Friday, September 12, 2014

Now That Feels Good!

Finished the kid's block with only a little un-stitching, re-stitching. 

Frogs and Ladybugs block finished

And I even finished the black and white one! This one I'm not sure about though so I may make another one, I have time - lol.

Black and White Block Done
But I must say it does feel good to have them done 4 and 1/2 weeks ahead of time rather than months behind!

Happy that I finished my FIF today!

Staying On Top

Finish It Friday is in process!

Some of you know I belong to a quilt guild near where I live. One of the activities for this group is a monthly block exchange.  You only participate if you choose to and I almost didn't choose to this year. Every one in the exchange receives instructions for a block to be produced and hopefully turned in at the next meeting. At the end of the year there is a drawing and you receive a particular set of blocks to use as you see fit. I say hopefully because I am almost always sadly behind. Why? Mainly because I procrastinate and only start it the night before or even the day of the meeting when it is due. And I underestimate the time it will take me to make an acceptable block. (I tend to do a lot of un-stitching and re-stitching.) So this month I caught up.

These blocks were turned in last month:
Spring Block
Brown Road to California
These blocks were turned in this month:
Gold Block

Green Block

Red White and Blue Block
So I have a block due the second Tuesday of next month (well actually I have two blocks due but not because I'm behind). We are doing two blocks for next month in order to have all twelve months complete with our December meeting which is when the names are drawn and blocks assigned. 
I started selecting the material and cutting the pieces for one of the blocks and considered the fabric for the second one. One is for a child's quilt bright, colorful and fun. The second one is the same pattern done in black and white fabric. My Finish It Friday will be the child's one and maybe the black and white one. 

Here's my start:
Frogs and Ladybugs Block

Black and White Fabrics
Stay tuned for my finish!

And yes I know there is a mistake in the red, white, and blue one! I fixed it before I turned it in. It always pays to double check your work - lol. I just forgot to take a photo of the corrected block before I turned it in.

Looking forward to finishing these today!

Friday, September 5, 2014

And Done!

Stitched - check
Blue Marker Removed - check
Dried - check
Damp Stretched - check
Hoop Sanded - check
Hoop Painted - check
Embroidery in hoop and glued - check
Excess Fabric Removed - check
Hang on Wall - check
Planning Next one - check.

I'm thinking I might have embroidered with blue thread along the first running stitch following the scribble. See the previous post to see what it looked like with the blue marker still showing. Had considered using a blue thread along that line but decided to leave that for another scribble. 

Gonna Try

I've been working on this black and white scribble as my 15 minutes a day embroidery project.
Black on White Scribble Embroidery 

I'm experimenting with the scribble and embroidery hoping to get some finished as samples for an article I want to write.

So as I was stitching today I realized I only have a little more to do and then I'm ready for washing out the blue, damp stretching, and then mounting in a hoop.

I think I can do this today so I'm making it my Finish It Friday project.

Hope to be back later with the finished product but I do have a lot of things on my To-Do List for today.
Only a little more stitching needed
Happy Finishing! - Rose

Monday, August 11, 2014

And Now For the Rest of the Story:

Or how this piece evolved.
Scribble Leftover Embroidery

If you read my blog you may have read this post or this one. When working on a project I will cut off a working length of floss and then separate each strand and combine the number of strands I want to use – usually 2 or three (floss normally has six strands). I then slip the unused strands through the hole on the thread bobbin.
Cut floss on bobbin hole

This works fine until I am finished with that color on that project. I’ve tried putting these leftover threads on carbone rings but I wound up with several rings hanging around and the thread not being used. 
Leftover floss on carbone ring

I then considered leaving the extra threads looped on the bobbin and just wrapped around it. That was okay until I finally got around to putting all of my (well most of it) floss on bobbins and storing them in plastic boxes. Organization here I come! Oh happy day! But the extra thread didn’t work well in the boxes so it was back to the drawing board.
Cut floss wrapped around bobbin

Then it came to me! Use it up! Of course! But how? If you’ve seen any of my embroidery work you probably know I love to use scribbles. They are the perfect use it up solution! I can happily mix colors and since it is all abstract I can pretty much do whatever I want on them. It would also be a good way to see how colors work together – or don’t. And these would be the perfect spot to use up all of my “I don’t know what brand or color number this thread is” floss. Or I can try out or practice stitches on them. Or I can do all of the above.
So that’s how this piece got started.
Working embroidery scribble

First I grabbed a piece of fabric and a marker and scribbled. I used a hoop I planned to use for framing to be sure the scribble would fit inside.
Then I did a backstitch and a Rose’s illegal backstitch following the lines of the scribble with black floss. I had thread left over from the butterfly vest project which I’m almost finished with. (I’m just adding some glow-in-the-dark thread, a few sequins and some beads and then I’ll be ready to line it.) 

