Wednesday, 30 October 2013

WIPW - Nearly Christmas

Work In Progress Wednesday, WIPW, is a great challenge to move forward with your needlework projects. Read more at Pintangle.

Christmas Mobile

The cross stitch embroidery for the Christmas mobile is completed. Here are the 16 wreaths, and the beads etc needed for completion.  Next week I will start the cutting out and construction.
Christmas is nearly here!

Six more stems worked in TAST stitches.
Upper stem: Knotted Loop Stitch, TAST #38
Lower stem: Triangular Feather #52

Upper stem: Turkman stitch #86
Lower stem: Stem stitch #14

The petals of the corner rose is edged with Arrow stitches #45 while the centre is made of a 'Buttonholed Buttonhole Wheel'. This actually has no TAST number. I meant to make a Buttonhole Wheel Cup, which is #40, and looks like this:
(please ignore the incorrect TAST number on the sampler)

However, I packed the yellow Buttonhole edge stitches very close and got another, in my opinion great, look. The accidental stitcher, or the inventive stitch designer?

Upper stem: Breton stitch #59
Lower stem: Knotted Buttonhole stitch #36

Swedish Cushion
The heart has sprouted a straight stem of three lines (green and light purple) of Raised Chain version 1, TAST #80.
The two curved stems in purple are, on the left, Turkman stitch #86,
and on the right, Crested Chain #70

Sunday, 27 October 2013

TAST #86 - Turkman Stitch

TAST is a great challenge to learn new stitches. It stands for Take A Stitch Tuesday and you can learn all about it at Pintangle. com. Click here.

We have reached stitch #86 which is called Turkman Stitch. I had never heard of it, but once I started stitching my fingers seemed familiar with the moves. I have previous used it, but under the name of Closed Chain.

I think it makes a nice braid when the stitches are worked close together, like in the last row.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

WIPW - Five more wreaths

Work In Progress Wednesday

This is a good way to keep those needlework projects moving forward, and to share your progress with others; do some work, take a photo, write your blog and then put a link to Pintangle's WIPW page.

Christmas Mobile

My progress this week is five medium sized wreaths.
One more to go, and then there are four small wreaths before I can assemble the mobile.

Another yellow flower decorated just like the one from last week:
Whipped Buttonhole Stitch, Straight Stitch and French Knots (TAST #15)
Fly Stitch #1

Upper stem: Pekinese #31
Lower stem: Beaded Hedebo Stitch #37

Some bluebells with the following stitches: Straight, Running #10, Pistil #34, Detached Chain #7 and French Knots #15
Upper stem: Palestrina Stitch #24
Lower stem: Herringbone Stitch #5
Roses edged with Basque Stitch #27 and yellow Buttonhole Bar #65. (Oops, I've missed the one on the left!)
Upper stem: Spiked Knotted Chain #84
Lower stem: Magic Chain #43

This is what the quilt top looks like at the moment. The progress I made this week can be seen in the upper left corner.
There are eight more flowers to embellish and 18 stems to embroider to complete the border. Will I have enough TAST stitches to choose from? YES!

Swedish Cushion
The heart got another line of Spiked Knotted Chain #84, this time in light blue. Then there are some French Knots #15, and the centre on the heart is filled with Sheaf Stitches #33.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

TAST #85 Raised Cup

TAST is a great way to learn new stitches; Take A Stitch Tuesday at Pintangle.

TAST #85 is called Raised Cup,
and it was a learning curve - or rather a learning cup!
A cup full of mistakes and frustration, a cup full of disappointments and re-trials, a cup full of envy and self-pity (why do others make such perfect cups? check out Annet's beauties)... In the end it became a row of cups with a drop of satisfaction at the bottom...

Look, what an eyesore!
The first four cups are worked in the wrong way, as you can see!!!
I stitch away from the computer screen and had memorised Sharon's stitch instructions incorrectly, and used Buttonhole stitch instead, so these must be pink 'Buttonhole Triangular Circles'.
I didn't think of rolling the needle, either, and soon built up a twist in the thread, resulting in wobbly mess.

After studying Sharon's instructions on the website again, I wrapped the thread correctly round the needle so the stitch itself was right, but the resulting cups in the top row are still deformed; I mean they should be circular, eh?

I then dug out various stitch dictionaries and tried the cups in orange. They became very triangular in shape!

Finally I brought the embroidery frame to the computer and while watching the tutorial video at Needle 'n Thread I studied in great detail and stitched right there, the row of green cups at the bottom.
Finally I got something that looked like circular cups.

So what did I learn that made the difference?
1) Don't cram the stitches on the bar.
2) Leave enough thread between each stitch so you have a 'bridge' to use for a second round of stitches.
3) Once you have made a knotted stitch on the foundation bar, pull the thread away from you.
4) Use your needle to prod the cups into shape.

