Tuesday, February 21, 2012

At Last

At last I’m getting around to posting my works in progress (WIP’s).
Design Wall
Before I give my current lineup I wanted to share my design board – yes I finally have one! We took some insulation board ( I bought the 1/2” but would rather have gotten the ¾” but oh well!). These were then wrapped with white flannel (I had to sew two pieces together) and them attached to the wall with Velcro. I put the first one up myself (well with a little help from my hubby). We didn’t get it straight. My son helped me put up the second one (he’s tall so he could reach the top). I needed it to be above the wall outlet plugs so it isn’t even at the top with the first one. But it works! I’m loving it! I think one will be dedicated to hand stitching and the other to machine stitching. And yes I plan to use the top part – I’ll just have to get my handy step stool out. I have some left over board that I’ll cover with flannel and use to transport blocks to be sewn from the design board to the sewing area.

Now for my WIP’s.

First up is a hand embroidered piece I started while taking Sharon Boggon’s class “Encrusted Embroidery”. We had to work in monochrome – a challenge for me since I love color! First we had to come up with an idea or design statement. Another challenge for me as I rarely do this but tend to just wing it as I go along. But I finally started jotting done some notes and came up with this:

Well I'm finally making some progress. I started out with the thought of my
world turned upside down due to major changes - retirement from a full time job,
moving my household from Hawaii to Texas, leaving friends, making new friends,
living in my daughter's home while we complete finding and buying a new home,
getting ready to welcome our first grandchild, and on and on.
I also am want to start some embroidery for my grandson's room
 His room is in yellow and greys with wallpaper on the ceiling that has
birds. So I got to thinking about all this and jotted down some words and did a
few sketches in my sketchbook and this is what I've come up with for the first
work. A bird's nest in a tree.

Photo of bird nest in tree
I googled nests and found this fantastic photographer Sharon Beals who had stunning photos of bird nests. But I wanted something more common so I found this photo on Mary Ann Fiebert’s blog. I asked her for permission to use it and she graciously gave it.  I simplified it to this drawing and started working. 

Bird Nest Embroidery

First up was pulled thread embroidery which I had never done before. Next I stitched a border around the area as a frame. The tree came next and this is where I am at today. The next will be the encrusted part. For the trees I wanted to give it a “barky” look and also a rounded look. I started by stitching with pearl cotton changing the color from light to dark. On the larger branch I am couching down thicker yarns. On both branches I’m leaving knotholes. Once I finish the trees I’ll start on the nest.

January Crazy Quilt 2012 block
Close up of January Crazy Quilt 2012
Next up is the 12 in 12 crazy quilt block for January. I’ve stitched most of the seams but I’ve decided it needs more silver so I’m looking for my silver threads. I plan to embroider a snow angel, some ice skates and more.

Name Badge for Quilt Guild
The last thing I’ll show for now is a small crazy quilt block that will become my name tag for the quilt guild I belong to. I did my name using French knots. It looks a little wonky but I’ve decided to leave it as is. It’s growing on me!

I have more items that I’m working on but I think this is enough for now. Be back later with my elephant block, some more things for my grandson’s room and a hat.

Happy stitching!


Sunday, February 5, 2012

TAST Notation

Here’s week 5 progress for the TAST (Take A Stitch Tuesday) Challenge run by Sharon from PinTangle.
Herringbone Stitch Sampler

This stitch is the herringbone stitch, part of the cross stitch family and for me not that difficult of a stitch. 
The first row is a non counted one with exaggerated lines. 
The second row was done actually counting the threads and trying to make the stitches even. 
The third row left hand side is a regular herringbone that was done in one color and then a second herringbone done in between it using a different color. 
The right side of the third row is a closed herringbone stitch. 
Chevron stitch is the fourth row and you can tell I wasn’t counting threads! 
The fifth row is a Breton stitch. 
The last row is a threaded herringbone. Again I did the herringbone in one color and threaded it with a second color. I’m still using the variegated thread as in the other samples I’m just cutting the thread so that there is a difference in color.
CQ2012 January Block with TAST stitches

The CQ January block which is still a WIP (Work In Progress) has all of the TAST stitches on it. I just have a few more small seams to embellish and then some small embroidery to stitch and buttons to sew on. Where does the time go? I really should be working on my February block.

Happy stitching!