Sunday, 29 June 2014

TAST #118 Beaded Buttonhole Stitch

After struggling with the two last stitches it was nice to get a TAST stitch that is easy to understand and simple to do. See for yourself at Pintangle what beautiful things you can create.

To see what I did with TAST # 118 Beaded Buttonhole Stitch, have a look below:

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

WIPW - A chart in purple

Work In Progress Wednesday, well I am sure you know what it means and does. If not read this at Pintangle.

This quilt is tucked up in an old sheet, well protected from moths and humidity, until September.

Swedish Cushion
I made a curvy line, a circle and a dot on the other side of last week's work.

The following TAST stitches were used:
Curve in #32 Linked Double Chain Stitch
Circle in #20 Butterfly Chain Stitch
Circle filled with #6 Chevron Stitch
A pendant of #71 Bullion Buttonhole Stitch (one with the Bullion spokes facing inwards and one outwards. I whipped the circle to clarify.)
Five TAST stitches are ticked off my list.

TAST Reference Cloth
As I love purple I decided to work the reference stitches in DMC Perle 8 colour #552 and a greyish green #926 for the accents.
This is as far as I have worked this week; #1-#53
Having all the stitches in one place is going to be so helpful when I need to quickly find a stitch that suit what I am working on at the moment. I need a line, so I look for linear stitches, I need a circle/dot so I look for round shapes...

I am sorry to say I have had to look up a number of stitches as I could not for the life of me remember the instructions.
Has your week been productive, too? I hope so.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

NOT my TAST stitch

There are TAST stitches that I like a lot and others that I like less.
#116 Beaded Vandyke and 117 Bullion Vandyke are two of the latter kind. I did not get on well with them when I first tried as you can read here. I put the blame on being moody and that it hadn't been 'my day'.

I was relieved (I know, not very kind of me!) to hear that others had problems, too, (check out Crazyqstitcher's solution) and felt encourage to give those stitches a second chance. Alas...
 I also took Annet's advice and changed from stranded floss to perle 8. It was somewhat easier to control the wrap and the bead on #117 Beaded Vandyke, but I still did not manage do make a decent #118 Bullion Vandyke.
In the picture above you can see the beautiful 'hearts' that form on a plain Vandyke stitch, but NEVER on my Bullion version.
I tried to cheat on where to anchor the Bullion by stitching on a piece of cotton instead of even weave, but that didn't help. 

However, Linda said the stitches that fail us can turn from failures into successes if you use them in a free form embroidery. So in the end there IS a use for my wonky stitches!

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

WIPW - Curvy lines

Work In Progress Wednesday, that is what W I P W stand for. It is a project to help us get on with our needlework in progress. Read about it at Pintangle.

I have made progress on several projects. First the two regular ones:

The Rope Stitch quilting on the inner section of the border is now complete.
This quilt will become a UFO, packed away with mothballs and moisture sucking powder during the hot and humid summer months. See you again in September!

Swedish Cushion
After the two last geometric designs of the star and the box I thought it was time for some gentle curvy lines.
The long line is worked in TAST #72, a lovely stitch.
The swirl in darker light blue is #95 Linked Cable Chain.
The swirl in lighter blue is #97 Shell Chain.
The dot at the bottom is a collection of #19 Bullion Knot Stitches.

Here are some of the other WIPWs.
TAST Travel Sampler
Do you remember this cloth from last week's post?
It has now been divided into sections, each to hold a  TAST stitch and is a travel sampler to be worked during my summer holiday away from home.

TAST Reference Cloth
Whenever I am looking for a suitable TAST stitch for a project I go over my various samplers (there are at least five), check my pictures on the blog or go to Pintangle and search through the TAST FAQ tab. What I really want is to have all the stitches numbered, named and illustrated in the same place for easy reference. Instead of an elegant book of stitches, like many of the other TAST participants have made, I need something where I would get a good OVERVIEW.

Once upon a time I started on such a chart but the numbers changed as we had break weeks.
You can see that stitches 13 and 23 are actually break weeks. When Sharon re-did her list of stitches my numbers no longer fit in.

I have therefore started again from scratch and will fill in the right stitch in the correct box.
Have you been progressing on your projects, shelved some or started new ones?

Monday, 16 June 2014

TAST # 116 & 117 - Beaded Vandyke Stitch and Bullioned Vandyke Stitch

These two TAST stitches made me very confused!
First of all I LOVE the plain Vandyke Stitch (TAST #76), but dislike the beaded version. Why? I think the beads take away the beauty of the basic stitch and I got frustrated wrapping the previous stitch.

When did you last see anything as horrid as these stitches? Beaded Barbed Wire, eh! I bet the beads are poisonous, too!
They were just slightly better on the sampler.

Now for the Bullioned Vandyke Stitch I got even more frustrated and flustered which is a pity as I have no serious problems with the plain Bullion Knot Stitch (#19).

One more thing made me confused. Which stitch is #116 and which is #117? In the post at Pintangle it appears #116 is the beaded and #117 the bullioned, but on the list on TAST FAQ they are they opposite.
Maybe it was just not my TAST week!

Friday, 13 June 2014

NHK Partnership Quilt - It's SWEET!

Do you remember this photo with a glimpse of a new project that I showed on my last WIPW report?

It is my entry to NHK's Partnership Quilt Project, and it is completed.