So I started with that thread and one of the inside sections of the scribble working an uneven running stitch (I’m not too good at keeping my stitches even – lol). When I ran out of one thread I started another. I decided to stick with just straight stitches on this scribble. Once that section was full of running stitches 
I went to another section and did an almost satin stitch leaving gaps in between each row. (I drew addition lines with my blue marking pen just for guidance.) 

Next I went to the smaller inside section and started using a scattered seed stitch changing colors as I went. I noticed the effect I was getting with the different combinations of color. I will definitely use this technique in other projects!
Seed scatter stitch
While I was working on this someone mentioned the scribble looked like and onion and an eggplant. So I decided to use a concentration of purple for the rest of the scribble to enhance the “eggplant look”. I did dip into my collection of unknown threads for this part. 
I needed another type of straight stitch to use and I wanted to use something I had not done before. I thought about my long desire to learn the short and long stitch. I’ve checked it out before but for some reason the directions in my stitch books just didn’t clue me in (it was more my lack of really concentrating on the instructions that jammed me up). So I picked up my favorite book, The left-handed embroiderer’s companion by Yvette Stanton, (she has it for right handed people also). Flipped to the page for the stitch and saw what to do. Mainly because she used a different color for each row and she shows several rows being done. 
Wonderful! I started out at the top narrow end and worked a few rows. I was delighted! This is definitely going to be one of my favorite filler stitches. I was so happy with it I had a hard time putting it down after working for fifteen minutes (this was one of my fifteen minutes a day projects).

Gap in the stitching
 (click on image to see it better)
Due to the irregular shape of the scribble I had to do some fiddling with it and probably should have started in the middle of each row and work my way to each side but this wasn’t aimed for perfection, this was a learning work. I did wind up with a few noticeable gaps but it was easy enough to go back and fill them in. 

Towards the end I decided to try switching to another shade of purple and then a third one. That worked out fairly well also. This was definitely a worthwhile project not only for using up leftover thread but also for trying something different.
Changing shades of purple on eggplant
Oh and one more thing. Here’s a picture of the back of my work. 
Back of embroidery work
Now I don’t often show the back since I’m not a stickler for no knots or that the back should be as nice as the front. I don’t use the juicy fat knots I was taught as a child but I do knot my thread with a simple overhand knot pulled tight and clipped close to the knot. And I do knot at the end also. But anyway notice on the back of this piece the double line of black running stitches? This was caused by my “illegal backstitch”. And I like the look of it so I took a photo just to have it to remind myself that I would like to try that look on one of my scribbles rather than a solid black one.

You may need to click on the photo to enlarge it in order to see the details.

Happy creative stitching with leftovers!

Saturday, August 9, 2014


Embroidery finished and hanging on my wall

Well I almost made it! Fell asleep while waiting for the glue to dry completely and so I am a little into Saturday with my Finish It Friday project.
Note to self:
Don’t forget to sand the hoop before painting so the paint will adhere better.

Trying to paint before sanding the hoop

Second Note to self:
Be sure to check the size of the fabric to the size of the final hoop before starting. Note the one edge that barely has enough fabric on the back side. Not easy to work with. 

Fabric too short on one side of the hoop
I did happen to have another 5 inch hoop that was a wee bit smaller than this one. I almost didn’t buy it but changed my mind at the last minute and purchased all of the “5 inch hoops”. Good thing! Of course that meant I had to paint another hoop before I could continue. 

See what I mean: sometimes even the seemingly simple finish becomes complicated!

Finished It Friday (well almost)!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Hello, Hello? Anybody here?

Oh goodness! I haven’t posted anything since the end of May and even worse nothing in my Finish It Friday section since March. FYI though I have been stitching, cleaning, entertaining, playing with my grandson, in other words I have been busy. And I’ve probably composed at least 10 blog posts in my head – just haven’t typed them out. Maybe I should practice using my Dragon software! Oh yeah and then there’s the photography work to add visual content so you can see what I’m talking about. So I’m going to start again and see if I can’t do better.

Since this is Friday I’ll start with my Finish It Friday post. The hard part about the FIF posts is finding items that are close to being finished, close enough that I would actually be able to finish them on Friday. Mostly I seem to just be advancing them forward. Partly because I miscalculate the amount of work to be done or I change my mind about how I want to finish it.
Today though I think I can finish this:
Small Scribble Embroidery with Left Overs

A small scribble embroidery which I plan to expand upon on Monday in my Tips and Tricks section. For now the embroidery is finished; it’s been damp stretched and now I’m going to mount it in a wood hoop that measures 5 inches. I’m painting the hoop purple and once it is dried I will glue in the embroidery, cover the back, and hang it on my wall.

Ready to paint

Check back later for the final photo.
Here goes!

Happy Finishing Friday!