Wednesday, 10 December 2014

WIPW - The Swedish Cushion Completed!

If you click here and read the information on Pintangle you will learn all about Work In Progress Wednesday.

How quickly Wednesdays come around! It is time for another WIPW report.

Kafferepet
I have completed the Woven Crosses that anchor the lace. That means that the top of the quilt is finished. Yes!  A picture will be shown next week.

Here I have collected the material for the hanging sleeve and the label that I hope to start work on soon.

Pile 'em On
More orts and stray thread have been worked into the 'mess'. The latest addition were the purls I made.

TASTy Beads Galore
I was most impressed by some stunning flowers Chitra, of Jizee6687's Weblog, made on her sampler with TAST #139 Beaded Barb Stitch. I wanted to make something similar. Alas, my colours are dull and the spacing not so impressive; I'll have to try again.
TAST Reference Chart
I stitched down the labels for the latest ten stitches.
Then I prepared another sheet for future TAST stitches. There are 81 squares! Sharon, I hope you don't feel this as any pressure, but I'd love to have them all filled with TAST stitches eventually!!!
Chicken Scratch
Out of the blue I had to make another train trip. I let the Chicken loose and she Scratched hard and actually completed the design.
Before I turn this into a cushion I will work another pattern of thread in some areas to add a bit of pizzaz.

The Swedish Cushion
A cushion that is completed, however, is the Swedish one.
The full panel looks like this:
and contains 124 different TAST stitches (the 16 beaded TAST stitches are not included). 
In addition I have used Cross stitch for the initials and Anundsjö Stitch for the small blue and yellow emblems.
If you look closely you can see that in many areas I have used a mirror image and tried to use stitches that were as similar on either side. In the end that gave me a headache; I had added TAST #132 Kiko's Flower in one of the paisley designs:
and got no TAST stitch that would balance the act in the other paisley. It felt as if I had painted myself into a corner and could not get out... What to do? Well, I had seen Kiko's Flower in the Totsuka Embrodery Stitch Book #8 and the same author has a similar stitch in another of her books, Basic Stitch, that looked about the same. So I added that, the Triangular Bullion Stitch:
So there are in total 127 different stitches.
The made up cushion looks like this on one side,

and this, on the other side.
Work on the cushion was started in the middle of August last year, and it has taken a year and a half to complete it.
The fabric is cotton and easy to work on, but hard to photograph. The threads are mainly perle 8, stranded floss and coton a broder. In each corner there is a tassel of red ribbon, and by opening the zipper on one side you can remove the inner cushion.
It will be a delight to have this cushion on display and I am sure it will give me a lot of inspiration for future projects.

Thank you for all the support and encouragement you have given me.

63 comments:

  1. that cushion and the ideas behind it is lovely!I love the colours- and the feeling of the modern alongside the traditional

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    1. Thank you, Sharon. I've got a great teacher!

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  2. Congratulations on your fantastic finish! Now that cushion can happily wait and watch for a partner and all will admire it.

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    1. A partner!? Are you expecting me to make another one?! That will take some time, with a stitch a week... However, I WILL be making another TAST sampler of some sort with the stitches we will learn in the future.

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    2. Ii desu ne!

      Your cushion is gorgeous! Nice finish.

      What is the size of your new TAST fabric? I really need to make one.

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    3. Hi Pamela
      Thank you for your kind words.
      The TAST Ref Chart measures 50x50 cm. With small boxes you only need to add a few sampler stitches to show what the stitches look like.

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  3. That cushion is fantastic. What a great design. It's just gorgeous! (Applause)

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    1. Thanks Anna,
      It has been a very enjoyable project.

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  4. Beautiful, fun work, I enjoy your stories that go along with your work, thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks, Oh I wish I had more 'fantastic' stories to share.

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  5. Queenie the cushion is wonderful having seen it in august I knew how spectacular it would be. Other projects are fast being completed too so there will be some new pieces you will be starting soon. The reference chart is such a good idea when you want a stitch but do not know which one so you will be able to refer to this and problem solved.

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    1. I am so glad I had a chance to show you the cushion while still working on it.
      The TAST Ref Chart is a great help!

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  6. Gorgeous cushion. Nice and neat implementation of TAST stitches.

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    1. Thank you Shami. It was nice to make something with all the TAST stitches that can be used and on display all year round.

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    2. Your Swedish cushion is just stunning - what a beautiful accomplishment!

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    3. Thank you Cynthia! It took a long time but was a nice 'ride'.

