Wednesday, 31 December 2014

WIPW - The End of 2014

This Work In Progress Wednesday report falls on the last day of 2014. It has been a great and positive year. I've completed needlework projects that had been going on for far too long, like the quilt 'Kafferepet'
and the Swedish Cushion'.
I made a collar in wool embroidery
to accompany the wrist warmers I made last year.
To celebrate new life at spring I made an abstract Sumptuous Surface Embroidery picture with cherry petals,
For the Hina Festival I made a fish,
and my contribution to NHK's Partnership Charity Quilt project was this block of Swedish peppermint sweets,
I created a few new stumpwork portraits
and birthdays cards.
I made the TAST Reference Chart,
I started a Beaded TAST sampler
and a Free Form embroidery
where I can just pile on stitches made from short left over thread ends...

and I visited a number of quilt shows, where I had the chance to enjoy the company of my many friends.


So what have I produced in the last week of this year?

TASTy Beads Galore
I used TAST #37 Beaded Hedebo Edge to start this flower.

Pile 'em On
Some more stitches were added to the 'mess' in the centre. I also started on another pulled work area, using Wave Stitch Filling.

Growing Red
I have measured,



and started stitching a bit on this 'mystery' project.

I'm a lucky girl who received lovely Appleton wool for Christmas; perfect for this project.

Work In Progress Wednesday was started as a support program by Sharon of Pintangel. It helps you focus on working towards completing a slow or stagnant needlework project, by reporting on your progress each Wednesday. It has worked wonders for me. Try it!

Wishing you all a good last day of 2014 and a bright, creative New Year.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

WIPW - Kafferepet Completed

Work In Progress Wednesday, that was started by Sharon Boggon of Pintangle, has been a great way to spur us on, to work towards completing needlework projects that have been taken too long, or even taken up long term residence 'on the shelf'.

For me, one such project was a wallhanging called Kafferepet. I made the first block in the summer of 2007!, and with the help of Sharon's WIPW I have now reached the goal and the quilt is completed!

I have made progress on other projects, too, but let's start with:

It all began in 2007 when I made a block for NHK's Partnership charity quilt project. The theme was 'Tea Time', and I made a platter of seven 'goodies' usually served at a traditional, and slightly old fashioned, Swedish coffee gathering, known as Kafferep in Swedish.
Kanelbulle, Schackruta, Vaniljhjärta, Uppåkrakaka, Chokladsnitt, Gaffelkaka, Syltgrotta are the names... (For NHK's Partnership Quilt Project 2008)

Once the block had been donated to NHK I knew I wanted one for myself and made a new one.
The cinnamon roll was replaced with a biscuit called Kongress. 
As I love the china that the biscuits are on, I decided to make a small quilt featuring the cup and coffee pot as well.
 From there the project grew with blocks of buns, cup cakes,
raspberry cordial, spoons and all the other things connected with this kind of coffee party.

From the ladies of my family I had been given lots of hand made lace that I used for the sashing. I backed the lace with blue and yellow fabric, the colours of the Swedish flag.  
The quilt was extended with a border of appliquéd summer flowers. 
By the time I had joined TAST (Take A Stitch Tuesday) in 2012, I started embroidering stems by using 48 different TAST stitches. 

Another border, with bobbin lace held down with other TAST stitches, completed the top.

Now in the last week I have worked on the back; the hanging sleeve was stitched on and the label completed.
Lace, appliqué and TAST stitches, all in celebration of Swedish coffee culture.

The front looks like this:
(measuring 100x105 cm)
and here are some details of the quilting

As can be seen, all quilting is done with embroidery stitches.

To celebrate the completion I just had to arrange a Kafferep and set the table.
'Coffee is served!'

TASTy Beads Galore
This week I used TAST #107 Beaded Loop Cretan

Pile 'em On
Apart from adding some more stray stitches and the speared orts, technique here, I began on some pulled work outside the circle.

New Growing Red
Here are the goods for my next project, red wool en mass, fabric and yarn.

 Wishing those who celebrate Christmas a Jolly Holiday, and wishing you all, Jolly Stitching!

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Spear the Spare Orts

What to do with orts (small snippets of thread you usually throw away) has become a fun project for me.
How about spearing the spare orts to spare the planet; a smart way of sparing yourself the trouble of tossing the orts away, not going spare by your untidy sewing area and enjoying thread play in your spare time?

1. Collect your orts. Thread a needle with a longish thread and make a sturdy knot.
2. Spear the orts onto your needle
 3. until you have a good number of orts on the needle

 4. Fix the speared orts to the fabric with a suitable stitch. I used Chain Stitch.
Have a fun day!

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

WIPW - The last spurt.

My Work In Progress Wednedsday report is shorter than usual this week. The Swedish cushion was completed last week and is of course off the list, there is No TAST reference chart work to report on either, but I've made progress on:

I have prepared the hanging sleeve, but not stitched it on yet. The label itself is on, but the decorative lace and appliqué is not completed. I'll add embroidery with the perle 8 seen in the photo.
It is the beginning of the last spurt.

Pile 'em On
I added more thread play to the tangle. One addition was the keyring with trapped thread ends. I wrote about the process here. As usual I got good feedback from my online friends. Thank you so much.
Chris Richards suggested adding a pearl or jewel in the centre. I think I will act on that suggestion, once the piece is finished.
By the way, Chris has made some fantastic bead embroidery. Check this one out.
After seeing Annet's WIPW and Royce's Schwalm embroidery my fingers are itching to start on some different work outside the large tangled circle. I think it is time for some order in the mess!

TASTy Beads Galore
I tried to improve the flower that Chitra gave inspiration to. I have added stronger coloured thread. Unfortunately the red fabric steals the show with its overpowering raspberry red.
The flowers have grown in size with more Beaded Barb Stitches and there is also a Beaded Barb Stitched stem.
It is time to move on to another beaded TAST stitch for next week. Séverine's fantastic work has given me a lot of inspiration.

There is even more Work In Progress Wednesday inspiration to be found at Sharon's website, Pintangle. Click on the link and see what others have made.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Trapping Orts in a Ring

Here is a new tip for what to do with short orts.

If you have a spare key ring like the one in the photo, and snippets of thread,
trap the orts between the springs,
then fasten the orts to the fabric with a stitch. I used Back Stitch, then covered the remaining metal ring with Buttonhole Stitch.
If you give it a try, I hope you'll have as much fun as I did.

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.

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.