Wednesday, 29 October 2014

WIPW - Completed x 3

Work In Progress Wednesday is a way to help you finish your needlework projects. Read about it here at Pintangle.
WIPW really works; I don't know if any of my progress this week would have happened if it hadn't been for the weekly routine, and the supportive and kind comments and suggestions by WIPW participants.

Completed #1.
The quilting is done!
I have also bought some fabric for the next stage, the edge.

Swedish Cushion
The Swedish cushion has been sleeping all week, and is patiently waiting for a new TAST stitch to fill in some stray empty spaces. (A hint to Sharon, I am hoping for a triangular stitch... ; ) )

New WIPW - TASTy Beads Galore
As there are no beaded TAST stitches on the Swedish cushion, I have started on a new project where I want to add the TAST stitches with beads.
The first stitch is TAST #135 Beaded Fern Stitch.

Swedish Wool Embroidery Collar
Completed #2.
Here is the completed collar shown with the two wrist warmers I made last year.
We are ready for the cold!

Extra WIPW - Felted Bluebells
Completed #3.
Do you remember the felted bluebells I had intended to use as ornaments on the strings of the collar? As they were too large, I dressed them up with some embroidery and beads, and turned them into Christmas decorations. Who's heard of Winter Bluebells?

TAST Reference Chart
#135 Beaded Fern Stitch has been added.
I hope you are working towards completing a project, too. Keep up the good work!

Sunday, 26 October 2014

TAST #135 Beaded Fern Stitch

Trust Sharon B of Pintangle to turn the basic Fern Stitch into a beaded version.
Here is TAST stitch #135 Beaded Fern Stitch:
 It looks as good on Aida, above, as on the sampler, below, don't you think?
 Want to learn it for yourself? Head over to Pintangle and join in the fun.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

WIPW - Next week Wednesday

Work In Progress Wednesday helps you work towards completing needlework projects. Read and learn from Pintangle, then join in, if you want to share the fun.

I have added another row of quilting.

Swedish Cushion
The recently learned Fern stitch, TAST #134, quickly found its way onto the cushion. Pink Perle #8.

TAST Reference Chart
The Fern stitch grew here, too, and in a circle!
I need to remove the blue marker lines!

Swedish Wool Embroidery Collar
Last week I showed a photo of wool fleece. I took it while attending a workshop in felting on the island of Koster near the Swedish West Coast in July.
There I made two 'bluebells' to use as ornaments for the cords of the collar.
I was very pleased with them until I saw that they were too large.
New ornaments had to be made. I had some wool in my stash in Tokyo, and remembered the technique. The result was two smaller ornaments, however they are not bluebells.
Instead their plainness make them perfect for TAST embroidery, and as you can see the Fern Stitch came out to play again.
A few stitches here and there and the Swedish Wool Embroidery Collar will be complete. It will be on display next Wednesday!

Where do you think the two bluebells are destined for? The bin? The cupboard? Or the ...? Also on display next Wednesday. Until then have a happy stitchy time!

Sunday, 19 October 2014

TAST #134 Fern Stitch

Do you want to learn a lot about stitches? Join TAST! It stands for Take A Stitch Tuesday and the course leader, Sharon Boggon, introduces us to a new stitch every Tuesday on her website Pintangle. We then try the stitch and write a blog post about it, leave a link to our own blog on Sharon's website (comment box of Pintangle) so that others can share. Everyone has something to contribute and we learn so much from each other. It is also great fun! This week it was time for stitch number 134, the Fern Stitch.

Although I have often seen this stitch and know how useful it is for making stems, branches and twigs, I have actually never learned it. It comprises of three simple straight stitches, and you would think that working them in any way would be OK. Do we really need to learn this?

I had some time on my hands one day and sat pondering about my needlework teacher in primary school. She had fixed rules and beliefs, one of them was 'although the result should be as neat and perfect as you can make it, it is the process that is important; you must learn to do the stitch the right way'. The question I was now contemplating was, is there a right way to do a stitch. The instructions vary from stitch guide to stitch guide. Just for the fun of it I took out my collection of books to see how many ways there were for the Fern Stitch.
A purple             B yellow left          C yellow right         D green left            E green right

I found these five ways. 
A is from a Japanese book. B is worked as a cluster of three lines and would be a good detached Fern Stitch. C is Ms Totsuka's method (see note of Kiko's Flower). D and E are a left-hand and right-hand variation of the same instructions. 
From the front they look quite similar. It is when you see them from the back that you notice the difference. (I have started and ended the stitches with a knot to have as little obstacle as possible for the photo.)

We can see that each method uses different amounts of thread and if sewn on a sheer fabric you would sometimes see the thread on the back showing through.
Here the fabric was held up against a window and you can clearly see the shadows some of the stitches make.
As I was working I soon found which instructions suited me - my way of holding the needle, the angle and direction of the movement and which stitch gave me the most 'flow'.

I came to the conclusion that my needlework mistress in school was wrong about there being a universal 'right' way of stitching. There is, however, a right way for each of us!
Now what do you think?

Time to stitch the samplers.
On the Aida practising cloth:
On the sampler
A question for you, which of the five methods did I find to be the right one for me?

A purple      B yellow left       C yellow right      D green left      E green right