Now I used the expression 'eyesore', but of course any wonky stitches would be perfect on a Sumptuous Surface Embroidery piece. They wouldn't be out of place here, or what do you think?
By the way, once Sharon is back from her European vacation, and starts up her online classes again, the Sumptuous Surface Embroidery class is one I can recommend. Any wonky stitch is welcome!!!

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

WIPW - The Weight of a Good Book, or Two

WIPW stands for Work In Progress Wednesday, a smart challenge at Pintangle.

 Christmas Mobile

Last week I mentioned I had problems with how to manage the paper for the Christmas mobile I am stitching. Thank you for your suggestions.
In the end I got my inspiration from the sandbags that I have seen at Sue Hawkin's stand at FOQ in Birmingham. Her upholstery frames and sandbags are such a good idea and I have been drooling over the beautiful selection several times. Due to lack of space in my luggage I have yet to get a set.
Anyway I thought I would use her 'sandbag' method and pulled out two heavy books from the shelf to place as a counter weight on the paper that I had extending from the table top.

It worked like a dream! No fuss, no mess, no frustration, and the speed that I have been able to work at! As you can see, I have completed the six larger wreaths and am almost done with the first of the six medium sized ones.
Isn't the weight of a good book (or two) great?!


I have added more embroidery on the border:
Bluebells with Running Stitch (TAST #10) and Detatched Chain #7
Upper stem: Scroll Stitch #63
Lower stem: Cretan Stitch #4
French Knots #15 for the Daisies
Upper stem: Feather Stitch #3
Lower stem: Couching #9
Flowers decorated with: Whipped Buttonhole and Straight Stitches, and French Knots #15
Leaves: Fly Stitch #1 and Chain Stitch #8
Upper  stem: Knotted Cable Chain #48
Lower stem: Buttonhole Stitch #2

Swedish Cushion

I started work in another corner, here a heart in Spiked Knotted Chain #84
It is such a lovely stitch, both to work and to look at, don't you agree?

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

WIPW - +1

It is Wednesday and so time to report on the week's progress on various needlework projects. Read at Pintangle, about this great way to eliminate UFOs and see what progress other participants have made.

Actually while rumaging in my sewing drawer I found another UFO, that just has to be completed by Christmas. Last year, at Festival of Quilts in Birmingham I bought this kit for a X-mas ornament that is cross stitched over paper. As you can see I have made a start but then put it to a side. There are 16 parts so I will have to dedicate some time to this project in order to have it hanging by mid December.

As you can't put paper in an embroidery hoop, I find it a bit hard to handle the loose sheet of cardboard.
Have you ever stitched on paper? Do you have any advice for me?

I have added the following:
French Knots (TAST #15) for the daisy.
Upper stem, Wheatear stitch #16, lower stem Chevron #6.
Straight stitches and Woven Cross #77 for the flowers. 
The upper stem is in Knotted Cretan #22 and the lower stem in Coral #66.
The buds are buttonholed #2 and have some Chain stitches #8, the petals of the rose are edged with Half Chevron #18 and the centre is surrounded by Buttonhole Bars #65.
Upper stem, Crossed Buttonhole stitch #17 and lower, Palestrina #24.

The Swedish Cushion
I went on filling the Sailor stitch circles #56 with red and yellow Cloud Filling #78. There were som circles with the spikes turned into the circle so I worked some free style Algerian Eye stitches #29, in light blue.

Gosh, how awfully grey the fabric looks! It really IS a beautiful blue colour, but my camera just won't let it shine!
I have marked some new lines for the next step of the embroidery. More on that next week. Until then, I wish you happy stitching on YOUR UFOs.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

TAST #84 Spiked Knotted Chain Stitch

TAST stitch #84 is called Spiked Knotted Chain Stitch and can be found at Sharon's website Pintangle, click here, to see and learn. Also check out what others have made.

This stitch looks complicated but is not hard to master. I enjoyed making these two rows, but has found no time to experiment.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

WIPW - a good week

For regular readers of this blog the abbreviations TAST and WIPW are known to originate from Sharon B at Pintangle.

Today is Wednesday and I thought I would have a sandwiched and basted Kafferepet quilt top to report on. However, I had to coin the abbreviation NLAUFOWYGOALH, OYWNRWTSA instead. It stands for: Never Leave A UFO While You Go Away On A Long Holiday, Or You Will Not Remember Where To Start Again.
I located Kafferepet in the cupboard, opened it up and found I have lots of work to do on the border; it wasn't completed as I had thought.
That is why instead of a basted top I can report on this:
Some French Knots (TAST #15) on the Oxeyed Daisy.

Straight stitches and Woven Cross #77 on the purple flowers. The upper stem in Siennese #83, the lower one in Vandyke #76.

A Buttonhole Wheel #22 in the middle of the rose and Italian Border #39 along the edges of the petals.
Upper stem in Portuguese Stem #73 and lower in Raised Chain Version 1 #80.

I have worked on the cushion, too.

The Sailor stitches #56 are growing wildly.

The Sailor stitch circles I made last week have been filled with Cloud Filling #78.

Check out others' progress here.