Category Archives: Thread and Needle Painting

Victorian Elegance…Foundation Finished

All the “bits” are attached to the base fabric of “Victorian Elegance” designed by Alison Cole. There will be some finessing going on as I still need to add some ribbon embroidery. Playing with the shapes to get the piece to look nice will be fun…I am not sure why but I guess manipulating the pieces to a nice arrangement is fun to me. I am already seeing some areas I need to snip some fuzzies off of..!! The ribbon embroidery should be added in the next few days hopefully… The background fabric color in the photo really does not do the piece justice…it looks more blue/purple and the photo seems to punch it towards a brown. You can kind of tell that the empty spaces will be filled with ribbon embroidery and there are also some paillettes ( like gold sequins only metal) to be attached to add more bling. Excited about being almost finished. Have started looking for a frame to mount it in! Flowers are so beautiful!

Victorian Elegance “Stumpwork & Goldwork” Putting it all together!

All the “pieces” are stitched and cut out! Putting the whole thing together is next! I have attached the “rose petals” to the foundation. Interestingly, I found because of the “long and short” stitching that the individual petal stitches would twist and look loose. However, when one played with the wire edging you could bring the stitching back in line and have it look very nice. It is a bit hard to describe. I thought for a second that I might of had a mess on my hands. All in all they came out very nice.

Next the gilt rough pearl #6 was used for the centers. Put a lot more in then I thought I would need to cover the centers. I admit it was fun to cut the small pieces and then stitch them down to make loops with waxed thread.

Enjoying putting the bits together.. Up next are the rose leaves.

The Back of Stumpwork…Alison Cole Victorian Elegance

The back of a stumpwork piece can be fairly important! When stitching these petals for the “Victorian Elegance” piece by Allison Cole …I decided that I would “try” to pay more attention to my process of stitching with the hope that I would get a more finished back that resembled the front. For me a bit daunting as at times I was surprised myself in the past with some great looking backs! So this said, with the stumpwork pieces these really need to be neat as they might be seen from the front! They can get twisted and out of sorts just like me! Soooo…..I am “trying” and that is the operative word!

Here is the front of two of these petals…and below is the back. So I still have a long way to go to get nice backs. There are 15 of these things. So I am thinking maybe, just maybe, I will have a few really nice ones that will be used in the most relevant places when finally assembled. I am working on a plan of stitching to have consistence and if I find one I hope after doing 15 of these things the process will be “cemented” in my brain! Since I have done some stumpwork but still definitely in need of more experience I am enjoying the challenge!

Chloe the Cat with Bird and Finish!!!

Makes me feel great to have another embroidery finished! Trish Burrs “Chloe the Cat” is finished! You can find the pattern here if anyone is interested in this challenge Chloe the Cat Digital Download …. the kit is available also in her shop.

First the bird…

Real cute… the bird was fun to do yet I think I am going to have to invest in some better lighting “old eyes” as usual. I kept having to adjust the light so I could see better. The lamp I am using is getting old also and has had “a lot” of use.

Wanting to share a design problem that the bird had. I ended up using a very sharp pencil to draw in two missing lines on the wing of the bird as you can see below in the photo. Thankful my hands are still steady….! These lines were to deliniate between the upper and lower wing with some padded satin stitching. They just were not there, but was an easy fix. These kind of things do happen once in awhile with all kinds of designs. Paying attention to the detail when stitching helps one to catch these.

Now for the finished embroidery! I will be blocking and stretching this for a frame eventually. Would really like to come up with a way to put both “Katerina and Chloe” in the same frame. Just not sure with the color differences. Also a possibility of a wall hanging (think mini quilt) with the two of them. It takes me forever to think on what I will do with a finished embroidery but when the idea hits I usually am off and getting it finished! Onto another “unfinished” project. Right now there are three of them….Hmmmmm…we shall see.

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Whewww! A Tail of a Finish…Chloe the Cat

After taking a few weeks off of stitching ….I finished the tail!!!! This part was very tedious….my thumb hurts! It is sooo…worth it!… I am still a little befuddled by my satin stitching on this one. I do know my eyes are getting worse, plus I need more light! All that said I only have the little bird to stitch and I will be done. I have an idea to combine both Chloe and Katerina in a frame together, maybe facing one another we shall see. I will post about that when the framing actually happens..(which might be awhile). I so would like to show you “Chloe” (just the cat) but I’ve decided to wait until the bird is finished so the whole effect is there. Enjoy!

Chloe the Cat ..Steps 22~26

    Whewwww!!!!!!…. this section was a lot of different stitching. Padded Satin, Laidwork, Split Stitch, Eyelets, Long and Short Shading. I think that about covers it. The design on the fabric only had “2” eyelets printed on it and the one on the cover of the directions has 10! Five large and 5 small. I decided to draw two more large ones in and 4 small. They came out fine. I freehanded the small ones and the bigger ones I traced what was there and used a bright light to trace them again on the fabric. So am happy with the result. I just love poking holes in fabric for some odd reason. 

See that area there to the left? That is the last part of the Cat!!!! The Tail!! I probably will finish the whole tail (there are two sections) before I share that and then on to the bird on the tail…..! Getting there.. I will have had plenty of experience with Padded Satin Stitch by the time I am finished! I will have to show both cats together it should be interesting!