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  7. I know textiles should be used and enjoyed but if I'd made something as fabulous as your cushion I don't know if I'd risk putting it on display for others to lean on and spoil (you might just have to inspect visitor's hands for dirty marks and jewellery that won't snag the stitches before you let them anywhere near it). It really is stunning, you must be so pleased with the finished result and have many happy memories of time spent working on the cushion.

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    1. Good thinking, Elizabeth. Actually it is residing on a daybed that will only be used by me, and I'll remove the cushion when I take a nap. By having it on display (for myself at least) I will have constant inspiration. I've also made a 'map' with numbers of each TAST stitch used so that I can then easily refer to the TAST Ref Chart and Sharon's instructions on Pintangle when I want to use a stitch again.
      Thank you for always giving me good feedback, Elizabeth.

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  8. Bravo, bravo, I am clasping my hands--- The cushion Is wonderful - it is looking really Swedish (I imagine and what I saw from Sweden). And we own a little wooden horse like your appliqué one.. The Chicken did nice work scratching - I am getting interested in this kind of embroidery. Your orts piece makes me smile - it is looking like a backside of my stitcheries.

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    1. Ha, ha, then you should see the BACK of the orts piece!!!
      I think the Dala horse has galloped all over the world; I saw a printed one on a fabric calendar in Tokyo yesterday.
      Chicken Scratch is very rewarding, you transform a checked pattern into lace with very simple stitches.
      Thank you for your kind words about the cushion.

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  9. Queenie, your swedish cushion is wonderful. It is a great embroidery with all the Tast Stitches. I love the colors.

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    1. Dear Séverine, you should know that I get a lot of inspiration from your wonderful work. YOUR floral stitch sampler is so elegant.

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  10. Beautiful. Absolutely a perfect sampler!

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    1. Thank you, Carol
      A sampler is a good way to practise and make use of stitches learned.

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  11. Your Swedish cushion is amazingly beautiful and colorful. Congratulations for your successful embroidery. It looks like those one at a museum.

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    1. Oh, Angelica, what a lovely thing to say. It is from museum pieces that I have got a lot of inspiration.

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  12. I love the paisleys so much!

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    1. I like this shape, too. It seems to be international, you can find them in many folksy items and basically feathers in a quilt pattern are just a row of paisleys, in my opinion.

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  13. The support and encouragement is so well deserved.........Your Swedish cushion is certainly an Heirloom ! I have so enjoyed watching your progress, Thank you for sharing.
    A great accomplishment !!
    hugs
    Chris Richards xx

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    1. Without Sharon's weekly lessons, without the support of online friends like you, dear Chris, the cushion would have been snoozing in the UFO cupboard. Now it is snoozing on my daybed and reminding me of the progress and my friends around the embroidery world.

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  14. Congratulations! And what a beautiful cushion you've ended up with. Such a marvellous way to showcase the TAST stitches.

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    1. Thank you, Lilian. Recently I have been blessed with a good amount of 'me-time' and am so happy to have completed the cushion before the end of the year. TAST is a great course, and through looking at others' work it is easy to see how useful the stitches are. Felted items, samplers, brooches, bookmarks...

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  15. Queenie--It is a work of art! So beautifully done. Congratulations!

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    1. Thank you! I am so glad to hear all the praise!

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  16. congrats on your fantastic Swedish cushion. Each and every time I look at it, it gives me more pleasure. the colour combination is excellent. really great work. you have been quite busy on embroidery front. the chicken sure has scratched quite well indeed. I 'll understand pizzaz when you do it. the TAST reference is inspiring.
    For the beaded barb stitch flower, I had started with half buttonhole wheel, then developed further without leaving space between the rows.

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    1. I am pleased with the completed cushion, it was fun to make, but a challenge to photograph. NO picture shows the real colour, how strange is that!
      Yes, I have had an unusual amount of time for embroidery, long may it last!
      Pizzaz is to a look what spice is to taste. Add it and your eyes will notice.
      I will work more stitches between the bars on the buttonhole wheels and introduce more colour to add pizzaz to the Beaded Barb Stitches, too.

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  17. Queenie, your lovely work is so inspiring! I have not tried chicken scratch, but may have to add that to my list for next year. I absolutely LOVE the TAST Reference Chart. That would be a very practical goal for me to work on next year. (I wonder how many hours I spend pouring through the previous TAST posts on Pintangle, searching for just the right stitch?) And your cushion is absolutely GORGEOUS! I had to show my hubby. He saw the completed panel and said it was cool. Then, I showed him the pillow and his response mirrored my own. WOW! That is really cool. Thanks for sharing your lovely work!

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    1. Oh, I feel so flattered that you would show my blogpost to your husband! Thank you both for your kind comments.
      The TAST Reference Chart is one of the smartest things I have ever made! At a glance I can select a stitch, see how it looks on the back, if it eats thread a lot, know the number and quickly find the instructions on Pintangel. I strongly recommend it as it is a real time saver.

