Category Archives: Thread and Needle Painting

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”.

Chloe the Cat..Steps 11~13

    Finally sat down and finished the next section of “Chloe the Cat”…designed by Trish Burr …There is “padded satin stitch….overcast stitch…split stitch and long and short stitch” used in this section. I am still struggling a bit with my long and short stitching. Not neccessarily afraid of it at all, it is just a matter of having not done it in a while so skills and hand memory need to be exercised again! 

    What is interesting in this section is the overcast stitch. You need to pad it with a “double running stitch” underneath to help give it a raised effect. Overcast is just basically  a “satin stitch” that is used to make a line. You can see it in the photo below. It was hard to get all the stitches even. I think the “real thing” looks better.” The long and short stitching actually look pretty good here. I tried not to overthink what I was doing.  The “split stitch”, used for the outlining, I generally do as a “back split stitch” so I can control where my needle goes more easily. Makes sense to me even if one uses more floss to have it look neater. 


    Now for a peak at what I have finished so far….then onto the eyes….and rest of the head! I think when the head is done I will be about halfway!


    I’ve been working on reorganizing my floss so it is protected and then will more easily find what I need. I will share that probably later this week. I feel “joy” when I see the final result so that is a good thing!

Brilliant Idea…I hope so…Wires on parade…

    When one is working on a stumpwork project wires go haywire. You are using them for shaping a leaf or other wonderful objects to add to your embroidery. The ends are long! Remember these wires will be pulled to the  back later on..Whilst stitching a number of objects for stumpwork these wires catch the thread, then fray and basically drive one nuts because it stops the lovely thread from sliding through the fabric with ease. (Made me think of the scene in “Sleeping Beauty” where the Prince is hacking through the thorns!) Now here are my two solutions to the problem. (By the way knots happen too!) I am sure there are many other solutions out there but so far this works! 

First  take a pencil or other round object and wrap the wire around it like so….

Next press it flat gently near the object one is working on. 


    Then you can either place a piece of “Glad Press and Seal” over the the wire or you can use “Painters Tape”..just to hold it in place and keep any thread you use from catching whilst one is working. Ahhh…blessed relief! Mainly I use the “Press n Seal” when I have a whole bunch done and want to protect the stitching and then the painters tape when I am working on one so now “that dag nabit” wire is no longer in the way. Now I can move onto the next object! As for leaving any kind of residue since you trim these out your good to go. I have used “Painters Tape” for many years and have yet to have it cause any problems for me. I still am careful where I use it so my go to is still the “Glad Press n Seal”. These products are just tacky enough and have found there to be no pulling on any of the stitching that I do. What is nice though it will just grab the “hairs” that might get on ones project and also some of the bits of loose threads left behind.

     
I’ve been accused of thinking to much…well sometimes I am glad I do! 

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!