Chloe the Cat…Steps 20~21

   I absolutely loved doing this section. Even my “padded satin stitch” came out nice. Doing laid work is always fun and enjoyable while having to think about keeping it uniform. There are a couple of things that were approached differently than what the directions say and that is I stitched the “padded satin dots” first before doing the background around them. This approach works better for my style of stitching. Also some of the outlining was done before the background got started on the “laidwork”. One needs to feel comfortable when stitching and I do tend to change an order of stitching if my brain has a hard time with what a designer might do. It is nice to be able to do this. In the end it all usually works out! The next section will finish the main part of the body. I get to do some eyelets! I enjoy doing them as I have done them before on some of Trish Burr’s embroideries! Rubbing my hands together in anticipation!! I know we all have different things about stitching we like so just so you all know “eyelets” are one of mine which  just is really great doing by hand!

Chloe the Cat..Steps 14~19 Padded Satin Stitch and Dot Stitch

   Oh, how I wish I could be a perfectionist..”not”…ever going to happen. With this design from Trish Burr there is quite a bit of padded satin stitch. One particular place is up on the cheek area of the face. I “almost” took this out after stitching it because it looked to me “awful”. I saw some of the satin stitching in other areas  looked just fine but just this cheek area was giving me a bit of a “why” moment! (there “were” other words going through my mind) Being that the area had quite a bit of outlining to be done on it I decided to go ahead and stitch the outline in. Below are the before and after pictures. 

   Also I contacted Trish and asked her about the shading on the dot stitch along the neck. I was just thinking of how did she shade this area and take the color from one area to another so smoothly? Looking through the magnifier and noticing one stitch next to the dot stitch in the next color then slowly changing that one stitch to the full dot stitch. Then repeating it on the way down with the shade changes. I was pleased with the results. Trish reinforced what I was doing so was glad I contacted her.

 

 I really felt this was a “huge” mess….now look at the difference when the outline was added and also the “dot stitch”. I was really surprised! I was really thinking I would need to take this out. It is not perfect but fine for me at this point. I shared before that my eyesight is getting a little more “iffy” these days. I will perservere because I do get so much joy from plying my needle!


Below is “Chloe” with what is finished so far. Trying to work on her as much as possible. There is some more laid work and am looking forward to doing that. Plan on framing both cats when finished as I have in mind someone to gift them to. They love cats! 

Size of Thread and Needle….Needle Grabber To the Rescue…

   Working on “Chloe the Cat” there is “alot” of “padded satin stitch”. I mean alot! The thread that is used is DMC blanc floche…which is much thicker than just one strand of DMC floss.  After threading up the needle with the needle supplied and then starting to do the padding underlayment….I found I was having to really fight getting my needle through the fabric plus the previous layers that make up the padding. Here comes the needle grabber! It is just a round circle of lightweight rubber with a rough like surface which you can then pull your needle through instead of fighting and hurting the old fingers. The one used here is green but they also come in other colors. I know you could cut up some solid heavier shelf lining to make your own. These little things are great finger savers.  


   Now in the picture above I am also showing a needle that is threaded with my blanc floche. I changed my needle to a bigger one mainly because I have always felt it makes more sense to use a needle a similar size of the thread…less tension and stress on the thread when constantly pulling through fabric. Does it make a bigger hole in your fabric? Yes, it does.  As with any project one just needs to weigh the options and use what works to get the best result and I found the larger needle works fine here. Also there will be a outline that will “ hide” any so-called holes. I really do not see much on this piece so I am happy! When you use a sewing machine and thread up you also should use the size needle for the size of the thread.. it makes a huge difference in helping to lay the thread on the project neatly ….and that is for either machine or hand sewing. The picture below shows the laying of the satin stitch with the larger needle. I know I have shared before one has to use what works for you and this works for me!

    I am getting on with the next steps with “Chloe the Cat” and will update that soon. I want to get back to my “Trevelyon Cap” which is getting close to being finished! I get a feeling all three projects that I am working right now will be done around the same time… I am already rubbing my hands together and itching to work on something else.. 

A Surprising Use For a Needle Minder

    I love accidents when your stitching and a light bulb goes off then it’s…. “Now why did I not see that before and boy it is a nice way to do this!” Accidentally tracing some of the elements for Alison Coles “Victorian Elegance” …upside down… the wires were reaching out to the center of the hoop which caused no end of frustration. Yes, I tried the twisting around the pencil and covering them and that was just fine…But…then purely by accident “of course” they would get caught on my “needle minder”. Just so much magnetism! This usually happened as I was starting the wire wrap around the shape then to be couched down.  Just as I was about to do my twist with the pencil I realized I could just send the wire up to the “needle minder” and “voila” it  stayed there with all the magnetic glory and out of the way “in the middle of the hoop”! I am thrilled to find another way to keep the wires out of the way! Sure I will use any method depending on the element to keep those pesky wires out of the way. Happy to have found another “idea” to help and another way to use the “needle minder” ! If I ever do another “Stumpwork” piece I hope I will remember this trick and maybe..just maybe… I will trace all my elements upside down!!!! Love it!!!


You can see the twisted wire here in this photo and the element traced with the wire towards the outside of the hoop.


This photo has the wires all just attached “magnetically” to the Needle Minder! Worked great!  I do try to keep all of my stitching covered as I work so therefore all the “ Glad Press n Seal”.