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!