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  18. You have made great progress on all of your projects. The cushion looks stunning!

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    1. Thank you, June.
      I am glad you like the cushion.

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  19. Wow, that is so lovely!! Congrats. :-)

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Cathy.

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  20. Your cushion looks marvellous, well done! Have you a plan for your orts stitchery?

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    1. Thank you, Linda. I had no design plan for the cushion when I started, so I guess it is a kind of 'telephone scribble' in stitch.
      As for the orts I have no fixed plan, but now that I don't need it for stress relief and just add stitches for fun, I might start working some drawn work outside the circle. I guess it will in the end become something to hang on the wall.

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  21. Congratulations Queenie, on the completion of your beautiful cushion. Your dedication to stitches and designing shine through.
    I like your ribbon tassel corners.
    Referring to the beaded barb stitching -I find it odd that threads in a hank can look brilliant and yet when used, lose their sheen or colour. I've frogged some work because of this.

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    1. First of all, thank you so much for your kind words about the cushion. The corners of a traditioanl Swedish cushion often had tassels made of strips of frayed fabric. I wanted mine to be fray-less and less of a temptation for the cat to play with. I think the ribbon worked well.
      Secondly, shiny thread can loose its sheen apparently when it is pulled throught the fabric - maybe I should have used a thicker needle to make a wider hole for the thread to pass through. In my second attempt I used a stronger colour, a thicker needle and the result is a BIT better.
      Instead of frogging a piece of work, you could turn it into a free form 'thread dump' piece of embroidery, but then again, your style is very elegant, Maureen, and I can't really see you spending time on such a project.

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  22. Thank you Maureen,
    Completing the cushion feels good, although I enjoyed the 'ride'. Traditionally cushions in Sweden had in each corner a tassel made from strips of fabric, fraying and 'messy'. Had this been a wool embroidery I would have made tassels from yarn. Now I thought the ribbon would look neater than frayed strips and still fit the Swedish style.
    The thread I used for the Beaded Barb Stitches is HIGHLY shiny in the skein, but looks flat on the fabric. Maybe the fibres get fuzzy when passing through the holes in the fabric. Should I try a thicker needle to make the hole wider...

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  23. Congrats on finishing your beautiful cushion! It was a pleasure to follow your progress.

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    1. Thank you, Annet. Unlike you and Chitra, for example, I have not made a lot of variations and stitch combinations with my TAST stitches (fabric books or combination samplers) but I am very happy to have collected the basic TAST stitches in one piece like this.

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  24. A huge congratulations Queenie on your wonderfully stitched and finished cushion. It's been a real pleasure to follow your progress on it over all of these months. What a very special and beautiful piece of stitching to have.

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    1. Your words warm my heart! Thank you for all your support and the inspiration I have got from your work.

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  25. Wow well done Queenie! What an inspiration you are - I so enjoy seeing the photos and reading the explanations of your beautiful work :)

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    1. Thank you! I am so glad to hear your praise.

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  26. you have a stunning cushion Queenie, you are an inspiration to all the tast stitchers. I will look forward now to the quilt, what a treat that will be!

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    1. It is always so nice to hear from you, Susan. I am relieved the cushion is ticked off the list. X-mas preparations have hindered me from startingt work on the hanging sleeve of the quilt but I will put an effort in during the weekend.

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  27. Congratulations Queenie ! The cushion is gorgeous and I love the vibrant colors... a great way to showcase the stitches.I've enjoyed watching your progress,thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. It was fun for me too, to work slowly at adding TAST stitches to the cushion. Now it sit on my daybed and give me a lot of inspiration every day.

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  28. Wow. I am loving that cushion. Well done, queenie

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    1. Thank you, Dianne.
      Now that it is completed, and there is a promise of more TAST stitches I'll have to think up another project to showcase the stitches.

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  29. I knew it would be beautiful but it is even better than I thought it would be. A work of art.
    Congratulations.

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    1. Oh, Carolyn, to hear your words is like being praised by the teacher, and it makes me so happy. It was a fun project to work on, and I will miss it. Now I have to plan how to show case the TAST stitches of the future.

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  30. Oh, oh, oh this is beautiful, Queenie. What a wonderful way of using TAST stitches!

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    1. Hi Brighid,
      You know how much fun it is to make use of the TAST stitches and the other things that Sharon has taught us. I had a great time making this cushion, it is also a fantastic way to use as a reference chart for inspiration, and I can even 'test' myself and try to name the various stitches. THAT proves that one's memory is not that good any longer - getting older, you know!

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