I know the deadline is not until August 31st, but I was so inspired by the theme of SWEET that I set about designing and stitching up my block right away.

As I explained in the previous post and the comments section, SWEET in Japanese could be either a confectionery (スイーツ)  or something charming, cute, 'girlie' (スイート)...

In Sweden there is a famous red and white mint flavoured boiled sweet called POLKAGRIS. It is popular with young and old alike and so pretty to look at it is often used as a decoration, e.g. in the Christmas tree. What could be a better motif for my Partnership block, as it is 'sweet' in both meanings?

It has been a tradition for me to add a Swedish flag on these blocks (to make sure there is a bit of international flair to the Tokyo INTERNATIONAL Great Quilt Festival), and this time I also embroidered the word Polkagris in blue and yellow TAST # 43 Magic Chain Stitch.

To read more about NHK Partnership Quilt project, click here.
To read about this year's theme and rules, click here.

Now IF you plan to send in a block, AND live in Japan don't forget to enclose a self addressed and stamped (52 yen) postcard. Leave the back plain and NHK will then print the information about which quilt your block has been added to, and return the post card to you.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

WIPW -Ticking 'em off

Work In Progress Wednesday is a way to share your weekly progress on any needlework project you have. At Pintangle you can read about this idea, look at what progress others have made, and if you wish, join in!

I have been working hard!

Another section of the border has been quilted with TAST #110 Rope Stitch.

Swedish Cushion
Last week I mentioned that there were 46 remaining TAST stitches to add to the cushion. Yesterday Sharon announced two new stitches, of which one was a beaded version that I will not use, so that leaves me with a total of 47 stitches at this point. The best way of ticking 'em off is to add as many as possible to a design. I managed to squeeze in six in this geometric shape:

Top edge: TAST #31 Pekinese Stitch (green and light purple)
Bottom edge: #27 Basque Stitch (green)
Yellow row: #17 Crossed Buttonhole Stitch
Red corners: #30 Cast On Stitch
Blue row: #88 Buttonhole Picot with Chain stitch
Centre: #35 Drizzle Stitch (red and purple)
I have also worked on some future projects. I will write about them in detail later. Here are just a few photo glimpses:

Monday, 9 June 2014

TAST #114-115 Long Tailed Chain, Plain, Beaded and Whipped

TAST #114 and 115 are named Long Tailed Chain and the name says it all; it is a chain stitch with a long tail! They come here in three versions -  plain, beaded and whipped.  Go to Pintangle for the stitch tutorial.

On Aida I worked these, Plain:

The stitches I added to my sampler, Plain version:
Beaded version

Last week I made a Whipped version for my Swedish Cushion:
This stitch is easy to work and guarantees stunning results and endless possibilities.

Friday, 6 June 2014

NHK Partnership quilt 2015

Last night, NHK (the Japanese state run broadcasting company) announced the theme for next year's Partnership quilt project, to be held at Tokyo Dome (Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival 2015) some time in January 2015.

You can read what I have written earlier about NHK Partnership quilt here.
Here are some pictures from the show at Tokyo Dome this year.

Last time it was Flower Language and I contributed with this block.

For 2015 the theme is SWEET.

In Japanese 'sweet' could mean: cake, dessert, ice cream, candy... or something charming, pretty and cute ('kawaii'), like a teddy bear, kitten, pink ribbon... anything that a 'girl' would like. As many Japanese ladies really are little girls at heart, they will find it easy to make a block on this theme!

Should you wish to participate, then these are the rules:
  • one block per person
  • 22cm x 22cm with a seam allowance of 1.5cm included
  • flimsy block, i.e. no wadding, no quilting
  • your name should be written with pen in the seam allowance of the lower right hand corner
  • your block should have reached NHK by 31st August, 2014
  • enclose a note with your name, address, tel no, email address
  • send to:
Partnership Quilt
NHK Sutekini Handmade
2-2-1 Jinnan
Tokyo 150-8001

Your block will be joined with other blocks into large bed size quilts and quilted by volunteers. These quilts will be displayed at Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival in January next year, where they will be raffled off.

A link (in Japanese) to NHK's website for this event is here.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

WIPW - A star

Work In Progress Wednesday will encourage you to work on your needlework projects, then share the progress with others. Read all about it at Pintangle.

I have been working on the last few (broken) quilting lines on the inner border. Rope Stitch all along.

Swedish Cushion
Thank you for all your kind comments on last week's horse. It was very rewarding work! My friend and award winning quilter, Jacquie Harvery, even had her connections at DMC UK place it on their Pinterest site.

As you can see from this picture I have started work on the last quarter. The cushion will be oblong with the horse and the newly started area on one side and the other sections on the other. In that way the cushion will become reversible.

To make the fabric fit into a hoop I have basted support fabric on the corner.
Before setting out work this week, I counted the number of TAST stitches used so far. Sixty! However we have learned 115, so it is my mission to add as many of the remaining as possible. However I will not include any beaded versions (there are nine). That means I have to find a place for 46 kinds of stitches. Plus, the stitches to come...

This week's progress is the star on the corner, and I ticked three stitches off the list. (#7 has been used many times before).
The TAST stitches used are:
#24 Palestrina (orange perle 8)
#10 Running Stitch (light rust perle 8 and laced with green silk)
#7 Detached Chain (threads as above)
#115 Whipped Long Tail Chain (red, blue, rust and light green perle 8)