbon…am hoping to find some “hot redish pink” colored 4mm ribbon because I want to do this in a deeper redish also…below is a partial picture of Nicola Jarvis’s petal…then a photo of my idea with the 4mm ribbon. I am already thinking I might decide to hand dye some of my white 4mm ribbon to the colors I want…(psst..I get to play…!) I know all things will take time but I am enjoying the process. I am looking forward to doing some ribbon embroidery and I think this flower will lend itself nicely to this medium. Since I was testing for style and the piece of ribbon used was a remnant I didn’t press the creases out so just ignore that..
It has been a few years now, but when I was in Williamsburg, Virginia at a class with “Nicola Jarvis” I got up the nerve to ask her if she would draw a picture of “Fire Pinks” a native flower that grows on the property where I live. Explaining why I adore this flower is hard. It is a simple flower very bright red/pink. They also have been cultivated as they can be a pale pink to other shades of pink also. I would like to do this flower in red/pink as well as in the pale pink which is the way Nicola drew it for me…my thanks will never be enough for the drawing! I just want to do it justice in the creation!
First off…I can (in my head) see what it looks like in all detail but it will not translate to my hands. Over the years I have tried but just do not have the capability to draw what I see and that means just about anything! Below is just a hint of the wonderful drawing Nicola did for me. She asked about it a month ago or so …so I decided I needed to get my brain moving to stitch this flower…it is really pretty to me and I am excited to try my hand at taking a drawing and then to interpret it in thread or other fiber media (maybe silk ribbon). So here is a beginning…just a hint…
Gee…this is small…the first thing is to “pad” the outside basket shape with two different sizes of teeny tiny cut felt the smaller of which is below the larger one. Below shows the padding attached with stab stitches to hold them in place the same was done with the smaller one.
The basket itself called for “three” different stitches…the first one is “Woven Filling Stitch”which went over the padding and inside the upper basket. The instructions for this stitch are not in the book so I took to the internet and there is a nice video on one. Just type in the stitch you want and up it came…basically it is just vertical lines stitched first then the typical over under stitched horizontally…A tad hard in this small space..plus your going over a bump!
The second stitch is called “Portuguese Knotted Stem Stitch”. The instructions for this are in the back of the book with really nice photos..(whew!) This stitch is used for the upper basket outline around the top.The stitch is a basic stem stitch with an added two wraps of wool before you take the next stitch.
The third stitch is (ta da!) the “Whipped Chain Stitch”. This stitch is a simple chain stitch and then taking the wool back and weaving it through the chains to give it a fuller/thicker look…Used here for the bottom of the basket and for the handles.
The last thing to do is fill the basket with the oranges which are really nice Mill Hill seed beads…I did like the fact green floss was used to stitch these down …thought it added to the defintion of the orange. Sooooo the basket is now done!
Pssssssssst! The bee is next! Still working on my other project should have more to share on that shortly….
Changing the type and color of a stitch from what the designer has written in their instructions makes one sometimes feel like you are taking their hard work and putting it aside..Myself for one truly understands all the work that goes into the design from the concept, sketching, decisions on what stitches to use then each individual color/thread that is used for all the different areas of a design. Boggles my mind! So when changing a designers idea to what works for me I still get a twinge of “but it should have done it their way” guilt.
After having stitched for so many years whether handwork or machine embroidery….then with all the wonderful and fantastic teachers who have “encouraged” to take a chance and change a color or type of stitch because it makes us as students to step outside the box… Sooooo….below is a photo of the change of color chosen for the oranges. Much happier with the color..the thread used is a DMC perle cotton #5 varigated… and then using a light padding underneath then covering with a satin stitch. I like the effect the tiny cross stitch gives the bottom of the orange.
The leaves use a fly stitch ….same as on the front…one thing that gets very tiring at times is “leaves”so many of them! Enough said! We will see the full effect of the new colors when the tree is finished!
Better later than never…It has just been to muggy and hot to do much of anything…The title at least makes me feel Autumn is coming…Yes…I finally picked up the part of the back of the workbox and started to embroider the trunk of the tree with a stranded wool called” Gloriana Lorikeet”..I am pretty sure I have mentioned before that using all these different types of embroidery threads is a wonderful treat…now whether I like them or not…at least I have tried them..This crewel wool is “fine” and for the trunk of the tree you use two strands for the bigger part and then use one strand for the smaller branches. The wool is varigated and adds some very nice contrast to the trunk…The picture below shows just the main trunk and where I started again with the crewel wool (boy that just sounds hot!) . I separated the two strands so the difference can be seen.
The stitches used here are the “stem stitch and the outline stitch” alternating the two in rows…Are they precisely done?..Not sure…to much fuzzy going on…Trying to remember how to do these “supposedly” simple stitches has always been a challenge…For me I finally decided this was the best way “outline” means “O”ver and then stem is under. Now Over for me means above but I like the fact I can use the “O” in outline to remind me how it works! Pretty slick for my memory!
This is the backside picture from the instructions in the book “Home Sweet Home” Embroidered Workbox by Carolyn Pearce …”Autumn Orange”…Remember this is a small box …One day I will show just how small it is.
Just a quick update…I have been taking a brief break from stitching…I did work for a little while on the “Trevelyon Cap” and hopefully will show some progress on that shortly… My mind keeps saying ” I need to finish…I need to finish..let the fingers go stitching! My body says “cool, stay cool, I want to stick my head in the refrigerator”. As you can tell August is definitely not a favorite month of the year!
The rest of the ground stitching included detached chain stitch, colonial knots, stem stitch and some granito stitches. Finally after doing “more” of the colonial knots they have become okay to do…mainly need to remember to keep the floss above the needle at the beginning as it helps remind one how to make the figure 8 twist around the needle…The granito stitch is just a simple stacked stitch..it also can be used for a technique called candlewicking..each stitch is a series of straight stitches put up on top of one another by using the same hole. Depending on the thread you are using will determine how many times you do this and also how you want the granito to look… Below the blue flowers use the granito stitch and you can see that even though using the same hole each time for 3 times the floss makes a nice full looking petal…
Now that the first panel of this workbox is finished I will get the next one set up… plan on doing that today at some point. Below is the finished front piece. Definitely have to glue down those “charms” with EE6000 glue. I also am considering clipping off the eyelet on the potted plant..looks weird. Need to get some “housework” done…my neverending job is calling …..drat….!
Started out doing the “Raised Cross-stitch” ..interesting stitch…it is basically a cross-stitch that you weave around each spoke to get a “flower”. The instructions called for two strands of silk called SOIE CRISTALE by Caron that is a 12 ply silk floss instead of the usual 6 ply you find in the DMC cotton and others. I had never used this silk floss before and I will say I liked it very much…surprisingly the floss was snag free on these old hands! The center knot is my favorite “colonial knot”.. NOT! They frustrate me…I always have to look them up to remind me how to do them…one has to wrap them in a figure eight around the needle and inevitably makes me cross-eyed trying to get it right…Practice make perfect though and I do believe with this project I will be doing a lot of “Colonial Knots”….soooo…maybe just maybe I will finally have them glued in my brain! There should be room for this stitch as I know there is lots of sticky stuff up there! The odd thing about the colonial knots in these flowers is that you really are unable to see them because they are “black”! What a waste…I could have just done a french knot and you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference…! My plan today (after three weeks of family visiting) is to “chill” in this hot weather and finish up this panel! If you look you can also see the grasses have been stitched below …just have some cute small flowers and buds to finish…along with some stems!