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!
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!
I had the opportunity to take a class with Alison Cole this past week and it was “soooo” worth it! We all need that boost every once in awhile and I definitely needed one. This particular project is called Victorian Elegance and the instructions are “for me” perfect. Being able to understand what a teacher writes makes a huge difference and I am sure I will or have repeated that many times. As we all learn in different ways I found Alison refreshing! She has a wonderful “self published” book out called The Embroiderers Little Book of Hints and Tips which enhances more of what is being taught in her class. Since she is “self published” this allows “no constraints” that the big publishers can put on one and on the plus side the editing is hers. There are no surprises when she is finished. It is her work! The drawings are a lot different than one would get as most publishers use what they feel would look best. I especially like her “long and short stitch description” so will go back to that one constantly. I thought I was doing mine correctly in the first place (which I was!) and Alison just enhanced it and tweaked it for me! Yea…She thinks way outside the box and basically teaches there really is no box! Is this a blatant push for her product…yes…when I find someone who speaks to my personality I love it and will share it! By the way the book above is a great read in and of itself she is quite quirky and therefore funny. The links above will take you to Alisons website and those specific pages for the kit and book.
Now to some small bits of pictures of what we did in class. This project will be take a bit of time to finish as there are “many…many….many…did I say many elements! Below is just some hints of what is involved. Since I haven’t done some of this type of stumpwork in a while there will be some growing pains.
Here are some “stumpwork” detachable petals and leaf that were worked on, I am redoing some as I learned a lot and want to remember how to do them “better” so need to do that quickly! What a teacher has shared can go out of the old brain rather quickly!
As you can see below this is padded bud on a silk dupioni background…elegant!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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”!